America's Suicidal Ignorance




Author
Capitalism Destroys the Mind   Truth Conquers Ignorance Ignorance   Creating Insanity
Critical Consciousness   Capitalists Are Murdering Us   The Cognoscenti Insane Rulers


"Ignorance is the worst form of disease."

Plato, Timeaus


    All of us grow up suffering from externally and self-imposed ignorance in many areas of our lives. One of our lifelong tasks is to overcome our ignorance and achieve a level of rational intelligence that will allow us to understand our world and ourselves. When I examine my own ignorance throughout my life, recognizing the elements of idiocy I've been able to overcome and those with which I'm still struggling, I wonder sometimes how I've been able to survive.
        Unfortunately, most Americans have now allowed their minds to become so diseased with suicidal ignorance that they've become insane--to the point that they're allowing capitalist rulers to destroy them. Persons suffering from the mental and physical disease of insane ignorance are incapable of realizing or acknowledging that they're ignorant or that ignorance is a disease. They delusively believe themselves to be highly intelligent and believe that the idea of ignorance being a disease is a bunch of philosophical clap-trap.

        This essay addresses those few Americans who still possess an effective quotient of intelligence and desire assistance in avoiding cultural insanity through:
       • Fully understanding the nature of cultural ignorance that
          leads to insanity
       • Using diagnostic inventories to determine to what
          extent cultural ignorance has affected them
       • Participating in exercises to overcome ignorance and
          avoid cultural insanity


"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

America's Insane Ignorance


   The particular kind of insane ignorance Americans are suffering from involves:

• Not seeing things as they really are
• Not being aware that they're insane
• Allowing young people to be
    brainwashed by violence and ignorance and
   medicated with violence-producing
   psychiatric drugs
• Being unaware they're being murdered
• Being infected by their insane rulers
• Suffering from possession and hysteria
• Supporting American foreign policy
• Mindlessly embracing double ignorance
• Supporting American economic policy
• Allowing themselves to be uninformed
• Allowing capitalists to scam them
• Being driven psychotic
Lying to themselves
• Not realizing the necessity of intelligence
Believing the lies that they're awakened


"But by far the worst feature of this 'double ignorance' is that, on the one hand, it stands in the way of its own cure, and on the other, if unchecked, it is constantly aggravating itself. For if we look at things with a distorted view, these things will present themselves to us in a distorted manner too; and thus, instead of reaping from our experiences new impressions which might help us in restoring a healthy spirit within ourselves, we shall only add nourishment to the ulcer within our mind. And on the other side, if we should try to cure our ignorance, we see that for so doing it is required that we look away from ourselves and from our habitual ways of thinking, which seems to us tantamount to a flat repudiation of our very selves and consequently impossible."

Hermann Gauss, Plato's Conception of Philosophy, 1974


Diagnosing Ignorance


  1. Self-Awareness Inventory

  2. Knowledge Inventory


". . . Every human being, no matter how 'ignorant' or submerged in the 'culture of silence' he may be, is capable of looking critically at his world in a dialogical encounter with others. Provided with the proper tools for such encounter, he can gradually perceive his personal and social reality as well as the contradictions in it, become conscious of his own perception of that reality, and deal critically with it."

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed


Exercises For Overcoming Ignorance


    In the exercises below, you are encouraged to contemplate and reflect on both the words and images displayed.


Exercise 1


"In history the way of annihilation is invariably prepared by inward degeneration. . .

Only then can a shock from outside put an end to the whole."

Jakob Burckhardt, Force and Freedom


"Civilizations die from suicide not by murder."

Arnold Toynbee


Exercise 2


Exercise 3

    It may seem that barbarism is currently winning in its attempts to destroy civilization, so we must utilize a wider perspective in understanding how the principles of civilized behavior are ultimately triumphant. It is absolutely essential that we re-examine the principles of civilization as bequeathed by Plato and other teachers within the Perennial Tradition to discern the veiled pattern in world history. Over many centuries mankind has seen varied types of imperialism attempt to seize world dominance, only to result in their own self-destruction. Civilization is the maintenance of social order through persuasion, not force. The ideals of civilization are the heritage of both the East and the West.

    The Higher Realm has created the physical universe and has overseen the evolution of humankind. Even the worst destruction of civilizations cannot obliterate the wisdom which humankind has realized (understood and brought to manifestation) from the Higher Realm of eternal values and forms. There are always preservers and custodians of the hidden Perennial Wisdom. As humankind advances in terrestrial and spiritual understanding, realized savants make available "prescriptions" for personal transformation. Only those humans who prepare themselves through self-awareness and self-discipline are initiated into these Mysteries.

"It's easy to waken a sleeping man

"But the heedless are as good as dead."

Hakim Sanai, The Walled Garden of Truth, 1145 C.E.


Exercise 4



Exercise 5

Ozymandias

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Exercise 6


"A Culture is born in the moment when a great soul awakens out of the proto-spirituality of ever-childish humanity, and detaches itself, a form from the formless, a bounded and mortal thing from the boundless and enduring. It blooms on the soil of an exactly-definable landscape, to which plant-wise it remains bound. It dies when the soul has actualized the full sum of its possibilities in the shape of peoples, languages, dogmas, arts, states, sciences, and reverts into the proto-soul. But its living existence, that sequence of great epochs which define and display the stages of fulfillment, is an inner passionate struggle to maintain the Idea against the powers of Chaos without and the unconscious muttering deep-down within. It is not only the artist who struggles against the resistance of the material and the stifling of the idea within him. Every Culture stands in a deeply-symbolical, almost in a mystical, relation to the Extended, the space, in which and through which it strives to actualize itself.

Oswald Spengler, Decline of the West



Exercise 7


Exercise 8


    None of the contemporary "programmes" for improving humankind's lot are viable: Only the creation of cooperative communities will solve our current political-economic-social crises.


"To be deceived or uninformed in the soul about true being means that 'the lie itself' has taken possession of 'the highest part of himself' and steeped it into 'ignorance of the soul.'"

Plato, Gorgias (382a-b)