Method not system, living not dead, spirit not letter, thought not recipes – all these things should be kept in mind as we prepare for the upcoming school year. Normally we think of recipes as a good thing – something that you must keep in order to achieve the desired outcome. Not so in this instance, not so with a Charlotte Mason education.
Have you begun your planning yet? I will soon – I love planning – I’m on my 23rd year of it! And planning your Charlotte Mason homeschool year should be a thoughtful and peaceful process, I think. Part of the key for me is described in the following excellent article that I can’t wait to share with you! It’s by Essex Cholmondeley (pronounced “Chumley” – keep reading to see how I know this), author of The Story of Charlotte Mason and was first published in the Parents’ Review no. 36 (1925). There is a bit of British humor sprinkled in there, especially when describing the recipes. I have transcribed the entire article in the last section of this post.
There are three important points that I want to draw out here. First, you must do the thinking. Sure, it’s convenient to use someone else’s schedules or experiences (recipes) when planning school. But in Religion as well as Education we must act according to the spirit and not by the letter. Essex says,
Useful though this power of storing up and handing on experiences may be, the recipe-habit of mind is a dangerous one. Is it, perhaps, of the nature of the leaven of the Pharisees, a trust in the letter which killeth as opposed to the spirit which giveth life? Beware of the leaven! To live by recipe is a great temptation in this efficient and hurried age, it saves time and trouble, it entirely does away with the arduous task of thinking. There are two fields in which we many not yield an inch to this temptation, the green fields of Religion and of her handmaid Education. Beware of listening to the cry for educational recipes; answer it with the clarion of revealed educational truths.
Second, you need to always go back to the principles and not just others’ practices. Often times, parents want a quick answer to their particular dilemma. It’s not that easy! I try and help them get down to the bottom of the issue by identifying the principle involved.
The simplest answer to the question “What should I do when my child —” is “We do —” but such an answer merely records a practice, maybe an unwise practice under the special circumstances. A wise answer would show a principle at stake and would indicate a general line of action.
Therefore, you need to know the principles so you can figure out your particular dilemma. Obviously you can’t go back to the principles if you don’t know what they are. They are included at the beginning of each volume as the Twenty Principles and explained in detail throughout the volumes.
“May we do it?” cannot be decided by imagining or remembering what will probably follow if we do; this is merely ‘looking after.” It is the underlying principle, brought to mind and carefully held in view —“looking before” —which should give the final word of permission. Miss Mason left no recipes behind her. She believed in thinking persons, therefore she bequeathed certain principles based upon truth itself. Every parent and teacher is free to apply these principles in ever fresh practice according as new needs and difficulties arise.
I am reminded of that great line I came across in the Armitt in the L’Umile Pianta (April 1909) which states, “In our training at Scale How, we have absolute freedom while in absolute subjection to principle.” Once you understand this, countless possibilities open up for your school, home, teaching, and life! It is one of the reasons our TBG Community has been so successful as we have applied her principles “as new needs and difficulties arise!” It is why getting together with others walking this path is so important as we can see and hear about the creative ways her principles can be applied. It is why no two CM homeschools will look alike.
Of course it is helpful to see how others do things. True CM curricula are also a boon for the busy parent – just like the PNEU was for mothers 100 years ago. No one would deny that! But our thought needs to come into play in how we apply them to our own families. Don’t miss the humorous history lesson by recipe or the question about whether oral lessons are permissible! And the last paragraph of the article is priceless. Please read the article and share below if you have a favorite line for your commonplace book.
As you plan your upcoming year, pray and work alongside the Holy Spirit so that your school will truly be a life-breathing, knowledge-getting atmosphere for your family.
Teaching from Peace,
Here are some previous planning posts you might enjoy:
RECIPE VERSUS THOUGHT BY ESSEX CHOLMONDELEY
“Of making many books there is no end.” How truly can this be said of those books of crystallised experience, the Recipe books. The making of these did not begin with the scribes of ancient Egypt nor will it end with the printing press. The number of recipes exceeds the orange skins on the sea shore for multitude just as the green fruit on the tree exceeds the ripe fruit in the market.
