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Passions in Poetry

where ignorance is bliss

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Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
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Waukegan


0 posted 03-21-2006 07:40 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“No more;—where ignorance is bliss,  
  'Tis folly to be wise.”

Sir Thomas Gray

http://www.bartleby.com/106/158.html


At some point is not choosing ignorance itself
wisdom?

Ratleader
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since 01-23-2003
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1 posted 03-21-2006 10:39 PM       View Profile for Ratleader   Email Ratleader   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ratleader's Home Page   View IP for Ratleader

I choose ignorance every day. I buy gas for my car, but I don't study the refining process that made it, I use this computer but I'm virtually ignorant of the intricacies of the software, and I have only a basic knowledge of how the machine works.

I have a fairly decent IQ and an adequate but not exceptional memory....but there's not enough capacity up there to hold everything about everything in my life, and certainly not the time to learn before I am once again at the mercy of objects and systems I know little of.

For starters, maybe the time when we can choose ignorance, is when we know that we can trust in others, who aren't ignorant.

~~(¸¸¸¸ºº>   ~~(¸¸¸¸ºº>  ~~(¸¸ ¸¸ºº>    ~~~(¸¸ER¸¸ºº>
______________Ratleader______________

Huan Yi
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Waukegan


2 posted 03-22-2006 05:05 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Let me put it another way:
if you could take a pill to forget something or someone
that is a source of sadness what from a purely egoistic
view would be wrong with that?  I know there could be
responses that suggest that carrying the knowledge
is somehow more heroic, but if all you’ve got is one life,
( and we’ve seen nothing in our own to suggest otherwise),
what’s wrong with making it as pleasant as possible
so long as it doesn’t consciously and directly involve
harming another?   What is the obligation to be unhappy?


Stephanos
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3 posted 03-22-2006 11:01 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
( and we’ve seen nothing in our own to suggest otherwise)

Who is "we"?  Got a mouse in yer pocket?  I think "I" would have been a better choice for you here.  You ought to know that from your studies.  


Stephen.
LeeJ
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since 06-19-2003
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4 posted 03-23-2006 06:29 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Let me put it another way:
if you could take a pill to forget something or someone
that is a source of sadness what from a purely egoistic
view would be wrong with that?  I know there could be
responses that suggest that carrying the knowledge
is somehow more heroic, but if all you’ve got is one life,
( and we’ve seen nothing in our own to suggest otherwise),
what’s wrong with making it as pleasant as possible
so long as it doesn’t consciously and directly involve
harming another?   What is the obligation to be unhappy?


John, you have truly touched me with this...thank you for this thread...

if only it could be that easy, but unfortunately, taking a pill is in my way of thinking, a temporary fix...we must somehow learn to deal with the saddness then lay it aside, and blooming from it...
not heroic, simply learning how to let go and accept?  Yes?
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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5 posted 03-23-2006 02:09 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

One pill doesn't do it anymore.

In fact, I just ate the second one early.

And there would be no problem with that if I could stop at a magic number.

There will come a day, when two doesn't work, so three will have to, and onward and upward until Merck makes better pills or I die.

And then, I suppose my children will be swallowing pills so that they can close their eyes briefly to forget about the sight of their overdosed mother.

Is ignorance bliss? Oh...you betcha.

I warned my niece and nephew to just throw out their mother's sheets after the coroner's office removed her body last Easter. I should have done it myself, but we were not right in the head that day. But after washing my sister's linen's, my nephew discovered a horrifying new phenomenon as he pulled them out of the dryer--he knows now, how those images on shrouds are made...

and John? I don't mean this to sound bitter. I don't particularly feel bitter. After all, I just ate two pills.

What I feel is nothing.

It's a delicate balance though. So you'll not find me sermonizing anyone's choice on how they get through their lives anymore. Some might say I am a better parent zoned out on zanax than in a cycling state of anxiety, hysteria, and depression.

I don't know. Maybe I just appear better.

And just so you know, and I swear this just happened, my mother-in-law is staying with us, and today she is going through some of the things she salvaged from her home from the floodwaters of Katrina. One of the pieces of jewelry  was a gift given to her from her deceased daughter, Debra, who died of AIDS over a decade ago. She told me Debra had begged her mom to buy it for her, but my mother-in-law had said "no" (She thought it was tacky.)

So Debra stole it from the store they were shopping in and gave it to her mother a block further down the street.

It is a little pin with rhinestones that says:

"Don't Worry. Be Happy."

(I look to the ceiling and shake my head and smile.)

But what you ask did provoke some thought here, as I wonder of the one law of Wicca:

"And as thou harm none, do as thou wilt."

So...how much responsiblity do we owe those who love us?

I dunno.

I'm just glad I ain't the boss.

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


6 posted 03-23-2006 02:36 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I didn't view this question as a realistic challenge of psychotropic meds... but maybe it is? I see this as being uncannily similar to Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind.

