Monthly Archives: June 2012

Curable Ignorance

Ignorance is curable, stupidity isn’t.

Stupidity is thinking we personally know the whole truth, nothing but the truth, thus making us equal to God.

I remember reading a book by Henri Nouwen almost  half of a century ago. It was Reaching Out. Nouwen writes about  the Three Movements of the Spiritual Life: Journey Inward, Journey Outword, and Journey Together. The first part resonated joyfully for me, the second part I felt tentative about, but open to it’s possible truth, the third part threatened some of my most cherished beliefs and I rejected it immediately. Over the years I reread the book. The second time, I could joyously affirm the truths of both part one and part two. The third part still made me uneasy and didn’t find a home in my picture of reality. But since I had grown in my understanding of the other parts, I put it into my “possible” file.   Eventually, I reread it and found that I had stretched my view of the world enough to encompass those truths.

Stupidity is when we don’t admit that the truths that make up our view of the world will always need stretching.

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