Transcendental Ignorance

There is a lot to know. There is more to know about life and the universe than any one person could ever hope to master. This seems so obvious as to not need pointing out. However, from time to time, we all succumb to the siren song of the absurd. That misfortunate melody tells us we know more than we really do.

It is our responsibility to keep ourselves in check when it comes to the knowledge we possess or lack. It is important for us to know what we know and know what we do not know. Too many of us, and I have been there, become enamored with our own sense of knowing. At times we bask in self-sanctioned omniscience only to be brought down, sooner or later, by the reality of our infinite ignorance.

At some point in time we have all suffered a moment of transcendental ignorance. This is when we go spouting off about something we know little about. Though our knowledge on the matter at hand is scanty, we offer those around us the pearls of our purported yet unsupported knowledge. Some of us have more of these moments than others.

Mental acuity, ability and agility are ultimately predicated on humility. For intellectual growth, we need to be humble enough to realize we do not know everything. We must be eternal students seeking knowledge, rather than becoming all-knowing know-nothings.

Being humble about what little knowledge we have aggregated during our tenure on earth is good mental hygiene. Getting all narcissistic about the few facts we might have rattling around in our noggins is nothing less than a kettle of crazy.

Everyone can be forgiven for having a few full-throated moments of high volume ignorance. They are like the brain’s bad hair days. We go blowing hot air and we want to treat those around us to the winds of our vacuous, mental fury. On those occasions, however, it would be better if we pulled our hats down over our mouths.

Image courtesy of [bplanet] /

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Like today’s column? Check back frequently.