IGNORANCE: the true source?

As an intrepid student of life and livingness in general, I write about what captures my interest and excites my imagination at any given moment.

So it is with this essay: an examination of the concepts underlying an understanding of ignorance. Submitted for your edification, amusement and/or possible enlightenment.

The definition of ignorance contains the following concepts: lack of awareness, including a deliberate lack of awareness; lack of acknowledgment; and failing to take responsibility.

Admitting that the terms: awareness, acknowledgment, responsibility, are powerful concepts; tugging further on this string could easily lead us into the philosophical or even metaphysical realm. If we also factor the human element into this equation, the door then opens to an infinity of other causal elements where the true source of ignorance may be found. In my opinion this path cannot lead otherwise than into the realm of the human spirit.

The spirit – by whatever label – is often identified with but distinctly different and separate from the human body. This body – a living, breathing, three-dimensional calling card – is a carbon-oxygen engine with a limited thermal tolerance band, considered valuable in terms of familiarity and recognition, for ease of communication with others and for other reasons.

I was led into this area by my experience in business, where I was often required to do a situational analysis to identify the causes of internal weaknesses and external threats.

Consistently, I had to train myself to look for what wasn’t there. What was visible was easy to see and had already been examined to no avail or change – I had to train myself to see the invisible – only then was I able to approach the true source and begin to unravel the problem or take advantage of the opportunity.

Happily, I found that it is not a difficult skill to develop. After all, it isn’t much of an intellectual stretch to realize that awareness, responsibility, affinity, communication, knowledge, wisdom, and truth are all invisible – yet undeniably present at the same time. Operating from this premise, I have been able to find a way to solve seemingly incomprehensible mysteries and crack through previously impenetrable barriers to understanding.

So began my investigation into to the subject under discussion; I discovered something invisible and un-inspected that yet was substantially influencing the whole subject.

This was the idée fixe or fixed idea; hiding behind the visible manifestations of intentional unawareness, deliberate lack of acknowledgment and responsibility failure.

The Heritage dictionary defines idée fixe or fixed idea as an unreasonable idea or feeling that persists despite evidence to the contrary or efforts to ignore it. I agree; adding only that it is an idea adopted without inspection; an attempt to solve a problem without looking at it – thereby reinforcing ignorance as a pattern of living.

Unfortunately, it sometimes works. It is then used whenever you are faced with another stressful situation or some seemingly overwhelming problem. You can always pull out your handy-dandy, one-stop-shop, solution to everything. This fixed idea solves everything . . . or does it?

In my opinion, the fixed idea causes ignorance and creates problems.

It also may explain the blindness to the obvious – as some people are vainly trying to view something without inspecting it. This is not a workable basis for life. Could it be this simple? – that this one thing, the invisible idée fixe – could be at the root of visible manifestations of ignorance? Only you can decide for yourself.

But, in my experience, only by an honest observation of the obvious – actually facing what is in front of you and inspecting without flinching from fear, embarrassment or apathy – are you able to see through the murky waters of confusion and ignorance; and break into the sunlight truth to inspect a wide vista of new opportunity in your own life.

daniel w. jacobs
© 2004-2020, all rights reserved

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