Knowledge Is Sorrow, ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’

Knowledge removes the spontaneity that accompanies life and rewards everything based on logic or the popular teen word woke.

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By Nontsikelelo Qulo (4 mins read)

Knowledge can be referred to as the acquisition of facts, opinions and skills through education or experiences. It is mostly seen as the foundation of anything successful. Phrases like “Knowledge is power” have been created to support the idea that possessing knowledge serves as an essential tool to build something solid.

The formal education system is designed to instill and test skills associated with knowledge, increasing the likelihood of an individual becoming an expert. 

Knowledge shares an association with not just education but with music, tradition, culture and religion, to name a few. Centuries have passed with people attempting to ensure that as much of it as possible is distributed from one generation to another. This is often done to enhance identity, individuality and understanding. 

Nonetheless, an abundance of knowledge is not a guarantee for big corporate positions, a fat paycheque or immunity from any form of unhappiness. In most instances, it is not always the case that those who are more knowledgeable, in a specific field, have a better chance of succeeding. 

Being more knowledgeable in a certain area does not serve as assurance for anything, simply because being in-the-know differs in different environments. Academic knowledge passes above all in academic institutions but in personal matters, life experiences may surpass such knowledge.

Though mostly associated with good, knowledge can be bad. In the Christian Holy Bible (not that this article favours this faith), Ecclesiastes 1:18 states, “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow”. 

Knowledge can without a doubt be empowering and may be the reason for one to have clout and influence over many. However, it removes the spontaneity that accompanies life and rewards everything based on logic or the popular teen word woke, which basically means understanding beyond the surface of a situation/action.

The earlier mentioned phrase “Knowledge is power” is a good one but when looked at from a different perspective, it may also be misleading. It suggests that the act of knowing is powerful. If what is known is not executed, it holds no weight. It teaches nothing; it does not challenge or question.

Knowledge takes out the fun in living a meaningful life. It creates a reason not to participate in or to allow for certain situations to occur. Growing up, most of us played and enjoyed being in dirty and dingy areas. This created a zest for life and an enthusiasm to look forward to the next day. 

Once we began being conscious of germs, playing lost all its elements of fun and interaction and became a catalyst for sickness. 

It is from this perspective that the phrase “ignorance is bliss” was born. Ignorance does not exist without knowledge, but due to the sorrow that accompanies knowledge. Happiness comes from knowing but choosing not to mind a situation/circumstance in order to avoid discomfort. 

It also provides free spiritedness, allows the universe to direct its energies towards you and helps you live in the moment and learn as you go and not prior to entering a situation. 

Knowledge can disable an end in the beginning. An approach some may see as detrimental; whereas if we allow our intuitions to direct our path and not always the mind, we may fall towards a life filled with more thrills than passing days of teachings. TOJ

Writing by Nontsikelelo Qulo. Editing by Magnificent Mndebele, Gaby Ndongo and Kupakwashe Kambasha. Feature image obtained from Pexels.

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