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The Truth About Ignorance

Updated on July 3, 2014

While it is imperative to us that we are educated and continue to educate ourselves, the truth about ignorance is that it is as important to our growth and survival as knowledge is. Indeed, without ignorance we have no reason to expand our awareness or to seek knowledge. Ignorance and knowledge, while opposites, actually work together and must work together in order for us to be able to create for it is from the unknown that the very life that we enjoy today has become known.

Positively Ignorant

Ignorance is perceived to be a negative and so it is but that does not make it either bad or evil. Without negative there is no positive and therefore there is no motion and no life. Without exception, none of us would enjoy the places we live, the things we have, our ability to travel and to connect with each other had our ancestors not ventured into the unknown. To be ignorant is to be unaware of and to not know somebody or something.

It is the child's ignorance that drives it to know and understand its environment and the people, creatures and things in that environment. It is as it should be.

Negatively Ignorant

Ignorance and a drive for knowledge are innate in humankind and yet we have made ourselves and each other wrong for both. We have argued, fought, killed, maimed, tortured, ostracized, condemned and imprisoned each other for the crime of ignorance.

A few years ago I read a letter to our local paper from a lawyer for a client that had been sentence to a long prison term. It has haunted me since. As a seven year old child this now condemned man had been out in the garage with his father who was cutting wood with a power saw. The young lad asked his father a question that many of us would welcome from our children, "Can I help?" This father's answer to that innocent query was to respond with, "You want to help, I'll show you how you can help!" In then grabbed his young son's hand and ran his little fingers through the saw severing four of them.

The lawyer expressed in her letter her sadness and frustration that this man was being imprisoned rather than receiving the help that should have been his from a caring society years before he ever got to the point where he was visiting his father's actions upon others.

What happens when a person gets stuck on an incident from the past is that they continually dramatize all the decisions, perceptions, and moods experienced that it literally takes over the individual and influences all of their behaviors.  It is like a movie reel that just plays the same scene over and over and over again.  They do not see who or what is in front of them in present time.

Shocking Ignorance

When a something happens that shatters your world, your trust in others, your dependence upon others, it is a shock, a big shock. To use the young boy in the circumstance above as an example, in his asking the father the question, "Can I help?" he was in a high mood level, very present and had a positive vision and intention. What he got in exchange was an extremely negative mood level, spiritual absents and a negative vision and intention. This caused the boy's game, which was to help daddy, collapse. A shock has occurred when something jars the mind or the emotions with a sudden, violent and unexpected blow. The person has experienced an outrage and a severe offense to all that could be considered decent.

Individuals can be put into shock this way and indeed, as with September 11, 200, an entire country and its allies can be put into shock this way. It is an alarmingly simple thing to put an individual or a group into a state of shock and perhaps the most damaging effect is not the shock itself but the decisions the individual or collective make while in that state of shock. They are always, without fail, negative decisions with negative outcomes and consequences. Individuals and groups in shock are very easily controlled and manipulated.

Certifably Shocking

A person in shock is little more than a ball of confusion, their purpose has failed, their dreams have failed, their reason for existence has failed, and they no longer trust themselves or others. Their disrupted minds give conflicting commands and signals to their bodies, their ability to reason and to know or to reach for knowledge has been severely compromised as indeed their whole world as they knew it to be has collapsed in on them. Instead, they sit in a pool of stupidity, trapped life force and extremely heavy, uncomfortable and painful feelings. They can no longer respond to any given situations they can only react.

They are, effectively and thoroughly destroyed. 

Advanced Ignorance

We have come a long way since our ancestors set sail to explore and acquire knowledge about the world we collectively inhabit but we have come an equal distance in our ability to react rather than to respond to that world and our fellow humankind. The missiles fired by the rifles, long bows and cannons of the past have been replaced with highly technical missiles that would rendered our own ancestors defenseless.

