There’s a famous scene in the matrix where one of the characters is about to betray his colleagues. In return for his betrayal, all he wants is to be returned to a state of ignorance, where he can continue to live believing that the charade he is living, inside of a computer generated program, is in fact real life. He sums up his request with the saying “Ignorance is bliss”.
So, what of it? We are all into various methods of escapism; films, booze, social media, image; these are just a few of the more popular ones. No harm there, and believe me when I say that I am not on some sort of a quest to define reality. BUT, I must admit, that I feel the beginnings of a quest stirring inside my mind. I think that the catalyst for me has been, and still is, the number of populist arguments and discussions that are generating lives of their own. Subjects such as atheism, gay marriage, climate change, evolution and floating refugees make up but a few topics that gravitate towards the centre of water cooler discussions.
For me, the internal quest goes something like this. I am saddened by people with strong opinions who seem to close themselves down to any possibility at all that there may be greater truth beyond their current enlightenment. For example; this is especially troubling when you hear a statement like (and I quote) “bloody Catholic priests; all they’ve done is bugger kids & break peoples trust”. There is an obvious problem here. There is partial truth here. SOME priests have done exactly what this protagonist proclaims; in my personal experience I would say that this figure is less than 1% of priests I have ever met or worked with. The other 99% are mostly humble self sacrificing individuals who have given their lives over to serve their communities. The crux of the problem with this statement is that someone has used a grain of truth to consolidate a world view, that is now closed to the full story.
(Before I go any further, let me just say that I am in no way setting myself up as an apologist for the sins of the church; lock up the guilty ones I say, starting with those in power whose lack of appropriate response gave tacit approval to such heinous crimes)
So, here’s to being open to discussion, to respect even in the face of vastly differing world views, to the awakening from ignorance. Lets use these weapons to fight against a culture that seems all too willing to use random unchecked facts to propagate positions of hatred, racism, misogyny and so forth