The Second Mode of Knowing

The Second Mode of Knowing

Embodied knowledge
I have been wanting to share Ken Wilber’s video on The missing link in Education, take a look at his video below. That which strikes me and I see as most necessary for Teal School is the second mode of knowing Ken Wilber speaks of. The table below shows the two modes of knowing in education, and the following quote summarises why it is important for us to start engaging in the second mode of knowing.
"The greater number of subtle minds, east and west have maintained throughout history. That there really is this dimensionality for reality. These are found within us, through the practice of the second mode of knowing."
Ken Wilber

First Mode of Knowing (mind)

  • Symbolic, analytic, representational
  • Works with stories, ideas, narratives
  • There is a subject – object split
  • Second Mode of Knowing (embody)

  • What you want to know you are one with
  • Opens up the ultimate truth
  • Subject and object are one
  • Second mode of knowing is the embodiment of what we are learning. We are not just interested in how the mind receives and deals with knowledge but we are also feeling that which we meet. It is a mind and body experience. Our learning today is too much about the acquisition of knowledge and the learning of skills. We are most of the time not engaged in the full process of learning. It is in this subject – object split that I believe we miss so much opportunity when shaping, coaching and facilitating learning. 

    To give you an example: when we talk about mindsets or meditation in schools we talk about it from the perspective of knowledge sharing. We need to start embedding it into our day to day learning experiences. This can only happen when time is made available and schools start to see that we are in a crisis situation and desperately in need of teaching this second mode of knowing. The second mode of knowing has, as Ken Wilber mentions in the clip, been tossed out, debunked and degenerated from our educational systems over centuries. To continue to serve only the mind, and more importantly the left brain, we are truly doing a huge disservice to our children and ourselves.

    I also find it very interesting that Ken Wilber speaks of matter, body, mind, soul, spirit. Our human self is comprised of these layers. Yet, we stop at the mind. That is why in a Teal school we will actively work to approach our learners in a truly holistic way, honouring the matter, body, mind, soul, spirit.

    Soul and spirit when mentioned create sometimes strong reactions. For me this is the part that makes us human and we connect in this common aspect of ourselves. We should not be afraid to use these words or approach learning with a lense to facilitate their growth. Too often I see this side of us being sanitized and we approach it in the form of superficial activities. We have become so afraid to connect with what lies deep within us all.

    What do you think of Ken Wilber’s clip, what does soul and spirit mean to you. Please leave your thoughts, below! 


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    ——————————————- Share your story, thank you! —————————————–

    Contact us


    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Note: your welcome email might end up in your spam folder, be sure to tag it as safe so you won’t miss our future newsletters.