However, in our ability to acquire and apply appropriate knowledge to the caring of and for each other in away that serves the whole rather than a select few who, more often than not are quite willing to lead us where we would never follow should we be in our right minds, we remain woefully ignorant.

The Truth About Knowledge

The truth about knowledge is that in our seeking and acquiring knowledge we do not have to concern ourselves with ignorance.  It will come along for the ride without our having to do anything or giving it any attention other than to acknowledge its existence.  Whenever we acquire knowledge in an area, our ignorance automatically comes to view.  Our ancestors started us on a journey of acquiring knowledge about the world in which we live.  It is a journey that once embarked upon became destined to continue.  As subsequent generations acquired more knowledge about our planet our vast ignorance of our own solar system and our place in it became blatantly apparent.  Knowledge and ignorance give us, as a species, eternal life because for everything we know there is something that we do not. 

When we condemn ourselves and each other for our ignorance; when we pretend to know when we don't; and worse yet, when we think we know and we do not the result is discord, upsets, and harmful actions rather than balance and harmony.  In our seeking to know we will naturally create a balanced and harmonious flow of life force between ourselves and each other and between ourselves and our dreams and goals. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free

It is said that we are leaving the Industrial Age behind us and are now at the threshold of what is being called the Knowledge Age. As we step through that threshold we are going to be forced to lay down and let go of our old self-limiting, erroneous and often negative precepts and beliefs about who and what we are.

Those who chose to remain behind, clinging to their ignorant perceptions while vehemently condemning the ignorance of others cannot help be faced with unpredictable and unpleasant consequences.

It is time to embrace our ignorance, see it for what it is, love it even for it is truly the only 'enemy' that we have for without it there is no purpose to life and no game to play. It is time also to make a decision as to how you are going to use your knowledge - for your benefit and those of others whom you care for and about or for your self serving benefit only to the determent of others.

Knowledge is a double edged sword.  It is your own honesty, ethics, integrity and ability to interface with others that will determine how you wield that sword.


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    • profile image

      Aspen 3 years ago

      Full of salient points. Don't stop beniivelg or writing!

    • profile image

      Maryland 3 years ago

      Now I'm like, well duh! Truly thaknful for your help.

    • profile image

      Emily 3 years ago

      None can doubt the vecairty of this article.

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Sometimes the only thing one can say in response to something from another is "Wow!" And, the wonderful thing about WOW is it doesn't matter if you say it forwards or backwards it is still "Wow!" Thank you so very much for your visit, your sharing and the adding of your own precious and hard earned insights.

    • L a d y f a c e profile image

      L a d y f a c e 7 years ago from Canada

      A very enriching hub. I wish so much that more people would open their minds to the world, the possibilities within it, within themselves, the knowledge that is out there to be many people refuse to incorporate new information and remain forever on initial opinions and beliefs.

      I was raised in a very sheltered, fundamentalist household and growing up was always trying desperately to grasp ahold of any new knowledge I could that would expand my horizons. You can never know all there is to know. More knowledge doesn't hurt. Less knowledge can. I teach my son every day to ask questions, to research things, to follow his inquiries about the world. And myself, since my 'escape' at 15, have made it my goal to do something new as often as possible. Lately, it's almost every day, even if it's only something small.

      Thank you for this hub. I often get frustrated with people who willingly remain ignorant, and have said recently in fact, that if I could do away with one thing in the world it would be ignorance... but you make the most valid point of all, that one can not exist without the other. I love your point of view of how ignorance and knowledge work together, and am glad I read this.

      Thank you :) This is useful, and awesome!

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

      It is wonderful to feel appreciated. I thank you!

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      "Pursuit of knowledge" should definitely be a major goal in one's life. Knowledge is power and ignorance certainly does not equal bliss but without the one there would be no reason to pursue the other. As the mother of three children I was often in awe of their teachers, it is definitely not a job for the faint of heart. My eldest daughter is now a teacher which is fitting given that I have been in awe of her since the day she was born! Thank you for your visit and for taking the time to leave a comment. And thank you for what you do every day of your working life!

