We’re entering the land of ignorance.
A place where questions coat the surface.
A place where knowledge foundations break.
A place where new seeds of understanding flourish.
encounters with the unknown
they’re elusive, they’re foreign, they’re intriguing, they’re LIFE
I stumbled upon the land of ignorance in the Left Hand of Darkness. In this novel Ursula K. Le Guin conducts a grand thought experiment into an unknown reality. This ‘unknown’ reality arose when one change was made to our ‘known’ reality. She chose to disrupt everything we know about gender by making gender unfixed.
The challenge is to go into the land of ignorance, an encounter with the unknown, and to map the physical changes of this gender experiment in our current reality.
What would it mean to live in a society where gender is unfixed? What would it look like? How would it physically, psychologically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, politically, economically, etc. manifest in our societal systems?
The thought trails we could wander down will send us deeper and deeper into the land of ignorance. Most don’t go in this direction, assuming it is like a dry desert land where the fruit of knowledge fails to reap a harvest. However, those who dare to go into this unknown desert terrain will find a new form of nourishment to harvest. This fruit is new knowledge and understanding, a new diet of normal, where the unknown becomes known and darkness becomes light.
For those who dare to dig deep and question, to search wide and enter the land of ignorance – the dry deserts will be revealed as fluid and dynamic constructs.
a domain of the unknown
The land of ignorance is a place you willingly encounter. You enter knowing you don’t know it all – the domain of the ‘known unknown’. You walk on turf that isn’t yours and you carry no answers on your back. When you trek here, you can’t expect to win a debate. The reality is that in the land of ignorance, you are innocent, you are a victim, you need to admit defeat, and surrender up all assumptions, all current understanding and knowledge that you hold onto. You can’t be ‘right’ here – if anything, you want to be ‘wrong’, so then you can find a new way to get to what is ‘right’.
This unknown domain is a place of ‘darkness’ when we are aware of our own blindness.
This is a humble domain: for you know that you do not in-fact know everything.
You see, if we return to the context scenario, the reality is that we cannot truly fathom a society where the significance of gender is lost. Why? Because we have only ever experienced a society where gender is structured and segregated. What this means, is that we are carrying a baggage of bias, packaged with preconceived ideas and perspectives of the world that means we can never really embrace a new imagining, a new encounter with the unknown. We can try to list ideas of how people might behave, dress, interact and live in this genderless society, but these ideas will be based on our own boxed-up experiences.
So how can we think outside the box? IS there even a box?
How might we approach the unknowns of life?
Maybe your mind is buzzing with questions, maybe not. Either way, we can see there are assumptions we need to leave behind. There are places where we might need to change and thoughts that might need to be reframed if we are to truly embrace and encounter the unknown.
Next week we’ll look at the ‘Power Of The Lightbulb’ – exploring where the revelation, the new, the light, the clarity can be found… IF it can be found. In the meantime, begin to dig deep into the desert land of ignorance – ask the hard questions, and search to saturate your soul-quenching thirst.
Praying you will have an insatiable thirst for the unknown wonders of this world, Xx