Unknown Unknowns

Unknown Unknowns. Those mystical and mysterious ideas or things that we do not even know and cannot even imagine to be able to know that we do not know. The realm of the un-conscious of the un-i-verse. The little blind spots in our “world-view” of “our” universe. How do you start to find answers to questions you do not have an idea can be phrased? You do not even know that you don’t know such questions can exist. Yes that last sentence was not a typo. It was an intended assertion of a double negation of the point; meaning you do not know that “you do not know the questions exist”. So does it matter. How do we know that such things can exist that we cannot even know that we do not know exist? Does it even matter? Is it even real? Is it all just a play on words? What constitutes this great expanse of missing knowledge that is so beyond our comprehension that we cannot begin to be aware of our own unawareness of it?

Is it real? Well sure. Let’s look at it this way. There are things we know and there are things we dont know. Like we know that atoms have electrons revolving inside them but we do not know how much an electron weighs (unless you are a physicist that is; most normal people would not be bothered by this). The point is that we know that the electron has a weight, but we do not know what it is. In other words, we know that we do not know this. And we know that if we search for this information, we can find it (on some site or whitepaper or someone’s experimental report). How about life on other planets? We know we do not know this. Can we be sure that we cannot find it? Well this might be a case of a known unknown where the answer may also be not available.

Now let’s take this one step further. Since we know that there is a question that we have asked, for which we know that we may not find an answer (let’s assume it is so), we are aware of this. The question is what makes us aware of itself. But how did we know to ask the question? There is obviously some shred of evidence or hoax or imagination or myth that has put the question’s essence to the task in our mind. Now what if let’s say take this evidence/hoax/imagination/myth away from a person’s brain. What happens then? He will never be able to ask the question itself as it will never exist for him. He cannot question something that he is not aware of. To him this is an unknown unknown.

Now take such a person and provide him with the awareness of the premise for the question. There is then a possibility that he can start to form the question. If not for the awareness, there is a certainty that he will not spawn the question or even move in its direction. Why should he ask a question for which he will not find an answer?

Maybe in trying to look for an answer, he will try to make the question more clear, more elaborate, more detailed. Maybe he will try to fill in gaps, in the question, not the answer. Maybe this will lead him to more ideas, which may lead him to more awareness. In so far as the journey continues, he will only become more aware of that which he does not know/understand. But this is still a transcendence of his previous state of universal oblivion. The quest to create more questions is what fuels the long arduous voyage through the ocean of wisdom.

Wisdom, not knowledge is what you get from awareness. Knowledge is knowing, and knowing that you know. Wisdom is knowing that there are things that you dont know. As such wisdom is therefore far more encompassing than knowledge. Knowledge by its definition is limiting and bound by a barrier to the universe that we do not know. The universe however is like an open savannah, danger and beauty lurks there that you are aware you don’t know about. Wisdom however will be your companion through the long walk and support you when you falter. It is the walking stick, while knowledge is the backpack.

The backpack, you may feel, contains what you need to survive. But it also weighs you down and slows your progress. The more you add to knowledge, the more you need to carry. The more you add to the bag of knowledge tricks, the longer it takes for you to pull something out of its depths.

On the other hand, the stronger your wisdom becomes, the more support it will provide. And whatever its state, wisdom is always at hand when you need it. It is there to support when you need help taking the next step. It is there to protect when unknown dangers attack you. It is a great simplification of needs and exemplifies the connection with the universe.

Wisdom is the connection to the universe that the universe provides naturally (nature + ally).

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