I see literally erasing memories as problematic, even from an egoist viewpoint. I mean, how well would it serve me to, say, erase every boyfriend after a breakup? I'd go into each new relationship with a renewed naivete... a new virginity... but by the time one hits a certain age... wouldn't wisdom and worldliness (at least to some extent) serve better?

Another example... my mom's dead. This causes me pain, and guilt, and etc. etc. so why not just erase her from my memory? Well, for one, unless I erased the knowledge of the birds and the bees, there would be a serious logical problem with never having had a mother. I would ahve to invent a story, or have one invented for me... this has nothing to do with heroics, it's just plain a) more trouble than it's wprth and b) to address Karen's point... I think it's unfair to her memory. Why even live if poeple will simply erase you when you're gone?
serenity blaze
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7 posted 03-23-2006 02:59 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

smiling

"I see literally erasing memories as problematic, even from an egoist viewpoint. I mean, how well would it serve me to, say, erase every boyfriend after a breakup? I'd go into each new relationship with a renewed naivete... a new virginity..."

hush? I apparently have that ability, (almost exactly as you describe (except for the part about the hymen ) and it's the source of my suffering in relationships.

And I agree, that my experimental coping mechanisms are unfair to her memory. Afterall, it's how she was coping with my father's death. I just quite honestly don't have a clue as to how to do otherwise. It seems to be the lesser of two evils, and she and I even discussed the paradox of this previous to her death. All I know is that I am, at the least, functioning. I can't intellectualize my adrenaline levels down to normal levels. I used to teach meditation, and I cannot meditate myself out of this.

So...shrug. I'm taking the zanax. I take the B-12. I take the syrequal on the really bad nights. I take Valerian. But most importantly, I'm taking one day at a time.

*peace*
hush
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8 posted 03-24-2006 01:49 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Karen... you got me all wrong. I, too, started eating pills after my mom died. That's not what I mean. Like I said, I took the original question to be more of a hyperbole... I mean, your Xanax supposedly makes you not freak out, and my Paxil supposedly makes me less depressed.

I wasn't saying anything you did was unfair to anyone's memory. I was talking about my mother. That's none of my business, and anyway, we all have to define that for ourselves. Besides, we tend to be our own harshest critics, and the things I did not do for my mother still plague me with guilt, while my friends look at me with pity and say "Oh, honey, it's not your fault!" I would say the same to them, and believe it when I said it to them... but it doesn't matter. I ain't buying it.

So the question becomes... should we remain guilty and tortured? I thik it puts an interesting spin on the original question... sure, it might be easy to say we'd erase a cheating lover from our memories... we don't deserve that pain. But should I erase putting my mother in a home and letting her die from my memory? (I know, I know... it wasn't my fault... *chuckle*)

Do we deserve a reprieve from the suffering we brought onto ourselves (or worse) onto other people? What if I cheated on my lover... should I be able to erase my painful memories of the pain I caused him?

I'm not talking about psychotrpoic drugs here. I believe everyone has the right to healthcare... we were talking about ethics in a nursing class yesterday, about how a drunken trucker killed a family in a car accident on a notorious stretch of road... they sent him to an area hospital. Well, turns out one of the people he killed was a nurse at thishospital, and her co-workers had to care for him. His carelessness caused his injuries, and not to mention, took several lives. But he was entitled to the healthcare.

I guess that really has nothing to do with having a psychological condition, I just happenned to think of it. But managing emotional pain and wiping the slate clean in a hypothetical sense are two different things, and two different moralities are involved.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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9 posted 03-24-2006 02:12 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Aw hush...you know how much I admire you. I truly do. And God/dess grant me the serenity to not apologize, as I am apparently gonna get a paddling for every sorry, "sorry" I express.

psychotropics...I have been adamently anti brain chemical complicity, but I have to take that back. It's just that I found not a single one that works for me. I can't even take Paxil--and that is just me folks--I had to tell the doc that if he prescribed antidepressants, then he needs to make sure my disaster medicaid also covers "spackling" for the walls--cause sure as I'm typing this I'll be on that stuff for two days and then punch holes in the drywall.

I'm not even sure what I was trying to say, except that we are individuals, with very complex individualistic chemical compounds, reactions, and interactions going on inside of us.

And if someone wants to know if I am crazy, I have to respond, define with me "normal", normal for ME--and then we go forward from there.

I just had a bad day. whew.

yeah...and I'm not saying it's tougher for me, I'm just saying it was tough.

and ignorance, yes, was bliss.

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


10 posted 03-24-2006 02:45 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Karen...? Not sure why you want to apologize? I know you're not allowed , but, uh, what do you ahve to even think about being sorry for?

I was re-reading the original question:

'What is the obligation to be unhappy?'

Well... yeah... hence the drugs! The obligation is.... my endless tendency to ruminate? The belief that I don't deserve to be happy?

And from an egoist standpoint, would miring myself in misery actually fulfill my deepest beliefs... or, are those beliefs a symptom? Should the symptom be treated, or fulfilled?

Or should we all just not worry, be happy, and go on our merry way?

I'm so confused. Are we supposed to be talking about dysoptian mind erasure, or psychotropic drugs?