So many minds are unpublished but potential books of recipes! Some are complete, some still in the making; a few are encyclopaedic, the majority are concerned with two or three interests only. The content of each of these books gives the history of a lifetime. A great part of everyday life is lived according to recipes – helpful or hindering formulas obtained at second hand from successful people and carried out according to the intelligence, capacity or material resources available. It cannot well be otherwise in such a perplexing world of unstable opinion and fluctuating occupation. “What must I do? How shall I do it?” “What shall I make? How shall I make it?” we cry and then how gratefully we clutch at the floating driftwood ere we drown in a sea of disastrous ignorance and how often we find a straw in our hands.
Some recipes are not straws, they are veritable logs; the difficult lies in our power of discernment. For instance: —
“Fruit Salad. Take ¼ lb.of all fruit in season. Skin and
stone the fruit; when the oranges are used remove pips, skin and white pith;
cut the fruit into pieces about the size of a Barcelona nut; 1 oz. of blanched
almonds cut up; cover with sugar and let it stand for a few hours. Add one
glass of liqueur and more sugar if desired.” Personal ideas may be vague
concerning the size of a Barcelona nut, no glass of liqueur may be at hand, yet
here a very hopeful dish is discernable whereas in the following the afflicted
householder can only discern an act of faith:—
“To destroy cockroaches. Mix equal quantities of oatmeal and plaster of Paris; strew upon the floor.”
When swimming in deeper waters, the troubled seas of behaviour, the recipial
driftwood is still present:—
To ensure success
“Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,
Wise, healthy and wealthy.”
Or:—To avoid censure and ensure popularity
“Speak when you’re spoken to,
Do as you’re bid,
Shut the door after you
Never be chid.”
A former generation made and clung to these, but they are not now considered useful for swimming purposes.
Nor are recipes wanting for those who desire to lead a religious life, who wish to
spend a happy holiday at a seaside resort, who seek health, who engage in a new
art of craft (even witchcraft— see Shakespeare) or who undertake the education
of children. There are recipes afloat for all these things and many others, they may be still unpublished but that is only because a large enough demand of them in print has not yet been voiced by the public.
Useful though this power of storing up and handing on experiences may be, the
recipe-habit of mind is dangerous one. Is it, perhaps, of the nature of the leaven of the Pharisees, a trust in the letter which killeth as opposed to the spirit with giveth life? Beware of the leaven! To live by recipe is a great temptation in the efficient and hurried age, it saves time and trouble, it entirely does away with the arduous task of thinking. There are two fields in which we may not yield an inch to this temptation, the green fields of Religion and of her handmaid Education. Certain it is that the true teacher, like the man of true religion, should live by the spirit and not by the letter, by principles, not by rules of practice, however faithfully applied. Beware of listening to the cry for educational recipes; answer it with the clarion of
revealed educational truths.
Hopeful parents and teachers frequently become members of an educational Society thinking that from henceforth all their perplexities will be lightened for them
by a body or rules and dictums, unpublished perhaps, but extant in the minds of
the more prominent members of their Union. They are doomed to a merciful
disappointment. Their questions can never be answered by an easily applied rule, the true answer takes the form of a revealed principle upon which the member himself must act intelligently. The simplest answer to the question “What should I do when my child——“ is “We do——“ but such an answer merely records a practice, maybe an unwise practice under the special circumstances. A wise answer would show a principle at stake and would indicate a general line of action. In our own Union members ask “Why do you do——? Is it P.N.E.U.?” “May we do this?” Thus assailed, the speaker standing nervously behind the slight protection of a small table and a glass of water is in danger of answering quickly and all too well. After the meeting, in the quiet of the fireside, or the loneliness of the railway carriage, the answer may be found to be a mere recipe, applicable only in certain circumstances, on given material.
How simple if, when asked “How should lessons be prepared” the reply could be à la cookery book:—
“To prepare a history lesson (old style). Take 12 suitable pages of all History books obtainable . Skin and stone the facts; when imaginative writing has been used remove the pips, skin and white pith of redundant language; cut the information into pieces about the size of a small printed paragraph; ½ dozen historical anecdotes; sugar with racy humour and bright manner. Let the lesson lie dormant in the mind for a few hours. Add personal charm and more humour if desired.”
