Ignorance is bliss!
“Where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise”
From Thomas Gray‘s poem, Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (1742)
Ah yes, blissful ignorance. In Buddhism it’s called Avidyā and is seen at the root of all suffering.
“The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”
What is your definition of LOVE? What are you looking for? To what purpose? Love is one of the strongest emotions and will scoop you away in the world of ecstatic dreams or in the flames of Hades.
There is the love of your parents, love of your community, love for your children, love of God and your fellow men, and then there is passionate soul searing love for a mate. As a species it feels that love is the key ingredient to our survival. Procreation or extinction.
Here’s a meditation for you: sit down and ponder on all the generations of sex your ancestors went through so that you finally appear as a living breathing soul. Think of all the wars, the famines, the distances and the last minute chance meetings! You are truly a Miracle!
Our education says it all
Blessed are our parents who gifted us into the world. They unwittingly handed us for better or worse a mixed bag of genes and beliefs. There isn’t much you can do about how tall you are or if you have predispositions for certain health issues, but for your vision of love, yes you do have that freedom.
From my dad I once heard: “Well, you had to marry to have sex in those days…” and from mom … nothing. “We just don’t speak about those things, men are all liars and womanisers”. School contributes, peer pressures, community, religion, even the social system, your culture and era all come to define your view of love and sex.
I don’t know about you, but since I was a teenager I always felt I had missed the boat. I had come into this world just a few years too late. Born in 1959 I was eight years old during the Summer of Love in 1967. My sexual coming of age came much after the Free Love Flower Power hippie era. By then my vision of love was a long haired woman wearing a free flowing dress, but it was too late.
I want to Grok you!
I just felt I never fitted in, until I found in Robert Heinlein’s book “Stranger in a Strange Land” Valentine comes from another planet and tries to establish a life of free love. He calls it “GROK”: a total feeling of empathy, love and understanding for the other. I was Valentine, I was ‘Groking’ reality. I finally had a name for what ailed me.
Too afraid and shameful of my sexuality, I despised myself even more for every feeling I experienced, groking included. My penis was my enemy and I often thought of “cutting it off” so I wouldn’t feel anything. I resorted to smoking to take of the edge, and caffeine became the second drug to give me the stamina to keep on going.
I remained in my ignorance until the memories of being raped came back to the surface. When my mother confirmed it I still didn’t feel anything. I was too disconnected from my body. My intuition told me that it must have had some effect, so I bought a book by Ellen Bass : “The Courage to Heal”. This was the beginning of the end of my “Bliss”
Breaking the spell of ignorance
Every page of that book was me. I had found a vocabulary to express my feelings. I felt like Winston Smith in George Orwell’s epic book 1984. I saw the power of Big Brother and of Double Speak. I starved for more and more knowledge and researched sociology, psychology and communication theories. I discovered the power of knowledge!
Besides books is the power of personal experience. It is not coincidental that my major awakenings happened when I was away from my home/culture: first Amsterdam, then Guatemala and later India. We are blissfully unaware of the dictates of our culture. Travelling expands the physical as well as the mental horizons.
Along with books and travels there is another way of challenging your ingrained belief system: Mentors. A mentor can be a paid specialist as a therapist, it can be a friend or a colleague. It is a relationship of love, of care and of discovery. It is mutually beneficial and will make you grow exponentially!
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”
— Denzel Washington
Find your LOVE
So what are your beliefs about love? about sex? Are you willing to find books on what ails or attracts you? Are you willing to travel to go to workshops and conferences on your hearts desires? Do you have a friend, a therapist or a mentor with whom to open yourself heart fully?
Can you “”Beat the Bliss” of ignorance? You’ll never know how good it can have it until you try it. I believe in you, you can be your Daddy!.
I love you all!
Start the conversation by writing your thoughts in the ‘Leave a Reply’ section below!
If telling my story can offer a beacon of hope to those who are locked away behind dark walls of protection, then I feel I have started to accomplish my task.
Guy Giard is a speaker and the author of the upcoming book ‘LOVE’s healing journey’ How to Triumph over life’s adversities.
Dr “Patch” Adams writes about Guy Giard: “I truly feel his passion to live radiant, using clowning as a tool to help midwife a loving world. To hear of his own transformation to being a loving soul will inspire others to try it on.
Thomas Gray’s poem, Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (1742)
Ye distant spires, ye antique towers
That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful Science still adores
Her Henry’s holy shade;
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor’s heights th’ expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way:
Ah, happy hills! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields belov’d in vain!
Where once my careless childhood stray’d,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margin green
The paths of pleasure trace—
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm, thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthral?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle’s speed
Or urge the flying ball?
While some on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labours ply
‘Gainst graver hours that bring constraint
To sweet liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign
And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possest;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast:
Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue,
Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively cheer, of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light
That fly th’ approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,
The little victims play;
No sense have they of ills to come,
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see how all around ’em wait
The ministers of human fate
And black Misfortune’s baleful train!
Ah, show them where in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murderous band!
Ah, tell them they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks behind;
Or pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy with rankling tooth
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow’s piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness’ alter’d eye,
That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defil’d,
And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A griesly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage;
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming Age.
To each his sufferings: all are men,
Condemn’d alike to groan—
The tender for another’s pain,
Th’ unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate,
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their Paradise.
No more;—where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.