One Who Knows Not – Poem

Knows not

One who knows not and knows that he knows not is a child – teach him.
One who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool – shun him.

These are a couple of versus from a poem I read during my school days. Here’s what these verses mean.

1. One who knows not and knows that he knows not is a child – teach him.

This verse talks of a mind that is open and curious. This mind is open to learning and is constantly looking for new information to shape its existing beliefs and ideas. Such a mind does not have any rigid beliefs. It views its beliefs as temporary learning and is always open to new knowledge. This does not mean that this mind is naïve and would take in any information that it receives. It just means that this mind is open to information which it will then interpret and take what seems logically correct based on its current understanding knowing at the same time that this belief might change in the future as more information/experience comes in.

In such a mind, the conscious and subconscious mind are not lost into each other. The conscious mind is aware of its subconscious beliefs. It doesn’t view beliefs as anything more than mere beliefs or temporary ideas which will keep changing as life progresses and new knowledge is acquired.

In other words, this is the mind of a conscious individual. So always endeavor to be a child – ever curious and always open to knowledge. Even when you arrive at conclusions and epiphanies, know that these might change in the future as new information comes your way. This is what enlightenment is – a conscious mind that is open to learning.

2. One who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool – shun him.

This verse talks of a closed mind with rigid beliefs and ideas. Such is a mind is not receptive to any new knowledge. Such a mind is lost unto itself. In other words, the conscious mind and the sub-conscious mind are merged together with very little separation. Therefore, such a person is controlled by his/her mind.

They take whatever beliefs that they are programmed with and take these beliefs to be the absolute truth. Once programmed, they like to stick to these beliefs and have no interest in counter narratives. This is because they give way too much value to their beliefs. They take their beliefs to be themselves instead of viewing them as temporary information. Hence, such people can easily be brainwashed using the media and other sources. All it takes is feeding them with repetitive information that confirms to their old set of beliefs.

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