Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

What We Don’t Know

Originally posted on August 25, 2013

Truly, of all the happenings in the vastness of the cosmos, what we know is almost infinitesimally tiny. So as a friend asked herself, “How can I teach when I don’t know?” I responded,  “I too know (on this scale) next to nothing. Courage! On another  scale, most people don’t have the tools to see the subconscious mind and  you do, so that’s relatively a lot!”

This exchange got me thinking and the following categories occurred to me: First, there’s a vast category that no sentient being in the cosmos knows. It’s too big. One might say, only God knows, but then that attributes to God the capacity to know, and we aren’t all that clear what knowing consists of.

So that’s an overview digression. As for we humans, there are these: (1) what no one knows; (2) what  a few people think but don’t yet know; (3) what  a few people know but haven’t written clearly or adequately publicized, so most people don’t know; (4) what some people know and have written and some people know, but most people haven’t read or haven’t the motivation or skill to understand. (The writings on this blog may be in this category); and (5) what has become common  knowledge today but wasn’t known a few generations ago.

Then there are other categories, such as what everyone knows, it’s obvious, duh, but it turns out that what is known is illusory, like the way the sun goes “around” the earth, or there can’t be germs much less atoms because if you can’t see them they can’t be there. Stuff like that.

It could be depressing, but that’s only if one is pridefully invested in how much one knows personally or vicariously identifies with others who know—as in “we” know how electricity works—when in fact, very few do know, completely, if anyone.

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