Tuesday, December 11, 2007

In our knowledge, lies our ignorance

The other day, I came across this phrase. Took me quite a few minutes to completely understand what it meant. Oxymoron and quite laconic, the phrase forced me to think again on what I had learnt, that Knowledge removes ignorance.

Anything that we know and believe, also acts as an impediment to expanding our horizon of gullibility. How often have I heard the phrase, "not to my knowledge" - final and decisive in tone, questioning everything beyond it. Very few can actually realize, that while they know, that what they know itself is subject to change. That frameworks, definitions, basic tenets are as much basic as shifting sand dunes.

There is no truth. (Oxymoron...even while I say it). Only a window of time, whose dimensions keep changing, the viewing angles keep rotating and moving, viewers keep taking turns to peep and opine....much like kaleidoscope. Those opinions become truths for that moment.

For every individual, at some point of time in our lives, we need to ask ourselves what our strengths and weaknesses are. And while we answer from what we know, we prove that in our knowledge lies our ignorance. What we have never achieved, does not mean it is not our strength. Much like Hanuman. He needed Jambuban to tell him what he never knew he could do. That he could fly. Something that his knowledge told him he couldn't.

The same goes for other aspects of our life too. What we believe, is subject to what we can imagine. What we can imagine is limited by our knowledge. You see, as human beings we are limited by our five senses. God just gave us 5 senses...and left the rest of the world beyond that realm of knowledge. To help us make do with what we had naturally, he gave us the ability to think. So human beings thought. What we couldn't see, we made the telescope and microscope. What we couldn't hear, we made sonar, telephone. That was it.

We are yet to overcome the challenge, where we can touch what we cannot see or hear. For example, can I touch someone sitting miles away? Can he feel my touch? Imagine, how powerful that would be! All those video conferences miles away, could actually have people shaking hands. All those lovebirds separated by distance, could talk on the phone while holding hands. Reminds me of a tag line..."imagine the possibilities".

Right now, my knowledge says its not possible. And makes me ignorant of other possibilities. The same goes for smelling. What I cannot smell, can some device do that? Smelling is something so intrinsic, that we feel unless we do it, it is not done. Again, our knowledge makes us ignorant.

The sense of taste. Can that be substituted by an artificial tongue? Can you know the taste of the food before trying it? So many of us, would have helped save all those dishes, whose tastes we disliked. Something that knew what I liked...personalized, recommended or disapproved food. Also encouraged me to try something new based on my mood...People died trying to taste cyanide and write down what it was like. Died before their pen touched paper. Those lives could have been saved through this device.

In our knowledge lies our ignorance. In its realization, we go a step further to fulfillment.

"Beyond", "Limitless"...the concept is baffling. When I was a kid, and even now, when I think that the universe is unlimited, I lose myself. I fail to imagine. I am stuck, fighting, grasping, accepting the concept. You see, my knowledge makes me ignorant. Earth is round, with x square miles, states and nations have boundaries,you do this and not that...limitation is inbuilt in me from birth. And to think, that something beyond could go on till the end of nowhere stumps me.

Remember watching those Extra terrestrial movies? All aliens were humanoid in nature. They had eyes, fingers...looked similar to humans. Our knowledge made us ignorant of other possibilities. In all possibility, ETs or intelligent life-forms could just be a Dot. If you could do everything in the smallest possible dimension, why wouldn't you? Aren't we saying we are advancing when we make things smaller and more powerful. The smallest screen now is the mobile screen. Simple and powerful. That's what lasts.

Perhaps human beings have unlimited abilities, everyday we invent/discover something new ...what limits us is our knowledge. Making us ignorant.

There was a gamut of thoughts swirling in my mind when I read the phrase. I have not been able to post all of them. Some things need a little more thinking through. The writer delivered an insight, quite hidden in the article he had posted. An insight, which forced me to blog.

In the meantime, life is good.
Got my book review published in http://www.kolkatamirror.com/
Winter has limped in, in Kolkata. It is not too cold to freeze, neither hot to leave the cardigan home. Miss the Delhi, Pilani chill, sleepless freezing nights, foggy days. Kolkata weather is mild...much like its people.

Take care!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

its a damn interesting thought
very true also
u hv written it damn well
u r a much better writer than a poet
Sounds really professional

3:47 AM  
Anonymous allboutgyan said...

Nice post .... you framed the thoughts really well.. the title itself steers thoughts...

"our mind limits our thoughts and it itself is bound to its beliefs" very true..

8:55 PM  
Blogger Addy said...

Long Blog posts are unpopular! :(

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look this is the "diet" i told you about you should really enter the site :) bye enter the site

11:06 AM  
Blogger Meenakshi said...

I love the way you have made a single statement lead a gangway to myriad interpretations.
Your post is more thought provoking than what provoked it.
Extremely well written.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Bhavesh said...

I would actually like to add another interpretation to your title. It's not that in our knowledge, lies our ignorance. But it's because of our knowledge we are imposing ignorance on many others. Every new technology does that to the human kind. It's inevitable and irreversible. Knowing that, would I stop inventing? Probably not. Check out my newest crazy idea Voice To Video

3:21 PM  
Blogger subhash said...

I came I Read... I came again... Read Again and then Posted Comment!!!!

Nice piece of Dose for Mind to Think!!

But the Crux is It depends upon you that how effectively you present your thoughts to the world...You did it very efficiently.

Nice one

11:02 PM  
Blogger NDEO said...

Not always will time stay
not always will the kid play
its the change that is blurry
perspective makes special ordinary

Think beyond the chains
the world exists.
The road travels beyond senses
let yourself be free of fences.

3:15 AM  
Blogger Enakshi said...

Ndeo, that is an awesome poem.
Thanks for posting it on my blog.

9:53 PM  
Blogger NDEO said...

Glad that you liked it..there is less activity on your blog these days...ramp it up, if you can.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're so right. Our existing knowledge both limits and colors what we make of new experiences. The quicker we form opinions and jump to conclusions, the more we miss.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Namrata said...

Awesome!! Just stumbled on u blog today..just loved ur thoughts and analysis of the phrase...very very thought provoking!!

4:30 AM  

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