Will Johnstone
"The Way of Learning"
Santa Fe, New Mexico

ISBN 978-0-9830942-0-3 'The Way of Learning' by Will Johnstone, Artist

Selections from
'The Way of Learning'


Accepting the differences of each prevents cruelty.
Accepting the talents of each prevents envy.
Accepting the contributions of each prevents isolation.
The best, therefore, teach by opening ten thousand doors,
encouraging ten thousand conversations,
facilitating ten thousand experiences.
Appreciated, encouraged, respected,
The learner meets the self in every doorway,
listens to the voice within,
and passes in the direction appropriate.
Knowing the self, the learner is free.


Learning is a process of entering.
It is the birth of the child of the parent of the self.
The past is the womb.
How many can return?
Being born, there is a will to be.
This is each day's awakening.


Knowledge is like water.
Water gives life.
Knowledge gives understanding and meaning.
Neither strive, both flow.
In living be aware.
In thought be unlimited.
In learning become full.
In action fulfill others.
Gentleness does not strive.
Truth does not strive.
Competence does not strive.
Gentleness, truth, and competence flow like water.


Isolated, small things may seem large.
Viewed as part of the whole,
even large things seem smaller.
In learning,
Look at the landscape and culture:
People growing, crafting, teaching, singing, learning,
loving, arguing, worshipping, playing, sleeping,
working, eating, drinking, birthing, crying, dying.
Leaves fall with seasonal winds.
Water spreads and flows.
The house of choice requires commitment.


The path of learning is not straight.
It is not clear and is often obscured.
It twists and turns back upon itself.
It offers many side paths indistinguishable from itself.
Neither the learner nor the teacher knows which it is.
Neither the teacher nor the learner knows where it goes.
Traveling an unknown path in an unknown direction,
None knowing where the other is going,
Who can say which is right?
Both teaching and learning are journeys of discovery.
Mistakes are common.
Changing directions is part of the process.


The learner, given little, thinks little of it.
The learner, given much, struggles and may fail.
Given more than little and less than much,
The learner sees the complexity as less complex
and thus attainable.

Simple patterns build simple thoughts.
Complex intertwinements may intrigue or confuse.
As difficult journeys require each nights rest,
Complex tasks require the mastery of attainable goals.
Attainable goals are more than simple
and less than complex:

Thus the small pattern with challenge
excels over both the simple and the complex.
The linguist teaches moderately difficult phrases first.
The easy comes naturally.
The musician teaches moderately difficult phrases first.
The easy comes naturally.
Both craftsmen and artists teach sets of strokes
building to the whole.

The learner imitates the master.

96 pages. Paperback.