Knowing, is not knowing

If there is one thing I know, is that when you believe you truly know something, that you’ve got it all figured out and no one can tell you differently… you don’t know. It sometimes seems the more I learn, the less I know, basically, the more I genuinely study, research, and understand, the more I realize just how little I know. Our minds are the most powerful computers on earth, capable of billions of computations simultaneously every minute, and yet our ability to truly know the whole of the world is impossible. While we can know quite a bit, our minds are still infinitesimally small in the grand scheme of everything in the known universe. The problem with the world is that individuals that know a little about a lot of things believe they know everything, and have nearly convinced themselves of their near god-like infallibility. 

Everyone today is a Wiseman, a seer, a guru, a leader, everyone is a pseudo-scientist, a great master, a person who knows it all and needs no further input. No one today seems to want to admit that regardless of the fact that we all have devices with the world’s collective knowledge in our pockets, we are fallible, we are imperfect, we cannot and do not know it all. No amount of schooling, no amount of books, online or offline research, even real-world experience, makes someone perfect. No amount of yes men and yes women surrounding someone in an echo chamber will make one perfect or wholly knowledgable, only falsely so. 

If you think that you know, you do not know, if you realize you don’t know, you’re beginning to understand!

Worse still, when presented with evidence that someone is wrong today, they’ll either deny it regardless of the depth of evidence, or they will just resort to slander or attacking the sources of evidence. Few and far between are individuals the type to admit they were wrong and accept new information that contradicts their fallacy. This is a pox upon modern intellectualism and society as a whole, that leads people towards strange and nonsensical directions. I was wrong throughout most of my life, I lived just as described herein because the truth offended the falsehood I’d been living. This led me down a dark, violent, and angry path in National Socialism, which I will spend the rest of my life seeking T’shuva for. 

Today, this way of thinking is more prevalent than ever, it’s become less in your face, more obscured under a banner of false patriotism and nationalism, but the thinking, the ideology is much the same. If there was one lesson I could have thought the younger version of me, prior to my becoming that thing… it’s that you don’t know everything, those instilling the ideology do not know everything and that there’s more complexity to everything that cannot be so easily simplified and codified into such a way of thinking. I was ignorant… I was fearful and weak… I was a fool and only when I realized these things, did I begin to genuinely understand, to be less fearful and weak, and less drawn to anger and ignorance. Those who can be made to believe an absurdity can be made to commit atrocity!

You do not know, you are fallible, it is not weak to admit you do not know or understand something fully, nor is it okay to take sides on an issue that you do not understand. Once you see that, once you can take new information that contradicts old information into your mind and objectively view it under the light of reason, can you begin to know. 

If you think you fully understand and need no input on anything, you’ve essentially given up… Doctors who spend most of their lives in institutions of higher learning, who go through grueling training and mentally draining sessions of study and application, still make mistakes. If a doctor can make a mistake in their chosen field, you too are fallible. Once you realize you’re fallible, once you see the foible in believing you’ve got it all figured out, then and only then can you realize what makes the human condition so unique, the ability to change who we are, what we believe, and what we become.