A few months ago I was pressing a person I had been on a couple of dates with about his religion in order to ascertain his belief system. I was suspicious that he, like a lot of culty religions was wrapped in nice shiny packing that required careful dissection to expose the true doctrine; which is a simple recipe of dogma, fallacies, and fear. The recipe of control. The attractive coating (promise of comfort, love, and everlasting life) is used to distract people while they swallow the poisonous medicine. “A spoonful of sugar, makes the medicine go down” Quite literally drinking the koolaid. I myself have an incredibly skeptical, untrusting, relentlessly doubtful mind because of my own cultish upbringing and handful of emotionally abusive relationships. So after — anyone who knows me can attest — a truly exhausting amount of questions over wine he pleads the question “If I am happy, what does it matter?” Ah. For as long as humans have asked “why?”, another group has asked “why does it matter why?”. I.e. Ignorance is bliss.
Rewind to 2008. I was 15. My high school boyfriend and I had just finished reading Plato’s ‘Allegory of the Cave’ for english class. This time, I was on the side of the ignorant. My father was driving us somewhere acting as the moderator to this argument. I forget exactly what Paul was saying, something about how all progress, innovation, discovery, and art stems from the quest of truth and knowledge and that it was worth the personal discomfort.
“It’s like growing pains, Molly”. Something the poor boy, who was in the process of sprouting to 6’5 knew a thing or two about.
“Yeah Paul, but I don’t want to be miserable my whole life” said I.
I was in the thick of disillusionment. My parents had just divorced. I went from to being at home all day every day with my family (my dad worked at home, and we were home schooled, so now you know why they got divorced haha) to being thrown into public education without having any idea of who ludacris was, or that a boner, getting hard, and an erection were the same thing.
I was scared. I wanted my safe, happy, comfortable life back. Everyone knows that when presented with a challenge you either:
a) cling to your comfort blanket (religion, drugs, toxic relationships)/ stay in the cave/ ignorance
b) you look that challenge up and down, take a deep breath, and make it your bitch/leave the cave/pursue truth/ take the red pill
Now, fast forward to 2017 and as much as it pains my to write (truth hurts remember), I’m firmly on the side of my high school boyfriend. Now, secure as I am with my answer b), my date is posing a new question to me.
“It’s great that you chose b) Molly, but can’t I be ignorant? What does it matter that I’ve chosen to stay in the cave? Can’t I take the blue bill?”
“If I am happy (then), what does it matter?”
if : “ignorance is bliss”
& : “all evil stems from a lack of understanding.”
Then : “blissful ignorance is actually oppression”
P.s. by using an if/then statement I’ve made two of my other ex boyfriends happy, i just keep suffering. I’m walking the walk. It’s not fun. But it is right. Logically anyway. Who knows.