​On conscious ignorance

The joke below gives a comic illustration of how everyone in the society avoids enlightenment. I have seen many people who on the surface appear to support truth and wisdom but when one takes a closer look at them you realize that it is the vested interest of the majority in the world to remain perpetually ignorant, from one life to the next, from one hell to the next; yet ignorance accumulates in the manner of logistic curve (termed ‘distribution’ in mathematical sciences). That would come close to what musicians term as “from the flying pan into the fire”. This is how nature works: if an obscuration (ignorance) is not remedied today then it will morph into a disaster in an undefinable (inconceivable) future. Hence, everyone accomplishes everything else in this life except for one thing…
One day Mulla Nasruddin was traveling with travelling with his wife… and the ticket checker came. The wife showed him her ticket, and the Mulla started searching for his ticket. He opened one of his suitcases, then another suitcase, went through all his pockets — coat, pants, shirt — but the puzzled wife saw that he was ‘keenly’ avoiding one pocket. Watching him, even the ticket checker said, “Don’t be worried, Sir. You are a well-known person. You can’t travel without a ticket, it must be somewhere. You have so much luggage,” he said, “I will be coming back in the second round. By that time you may have found it.”

He went away, and Mulla was still perspiring and searching for the ticket. His wife said, “Mulla, I can see only one thing — that you are looking into everything but you are not looking into one pocket.” He said, “Just don’t raise that question, because I am already in such trouble.” But his wife said, “What has that pocket to do with trouble?” He said, “It has everything to do with it. That is the only place I am hoping that the ticket may be, and I don’t want to lose that hope. First let me look in everything else. That is my last resort; I also know that I am avoiding it. The ticket checker was looking at that pocket, you are also looking at that pocket. It is not that I am not aware. Fully consciously I am avoiding it, because if it is not there then the ticket is nowhere.”

11 thoughts on “​On conscious ignorance

  1. The difference between me and the Mulla is, I thought I checked that pocket first but did not, I only thought I did. I suffer from distracted ignorance; however, the results are the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “I don’t want to lose that hope.”

    They won’t give up hope to grasp the real thing. Hope is static, safe– even when hopes are dashed, it’s a fairly finite dashing. Reality is dynamic, immense– to grasp and fail is to fail gloriously.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is brilliant. That is the emphasis of the Mulla- that people should check that pocket first. Many pretend as if they have already checked it but haven’t, they deceive themselves and others too. And what’s the result of that?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m reminded of another conversation about different realities coexisting. We are constantly reaching behind us to pull out another rabbit for the crowd. The reality is, there never was a rabbit back there but no one wants to be the buzz kill and mention they didn’t see a rabbit.

    Liked by 2 people

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