The Theory of Not-Knowing Everything
July 19, 2019 · 8 min read •
The author is a Law Student at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
Isn’t knowledge the best power to posses:
Okay, let’s start by asking yourself, wouldn’t it be great if we could know everything?. If we could be aware of the future, we won’t do the things that we regret all our lives. If we could read the mind of others, we would be conscious of what they expect from us and what makes them contented. Isn’t knowledge the best power to posses. What an astounding life an omniscient would have.
A story from my childhood:
But is it all that worthy?. Is it all happy-happy in practical life as it sounds in theories?. There’s a story that I heard when I was a kid, about a man, who one day got the power to read the minds of others. He was so happy to be powerful at once. But in the office he gets to know that his colleagues consider him as dumb and his boss thinks of him as an unworthy person. He got restless of all this information and left the office premises, to go home in hope that his family would believe him to be nice. Out of his surprise, he heard his wife thinking how unhappy she is to marry such a lazy person and his children were of the view that their father wasn’t good enough to provide them with what they want.
He left the house:
He couldn’t bear all of this anymore and left the house late in the night. Walking through the empty streets of the city, he met with a mugger pointing a gun at him, demanding to get the money the man behold. The man by his mind reading powers got to know that there were no bullets in the gun, so he confidently refused to fulfill the demands of the robber. The mugger asked him again and again trying to scare him by saying that he would shoot him. When nothing worked out, the mugger get angry and in the mess pulled the trigger, and BAM!! The bullet went right into the chest of the man, and he died on spot.
Now many of you would try to figure out how come there was a bullet. The background of the story is that, the mugger belonged to a mugging group and the boss of that group without the knowledge of the muggers puts a single bullet in the gun for any emergency. So the mugger himself was unaware of the presence of the bullet in the gun and thus the man reading the mind of the mugger became a victim of the illusion that no bullets are in the gun.
Does knowing everything is good:
So does this power in anyway was good for him?. Had he had no power to read minds he would have given the money and be alive. Moreover, he wouldn’t even go out at night getting distressed about others opinions of him. And would have been satisfied with his family and job.
Knowing everything is never good for anyone. As said “a little knowledge is dangerous” but according to me “ full knowledge is even more harmful”. And as wisely said by Plato “ I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is I know nothing”.
Jon Snow from Game of Thrones:
Let’s take the example of Jon Snow, for all the Game of Thrones fans. Isn’t the man who “knows nothing” is loved by everyone, is the hero for everyone. What if everyone had the knowledge of him being the Aegon Targaeryn in the beginning, he would have been killed right on his birth. And even in the end him getting to know about his true identity didn’t quite worked out well. Not even for him, he killed his queen, our Danaerys, and went to serve his life at the wall, making himself the villain for most of us, who loves Mother of Dragons.
A woman’s story:
Another story that I remember is a sci-fi short film that I watched a while ago. It portray the life of a woman who starts getting calls from her future self, telling her every bad thing that happens whenever she’s about to do anything. The first call she got was when she was about to go to perform her singing skills on stage telling her that her performance would be a disaster. She got nervous and didn’t went up and lost her only chance to fulfill her life long dream.
After that when she was leaving for a weekend holiday with her boyfriend for which she was so much excited, she got a call, asking her to break up with him as he would leave her and would marry someone else, and she shouldn’t invest her emotions in that relationship. She did the same in order to save her future self.
What happened then:
After that she would get calls everyday, before starting anything new, she drifted apart from her friends because every time they ask her to go out with them, she refuse because the future self would tell her every bad thing that would happen to her if she went out. Like the one time she wanted to go out, the call came and tell her that she would slip and fall down in front of everyone Making herself look like a fool, and her friends would laugh at her all her life and she will always regret it. She stopped getting out of the house, meeting anyone and letting anyone come in her life because the future self would tell her that how this person is only meant for a short period of time and wouldn’t be with her longer.
She eventually over the time became depressed and lonely and finally committed suicide. What a beautiful and happy life she’d have if she never have gotten any calls. The caller would tell her all the bad things but never told her all the good moments she would spent. She would have slipped and her friends would have laughed but at least she would have those friends to share a laugh with. She would have enjoyed the weekend holiday. And would have enjoyed the company of people and cherished all the moments. Good never comes without experiencing bad. You cannot just skip the down moments of your life without actually skipping the best ones. They comes in a package, either all or nothing.
Knowing everything will limit our experiences:
How does it feels now to think of having the knowledge of everything. God has planned out everything in a perfect way, us not knowing everything is a blessing in order to love peacefully and satisfactorily.
Knowing everything will not only limit our experiences but would take out all the fun of doing everything. Imagine having the knowledge of every book and every movie, what would be the fun of watching or reading them then?. Not- Knowing is a great thing. Power lies within knowing what you want to do rather than knowing what would happen. And even sometimes not having anything figured out is okay, for it would lead us to experimenting and experiencing. So sit back, and relax, because you have the power to take risk and experience and the blessing of being unaware of the future and not knowing everything.
image courtesy: Pixabay