“In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.” – Yoda
“There is no Ignorance; there is Knowledge” – Jedi Code
The underlying message of the mantra “There is no Ignorance; there is Knowledge” is humility. Through objectivity and rejection of illusion we see the world as it is. We recognise our delusions for what they are. We seek the truth and self-knowledge above all. In doing so we arrive at humility.
Pride and vanity cloud our judgement and obscure the truth and the antithesis of which is humility. We learn to accept that we do not know what we do not know and that the truth behind all things is hidden. We then leave ourselves open like a vessel to inquire, question, to acquire knowledge. Never stop learning.
Ignorance is bolstered by pride, but fear keeps us there. The truth is that no-one in this world knows everything and can ever know everything. To believe different would be arrogance in the extreme. To be arrogant is to be ignorant and to turn away from learning is to deny growth. The human spirit wants nothing more than to grow. Arrogance and ignorance are born of fear and it is fear that keeps us from growing to our full potential.
As an alcoholic I suffered ignorance to the extreme and was arrogant and full of self importance. I looked down on others as inferior and everyone but me had a problem. My fault was that I chose not to know myself and learn from what was painfully obvious; the inability to moderate and to be humble.
Falsehoods appearing real
They say that the definition of insanity is to “do the same thing continuously and expect different results”. That is how alcoholism works; “it will be different this time” and “I have it under control” or “what do they know, I’ll show them”.
If I had applied simple scientific method to my long list of problems I perceived to be caused by others I would quickly have come to realise that the above statements represented a false hypothesis.
The belief that I could control my drinking was continuously proven wrong with every bender and every hangover. Yet, the alcoholic will persist, often to his untimely end with this insanity. The only way I got out of this merry-go round was to admit that I did not know, that I was ignorant and all I had to do was open myself up to be ready to learn and embrace and explore, rather than reject without exploration.
Human behaviour as a whole is no different. We are not much different you and I. We all now stands at a crossroad in its history. Society has harnessed the technological know-how to end all life on this planet as we know it. A mere virus of our own making can bring society to its knees. We are at the mercy of nature and worse, we are the victims of our own ignorance and hubris.
Humanity now stands on the brink and while the intellect exists to create technology and power, we also lack the wisdom to yield it for the benefit of all. It is ignorance and arrogance that will ultimately hold humanity back from achieving its higher purpose. It may also destroy all life on Earth. The Ego ultimately kills the Ego.
Society, this human species has been around for a quarter of a million years as a sentient being able to think, reason, contemplate, judge and make conscious decisions. We have free will and the ability to exercise it. One would think after so many thousands of generations we would have learned a thing or two and not be making the same mistakes, the lessons would be written in our DNA.
We have all the power to change but at this nexus of collective human history we stand at the edge of a chasm. Beyond that precipice resides eternal darkness. Conscious thought, at least on Earth, no longer exists. All knowledge ends when ignorance prevails. This should not be the future for humanity.
Being alcoholic puts me in a special place. I know what it is to be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually sick. I also know what that self-knowledge was crucial in my recovery. If I had not had the courage to admit my addiction and face my demons I would probably not be writing this today. But for the grace of the Force I am here writing this. Each passing day a little more truth reveals itself to me.
Consciousness of self and the gift of self-knowledge is granted to each person. It is up to you to “know yourself”. Each must find the path that separates ignorance from knowledge and false ideas from facts. This is done by identifying values, defining principles, realising passions and interests, setting personal goals and understanding your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
You may arrive at each through a guide or make the journey alone. When you know your life goal and purpose, you have arrived at true knowledge of your place in this world. At this place you leave yourself open to self-actualisation, individuation and transcendence to a state of higher consciousness. You become who you truly are; Self.
The wonderful reality is that we can transcend to the next level of knowing, a place where science meets spirituality and where we no longer need to live as un-evolved beings. Knowledge of the truth reveals the beauty and order in the universe and the divinity within all life and the oneness of all things. This state is pure consciousness, knowledge and enlightenment. It is the essence of the line “there is no ignorance, there is knowledge”.