Notes on Conclusive Ignorance

The quality I call "conclusive ignorance" has three critical diagnostic traits.

Its most evident trait is a sense of persistency, immutability about its presence. Mentally it gives one a sense that "this is how it is." If the experience associated with the conclusive ignorance is an unwanted one, such as a chronic phobic reaction to people generally, this translates into "It is always that way and I don't know what to do about it" as a sensation regarding the condition.

Persistency also is experienced as an instantaneous awareness of the condition when one thinks about a subject (such as going out, cats, or anything else associated with the persistent feeling). It is associated, for example, with the instantaneous association of "this is me" if the conclusive ignorance i connected with a certain identity. Often, as noted in NLP, the persistent trait is associated with a certain image or "thoughtpicture" connected with the general package of experience -- a "picture of one's personality". The "it always pops up when..." or recurring nature of a certain kind of thought or feeling is a first line symptom of conclusive ignorance.

Conclusive ignorance is called that because it is an elected condition of not knowing or being aware. And it is reached as the conclusion of something, in the fullest sense. Mentally, the second diagnostic trait of "conclusive ignorance" is the presence of "conclusions" about condition X, such as "that's the way life is, you get tremors if you are cold" or "failing always causes tears" or "of course I know what enthusiasm feels like -- it makes your ears burn". Other examples of conclusions are "it's always that way for me, I guess it's just the way I am", or "it is part of my personality to ..." or "I'm the kind of person who...".

One uses these conclusions as a kind of ward to stave off the confusion or force behind the experience one is ignoring. For example, a traumatic experience may include a great feeling of reeling confusion, as when a child experiences being belted across the face by an adult or slugged in the solar plexus by a sibling.

The creation of that experience, being highly resisted, could cause the individual to have forever after a sense of a knotted stomach whenever presented with a challenge; if you asked the person, they would say two things right off the bat about it. One would be that it was "how they are" or "its always that way". Some conclusion about it that acts to forego further investigation.

The second would be that they "don't know why" or "who knows?" or "isn't that mysterious?" (or "weird" or "funny" or "bizarre"). In short the two characteristics usually attached to some persistent condition are "conclusive" attitudes about it and "ignorance" of its origins or mechanics.

Conclusive ignorance is simply a kind of creation like any other. It is brought to bear in the presence of beliefs such as "this is too much" or "I am unconscious" or "I must get out of this but I can't" or "this is intolerable".

Any circumstance where a heavy "resist" or "withdrawfrom" creation is simultaneously being countered with a heavy "reach for" or assertion or insistence or creation of the same experience can and usually will bring about "conclusive ignorance" of some sort.

Conclusive ignorance hhas a particular quality, a compound of unknowing and inevitability. Its opposite is a quality of interest, discovery, cheer or excitement. In a sense its opposite is a sense of "loving what is happening" in one degree or another. Limiting what one can see is the common denominator of all conclusive ignorance; it is an act of will occasioned by the desire to avoid what one has already subscribed to or brought into being.

The best resolution to conclusive ignorance is to (a) relieve the individual of the conclusions and (b) enable them to dispel the ignorance. This is easily done by releasing any fixed conclusions about a condition that seems persistent, and any beliefs that one doesn't know, or persistent beliefs such as "when will it ever end?", which is just another conclusion that it will never end as far as one can see.

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