The first thing we need to unlearn is the notion that what happens in school is education. This is perhaps best summed up in a line from Terry Pratchett’s novel Dodger. Referring to the main character, Dodger, who may have been artful in another story — there are several parallels, Pratchett writes, “While others were in school being educated, Dodger was out in the streets learning stuff. There’s a big difference.
Frank Zappa came at it from a different direction when he said, “If you want to get laid go to college, if you want an education go to the library.”
I’m not against school per se, though we should have learned most of what we ned to by age 13 and beyond that life will fill in the gaps, but having myself been a beneficiary of that old fashioned concept “The Renaissance Education” with aims to provide pupils with a broad grounding in the arts, sciences, mathematics, and language on which we can build throughout life, I know that having passed on University to go travelling because I wanted to get out into the world as quickly as possible, I have since leaving full time education learned far more interesting “stuff” across a broad range of subjects than many people whose higher education years focused on too narrow a range of learning.
That is one way to develop mental sovereignty, but then while at school I was introduced to the work of existentialist thinkers including Immanuel Kant and David Hume. They and others made the point that there are no great, universal truths, each of us must try to make sense of the world in the context of our own knowledge and experience. The Buddha is credited with saying similar things.
The difficult part is separating out from the narrative that which does not make any sense.