The paradox of wisdom: Knowledge is Power, Ignorance is Bliss
They say knowledge is power, they also say ignorance is bliss; I say knowledge is power at the right time and the right place otherwise it is a heavy burden that can sink you in. It is at those times, ignorance is truly bliss. But the real kicker is that knowledge is also very addictive; even if attained at the wrong time, curious minds like mine can’t stop questioning and finding out more of what we probably don’t even want to know; so we suffer in the knowledge and without it; we suffer with our questions. Maybe, then the problem isn’t knowledge itself, but the inability to know when enough is enough.
Sometimes knowledge comes to us without even questioning and through unlikely sources at the most inopportune times, but then we can’t stop wondering up more whys, whats, wheres and hows. I think that if I question enough, maybe I can find out the reason for human behavior, why someone did what they did? Why is there suffering in the world? Why me?…and sometimes the answer that I will simply get is that people are evil and the world is just a manifestation of the acts of the evil people. Walking away with that sort of answer can really bog you down, especially if you seek to see the good in everyone or see try to think of everything as part of a greater plan. A life coach once said: “Ask the question only if you are ready for the answer”…What I realized is that it isn’t about being ready for the initial shock of what the answer maybe, but it is also about being ready to live with the knowledge gained from that answer. Too often, we think we are ready because we may prepare ourselves for the worst case scenario answer, yet we don’t realize the burden that knowledge would bring with it. Knowledge isn’t something that you can attain and then just turn off and lose it. Once you know the answer, you know forever. The challenge then becomes to live with that knowledge.
The knowledge that we gain through unlikely sources at the most inopportune time, may not be so invaluable or a burden because there may be a lesson in it. What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger sort of lesson. Questions do open doors, but it is questions that led to the opening of Pandora’s Box. Therefore, it is through Real wisdom that we know when to stop asking for more and more. Unfortunately, real wisdom comes through experience, through the knowledge of the self, and through asking questions and learning what our threshold maximum is for answers. Sometimes that means going through pain and misery, but it is all part of what we term growing pains. Such is the paradox of life and wisdom itself—hence knowledge is power yet ignorance is bliss.