Should we consider ignorance a part of the journey?

Bird Droppings July 13, 2022

Should we consider ignorance a part of the journey?

“If I want to justify my existence and continue to be obsessed with the notion that I’ve got to do something for humanity — well, teaching ought to quell that obsession — and if I can ever get around to an intelligent view of matters, intelligent criticism of contemporary values ought to be useful to the world. This gets back again to ……The best way to help mankind is through the perfection of yourself.” Joseph Campbell

It was so many years ago; at first, I thought my goal in Life was to do something for humanity as in some significant event or task. As I sit and wonder this morning, I find in Campbell’s thought so often, it is searching for and bettering ourselves that we truly help humanity. Earlier I wrote today to a friend about trying to understand and reduce ignorance. I seriously think it is funny how during political campaigns, ignorance seems to be rampant.

“Unintelligent people always look for a scapegoat.” Ernest Bevin

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” Derek Bok

Working with children becomes interesting as you see bits and pieces of ignorance fall away each day, only to be there again in the morning as parents and all those outside of schoolwork on rebuilding during the night.  

“Ignorance is never out of style. It was in fashion yesterday; it is the rage today, and it will set the pace tomorrow.” Frank Dane

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

I live in a place that constantly borders on ignorance and wants so terribly to cross over to the side of wisdom. It seems those in power always want to keep those ignorant folks in the dark, such as in the Dark Ages back in the day. During that period, most could not even read or write, and those who could be in power.

Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.” Benjamin Franklin

“Naiveté in grownups is often charming, but when coupled with vanity, it is indistinguishable from stupidity.” Eric Hoffer

Looking at politics, Hoffer may be very right. It seems that in every election we watch politicians play with words against rhetoric that sounds good to that group being addressed. I recall when the legislation to prevent the sale of assault weapons was up for renewal and how ironic it would fall by the wayside in the midst of antiterrorism.

“The opposite of love is not hated; the opposite of love is ignorance.” Brian Hwang

“When I was fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around. When I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” Mark Twain

In searching for knowledge and understanding, many roads can be walked. We can search in books, schools, our families, and life in general, but it must entail a search. To assume you are there is to cease the journey and to assume you have reached the destination. We are born with a starting point, point A, and we reach point B when we die. It is that which connects A and B that is crucial.

“Life is about the journey, not the destination” Steven Tyler, Aerosmith

Funny thing, I was sitting at the dining room table a year ago since stairs are a bit rough to climb in a cast. Funny how an injury impacts you even after a year off. I was talking with my son recently, and Aerosmith’s greatest hits were playing in the background; coincidence maybe, who knows, but the journey continues.

“Myth is the secret opening through which the inexhaustible energies of the cosmos pour into human manifestation….” Joseph Campbell, Hero with a Thousand Faces

I listen to the words and read the gibberish of the politicians and wonder if a hundred years ago or so, these same men and women would be pushing for an Indian Territory and reservations. Today instead, it is illegal immigration and Gay marriage that strike nerves in so many people. I was reading a National Geographic account of the salvaging of a slave ship. In 1698 humans were bought and sold for trinkets. Eleven thirteen-inch iron bars would buy a black man and forty pounds of glass beads for a black woman. Historians believe they were from the Ibo tribe in Western Africa on this particular ship. These people believed no one was greater than any other. Their life philosophy made them susceptible to being enslaved. This tribe was a peaceful people. They were human beings bought and sold as things. Not until war was fought were black men legally human beings in the United States, and it was not until the trial twenty years later of Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca tribe that Indians received the legal term of a human being. This was not all that long ago.

“Only to the white man was nature a wilderness, and only to him was the land ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. It was tame to us, Earth was bountiful, and the blessings of the Great Mystery surrounded us.” Luther Standing Bear

I have become spoiled, sleeping late and forgetting to see the sunrise. This morning I went out and sat for thirty minutes in the morning stillness. Mourning doves were cooing around me, and various other birds were waking up. A woodpecker started on the old black walnut trunk nearby our house, and I felt at ease. So many thoughts passed through my mind sitting listening in the barely lit morning. Soon I will be back in my regular, rising early and writing, getting back into the groove. So it is evening now, and I must end my day. May peace be with you all, my friends, and please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your heart and always give thanks namaste.  

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


I am sharing some good words from a friend’s Facebook page as I read how accurate this simple thought is. 

Elder’s Meditation of the Day from July 24, 2017 “Life is like a path…and we all have to walk the path… As we walk…we’ll find experiences like little scraps of paper in front of us along the way. We must pick up those pieces of scrap paper and put them in our pockets… Then, one day, we will have enough scraps of paper to put together and see what they say… Read the information and take it to heart.” Uncle Frank Davis (quoting his mother), PAWNEE

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