How excellent a historical salad some teachers have produced according to this recipe and what indigestion sometimes follows. It is perhaps a dish for which most of our members do not ask.
Or again: —“How do you get rid of bad discipline at home?”
“To destroy bad discipline. Mix equal quantities of dignity and severity; strew upon the whole household.” Will undesirable behavior then be as dead as the cockroaches in a former recipe?
Miss Mason answered many questions in her life-time. It has been said by those who knew her that by her answers she revealed an underlying principle, she would never merely prescribe a course of action. In one of her letters to her students she admits that when a point of theory or practice is challenged, she finds it necessary to think out the matter down to its roots before the retort can be adequately discovered. A “large discourse, looking before and after” is wanted. “May we do it?” cannot be decided by imagining or remembering what will probably follow if we do; this is merely “looking after.” It is the underlying principle, brought to mind and carefully held in view—“looking before” —which should give the final word of permission. Miss Mason left no recipes behind her. She believed in thinking persons, therefore she bequeathed certain principles based upon truth itself. Every parent and teacher is free to apply these principles in ever fresh practice according as new needs and difficulties arise. If members fail to understand these principles and are content to act only according to advice—however sound,—they will make P.N.E.U. thought into a series of recipes which though useful at the moment, will be entirely inapplicable to the material of everyday life in another generation.
At the Children’s Gathering at Canterbury the question arose: “May a P.N.E.U. teacher make use of oral lessons? Is so, when? And to what extent?”
“What does Miss Mason herself say about this?” is the first thought of the person who endeavours to find the reply. But the first thought may be the second duty; the first duty is the effort to arrive at the principals involved. A teacher may reflect thus:–
Education is a Life. In order to have fullness of life, the mind like the body, needs food, exercise and rest. School life must present the best balanced supply of these three needs. Certain subjects such as mathematics and languages provide exercise. Granted that children do their own work by themselves to a large extent, oral lessons can be freely used in these subjects. Other subjects such as literature and history should supply the ideas upon which the mind must feed. May oral lessons be given in these subjects? In science? In Geography? Our desire is that the children should grow in knowledge. What is knowledge, is it the same as information?
“The distinction between knowledge and information is, I think, fundamental. Information is the record of facts, experiences, appearances, etc., whether in books or in the verbal memory of the individual; knowledge, it seems to me, implies the result of the voluntary and delightful action of the mind upon the material presented to it…The information acquired in the course of education is only by chance, and here and there, of practical value. Knowledge, on the other hand, this is, the product of the vital action of the mind on the material present to it, is power; as it implies an increase of intellectual aptitude in new directions, and an always new point of departure.” –(School Education).
Information thus takes a second place but though knowledge be the first aim in view, cannot we devote time to the kind of lesson which does give information but does not bring knowledge? Is it not important to learn certain facts of history, natural history, geography, and should not time be given up to such learning? Time is short and very precious. In these subjects every lesson must intend knowledge, information must come incidentally and keep its “second place.” Children must study in order to know, for they know in order to live.
Continuing his enquiry the teacher goes on: “How do people get knowledge?” Knowledge results when the mind has accepted and has worked upon the ideas presented to it. Literary form is the vehicle which carries an idea most surely to the mind and it is certain that the mind finds itself free to work delightfully upon those ideas which it meets through good literature and good art. Accordingly it would appear that, in subjects which provide food for the mind, each lesson must
(1) Present ideas in a suitable form (literary for preference)
(2) Ensure “voluntary and delightful action of mindupon the material presented.”
Can an oral lesson fulfil these obligations? If so, I may give them, if not I must forbear. It is necessary to be even more specific. Is the oral lesson which I have just prepared on “The Great Air Currents of the World” justified? I thought it would be useful in clearing up a confusion which I find is prevalent in my class after the term’s reading. Is it justified by any original thought on my part,* by my vital interest which will enable my class to receive and use the ideas that I hope to set forth? Is it justified also by the opportunity which I shall give the class of doing individual work upon what they have heard? Or does this lesson consist of carefully got up information, or is it “a single grain of pure knowledge to a gallon of talk”? I wonder if it is only my manner which will hold the attention of the class and if the memorisation or tabulation of essential facts (with which I intend the children to finish the lesson) is merely a mental exercise?
