Helyn Connerr explains The Mercury Model, a cognitive model for the 21st century that both identifies and describes our natural mental dynamics. It clarifies how each of us handles information, at every step along the path.
Einstein told us: ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Many of us know this to be true, and now we can take it to the next level. By enabling us to easily identify and accurately describe how anyone’s mind ticks, the Mercury Model gives us an alternative to erroneous judgements about people, gives us permission to be ourselves and extend that permission to others.
Those who embrace Einstein’s quote encourage and enjoy mental individuality. But for others it remains a big secret that our minds are wired differently, that we think, learn and communicate differently. Some people adhere to a belief that a mind is a mind is a mind and they all function in much the same way – including the proponents of whole class teaching, the ‘one size fits all’ people.
Granted, until now it has been very difficult to qualify our mental differences – not our opinions, interests or mental capacity, not the physical side of things like brain structure or biochemistry – but what we actually do with the equipment we have, our style differences. A teacher, trainer, parent, friend or employer would previously have had little idea about the real mental dynamics of the person they were talking to. But, that has all changed!
The Mercury Model is a cognitive model for the 21st century. It both identifies and describes our natural mental dynamics. It clarifies how each of us handles information, at every step along the path. It allows for clear delineation, in plain language, of steps like:
our reaction to new information – some run and hide while others throw open their mental arms,
different mechanisms of capturing it – applying it to real life, digging in and getting our hands dirty vs. cleanly breathing it in,
storage – in a secure vault vs. no storage capacity at all, and
sharing – no sharing, thank you very much shouting it from the roof tops.
Taken together, the multiple steps involved in our handling information comprise our personal learning style. Each of us has one. We were born with it and it does not change over time. We all do best what comes naturally, and separating from our own learning style, in favour of adopting someone else’s (an early school teacher, an inspirational or a controlling parent, etc.) undermines us. One style is not better or worse than another; each has its own specific mental strengths and potential blind spots. To spin properly the world needs all of us.
The Mercury Model is concerned only with our minds, it does not deal with behaviour, personality traits, feelings, values, longings and other components of our make-up. We each have our own set of learning requirements. We take in information most easily when it is presented in a way that is compatible with our own natural learning mode or style. Otherwise we struggle to get it. A presentation which enables one person to easily understand new material can totally befuddle another.
The Mercury Model presents 12 different learning styles as the broad brush stroke, along with the variations on each theme which allow for distinctiveness. It shows how every child, adolescent and adult, handles information in their own way. Whenever people, of either gender and at any age, are interacting, from any culture, on any topic, in any situation, their various learning styles stand with them, as filters to the exchange of information. If we do not consider others’ learning styles, both our listening and our speaking are coloured and textured through our own.
We might have anticipated that this sort of information would have come from psychological or educational theory, but it has not. It is still not available from those sources. Drawn from decades of studying the mysteries of the universe through a variety of lenses, from hard science to soft science, and using the principle of mental synthesis, I have linked elements of mythological archetypes and the ancient wisdom of astrology, to produce the Mercury Model. The identification of individual cognitive function and learning dynamics is based upon the astronomical position of the planet mercury at birth. On the energetic level, Mercury, the archetypal image of thinking, learning and communicating, resides within the planet of the same name.
Previously published on Watkins Publishing on 4 July 2016