The Ignorant Who Think They Know

by Eric Chaet

There’s no shame in being ignorant—
we’re all born so.
We must work thru & out of the cocoon, tho.

It seems to me that
the ignorant who think they know are lost souls
& the perpetrators or tools of perpetrators of
not only the pervasive, tragic misallocation
of everything people have so far become aware of
but of every evil enterprise, & the consequences.

Comprehending a spoken language, then speaking it
& reading & writing, & other languages—
arithmetic, then algebra, calculus
& combinations of elements—
waves & particles—
then the realization that light, & every thing
is neither only frequency & length of wave
nor particular—

then the temptation to believe we know
that it’s only a statistical probability
that any thing is really here or there—

precisely quantifying uncertainty
between singularities past & future
how clever we believe we’ve been—

unwilling to face
that our instruments of understanding
are so far insufficient
to comprehend what we’re born into—
unwilling to know that we don’t know.

So we stop to defend the staging area
from which we must move out again—
& even pose as paragons of unsentimental genius—

success stories avalanching on the heads
of those whose suffering may be fatal any moment—

the stupidities & injustices telling us
that our work is not just to be rich or acclaimed
a little while—
& that its completion is light-years beyond
what we’ve learned & tried so far.

///

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