Knowledge Is Power vs. Ignorance Is Bliss

knowledge is power picture

Shortly before I went for my 21 month retreat, I told a friend I wasn’t really an anxious person and that I experienced anxiety maybe four or five times a year.  Shortly after completing the retreat, I told another friend that I experienced anxiety just as much as everyone else—maybe four or five times an hour.

It’s not that intensive meditation made me more anxious; instead, it showed me what had always been happening in my mind on a much subtler level.

Upon hearing this comment, some people wonder why I would ever want to be aware of something so unpleasant as frequent anxiety.  I tell them there’s two basic life positions: “knowledge is power” and “ignorance is bliss.”

Knowledge isn’t always comfortable (have you ever read “A People’s History of the United States”!?); but, with respect to my four-to-five times per hour anxiety, I now have a choice on how to handle it that I once didn’t have.  Sometimes I still act reactively, but more and more, I manage to act out of a deeper sincerity.

I’m not sure I could give a greater endorsement for ‘knowledge is power.’

One thought on “Knowledge Is Power vs. Ignorance Is Bliss

  1. Knowledge is power, and though self-knowledge, the understanding that comes with insight informs, it doesn’t empower. Knowledge of this or that empowers by giving one an advantage or revealing an opportunity, but self-knowledge clarifies and simplifies, and I wouldn’t call that power. Jus’ sayin’.

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