Manipulated Ignorance

They say “Ignorance is bliss”. If you have seen MIB, where agents work with extra terrerstrial life forms, at the end, when his memory is being wiped off, the senior agent says “I will be able to appreciate the beauty of the stars now” as he would be ignorant of aliens. Or, take “Matrix”, a movie where before revealing the truth that his mind is in a virtual reality while his body is in a heat producing farm, Neo is given a choice of “Being in happy ignorance” or “Entering the hard truth”. Actually there is a character in the same movie that wants to go back to this convoluted lie rather than suffer the bitter truth. Another movie “Truman Show” where an entire city is a set full of actors to keep one person ignorant of the fact and sell it as a reality show to the world. These are examples of alternate reality being setup on unsuspecting victims.

That brings us to today, where we are not victims anymore but architects of our own Matrix or Truman city. We carefully pick what we want to hear, see and perceive. We pick family, friends and associates that match our liking, we setup our home, car, office as we want them. But not everything is in our control, for that matter even the US president can’t control everything. So what do we do, we choose to ignore facts that contradict our views by setting up filters in our mind. Even when the naked truth is in front with eyes that bore into us, we manage to see through it and keep acting our part in this well orchestrated drama.

The funny thing is since everybody does this as a society, it becomes easier for a group play as we can collectively form a Matrix from which there is no escape. That not only makes us hypocrites of the first order, but also dangerous since for someone to escape from this well woven web is extremely difficult. Heck, it takes a lot of effort to know that the web exists in the first place. This has resulted in general, group indifference to news, people, occurrences and sufferings around us as our mind carefully chops it off. So we end up with no guilt and free of all moral bindings, to go on living our happy mundane life. We can get to the specifics but then, even when we read it, we would still be able to justify our case, giving an ‘innocent’ verdict to ourselves, better than even the lawyer who took the school plumber off the hook from the rape of a 7 year old.