By Ian

The statement that ignorance is bliss is a rather popular one.

Used derisively – often against Church members and Scientology practitioners, I might add – but is this statement itself actually true?

If one is using the ARC triangle, then according to the statement, this supposedly blissful person has a high affinity for life or at least a subject, and yet no reality on either life nor a subject (i.e. “the real world”).

Thus this implies an at least somewhat delusional person.

By the way, this statement is solely credited to Thomas Gray, a man who at a young age was surrounded by death (all 11 of his siblings died), mental illness and abuse.

Needless to say, this probably led to his retreat from the world as he became a relatively isolated bookworm and largely lived in an abstract world himself (i.e. the ivory towers of academia).

It also appears he had serious difficulty with social interactions as he lost his best friend over a squabble in which the friend wished to go to fashionable parties, while Gray wanted to look at historical objects. He also held his peers and professors in contempt, which may explain why these people played a prank on him later.

Unable to take a joke he moved to another college as a result. He also was one of the least productive poets, highly self-critical and lazy per his own admissions, and that which he did publish predominantly focused on death albeit with a humorous approach – that is to say, he was funny to those who find morbid gallows humor amusing.

Notably all his best works deal with death, and interestingly he feared fame and success – quite possibly protecting others from him as well as vice-versa as man is basically good. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gray)

To say that Gray was a very low-toned person (very likely residing around 1.3 (expressed) resentment), is to belabor the obvious, if one knows the characteristics of people on the emotional tone scale. But as this is not a hit piece on Gray taking place 250 years after his death, this information appears only to examine the source of the views of the originator of the statement “Ignorance is bliss” and also to examine how much truth this statement actually has.

After all, this is one of those sayings that “everybody knows” as if it were a fact.

Regardless of his life circumstances and outlook, just going by Gray’s statement alone, it clearly shows that he was (1) without bliss, and, by extension (2) claiming to know what “reality” actually was – after all, if one is aware of ignorance being blissful then they cannot be ignorant. This coming from a man who, despite having few friends and living in an abstract world, shared little reality with others (that is to say, he found little to no agreement).

That he enforced his view of reality onto others, using covertly hostile methods to drag others down with the statement “Ignorance is bliss”, is something totally predictable at this emotional band.

In other words, according to Gray, happy people are that way because they are ignorant and by extension are either delusional or stupid, as he even refers to his youth in this way. Of course, when one uses the ARC triangle again, this falls apart as it makes no sense.

For someone to have a blissful disposition (a high affinity) and yet be somehow ignorant, (that is, without much or any knowledge of the world or others, or at least lacks understanding of either), would mean that they must by definition be out of communication with others.

Aside from suggesting a huge level of cognitive dissonance, this also seems impossible as one would have to know that they are lying to themselves in order for this argument to hold up, but then of course they can no longer be ignorant nor blissful.

7 thoughts on “Ignorance is bliss

  1. The more basic idea on which this saying is based is the idea that if one truly knew what was going on (not ignorant) one would be far less than happy. Meaning, more or less, that the world is a big fat steaming pile of crap. Presumably, if you don’t look, you won’t realize that, and you can go on with your life and be happy with your summer vacations, house payments and dead-end job. It is, as Ian expresses, a decidedly pessimistic view of the universe.

    This is also the tail end of a service fac. This is a guy for whom other people had disdain, and who likewise disdained them. It is as if to say, “You poor sots, if only you were bright like me, you would be able to see what crap this world is. But alas, that alone is my burden. You should sympathize with me, as I bear this burden alone. You will never know the pain I feel.” Self right, others wrong, sympathy for self, the definition of a service facsimile.

    My answer to people like this is usually, “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Dude”.

    Whether the world is a big fat steaming pile of crap is a matter of emphasis and focus. There are a very great many bad things about this world. Reference any newspaper or magazine for examples. Our civilization is fading out of sight on the business end of a rocket. However, if you go down your street and get to know your neighbors, you find that most of them (for all their supposed ignorance) are decent people, wanting the best for themselves and others and willing to help. It is remarkable, person to person, how much the wishes and desires of people are alike. Even those who are very low toned share this trait. But they are stuck in an inversion, fighting Martians or alcoholism or painful circumstances they themselves created. We are fortunate in that no matter how bad the world at large is, we can take comfort in the wins we experience and read about here. And we’re certainly not the ignorant ones on this planet.

    The Tech we have gives us hope, no matter how bad the rest of it is.