Or are we talking about whether they are the same thing or not?

*shakes head*
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
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11 posted 03-24-2006 02:50 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"And from an egoist standpoint, would miring myself in misery actually fulfill my deepest beliefs"

There's a term for that. It's called "learned depression." Write me. I'll dig out the specs of the testing, whereupon dogs were given shock treatments in the seventies--one group was shocked no matter what--the other group learned the "secret way out". The dogs with no recourse became depressed and died.

Learned depression. No smilie here.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


12 posted 03-24-2006 03:04 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I think I'm allowed to apologize this time, sans paddle for not answering this question:

Q.  "Are we supposed to be talking about dysoptian mind erasure, or psychotropic drugs?"

A.  "I think we are questioning the difference."

Now. A smilie.
Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
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13 posted 03-26-2006 12:06 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

There's also a big difference between genuine forgetfulness, and repression.  Even most psychologists tell you that repressing memories is unhealthy.  And remember this (don't forget it) ... if you remember forgetting, then you're only forgetting that you remember.  I was trying to be funny there, but if you analyze it, it's really true.  


Stephen.    
Sunshine
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14 posted 03-26-2006 08:18 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

So the real question is,  
quote:
At some point is not choosing ignorance itself
wisdom?
I would think that if I had a choice not to be ignorant, then I would certainly be a "know all" type of person. But just how much can we all know at any given time?  
quote:
Ignorance: n: The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed; the lack of knowledge or education.
So, truly, I don't know that other than by choice, were I to fully educate myself 24/7, that I'm not going to be ignorant of something, sometime, of something that someone else has learned, one way or another.

And it just struck me how cruel the word "ignorance", or to be called ignorant, truly is.

No wonder Sir Thomas Gray required some bliss.

[This message has been edited by Sunshine (03-26-2006 08:59 AM).]

Local Rebel
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15 posted 03-26-2006 10:38 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Nothing is permanent.

Nothing is perfect.

Nothing is finished.
Sunshine
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16 posted 03-26-2006 11:35 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Nothing would sum it up, Reb!

Local Rebel
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17 posted 03-26-2006 01:34 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I'm actually speaking to Huan in a language he knows... about Wabi Sabi Kari.

Which is about being in the moment and the beauty and melancholy in the transient.  We can either be so consumed with the past or so apprehensive about the future that we lose the impermanence of the now and miss the cherry blossoms.  

To forget doesn't bring enlightenment.
Sunshine
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18 posted 03-26-2006 03:40 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine



wabi-sabi [kari]
quote:
..."but the aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, or incomplete..."

That fits, too.

Ok, so I digressed.  But I keep learning.

[This message has been edited by Sunshine (03-26-2006 05:02 PM).]

Knubian
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19 posted 03-26-2006 07:28 PM       View Profile for Knubian   Email Knubian   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Knubian's Home Page   View IP for Knubian

The cheating spouse I love – I can’t leave
The dog I love that bites me whenever I try the feed it – I can’t bring myself to shoot it
The hardheaded children – which I keep shelling out money for
The un-appreciative boss – because I’m getting too old to seriously look for another job
The best of the worst, politician’s – which I vote in office term after term

Just how bliss is ignorance, if we just go along with the program and believe everything we hear, just to get along, and be called good citizen, animal lover, father, faithful employee, and registered voter?  Boy!  What a crock of monkeys in a barrel… and me without any pills.

They say there’s a very thin line between genius and insanity.  But what if we institute the same line-analogy between bliss of ignorance and not willing to be used, conned? Could you say that on the other side of the bliss of ignorance is mean-spirited-ness, and I beat my wife; I killed my dog; I abandon my children; I quit my job; And I don’t vote. -
And oh yea, I’m on pills now? (No disrespect intended)

How many of us play dumb to get what we want out of life sometimes; to get our professor to like us; for a cop not to take us to jail for speeding; to get the girl we love, and her parents to like us?

Ignorance can be very blissful, lonely and then also to show a tolerance of others.  It could be a hidden strength or dumbness.  It could be the strong humbling ones-self, or a case of out-right enabling bad behavior in others.  Whatever it is, we thrive for it in our daily lives whether were looking for the blissful, or looking to be bliss-ed.  

Regards,
Knubian

Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


20 posted 03-29-2006 05:16 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Sir Thomas Gray used ignorance in the sense of being
unaware and it is in that sense I posed the question.
From a purely selfish view, having the memory
of something or someone that is a source of sadness
erased by hypnotism, shock therapy, (or whatever
science fiction writers dream up ), so long as it
doesn’t involve conscious and direct physical
harm to another,  doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.
People around you may complain about it being
cowardly or failing some heroic or social ideal
that sees a redemptive value in sadness, ( like
a constant but not life threatening physical pain
which you can eliminate with an operation or medication),
yet if the goal is happiness or at least a pleasant life
re-acquiring that “bliss”  in fact seems a good.
  

serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


21 posted 03-29-2006 05:30 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

thank you



from one who knows and wishes she didn't
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