Is Ignorance Bliss?Feb 15, 2022
Is ignorance bliss? The answer is not so simple. It depends on how you view happiness in your life. If you are ignorant of the things that make you unhappy, then yes, ignorance can be blissful. However, if you are aware of the things that make you sad but do nothing to change them, then happiness will be hard to come by. So it depends on how you use your knowledge and awareness to find joy in your life.
Ignorance = bliss?
If ignorance is indeed bliss, does that mean being knowledgeable equates to being gloomy? It depends on the person. There is no conclusive proof that being ignorant equates to happiness and that you can't be happy if you know about things. In the first place, happiness is a choice; it is not something that you obtain after achieving a goal. One can achieve a goal, but there's no guarantee that you will be happy in the end. You can say the same thing for ignorance. Choosing to ignore the things around you or any particular knowledge will not automatically make you a happy person. However, at some point, ignorance can bring bliss to your life. So when does this happen?
Many things can make us unhappy. Nowadays, we can become more aware of what's going on in the world through the Internet and social media. But, unfortunately, there's also the news that tends to focus on the negative. Then, add in the miserable people around us and those trying to pull us down. All of these things have the potential to make us feel sad. However, if one chooses to ignore these things or limit their knowledge, they can achieve some bliss by restricting the amount of stress from unnecessary things. This way of thinking can be helpful primarily if none of these things aid you in your personal development and the fulfillment of your goals.
Ignorance can hurt a person if one chooses to ignore the things that possibly help improve one's life in the future. Sure enough, many things can make us worry. However, you must realize that when you know about something, it only stays as an idea in your head unless you start taking action and using what you know for the better. For example, you can deliberately avoid watching or reading the news because you hate all the negativity and the stress it generates. However, you are also depriving yourself of vital information this way. The news itself can be stress-inducing, but you can use the information you know to make better decisions and understand right or wrong.
Knowledge = gloom?
If one chooses to believe that ignorance is bliss, they can argue that knowledge is gloomy, right? But, again, the answer is it depends on the person. Some people who are full of knowledge are happy while others are not. Even if a knowledgeable person is not happy, it can only be a phase, and they can be happy at another moment. Intelligence level does not correlate to how happy an individual can be. Suppose we believe that being knowledgeable is equivalent to being gloomy. In that case, most people will be miserable creatures after graduating from school due to all the knowledge we have accumulated while studying.
At times, yes, knowing about something can make us afraid or feel grief due to the nature of the information. It's like going to a doctor and being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. One can choose to experience ignorant bliss by not going to a doctor even if you already feel something wrong with your health. The fear of knowing the reality of your condition can bring misery and pain. The same thing can happen if one decides to go to a doctor. Sure, you will feel terrified knowing you have a severe ailment that can bring death. Armed with information, you can, however, choose to act and take medications and the necessary action to treat your disease.
When you decide to learn about things, there is the chance of experiencing discomfort over the ideas you know. However, knowing about many things can open more opportunities in your life. It all depends on how somebody utilizes the information they learn to improve their state of living.
Red pill or blue pill? I say both.
The idea of choosing ignorance or knowledge is comparable to the red pill and blue pill scene from the film, The Matrix. In that scene, the main character, Neo, is given a choice by another character, Morpheus. If Neo takes the red pill, he will know the truth of the reality of the world around him. However, if he takes the blue pill, he stays in the fantasy world, remaining ignorant of the real world. The red pill stands for knowledge, while the blue pill is for ignorance.
In the film, Neo picks the red pill, becoming aware of how horrifying the situation is for the real world. But, at least he now knows the truth and can take some action, together with other people who also know the truth, to make the situation better. The scene involving the pills requires one choice to be made. It would be preferable to take both the red and blue pills in real life. We can be selective in what we want to know and ignore. It's essential to strike a balance between the two. Life has its moments, and we know that it's not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes, it helps that we turn away for a while from the harsh reality and indulge in a little bit of escapism. However, we must go back to reality and face our fears and problems instead of running away from them constantly. Happiness is not exclusively tied to how much we know. We can choose to be happy regardless of whether we do or don't know about something.
Sometimes, we can't help but envy children full of innocence and cheerfulness, unaware of how the world works around them. However, it can be terrifying to let your child wander into things that can bring harm and danger to them as a parent. It's the responsibility of parents to guide their children in understanding the things around them. So we can't be envious of a child's situation. Imagine walking in a forest full of carnivorous predators ready to pounce on you, and you choose to ignore the presence of the attackers when you can know about their company instead and take evasive action.
I think the real key here is that one should not be extreme in taking the path of ignorance or knowledge. Deliberately choosing to ignore many things that can be helpful to you can bring you to harm later in your life. But, on the other hand, knowing about too many things can be dangerous. Therefore, it's essential to identify what matters to you to pick which things to learn and what should be ignored. If being happy is your main goal in life, you can always awaken the inner child in you to experience joy regardless of what's happening in the present moment.