  2. Thanks Paul.

    Actually this guest post is missing the following after the conclusion for some reason – Lana can this get posted?

    “If one then applies the KRC triangle, then this makes even less sense; without reality then there cannot be understanding, and without understanding there cannot be knowledge. Without knowledge then no control nor responsibility can be had, and thus one cannot have any power over their own life nor surroundings. Seems pretty impossible to be blissful in that situation also. But hey, who ever said that low toned covertly hostile speakers are renowned for their honesty?

    So no, ignorance is not bliss, rather it is the opposite. Fortunately, because this statement is false, so is its supposed counterpart – knowledge (of reality or truth) is misery. Anyone who tells you otherwise and knows what they are talking about is knowingly trying to reduce your reach for either knowledge or happiness (or both) and is giving you two false choices: (1) be happy but ignorant or (2) be knowledgeable but miserable. In any case, they are invalidating your state of awareness and happiness, and are also suppressing your desire for knowledge and joy for living. Fortunately, knowing that this statement is false, as well as its history, you can easily debunk it and bring them up tone and empower them.”

    • PID:

      Good point– people who push this line are trying to blunt your reach. That said, I’ll admit to having used “ignorance is bliss” myself, mostly in jest. But the point about blunting your reach is well-made. This is a very subtle form of suppression. Don’t take it to be anything else. The statement has some valid application in a humorous context, but otherwise, people should recognize that otherwise its use is a form of suppression. Now, obviously everyone who uses it is not suppressive. But the further down the Tone Scale one goes (regarding the speaker), the more the intent is evil, or at least not aimed at your best interests. And some people, regardless of tone level, are psychos and will casually deliver this type of content without the slightest concern for its ultimate effects. This is likely not the only example of this type of content they will deliver, a fact that allows you to gauge what kind of intent they really have.


  3. Delicious content and well written. This (and the KRC part) are just great. I love a Scientological analysis and interpretation of the world. We should do more of this. Really. It’s both very educational and entertaining.

  4. “By the way, this statement is solely credited to Thomas Gray, a man who at a young age was surrounded by death (all 11 of his siblings died), mental illness and abuse.”

    This seems to me to be a classic case of a massive secondary. The poor bugger lost 11 people in his family, and his best friend, that has got to hurt. I would say a bit of compassion is in order. For all we know, he meant the saying tongue in cheek, and some people after him, prone to false data, believed it. Maybe, maybe not, just sayin.

    “Ignorance is bliss” is obviously a wrong statement, you might as well say, “what I don’t confront wont hurt me” Probably with what we know now in the medical sciences and the mental/spiritual sciences as put forth by LRH, these siblings could have been saved, which again disproves the saying, because the data would have been known, and not been in ignorance.

    In an enlightened age, the medical conditions of his siblings would have been treated, an auditor would have gone in there and sorted out the spiritual traumas of these people and the saying “ignorance is bliss” would have never come about.

  5. @4a – I wrote: “But as this is not a hit piece on Gray taking place 250 years after his death, this information appears only to examine the source of the views of the originator of the statement “Ignorance is bliss” and also to examine how much truth this statement actually has.”

    I have no doubt that the loss of his siblings, friends and the abusive upbringing led to a major drop in tone and had a profound effect on Mr. Gray. The fact that he had both antisocial and unsocial tendencies from the outset seems to indicate the trouble was with him as much as his upbringing.

    That also said, he was a relatively unproductive person aside from a few scant poems – there are examples in history of people who endured far worse things and became successful, one example that springs to mind is Frederick Douglass (who lost his mom at a young age, knew nothing of his age and had no records, was in slavery for a large part of his life, and saw many beatings and witnessed other fellow slaves murdered among other things.. and became one of the greatest writers, orators, influencers of the law among other things). Another is Viktor Frankl. There are many more I’m sure.

    Compassion is important and I am not saying that one should not have compassion for other men – who knows what they are going through? – but that irrelevant to an analysis of the facts and the data, and clouds our judgment (see Data Series). Also I find most people use that as an excuse for why they haven’t achieved anything in life vs. doing something about it or plowing through.

    No, the context for Gray’s term was not an offhand joke it was referring wistfully to his youth in that he was “happier” when he was young and ignorant of the bad state of the world, unfettered by the thought of mortality and such, as evidenced in his other poems and interests. To me, from what I have read of his life and in his poems, though a talented writer no doubt, he also seemed pretty unhappy and also seemed to be a rather arrogant and unpleasant fellow who to some extent both feared and looked forward to death.

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