Knowledge pushes you in greater darkness.

Bolt striking his signature pose Image courtesy:CNN

It was 2008 Olympics and the excitement in our school was on steroids. Our school used to host inter house athletic competitions and the whole school used to look upto these athletes for inspirations , celebration gestures and nicknames. Once, a friend who shall remain anonymous said that he can run 100m in 10 seconds. The world record holder Usain Bolt had bagged gold with 9.69 seconds in 2008 Beijing Olympics. This was an utter shock since he was a laggard in PT and had tough time completing simple runs, on further poking he laughed and said “Of course, if I can only get an olympic standard track with proper setup, I will do it.” There was only one way to debunk it, and it was to set it up and test.

He knew, that we wouldn’t do it and laughed his gut out. Though this incident occurred decades ago I remember it quite clearly since I abused this analogy. When Sania Mirza was at her peak career performance I announced to her fans in my school that “If she will defeat Maria Sharapova , I will becomes Indian Cricket team’s captain.” though not similar I was exaggerating the obvious to make a point.

The other reason why I remember the Usain Bolt incident is, because this ploy was used abundantly in last few years

ಆರು ಬೆಟ್ಟವನೊಬ್ಬ ಹಾರಬಹುದೆಂದರೆ
ಹಾರಬಹುದೆಂದು ಎನಬೇಕು , ಮೂರ್ಕನೊಡ
ಹೋರಾಟ ಸಲ್ಲ ಸರ್ವಜ್ಞ

The above prose was composed by the most enlightened Kannada philosopher Sarvagnya. It means “If a fool claims that he can hop 6 hills , you should agree with him since it’s not worth it to fight with him.” Its on the line that “A bigoted mind is like a pupil, the more light you shine the more it will contract.”

I asked an American friend why that in a country which rightfully prides itself about NASA, has sizeable people who believe that the earth is flat ? He laughed and said “I know, right ?” It is well understood that the time and energy needed to counter it would outweigh the claim and even if the evidences are overwhelming he will not believe it. Once my maths professor in college during a class asked “Did you get it ?” apparently he might have seen a lot of heads nodding in agreement he said “If you have really understood its good, but if you are acting like you have understood, it makes my job difficult.” “I can wake someone who is asleep , but no the one who is acting to be asleep” he said.

There is vachana in Upanishad which says “Ignorance will peregrinate you in darkness but knowledge peregrinates you in a greater darkness”. This is a revolutionary thought because I feel that an ignorant who know he is an ignorant, is actually a wise man , since he very well knows that he doesn’t know. He has an innocence attached to himself and he has a politeness in listening, he has an empty cup that can be filled with knowledge, he isn’t stubborn. It is knowledge that has pushed oneself into a greater darkness that it makes enlightenment tedious. The best way to deal is not to refute. Unsolicited preaching will not enlighten the one who doesn’t seek it. The cycle of happiness and sorrow is not easily broken and it will never be broken by the one who ceases to see it. The universe is therefore in tact because truth is absolute. In fact confronting the unintended will yield an opposite result. The one who lives in denial shouldn’t be aggressively made to look at it since he will repel at it with a greater force. It is like a story of a kitten which was once made to dip its head in a boiling milk and it grew up running way from milk. Observe how an elephant is tied. You will see that it is tied with a relatively small chain which it can easily break but it will never try since the mahoot knows that when it was young it was tied with a chain that it couldn’t break away and it grew up believing that the chain will never be broken.

Don’t fight the obvious lies, it will waste out time and energy.

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