One of the thoughts-- three ways of learning.
You can be taught. That's brains-downward stuff. It can give new information and polish skills and sometimes even cause a paradigm shift. It's not necessarily the best way to train, but it might be the safest and it is really the only one where a teacher has a necessary role.
I also don't see this kind of teaching doing deep work. You can't really teach adrenaline, you have to feel it. I have never seen a teaching that could change character, that could make someone brave. Or cool under fire. Or kind.
I see that kind of stuff in modeling. Someone who spends time with people with certain qualities-- like bravery, but it works for negative stuff to-- tend to grow those qualities. That's one of the reasons why it is critical to spend time with the highest quality people who will tolerate your presence. You will become more like your peer group over time.
I think this is one of the power of cultures. Not tribal or national... my dad was a Korea-era vet. Hunting camp was an annual ritual that included him and his buddies from the army sitting around the campfire and telling stories. I think a lot of growing up in many cultures is guided by stories around a campfire. You can learn the skills of hunting, but you model the attitudes.
Stories, modeling, bonding... this is where the novice gets a heads-up about what to expect. learns about fear and freezing, whether that is called 'choking' or 'buck fever'. Learns that good strong men are not oblivious to what they have seen and what they have done. It's huge, both in preparing someone to walk into the ugly and also, by telling the stories and preparing the next generation, it is an advanced way to process experience.
The third way is through intense experience. Some of this can be done in training. Sometimes I think learning doesn't really, really happen in intense experience. Not cognitive learning, anyway. By the time you can handle the adrenaline (and this is where the cognitive, intense connections are made) it doesn't really count as intense experience anymore. Maybe.
Intensity conditions deep, however. And it tests like nothing else. I don't think you can really find out about your core in a classroom. But that's probably bullshit. You just learn different things in a classroom (like how patient am I) than you learn on a cliff or entering a cell.
It can also shift paradigms. When the teaching has been aimed at intense experience, real intense experience can point out huge holes, raise doubt or confirm details. Validate or invalidate what has been taught.
And there's an interesting aside there: When people have invested identity into the learning process and identify with an instructor, how many of them avoid experience for fear of invalidation?
Three ways that I see for this, then: Teaching, modeling and experience. Each excels at giving different things. I don't think you can skip one and really get to a useful level of skill. Maybe.
So, practical application-- do you have teachers, mentors and an avenue for gaining experience?
CCA (and domestic bragging) announcement:
My lovely wife, writing under the name Tammy Owen has published an e-book detailing our move to the country. Names have been changed, but otherwise...
"House of Goats" on Amazon for Kindle
"House of Goats" on Smashwords