An honest answer must be given and the answer will permit or forbid the lesson in question. Perhaps even if he finds permission, the teacher will decide to attain his end by other means; but he has at least done his best to examine the truths upon which he intends to base his practice. He is ready to consult Miss Mason’s books and the advice given there concerning the use and misuse of oral lessons will not be used as a recipe but will be intelligently followed.
It is a very much harder task to recollect and apply a principle than to follow a
precept, hence all the recipe-activity in the world, but we are all born persons and the power to think is there in each one of us if we will but use it. To be a “member”—a living part of a living organism—implies and entails the duty of careful thought. Members of the P.N.E.U. are fortunate in possessing Miss Mason’s books by which to attempt the answering of their own questions and by which to test their answers. Here can be found a clear exposition of those laws of mind, those central truths, upon which all P.N.E.U. method must be based. Here again, can be found sage advice. It is the part of every member to seek and find in his own mind the best means of applying those principles, that advice, to new occasions and to particular instances. This is the contribution that each one of us can make to the Union, the only one worthy of a thinking person. We have no body of rules, no recipes. A few firmly rooted principles have been shown to us and in these consist the strength and usefulness of the Union. If in the study and expression of these principles we use our liberty, our best intelligence, our careful consideration and our honest labour, we shall find a steadily growing power of meeting new difficulties, not by recipes old or new, but by vital truths. It is possible to attain, as a society and as “persons” to that kind of knowledge which sets men and women free from mere theories of life, while enabling them to live wisely and choose well among the many new and distracting doctrines which daily come to light.
*”Original thought justifies an oral lesson or a lecture, but can the teacher have vital interest, therefore original thought on many subjects?” (MISS MASON).
Debi Z says
Wow, this is just so good! We did CM without “recipes” for quite a long time but weariness set into this mama and when recipes came along, I jumped right in! Now the weariness is worse than ever. I hadn’t realized why that was until reading this. I’ve removed so much LIFE from what we are doing, forgotten so much of who WE are! Thanks for the reminder of the need to find the best answer for MY family rather than the best recipe as prescribed by someone else. So good!!
These were some of my favorite passages:
"To be a “member”—a living part of a living organism—implies and entails the duty of careful thought. "
"It is the part of every member to seek and find in his own mind the best means of applying those principles, that advice, to new occasions and to particular instances. "
I really enjoyed reading this article because it put into words thoughts that have been awaked in my mind recently. We do so hunger for recipes! We want our children/students to think and apply not simply follow recipes so that they may equiped to live the life before them. If we crave recipes and follow recipes that is what we are unconsciously modeling for them! Thanks for sharing.
What a timely post as so many of us are planning! I also enjoy it, but I have noticed this year especially that recipes do tempt people. 🙂 Knowing the principles gives the homeschooling mother the confidence to strike out a bit on her own, I think, to determine how best to teach her children, and there's a lot of value in that.
Great observation, Polly! I think so, too.
Can you expound on particular ways your coop applied the principles to difficulties when they arose? Thanks – how is that done in planning?
Well, as far as the difficulties go, I can think of a few examples. We had a mom who was teaching hymn and folksong one year. She had a 10 minute time slot. She talked the entire time and the bright eyes left the building. She didn’t understand that all she was doing was imparting information that would be gone in a few minutes. She didn’t understand that the time slot was to be for the actual singing of the song. I didn’t tell her she did it all wrong. Once we were removed from the situation and having a discussion, I carefully pointed back to the principles and info from the volumes, how we gain knowledge, and what should be the main emphasis during that time (singing! The Thing is the Thing!). Which is not to say that we don’t do any background info, of course we do! But for the most part in our classes, if you are saying or reading something, it should be something living and important enough to ask for a narration. That eliminates much of the talky-talk of the teacher. (And I better note here that yes, we do share personal insights that we think might delight the children like, “The ship we will read about today is actually one I’ve been on many years ago!”)
