Ignorance, they say, is bliss.  As I see it, there are 2 kinds of ignorance:

1.  ignorance of un-awareness (mindlessness of something that can be known)

2. ignorance by choice (a conscious decision to ignore that which cannot be known)

Which type of ignorance is bliss and which is existential loss?

Let’s see if we can briefly sort this out.

You’ve heard this: the past has already happened, therefore it doesn’t exist; the future hasn’t happened, therefore it doesn’t yet exist; thus, here’s nothing but Now…

So, here we stand, sandwiched between the Past that’s already gone and doesn’t exist, and the Future that hasn’t yet happened and therefore doesn’t exist, in the proverbial and pre-verbal here-and-now.  This is all there is!

To ignore this “Now” (the only “thing” that exists) would be the ignorance of un-awareness.  Mindlessness (lack of awareness of the present moment) is an existential loss.

To ignore what’s outside of this “Now” (i.e. to ignore what cannot be known) would be the ignorance of bliss…  Can this kind of bliss be available on demand?  Sure.  How?  Through mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a commitment to what is (i.e. to this Now), accompanied by a conscious choice to ignore whatever isn’t (i.e. what cannot be known such as the future or what no longer exists, such as the past).  Mindfulness is a form of ignorance on demand, i.e. a form of bliss on demand.

Pledge allegiance to the Present!  Ignore the rest.

Not always, of course.  Can’t live in the now 100% (got to reminisce a bit, dwell a bit, plan a bit, worry a bit – that’s all natural mind-stuff).  But whenever you feel like it.  On demand, that is.

 


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From Psych Central's website:
psychcentral (June 17, 2010)






    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Somov, P. (2010). Mindfulness is Ignorance (Bliss) on Demand. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2010/06/mindfulness-is-ignorance-bliss-on-demand-2/

 

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Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D. is the author of The Lotus Effect, Present Perfect, The Smoke-Free Smoke Break, and Eating the Moment: 141 Mindful Practices to Overcome Overeating One Meal at a Time.


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