Ignorance is Bliss

The more I learn the more I know how little I know. (It makes me think of an old quip from a pastor of mine, “If ignorance was bliss, we’d be blistered.”)

William Butler Yeats put it this way, “Throughout all the lying days of my youth, I waved my leaves and flowers in the sun. Now may I wither into the truth.”

I once read a book entitled, “The Art of Unknowing” in which a psychiatrist explained how his clients were taught to un-learn many of the basic assumptions they had imbibed in their early life.

In the end, life comes down to mystery. We assume we know what is going on but from time to time Reality visits us and we are stunned, bewildered, and humbled. Most of the time we shut this experience out and try to arrange our lives to keep it from happening again. W. H. Auden wrote, “And Truth met him and held out her hand. But he clung in panic to his tall beliefs and shrank away like an ill-treated child.”

But we should welcome the occasion. Grace is trying to visit us. It could be amazing! And on that note, let me conclude with a thought from the poet Mary Oliver:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms

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