Travel the Distance: From Ignorance to Truth

Published: 06th October 2014 06:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th October 2014 06:07 AM   |  A+A-


This essay is not an attempt to judge people. It is for self observation and self improvement.

There are six types of people

Type 1:   Ignorant and oblivious to their ignorance.

Type 2:   Ignorant who know that they are ignorant but do nothing about it.

Type 3:   Ignorant who know that they are ignorant and consciously work towards dispelling the ignorance.

Type 4:   Ignorant who think they are wise.

Type 5:   Wise who know they are wise and work consciously towards helping others.

Type 6:   The wise.

How would you find which one are you? Or which type describes you the best? Here are some of the traits or peculiarities of each which may help you to identify the type.

Type 1: If you have read this article so far, you are of course not Type 1! A Type 1 would not make take as much effort to know about himself or others. He will not pursue to read even this far an article of this kind. Type 1 people are indifferent towards situations, ideas, etc. There is little possibility for them to analyze misery or pleasure. They are minimally or zero motivated to seek pleasure or evade pain. They are lethargic, careless, unfocused.

Type 2: This type is ignorant, knows it is ignorant but does nothing about it.  Type 2 people are people who easily get influenced. They constitute a large majority. They are people who either appreciate or are jealous of other people’s skills, virtues, high ranks, high standards but they have no inclination and courage to put effort, undergo hardship or self sacrifice to acquire the same skills or virtues etc. In fact they fear hardship. For instance, Type 2 people will be fascinated by an idea-say a friend’s unique lifestyle of not having a television set at all in the house, but he/she will lack courage to adopt the same and will soon forget and neglect the inspiring idea. Back in every day living, their life is the same old chore. Their inspirations are only momentary. Jealousy, envy, inferiority and superficiality are their peculiar attributes.

Type 3 : This type is ignorant and knows it is ignorant and consciously works towards dispelling ignorance. This type also has a considerable degree of motivation which is relatively more lasting than that of type 2. Effort or strife is their central characteristic. Type 3 people try to implement inspiring ideas. They meet failure or success. To be classified as type 3 one must not consider only a single idea which one has implemented but rather multiple ideas must be considered.

For instance, it is not sufficient criteria to be classified as type 3 merely if one tried following a diet plan and achieved a certain degree of success. Type 3 sees his/her limitations in various aspects of life (social, psychological, spiritual etc) and strives for self improvement. A mix of hard working, questioning, accepting and confusion are some of their traits.

Type 4: Ignorant who think they are wise ! That’s their peculiar nature. Type 4 people generally are heavy headed and argumentative and they overemphasize on rationality. They are convinced about their truth as 'THE TRUTH'. But how would you recognize if you are Type 4? When a certain preposition shakes you up, contradicts your belief/truth and you are already gathering critical justification to disprove the same, perhaps that is the time to consider if you are Type 4. Of course this self observation is extremely subtle because the moment you consider this (e.g. whether you are Type 4 or not), your knowledge will bombard you with innumerable rationalizations that you are not Type 4 and that you are indeed wise. Type 4 people may be arrogant to an extent or super polite superficially. They sometime are extra willing to distribute advice/knowledge/ information and think themselves to be imparting wisdom while unconsciously they merely distribute ignorance.

Type 5: Wise: They know they are wise and work consciously towards helping others: Every Type 4 person thinks himself/herself to be type 5! What distinguishes Type 5 from Type 4 is the lack of excitement and fever which is prevalent in Type 4. The humility of Type 5 is not superficial. He is open to self chosen flexibility i.e. he / she may and is prone to change over a period of time and does not get stuck to ideas, dreams or principles. Type 5 person’s approach to helping others is not aggressive.   But more easy and organic.

Type 6:  THE WISE. They are the enlightened ones, the knowers of Truth. They are 'The Buddhas'.  To attempt to describe the wise is to publicize one’s ignorance. Silence.

Nilesh P Megnani is a professor of philosophy. Connect with on

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