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Mindfulness is Ignorance (Bliss) on Demand

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.

Mindfulness is Ignorance (Bliss) on Demand

Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is www.pavelsomov.com and his practice website is www.drsomov.com

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).


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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2011). Mindfulness is Ignorance (Bliss) on Demand. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 19, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2010/06/mindfulness-is-ignorance-bliss-on-demand-2/

 

Last updated: 9 Jul 2011
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Jul 2011
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.