Ignorance Wrapped in Knowing. Belief Lacking Compassion.

…no matter how noble the system would be.

A mind that has been trained only to know facts,
is simply unable to deal with Life in all its diversity,
with its subtleties, with its depths and heights.


Thanks to Julien Matei for this quotation.

We suffer under ignorance wrapped in knowing. Belief lacking compassion. The tools of the enlightenment destroying any potential for useful knowledge. The source and mechanism of so much violence. Stripping us of any possible approaches to wisdom. Calling wisdom itself into question.

This has led to the professionalization of understanding. Reductive reasoning joining with a belief in the ultimate power of cleverness. A tool becoming a recipe. A recipe overwhelming any approach to life in its full complexity. This parodied as much in the “science” of complexity, in “Systems Thinking” as in any reactionary fundamentalism.

This movement springs from an adolescent compulsion for certainty. Unable to accept uncertainty. Bedazzled by tricks of reductive reasoning. Our own Medieval Superstition. We choose to leapfrog out of the human condition. Denying life itself.

Intoxication. An adolescent tactic. When the world fails to line-up with our expectations, we intoxicate ourselves. Problem solved.

Intoxication, a mechanism to suspend disbelief. Tricks more appealing when we are unable to see them as they are.

We lament the destruction of the Library of Alexandria. The book-burnings of the Inquisition.

We have presided over the greatest loss of wisdom in history. Not an accidental attrition. Plenty of unintended consequences. An act of vandalism and war. An act of zealous belief. Blind bigotry and ignorance dressed up as expertise. A rejection of everything that cannot be “proven.” While we blithely ignore that the entire edifice stands upon an unexamined addiction to belief.

The “Battle” between “Believers” and Secularists,” a pathetic lie. Any polar orientation, two “sides” sharing a core deeper than their differences. A core each side rejects, will not admit exists. Believers lacking Compassion. Thinkers lacking Awareness. Neither fulfilling the responsibilities behind their professions. Sharing an inability to confront uncertainty without an intoxicating belief in salvation arrived at through external means.

The “facts” Krishnamurti refers to are not “data points” any more than “truths” in received scripture. Whatever we perceive and comprehend. Whatever we can approach with some form of coherence. These insights can only be reduced to “facts” through an act of belief. An act of violence against our selves, against the world.

When we “play’ this game, the Game of Facts, we insist that everyone involved must think as we do, must believe what we believe. Seeking consensus, we negotiate and bargain. We play the game.

An intoxicating game. Exciting to have allies and enemies. To feel power wielded “in our name.”

Distracting. Occupied. So long as a game can be maintained through mutual consent. We never address, “Life in all its diversity…”

We have a choice. Not “choices.”

We have a voice. We have relationship. We live within the sphere of responsibility.

We enter life through an acceptance of uncertainty. Letting go of any belief in salvation.

Anyone of any sect, believers or secularists, will eagerly join in condemnation of such a view.

This is the heresy of our age.

An insistence to stay in the game blocks any possibility to meet in dialogue, to act with creativity. To approach wisdom.

Intoxication leaves a bitter taste. Regrets leading more often to “hair of the dog…”

There are countless paths away from this prison. None dramatic. None exciting. None square the circle, allowing us to “have it all.”

Without letting go these games we have nothing. We approach* annihilation. Foot pressed firmly on the accelerator. Unable, unwilling to hear the screams from the backseat. The cries of a world we would take over the edge.

Salvation, another name for Annihilation. Utopia and Apocalypse, leagues playing the same game. All our ready-made divisions keep us right where we are.

Take little steps.

No one belief trumps every consideration. Violence is never funny. Taking things seriously is not serious.

Find a way to not-knowing. Not a loss. An acceptance of a greater fact.

What matters, the fruits of wisdom, all point towards the primacy of life as it unfolds.

The last crutch, the last addiction, the final intoxication is this belief that some form of knowing will save us. We only argue over the details. Knowing jumbled up in believing. Lacking awareness. Barring compassion.

We are left adrift. Condemned. At the verge of relapse. Never aproaching wisdom.

Rock bottom?

*Approaching annihilation is not the same as an insistence that some favorite apocalypse in nigh.

Published by Antonio Dias

My work is centered on attending to the intersection of perception and creativity. Complexity cannot be reduced to any given certainty. Learning is Central: Sharing our gifts, Working together, Teaching and learning in reciprocity. Entering into shared Inquiry, Maintaining these practices as a way of life. Let’s work together to build practices, strengthen dialogue, and discover and develop community. Let me know how we might work together.

5 thoughts on “Ignorance Wrapped in Knowing. Belief Lacking Compassion.

  1. This is fantastic writing – touching the core of the problem. I have been pondering all afternoon, and you put words to my daily reflections here.


  2. A most singular word comes to my mind after reading this post. Sterility. Reductivizim indeed. We are analog beings. As we allow our lives to become digitized, we are being reduced to ones and zeros.Music was reduced to a data stream, with the loss of tonality, depth,warmth etc. all in the name of eliminating the old ‘pops and hisses’.

    A world of black and white mentality and a complete loss of the grey tones in between.

    The jargon of our age reflects it all, speed reading – just the facts ma’m – first impressions – down to brass tacks – Maximizing yield – best bang for the buck – All quick passes for a life experiencing less. As we pare life down to the basics, we cast aside the very wisdom needed to live in the grey places, the places not directly illuminated and the places that lay between light and darkness. Somewhere between between the facts and faith lay the foundation of truth. And even the truth is malleable.

    I am a slow and tedious reader. I want to and must read every word on the page, every word has meaning, and the depths of language far exceeds every pretense, and often what is not written veils the nuance and hidden meaning, and opens a pathway to the bewitching thoughts behind the words.

    I think that is why I enjoy your posts


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