Take a look at the world we live in. In looking at the world, look at what human beings’ pursuit of education has offered the world. At the same time, look at what people’s lack of the pursuit of education – ignorance – has offered the world. Which state of the mind has offered the best and which has offered the worst for mankind?
There are many that will criticize both – and in doing so, seek to justify their own position. One might easily argue that it is education that created the atomic bomb and put the whole world in jeopardy. One might easily argue that it is education that created weapons of destruction, which led to terrorism. One might equally argue that this or that particular ignorance is the cause of this or that failure in the world.
But, it is ignorance that makes all these arguments. It is ignorance that takes education and shapes it into tools to serve ignorance. It is the ignorance in people that look at technology and think different technologies are either good or bad, instead of seeing that deeper within people’s hearts and minds that use technology lies the motivation for how technology is used – for good or for bad. It is also ignorance that says that this or that shortfall is the cause of a certain problem that the world faces.
The greater ignorance of which I speak is the ignorance of all of humanity being one family. I speak of the ignorance that we are all brothers and sisters. This ignorance leads people to further their beliefs of separation based on subjective measurements – like where a person was born, or what color skin a person has, or what religion a person chooses.
While some may think these factors are important, they simply are looking at the surface measurements – which change as rapidly as time. The boundaries of countries have changed throughout time and will continue, for all countries – all – in time. The differences of the pigment colors in the skin are superficial, at best, and comparable to what size feet a person has, at worst. Can you imagine if we chose our cultures and groups based on the size of a person’s foot? or whether they have freckles? or if they’re left handed or right? or if they gesture with their hands when they talk? In addition, the use of religious beliefs to separate different groups of people totally defeats the purpose of religious beliefs, which have been meant to help unify people, and not separate people. Many people who have educated themselves on many religions see the vast number of similarities of religious principles. The people who haven’t, see much less – the surface.
Education leads a person to examine deeper than the surface. Ignorance leads a person to believe only what they see or experience on the surface. Education takes work. Ignorance is easy. This is why we find it so easy to choose ignorance.
We all think that we choose education, because we’ve been to school. Yet, schools aren’t exactly known to teach only truth – more often it is what is accepted in that particular moment in time. To see this, we only need to compare what specifically was taught in schools 500 years ago, and what is specifically taught in schools, today. Then looking further, compare what is specifically taught today, to what will be taught in schools 500 years from now. (Don’t be fooled by the argument of ignorance saying, “We don’t know what will be taught in schools 500 years from now.” Anyone who looks deeper than the surface can come up with some understanding of what the future holds by looking at how education evolves and progresses.)
Beware of Ignorance. We all have ignorance of some type within us. All of us. There is only one way to move away from ignorance – to continue to look deeper into all things – including our own hearts, minds and souls – educating ourselves throughout our entire lives – learning more about our own humanness, our own self, each other, what life is really meant to be about, how to enrich our own minds and hearts, how to interact in the Earth in better ways, how to love, forgive and join with others, how to move beyond our own chosen prison bars, and how to expand ourselves and the planet we live on.
The alternative is ignorance of ourselves, of our own hearts, our own minds, our own souls and our world – hearts, minds, souls and a world which, with ignorance, will shrink and eventually die from a starvation of life and growth.
To continue to learn requires choosing to learn more. Learning requires informing ourselves and seeking out that which is beyond our current “paradigm” of understanding. To learn and grow requires seeking beyond the surface of what we think is both true and false to test the validity of our beliefs. To fear to go beyond our own beliefs leads to ignorance.
Everyone is inspired, enlivened, and enriched by something. Find what inspires, enlivens and enriches. It will lead to knowing one’s self in ever deeper ways.