    • mysterylady 89 profile image

      mysterylady 89 7 years ago from Florida

      You do make a very good point. As a teacher, I always have felt that pursuit of knowledge should be one of the major goals of life.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      The title, alone, is eye catching. Wow! What a fantastic hub. I rated it 'awesome'. Well written and provocative. If this does not get people to look in the mirror, well I'd venture to say there is a little ignorance or denial going on. I really enjoyed this hub. Thanks for bringing to light some difficult subject matter to face.

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 7 years ago

      I just read this hub and I'll admit I had to read it twice. I, like some of the others who have commented, wish that more people could read this. I think it is always great when one believe so strongly in something that don't back down, but on the other hand not considered all sides is a form of ignorance---talking a look from a different position might make one change their mind or it might make your position stronger.

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Thank you very much for the visit and the comment. It is no different than having to breath in before you can breath out. We could not know happiness if we did not know sadness - it is as it should be. It is the getting stuck in the need to be right that throws a stick in the spokes.

    • Joyus Crynoid profile image

      Joyus Crynoid 7 years ago from Eden

      Thanks for writing this--very thoughtful. It's good to be reminded that without bad we wouldn't have good...

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      I certainly will. I found I couldn't stop writing so I did another myself and hope you get an opportunity to take a boo at it. I'll be over for a visit right after breakfast.

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 7 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      Your Hub prompted me to do one of my own on the subject of ignorance after I read the results of a UK newspaper poll. To say it disturbed me would be an understaement !

      Hope you have a moment to take a look.

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      fetty - the sad thing is it is not so much that they fail to see the truth as it is that there is too much truth for them to handle given their low level of responsibility. They simply react to the truth by pulling the veil back over their eyes and lying to themselves. The truth and a lie cannot co-exist - it's a matter of physics - two things cannot occupy the same space at the same point in time.

      And you are correct, trying to help a person who insists on drowning only serves to drown you both. Both your visit and your comments are much appreciated. Thank You.

    • fetty profile image

      fetty 7 years ago from South Jersey

      Many times people cling to their ignorance and even after receiving professional help they fail to see the truth. Sadly, we must let these people go or their delusions will bring us down also. Very thought provoking hub.

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      akirchner you make a good point - when one's parachute isn't open one is in for a hard landing and the same can be said for those who do not open their minds and hearts to the acquiring and responsible application of knowledge or to the viewpoints of others.

      Thus far I have agreement from both you and Merlin and agreement creates reality! I trust that there are more of us. I very much appreciate your continued support of my writings.

    • raisingme profile image

      raisingme 7 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      Dearest Merlin; the HP forum was the exact and precise motivation behind my writing this hub. In one's taking responsibility for one's knowledge one also has to take equal responsibility for one's ignorance. Methinks it is the dreaded word 'responsibility' that is the rub. However, when one does not have 'respond ability' one feels stupid which turns on self-loathing that then gets projected on to others rather than dealt with by acquiring the appropriate knowledge. Tis but a game and it continues only because any game is better than no game. It is however, not a worthwhile game.

      It is said that 'birds of a feather flock together' and this bird is extremely honoured to be, in spite of the physical distance, perched in the same tree as you are. Blessed I am that you visit me here!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Good points made and I totally agree - a mind is a terrible thing to waste and not sure why more folks don't get that point. One of my favorite quotes - a mind is like a parachute - it functions best when open. That kinda says it all.

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 7 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      Great and informative Hub, I hope many come here, read and inwardly digest the concept that Ignorance is not a crime.

      The crime is when we don't do anything about it.

      Any day I do not learn something new is a day wasted.

      It troubles me greatly when I visit the HP forum and read responses from people who seen to have majored in ignorance and feel they have nothing more to learn.

      I don't know about you but I find that both sad and a little disturbing.