Then there are some of the more creative ways we have gone about some subjects. For instance, we know Mason said, “the verbiage of the lecturer is not assimilated”. That’s true, but if you keep reading the volumes and PRs, you will find that lectures were part of the teacher training college and that a lecture might be given by someone (passionate expert) but then the next 15-20 minutes were used to do a written narration by the students. Then the verbiage is being assimilated through written narration! We have done this with a class and it was living and the knowledge was imparted beautifully.
Am I saying lectures are the way to go in a CM education? Of course not. That would be the exception – it’s all about books and things. Am I saying that if one knows the principles and much of the volumes, one can make decisions based on the whole of her philosophy, not just the part? Yes.
Regarding planning, when we get together to talk through our subjects at the planning meeting, we are sharing insights (that worked, that didn’t, let’s do that again, let’s put that to rest) and ideas (how about if we tour the organic farm when we finish the nutrition books? Let’s share our BOC entries this semester!). Then there are the more elementary issues like are the lessons short? Who is doing the work in each lesson? Etc. You might find the post "Teacher Self-Assessment Questions" helpful here – http://sageparnassus.blogspot.com/2016/01/self-assessment-questions-for-teachers.html Also, reviewing any Crits that you can find is a great way to keep on track with your methods. See "We Must All Be Mary Robinsons" – http://sageparnassus.blogspot.com/2016/10/crits-we-must-all-be-mary-robinsons.html
Just as each child is a person, each group of children is unique. It is delightful to hear what others are doing so that we may adapt things to our own situations with much thought, not just by recipe. It reminds me of the helps in L’umile Pianta that Mason’s graduates contributed to.
Does that answer your question?
Amy Marie says
I loved reading the conversation here, Nancy! So helpful!
Thanks for a few examples. It's important to keep narrations fresh so I have had to learn to lean into the knowledge to ask the right kind of narrations or even do a group narration. Sometimes a student needs more strengthening in attention which takes a keen eyed teacher! It may take slowing down lessons and not moving through a play, Plutarch, etc… as planned. Perhaps this is what Essex is meaning
Sure, those are important, too! It's funny, but I think Essex is pretty clear as to what she means and gives examples to help us understand, thankfully. Great conversation, Bonnie!
Carolyn Mayer says
I did really enjoy her "recipes"! It's fun in the midst of studying and working hard to understand to step back and really laugh at what we are often striving for in our "salad."
These two quotes struck me profoundly.
"To be a “member”—a living part of a living organism—implies and entails the duty of careful thought…This is the contribution that each one of us can make to the Union, the only one worthy of a thinking person."
Wow…think about this in context of being a member of a family – a living organism. Are we showing and helping our children be thinking and living members of our family or are we instilling a formulaic obedience or recipe that doesn't require the VOLUNTARY use of the will?
"If in the study and expression of these principles we use our liberty, our best intelligence, our careful consideration and our honest labour, we shall find a steadily growing power of meeting new difficulties, not by recipes old or new, but by vital truths. It is possible to attain, as a society and as “persons” to that kind of knowledge which sets men and women free from mere theories of life, while enabling them to live wisely and choose well among the many new and distracting doctrines which daily come to light."
This reminds me much of Ephsians 4. We are called as members, and teachers, to live and think in a way that is worthy of who we have been created as persons. We are a unified part of a whole. As members we are each given gifts to use and have been equipped for ministry, for building the body of Christ so that we attain this glorious knowledge of the Son of God. As we mature and strive to this fullness in Christ, as we ask questions, and test ideas, we may not tossed about by deceitful doctrines or distractions, and we continue to steadily grow up.
Ephesians 4– I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift….. 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[c] and teachers,[d] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[e] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Excellent thoughts, Carolyn! I love how you likened it to the the living body of the Church – so true! Thank you for sharing.
Oh my goodness, Nancy, this is such a GREAT article! Having thought is SO VERY important and many times mothers simply leave that out!
As a CM "newbie", having a recipe (just a general one that is truly based on CM's principles) has been helpful to me as well.
