When they tell you knowledge is power, they leave out the part where it is insomnia too. They tell you to learn but do not tell you that the more you learn, the more you want to learn. That the more you keep learning the more you keep questioning. The more you question, the less you sleep; not just because you have questions lingering in your mind that you have a thirst to find answers to, but also because you are having debates with voices in your head. You toss and turn a for a few minutes – even hours if you are persistent – trying to shut them all out so you can catch some sleep, before you eventually just give in to the light, borderline darkness, that keeps you awake and you start trying to find conclusions, which lead you to more questions.
When you dig, that is where the mind-fuck begins. You expect to find clarity for what you think you know and answers to the questions you have: this you slowly realise is far from what you end up discovering. It is here that you find that even what you thought you knew, turns into a question of whether you know anything at all. Whithout prior consent, Game Of Thrones’ Jon Snow’s character merges into your being and you can hear the haunting voice of the wildling telling you “you know nothing”. She becomes a resident voice in your head – one of many – claiming space you did not initially allocate to her, but your drive to define yourself as more than a bastard child of the world has led you to her and you are now at a point of no return, so you accept her presence.
Then things get interesting. It stops being a mind-fuck and becomes astonishing when you find out how much lies we are fed and led to believe through our school systems. You find out that heroes are villains and villains are heroes. Those presented as the oppressed are the oppressors, and the causes they are actually fighting for have been manipulated. That YOU, have been manipulated, and you think of all those years you have grown up believing the bullshit. You begin to see the world differently yet wonder how this is even possible and you have that aha moment when you realise the history, the stories you knew, have always reflected good on where the power lies – where the power LIES, get it?
You begin to understand that this manipulation is the reason you find so many ignorant warriors online, in classrooms, at the bar, at the coffee shop… It is not them. Ok it kinda sorta is, but it is also the ‘education’ that they, unlike you, never questioned, or have not gotten round to doing so, yet. When they assume that what they know is the truth, and defend it blindly, you begin to look at them with more compassion, less judgement, because you realise you were all fucked by the same system. They are victims, not perpetrators. Because of this, you start treading on the understanding that even when you have the facts, being gentle may help wake another. When faced with aggression, you respond with understanding. You become the bigger person because you know that it does not help that we, as a society, have dichotomised ignorance. That ignorance is not necessarily a shame.
You reach a level of understanding that there is also a kind of humility that only comes with knowledge. You remember that at first, you too, thought you had the answers, but just like sway, “you ain’t got the answers”. You realise you are actually ignorant of many things, most of which the human life is too short a time-span for complete comprehension, and even what you know is most likely a question and not a conclusion. It is the kind of humility that allows you to defend your views, with the understanding that they are your truth and not necessarily the truth. This humility allows you to seek truth over being right. It allows you to listen. To assert only with merits, and accept when those merits are questioned based on other truths you were oblivious of. This kind of ignorance is not a shame. There is no shame in acknowledging you are wrong. You now understand that there is only nobility in that.
This humility also gives you more clarity in thought and understanding at heart. You acknowledge it took you a journey, to find this humility, and aggression will not help another find it. Thus, even at a point when the words you have in mind for a response are “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU SAYING BRUV?”, you see no harm in saying “I can see how you would think that, but have you read the arguments on…” or “fair enough, but did you know that…” You begin to use your knowledge and self-education as tool to empower others, instead of one to overlook and hold up aggressively against others. You reserve ‘WHAT THE FUCK’ for the system that has created this fukery to begin with – the disease, instead of the symptom.
P.s some of the things I have said here may seem paradoxical. That is more or less what I think knowledge is; a paradox.