Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ignorance Can Be Bliss

November 13, 2008
Knowing Too Much
Ignorance Can Be Bliss

These days, we can know too much. And while it sometimes can be a great benefit to know the tiniest details of events, both bitter and sweet, there are also times when knowing less about the future, our situations, and the world can be beneficial. Being blissfully ignorant does not mean ignoring vital information or shutting out the world’s tragedies. Rather, it is a way to step away from knowledge that may only needlessly have a negative impact on your life experience. It’s not always necessary to expose yourself to information that will overwhelm you, hold you back, or cause you pain. Sometimes, ignorance can be truly blissful.

While having all the information you need can help you make an informed decision, sometimes knowing all the information can be excess. Especially when you are trying to pursue a goal, the knowledge of all the ways in which you might fail can keep you from even trying. Blissful ignorance can sometimes propel you forward because you never even knew that the possibility of failure existed. Ignorance can also be bliss when you are facing hardships. If circumstances force you to take on a job you dislike, you may enter your new situation with unpleasant and preconceived notions that can likely create the very scenarios you are dreading. Experiencing a situation with no expectations and no advanced notions can allow you to experience it as new, because your blissful ignorance prevented you from having any preset ideas.

There is nothing wrong with avoiding "too much information," particularly when the knowledge isn’t going to serve you. When information is emotionally draining, impedes your progress, causes distress, or isn’t necessary to your experience, consider letting it pass you by. Remember the bliss of ignorance can sometimes be a gift.

I saved this Daily Om from a couple of days ago , makes a lot of sense to me on a couple of levels and I needed to ponder it further.

First, I agree that we are totally overwhelmed with information, 24/7. We are hooked up to our internet, Blackberry, cell phone, PDA, TV, Ipod, you name it, every waking moment of the day. This results in total information overload and, at least in my case, sensory overload as well. There are times when I must disconnect from it all, turn it all freakin' off and just Be Quiet, otherwise I fear my brain will explode!

Yesterday I had the perfect opportunity to do so as both our cable and internet were out. All day. 12 long hours. Wow. I found myself wandering around the house aimlessly, not sure what to with myself. I'm not a big tv watcher but Beren is, so with absence of that entertainment he naturally looked to me to fill the gap. *grin* So we headed to the boat, spent the afternoon on the ocean with the waves and wind as background music. Came home, made dinner, Beren found a dvd to watch while I curled up on the couch with a book. Sitting there with a cup of coffee and a cuddly black cat, I realized why I don't read as much as I used to - there is simply too much else to do. I find myself drawn to the computer way too often, spend too many hours sitting in front of this screen. And why? It's not that I don't enjoy reading, or gardening, or the multitude of hobbies I once enjoyed, it's just that this blasted computer draws me in, calls to me with the promise of more information, more entertainment, more, more, more! There's always one more e-mail to answer, one more web site to check out, one more blog to read, and before you know it precious hours have passed. It's fine when I get up from the desk feeling enriched (such as reading your amazing blogs!) but what about when I don't? Did I really need to spend 30 minutes on e-bay drooling over shoes? Or even 5 minutes reading about the latest Hollywood gossip? I think not. So, I really need to get control over this situation, find a way to resist the temptation of information overload. Thoughts? Suggestions?

I've also been thinking about TMI in other areas..Mom's illness comes to mind. A few people have asked me specifics relating to her specific cancer and I've had to answer honestly: I don't know. I don't have a clue what stage it's in, the diameter of the tumors, the names of the chemo drugs, etc. etc. And you know what? I don't want to know. I've left most of that to my Dad; he tells me what I absolutely need to know and I'm fine with that. Maybe I'm in denial, but it doesn't help me to know the minute details, it only feeds my fear and anxiety and I certainly don't need any more of that.

So, that's where my head is this morning. Now I think I'll step away from this source of information overload and go do something.


ELLIE said...

I used to feel that TMI was just overloading me - sometimes it is good to just walk away for a couple of hours and do something totally different - give your mind down time sort of speak - but some people thrive on more and more info - and it works for them - so I guess it all depends what you are comfortable with!!!
take care--Ellie

linda said...

I had so many responses to this as I read it, mostly in agreement, with your art keeps me engaged for hours and I have found, if I leave on the talk radio, or my computer is open and available, calling it's siren song, I cannot do my art....but my art is the best thing I can do for ME and I realize that now and so, have learned to turn off, turn away from distractions from what feeds my soul, if only for half an doesn't mean I don't love my family, care about their wants and needs, but I have needs too and, I am my best caregiver...I know exactly what makes me feel best but, like most women, we are so good at not listening to that small voice that calls to us...I wish for you peace and quiet, with space to do for you what you need and find peace of mind along the way..

many blessings...