Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 24, 1966
NUMBER 29, PAGE 4-5a

What Is "Absorption Learning?"


We have had quite a bit to say these last few weeks about an exciting new "break-through" in the field of Christian education. Frankly, we ARE excited about the tremendous possibilities opened up by this new approach to learning, and we wish many thousands of Christians could share our knowledge of what has been done, and is being done, in the field of "absorption learning." Particularly when it is applied to the area of Biblical studies. This is the "anti-dote", the remedy, the saving counter-attack against an all-engulfing secularism, which was threatening to overwhelm the minds and lives of our children. And if the plan we are suggesting through this paper (Planned Program of Absorption Learning) be faithfully and conscientiously followed for even as much as one year, we are confident it will never be abandoned. The results are too rewarding, and too obvious, for any Christian family ever to deprive themselves of it.

But we have been asked to give a bit more explanation as to exactly how this new technique works. Just precisely what IS "absorption learning"? Well, we do not wish to get into a treatise on psychology, but nearly all of us have heard of the conscious mind and the subconscious. We know the conscious mind is that with which we think and reason and plan. But, very few people know much about the subconscious mind, except that it looks after the involuntary operations of the body such as the beating of the heart, breathing, etc. The conscious mind is inactive during our sleeping hours; but the subconscious never sleeps. It is on the job twenty-four hours in every day from the first breath you draw till the last feeble flicker of your heart at the moment of death. And this subconscious mind is like a highly sensitive film, or a blotter, or perhaps the magnetic tape of a tape recorder. It receives, accepts, and stores away everything that enters the mind --- good, bad, pleasant, horrible, exciting, boring, ALL of it is stored away.

It is this fact which gives meaning and value to the Bible teaching on "meditation." For while we cannot station a guard or censor at the door of the subconscious mind to reject and exclude the evil and unworthy thoughts and ideas, we CAN determine what goes into the subconscious by filling the conscious mind with "whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely." (Phil. 4:8.) We can consciously think of only one thing at a time. And we can control and direct our conscious thoughts. Truly "Blessed is the man.. ...whose delight is in the law of the Lord; And on his law doth he meditate day and night." (Psalm 1: 1-2.)

Educators and psychologists have learned that when an idea or a thought is repeated over, and over, and over again

day after day after day
even if the conscious mind is not actually aware of what is happening, the subconscious mind is receiving, recording, and storing away the impressions and ideas -- AND AS THESE IDEAS BECOME IMBEDDED IN THE SUBCONSCIOUS, THEY WILL INFLUENCE EMOTIONS, DECISIONS, AND BEHAVIOR!

"Planned Program Of Absorption Learning"

This is why we are so fascinated with the possibilities of adapting this "absorption learning" to the moral and spiritual realm. And there is one other aspect of this study which is highly significant --- the impact or influence of the "absorbed" material will tend to be more emotional than factual. This simply means that after a child has listened say to "The Life of Christ" story from the Gospels and Acts for a full year (he will have covered the entire life story of Christ twenty-six times within the year), his feelings response will probably out-weigh his knowing response. In other words, he may not be able to quote many verses or chapters --- but he will have an intense love for Christ, a whole-hearted devotion to him, an appreciation of him which will over-flow his heart with gratitude and an unshakeable resolve to make Christ the center of his life.

And is not this the very thing we so desperately need? It is not the mere verbal knowledge of the Word of God which is significant and important; it is how one responds to that knowledge, how one feels about the things he knows. And it is right in this area (the emotions) that "absorption learning" seems to be most highly effective. For when the beautiful story of Christ and his boundless love enters into the heart and mind of this "off -handed," casual fashion, the mind does not erect the usual barriers of prejudice, pre-occupation, secular interests which so often hinder the restrain and circumscribe our reception of the stupendous truth of God's boundless love for us. But the whole being responds to the love of God with a total dedication!

We are simply suggesting a modern adaptation of the old, old method of "saturation" teaching which the Hebrews employed from the days of Moses ---so completely filling the conscious (and subconscious!) mind of the growing person with the TRUTH ("Thy word is truth." John 17:17.) that his whole life grows in harmony with that truth.

Look elsewhere in this issue for our advertisement of the "Planned Program of Absorption Learning." What a magnificent GIFT this lovely album would make for a young family --- or an old one either, as for that!

F. Y. T.