Better Off Not Knowing

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.  – Ecclesiastes 1:18

People typically have an obsession with knowing.  Sometimes we direct it toward passing circumstances of weather and headline news, other times we want to comprehend the how’s and why’s of the world’s inner workings.

We ought to learn and understand as much as we can, but respect the limits of the pursuit.  Even if we were able to find the key that unlocks the meaning of all, it wouldn’t make us happier.  The way the world works is sad in many respects.  Do we really want to become experts on sadness?

I use to say I’d take a sad reality over a happy delusion any day, but I’m starting to question this.  Sometimes we’re just better off not knowing.

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2 responses to “Better Off Not Knowing

  1. I can get behind the whole not knowing, and I agree with you. We always want to know…Whether the thing we want to know is happy, whether it is sad, or whatever it may be. I’m certainly not exempt from that, there are things I wish I knew for sure one way or the other. Then sometimes just as you said, once I know them wholely and completely, I wish I could go back to not knowing. But it’s not always like that for me. Why is that? I don’t quite follow why some of the time we want and absolutely need to know then once we know we wish we could go back to not knowing, and then other times we absolutely want to know and once we have what we want things for us seem to be ok or make more sense. I can’t figure out, for me anyhow, why it has to be so confusing…One way or the other!
    A question I’ve often asked is: Do we in fact make it more difficult on ourselves? Do we put more pressure on ourselves to know what we don’t know and then question whether or not we were happier not knowing in the first place?

  2. Curiosity pulls us all in pretty hard, but I have a feeling it comes down to control issues. Knowledge gives us a sense of control up front, but it passes rather quickly.

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