Donald Rumsfeld, for all of his many faults, had this gem to say before he left his position as Secretary of Defense:
Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
I like to call that latter state “True Ignorance.” I suspect there is a real word or phrase to describe it, but my cursory search for one yielded nothing. Perhaps a reader could supply it for me.
I call it “True Ignorance” because there is no easy method of resolving the issue. When I know there is a gap in my knowledge, then I stand some chance of fixing it- perhaps even a good one. Most importantly, I can actively work to overcome that bit of ignorance. But when I have no inkling that there is some gap in my knowledge, then I cannot take active measures to fix it. It lies there, dormant, until happenstance (should it arise) gives me an opportunity to fix it.
This was the case for me in a lot of matters in my life, but most especially my faith. I had huge gaps in my knowledge of spiritual matters, and hadn’t a clue that the gaps existed. So for years I did nothing to overcome this knowledge deficit, unaware even that the deficit existed.
Some instances of “True Ignorance” can’t be avoided. But my ignorance of matters of the Faith was not one of them. Those who came before me were in a position to inform me of how much more there was to my faith than the miserly catechism I received. But they didn’t. They left me in a state of abject ignorance, which I have only recently been working to correct.
Part of the reason I have been writing my “Tradition Thursday” series of posts was to cover some of that history, tradition and teaching that I never knew of when I was younger. While the name was a bit of a misnomer, the overall goal was to share with my readers some of what I had discovered for myself. Perhaps I can help others in the same way I was helped myself- lifting the veil of ignorance.
All of which is a convoluted way of saying that I am going to keep writing posts like I have. I may change the name or format, but I intend to keep them up in one form or another. I may also move it to another day, but I intend, for the near future at least, to continue doing what I have been. Just don’t be surprised if it looks a little different in the future.
[Side note: I may be out of town this weekend, so weekend posting may not take place.]