Preferring Ignorance

In an age with an overabundance of information, many people choose to remain ignorant against their own well-being. The core reason goes to the relationship they have with their mind.

“Making good decisions is contingent on obtaining information, even when that information may be painful to think about. People are often ready to make worse decisions in the service of avoiding potentially painful information. Voters may not consider information which challenges their ideological views, contributing to political polarization.” writes sociologist Emily Ho and economist George Loewenstein.

The dominant signifier of who is likely to avoid potentially painful information is impatience. No other factors – such as political ideology, gender, or education – correlate.

The single bellwether success in life apparent in young children is self-control; in other words, patience.┬áPatience is indicative of the relationship between one’s consciousness/awareness and the mind. Impatience is easy distraction: inability to sustain focus – the sine qua non of mental acuity.

There are 2 facets of ignorance: fact-ignorance (fignorance) and perspective-ignorance (pignorance). Fignorance precludes optimal decision-making. Pignorance is by definition spiritual ignorance: approaching living from the wrong paradigmatic perspective. Pignorance derives from fignorance, but also stems from weak will, which is the wellspring of impatience.

Either your mind runs your life or your will has triumphed over your mind, which has been reduced to subconscious servitude (rather than consciously running amok).

The greatest skill is mastery over the mind – subjugating nattermind (aka “monkey mind”) to curb distraction and thereby attain full awareness and sustained focus. Living in this transcendental state – beyond the mind’s predations – leads to the fulfillment of everyone’s ambition: contentment, which is satisfaction as a sustained state.

The practical benefit of spiritual realization – improved focal attention – is just the beginning. Realization reveals a richness in living beyond what those in ignorance can even imagine.

References:

Ishi Nobu, Clarity: The Path Inside, BookBaby (2019).

Emily H. Ho, David Hagmann, & George Loewenstein, “Measuring information preferences,” Management Science (March 2020).

The desire for information: blissful ignorance or painful truth? Researchers develop scale that measures people’s willingness to avoid useful information,” ScienceDaily (30 March 2020).