Ignorance Is Bliss?

Hello to you,

So where do I begin? I know.

Anger has taken me to quite a few places. It’s a blunt thing to say, but I really mean it. When I’m angry, I’m often more motivated (often times for the wrong reasons) and I make things happen. A few months ago, this happened to me. I was really angry, and it seriously got me thinking about a saying we have in our society.

“Ignorance is bliss”.

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don't...

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know. (Photo credit: joanna.ppok)

Sure, I get the principle. Not knowing about some of the awful things in life can be a blessing in some ways, but it only lasts for so long. And after really thinking about that, I realize how close-minded it is to say something like that. Because that ignorance is not going to last forever, no matter how many of us try.

When talking about instances that remind me of “Ignorance is bliss”, I think about people that float through life in the easiest possible way, avoiding all pain and other challenges in life. No curiosity or desire to learn or bring one’s self to a higher level of consciousness. That’s the ignorance. The bliss comes from not knowing anything painful and staying in a place that’s simplistic and stagnant. Only a “safe” amount of exploration, imagination, discovery. Is that really what bliss is?

Here’s the definition of ‘bliss’:

1. Perfect happiness; great joy.

2. Something providing such happiness.

3. Supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I think of ignorance, I do not think of any of these definitions, particularly utter joy or contentment. Allow me to explain.

Despite being ignorant, there are still things we will find to be unhappy about. I did, I have, and I will. And i’m not alone on that. It’s because we don’t live in a world where every little problem is fixed for you without an ounce of your effort. Even that thought is a bit frightening, because in a world like that, I wouldn’t learn a thing.

Here’s the interesting thing though, and I’ll try my best to explain how I see it. I look back to younger times in my life, and I see many of my ignorances. It’s easy to do that as a human being, but I in particular spend much of my time in retrospection and trying to learn from my many mistakes.

Then I look forward, and I realize that I have so, so much to learn before I reach any kind of Enlightenment or Nirvana. I don’t believe I will find entirety of either of these things in this lifetime. I still have too much ignorance to overcome/move beyond.

Yes, ignorance. We’ve all got some whether we like it or not. More than we would like to admit. So I admit I have that I still have much ignorance. But I also realize that I am still very far from that place of bliss. Here’s the thing though: I’m getting closer. Through my exploration of life and the often-painful discoveries I’m making about emotion and what it’s like to be human, I feel like I am slowly but surely moving closer to a place of real happiness. It may not be a definite location or place, but it’s out there, I know for sure, as I feel it within myself, ever so slowly becoming a part of who I am. I’m feeling happier, as I feel like I’m living an honest life.

Now of course there are things that I wish I never learned of, found out about, experienced. These things are scary and hard to take at times. But to move to the next level of “bliss” (utter joy and contentment), I have to accept these things. Even though some of these things I will never be able to stop in my life. It’s unrealistic to think that I can stop all of prejudice and racism, all the abuse people have to go through, all the things that I dislike (but I can try to make a positive impact…).

I think it’s all about acceptance and understanding. Coming face to face with these things and demystifying them. Facing the fear and the feeling the pain will move me beyond these things and thus become just a little less ignorant. It’s not even really ‘moving beyond’ these things, but rather understand them more and opening myself up to more in the world. And only once all the ignorance becoming understanding will we arrive at a place of bliss, a place of utter joy and contentment.

Do you believe ignorance is bliss?

–mrprose

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