How ignorant can people be

Heinrich v. Kleist wrote to Adolphine von Werdeck in July 1801: "... knowledge makes us neither better nor happier." To be honest, this statement seemed completely pointless to me at first and met with little approval. But think about it ... Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which you would like to turn back time and hide a truth? Isn't the most beautiful moment sometimes when we were still ignorant? Believe me, knowledge can give power, but it can also withhold and take away our happiness and our happy moments. In the following explanation I will deal with this topic and accentuate Kleist's statement.

It is humanity and curiosity that drive us to discover new things and perspectives. We want to develop further, receive and learn a lot of information. However, the pursuit of knowledge and answers to all the world's questions is sometimes a reckless decision. Because who can tell us what reality is? Nobody in this world can say with one hundred percent certainty what is true and what is wrong in our lives, what is good and what is bad. And the more often we come across these contradictions and comparisons, the more new questions arise. Questions that nobody can answer for us and whose answers we often look in vain for. It is up to each of us to decide whether we look for all the answers or whether we give up. Give up, seek, and may never find the answer we were hoping for. Or give up asking us questions and accepting everything as it happens. Either way, giving up and continuing to fight, will not make us happy or satisfy us. Because if we struggle and search for answers, who can guarantee that we will find the "right" answers? And who can assure us that we can even bear the answer? And if you give up and stop looking for answers, will you be happy without them? I am sure that uncovering the answers often makes us just as unhappy as when we give up and look for no answer.

If we start to link our knowledge with our everyday life, the perception of life can change in many ways. The thoughts, feelings, and truths we represent can only be greatly changed through knowledge. As Kleist wrote in his letter: “I believe that Newton saw nothing else in a girl's bosom but its crooked line, and that nothing in her heart was remarkable to him but the contents of its cubes. When a woman kisses a real chemist, he thinks nothing but that her breath is nitrogen gas and carbon gas ”, this is how one recognizes that knowledge can take away the joy of a person and take the most beautiful and natural things in life and let them become unnatural. Moments of happiness can be analyzed from the ground up and "broken down" and thus lose their happy and free moments. It is said that ignorant people are happier than those who ponder their feelings, and in some situations I think those guesses are reasonable. But if we are not clear about our feelings and have not thought them through, how can we be sure that they are important to us or that they are really real. Because feelings such as love, sadness or joy can only be interpreted or overcome if we have really dealt with them.


Let us not also begin to doubt some events when a new theory has opened up to us. If one learns that knowledge and ignorance can be used to withhold truths, the entire view of life and the world can now be changed. This phenomenon became known as early as about 370 BC. Discovered by the Greek philosopher Plato and made known as the so-called allegory of the cave. Plato explains the allegory of the cave as follows: Several people live in a cave, tied up, facing a rock face while a fire shines behind them. All that can be seen on the rock face are shadows from objects being carried over a wall behind them. The tied up people only believe that these silhouettes on the rock face are reality. But now one of the prisoners is freed from his chains and turned around. After a while he recognizes reality for truth, but wants to go back to the comfortable darkness because of the dazzling of the daylight. This narrative can be compared with a society and its manipulation. The people in the cave are deliberately left in their ignorance and so they perceive as their reality what was not withheld from them. These fragments of knowledge can now turn out to be false truth, however, if the shielded person now discovers that reality was hidden from him, the new reality now opens up to him, everything that he now experiences is a new reality. The truth that has been revealed to him is difficult for the liberated person to accept; the view of his life and his truths have been fundamentally changed by a single knowledge. This reality is irreversible, there is no way to become ignorant again. And no matter how this knowledge was opened to us, and how man reacts to it, with acceptance or contempt, it cannot be erased - there is no way back into the cave.

However, in some cases, confrontation with some answers cannot be avoided. Because the moments between ignorance and confrontation with the situation are those that show us how unhappy our knowledge can make us. Before knowing the death of a loved one, she lived for us. In our minds this person laughs and cries, he feels and he dances as if the person were immortal. For the ignorant person the person still exists and the death of the person seems impossible. But with the receipt of the message, our thoughts are taken from their happy and invulnerable form and the truth, mortality and grief, make us realize that some incidents cannot be escaped, regardless of whether they are difficult to cope with.

In summary, there are many things that we do not want to experience, but some cannot be escaped. Some answers and truths cannot go undiscovered, no matter how much you try to escape them. But it is possible to be happy, despite knowledge or ignorance, you just have to be clear about how to deal with all the answers and truths that open up to you. And whether you wait to see how life and reality will turn out or whether you satisfy your curiosity yourself, ask your own questions, seek the answers and accept them as they are. In my opinion, knowing doesn't make us happy, unhappy, or depressed. Because no matter which perspective you choose, answers or ignorance, both options cannot be prevented. It is up to everyone whether they accept their decision and whether they can find happiness in difficult situations and events.