When I decided to give my children a Charlotte Mason education, I did not have enough "Charlotte Mason thought" because I was brand new to the philosophy. My thoughts would have not been helpful in implementing CM, because all I had was the old "curriculum hopping, philosophy mixing" thoughts lol!! I had not yet acquired knowledge from her volumes and from studying…like what is referenced above:
"Members of the P.N.E.U. are fortunate in possessing Miss Mason’s books by which to attempt the answering of their own questions and by which to test their answers. Here can be found a clear exposition of those laws of mind, those central truths, upon which all P.N.E.U. method must be based. Here again, can be found sage advice. It is the part of every member to seek and find in his own mind the best means of applying those principles, that advice, to new occasions and to particular instances."
So I see it as recipe + thought rather than recipe vs thought lol! Of course, there are some recipes that are way too specific and don't encourage thought, so that's not good. A truly good recipe is one that encourages mothers to dig for themselves and learn the philosophy in order to apply it to their own homes!
I feel, as Mason did, that a mother should continue her own education and continue learning about the philosophy and methodology so that she would have the best "thought" to use in order to be free while in subjection to principle.
Hope that makes sense?!! Your thoughts are always so inspiring and challenging and really encourage us to dig deeper! JUST like you do in your workshops. You don't give us the answer. You help us dig for ourselves, and I LOVE that about you!!
Thank you for sharing YOUR thoughts, Bridgett, and all your kind words.
Karen Andreola says
I have here below (jotted down on a sticky note – for the time being) a part of what Amy Marie typed out above, also. Contemplating the difference in knowledge and information was a helpful overarching principle to keep in mind during our homeschool years. Especially when it came to books. I can't say I read the absolute "best" books with my children on a given subject.
There seems to be a big need for "C.M. approval" of books by others. We look for quality books, as far as we are able. But to continually be second-guessing ourselves that there could be other books better than the one that is in my hand right now, so . . . is unsettling and makes for a worrisome attitude and atmosphere. We will often meet another home teacher who personally "prefers" a different book on a subject or just happens to have found a rare out-of-print book on a subject, etc. In reality there are a variety of titles that will "fit the bill" nicely. Because the book is interesting and has "literary flavor." But I understand that confidence grows with experience. And trust in principles. Thanks, Nancy.
My take away:
"information must come incidentally and keep its 'second place.' Children must study in order to know, for they know in order to live."
That's a great quote, Karen. And I was just chatting with a young mom today about that part that defines knowledge and information. Thanks for your wise words.
Karen in Kansas City says
'Beware of listening to the cry for educational recipes; answer it with the clarion of revealed educational truths.' Very good advice for myself and the other leaders of our local study group! CM is really gaining ground in the Kansas City area and there are large numbers of moms of young children and, unknowingly, the are hungry for a recipe. And it is tempting…and often easier…to give one!
Yes, in the short run it is easier to just give one. But in the long run…not so much. We will use this article for our discussion piece as our TBG Community plans for another year – it's a great one for discussion!
Amy Marie says
Besides the two quotes you highlighted on your "notebook" paper :), these stood out to me, which I placed in my Commonplace, Mrs. Kelly. (I'm pretending I'm a student in TBG 😉 )
"Useful though this power of storing up and handling on experiences may be, the recipe-habit of mind is dangerous one…To live by recipe is a great temptation in the efficient and hurried age, it saves time and trouble, it entirely does away with the arduous task of thinking."
My thought: OUCH! A habit of laziness that just lends to doing something like others or "how it has always been done", without thinking through whether it's right for this time, situation, or person.
Time is short and very precious. In these subjects every lesson must intend knowledge, information must come incidentally and keep its "second place". Children must study in order to know, for they know in order to live.
My thoughts: I found it interesting that "these subjects" that Essex is referring too, are ones that typically we might find "justification" for information over knowledge. History, natural history, geography…but NO she is saying knowledge is still the intention. So freeing and makes the beauty of these subjects come alive vs. being weighed under uncertainty about which facts we "need" to know.
Thanks for sharing these gems you find in your reading and research. I appreciate it.
Love reading your thoughts, Amy with a "y". Yes, knowledge is the intention, not information. And I agree, it is freeing.