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Ignorance is bliss..

edited October 2010 in Modern Buddhism
That has been me for 41yrs basically sums me up. What i dont know cant hurt me or get in the way of my life or thats what i thought .I cant really explain how good ignorance can feel sometimes . Its like a drug you get addicted to it, some of the negative comments i can make about a group of people who are not like me, and continue as if nothing has happened.You get to a certain age and think what do i know? Football, beer, crap movies is that it?

Im not a narrow minded person either moved abroad to work when i was younger and been away from home ever since,my point is im happy that i have found something in Buddhism which has opened my mind and i really dont want to be ignorant anymore.

Comments

  • edited October 2010
    Words are slippery things. They tend to seperate things that in reality blend. "Ignorance" when it tends towards self satisfaction, blindness to change, judgement of others..........is well worth getting rid of. Yet the reality of the word can slip towards "innocence", and then perhaps into the "beginners mind" so loved by Zen.

    I've found I need to be careful of filling up with "knowledge" as an antidote to ignorance. Wrapping a "self" with truths, building a persona that is now perceived to be "knowledgeable".

    "Emptiness"........or "Ignorance"?
  • edited October 2010
    You are right about knowledge not being an anti-dote to ignorance (at least, the type of ignorance that Buddhism attempts to resolve). Ignorance in a Buddhist sense means not seeing things clearly. The Pali word is Avijja, which is sometimes translated as ignorance but also translated as delusion.

    The reason why "ignorance is bliss" (or so it seems) is because we are only looking at one aspect of something. We might smell some food and we think "that smells delicious" so we start to desire it. But we don't think about the fact that we have to excrete it later on. Maybe we think it will be good for us but it ends up making us sick. It might not agree with our stomach and even cause us some pain, but we never see this when we are caught up in desire.

    We can see a beautiful woman and be attracted to the way she appears in our mind. But if we saw her body just as its component parts; hair, teeth, nails, skin, bones, fat, muscles, sinews, organs, blood, sweat, tears, mucus, saliva, urine, etc - we would probably wouldn't be attracted anymore. We probably have the knowledge that this is what her body is made up of, but we lack the wisdom to see it clearly.

    Most people don't want to hear this or see this. But in seeing things without distorted perceptions the mind becomes serene and peaceful. Desire and peace can never co-exist.

    Knowledge can be found in books, whereas wisdom comes from seeing things clearly without attraction or aversion distorting our perception. Even the most deluded person can have knowledge, but only someone who is willing to look at the way their mind works will develop wisdom. This is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited October 2010
    And all the men and women merely players:
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
    And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.



    All the world's a stage (from As You Like It )

    William Shakespeare
  • edited October 2010
    GuyC;135179 said:
    You are right about knowledge not being an anti-dote to ignorance (at least, the type of ignorance that Buddhism attempts to resolve). Ignorance in a Buddhist sense means not seeing things clearly. The Pali word is Avijja, which is sometimes translated as ignorance but also translated as delusion.

    The reason why "ignorance is bliss" (or so it seems) is because we are only looking at one aspect of something. We might smell some food and we think "that smells delicious" so we start to desire it. But we don't think about the fact that we have to excrete it later on. Maybe we think it will be good for us but it ends up making us sick. It might not agree with our stomach and even cause us some pain, but we never see this when we are caught up in desire.

    We can see a beautiful woman and be attracted to the way she appears in our mind. But if we saw her body just as its component parts; hair, teeth, nails, skin, bones, fat, muscles, sinews, organs, blood, sweat, tears, mucus, saliva, urine, etc - we would probably wouldn't be attracted anymore. We probably have the knowledge that this is what her body is made up of, but we lack the wisdom to see it clearly.

    Most people don't want to hear this or see this. But in seeing things without distorted perceptions the mind becomes serene and peaceful. Desire and peace can never co-exist.

    Knowledge can be found in books, whereas wisdom comes from seeing things clearly without attraction or aversion distorting our perception. Even the most deluded person can have knowledge, but only someone who is willing to look at the way their mind works will develop wisdom. This is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.


    I understand many people find it very helpful to develop a more realistic relationship with others when they focus on these types of understandings.
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    edited October 2010
    Ignorance is Bliss.
    In that case, even within the protective Truth of Buddhism, I'm living in a perpetual state of ecstasy!!:grin:
  • edited October 2010
    Well done. In some situations, I suppose ignorance can be bliss, in others, it can cause suffering.
  • edited October 2010
    Maybe that part is about intention? For ex., I think I chose ignorance like it was a hat I put on everyday - what Garrison Keillor called benevolent farsightedness. If I saw things clearly, I was sure I would be disappointed. In a way this meant for me that I was intentionally ignorant. And it was rather blissful, until it wasn't.

    Was is Lao Tsu/Tzu who suggested according with what is? When I first heard that, I wondered why anyone would want to do such a thing. It took me a long while to warm to what is. And then cool to it, as it were. It just is. I don't even have to understand what the is is. And for me, that is the opposite of ignorance.
  • cazcaz Veteran
    edited October 2010
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