thought soup on what i don’t know

you can’t know what you don’t know. i heard this phrase the other day, or read it somewhere, and it has become stuck in my brain. it’s important, i think, and yet i’m having difficulty wrapping my head around it.

that’s partly because the two-year-old who lives in my brain is having a temper tantrum. she’s been engaged in one for the past two days and though i’m not sure why she showed up, she’s making her point quite clearly; her “i don’t want to, i don’t want to, i don’t want to” keeps reverberating around my brain making deep thought challenging.

i’m not sure exactly what it is she doesn’t want to do, but whatever it is, her persistence is playing merry havoc with my ability to reflect.

i have snippets of thoughts but then they flitter off. they’re only the beginnings of an idea and i can’t grab onto it.

what is it that i don’t know?

what is it that i don’t want to know? that’s easier. there are a great many bits and pieces of knowledge that i possess that i either regret learning or wish i hadn’t needed to. but what piece of information don’t i have?

i took the phrase out for a walk, rolled it around some, tried to deconstruct it.

you can’t know what you don’t know.

i know i don’t know something. i know there’s a piece i’m missing, a rule about life, a bit of knowledge that’s integral. the “what you don’t know” is the motivation. it’s what drives the search.

what i don’t know is what drives me to read, to research, to reflect.

it’s an existential searching for that missing piece that will make me whole and i think it’s a drive that is felt by everyone.

we want to know what we don’t know. the information feels important. the lack feels like something vital is absent.

we want the meaning of life. we want to know what our purpose is. we want to understand the grand design.

i can’t know what i don’t know, but once i get the information i’m missing, i’ll know it, but i won’t know i know it until i do, and then, there’ll likely be something else i can’t know.

the whole exercise is starting to hurt my brain.


(my words and thoughts are stuck somewhat; i’ve never had writer’s block before and i have to say, i don’t like it.)

4 thoughts on “thought soup on what i don’t know

  1. Oops, sounds like your brains on overdrive.

    My initial response was similar to yours when I first heard it on a course which I was taking. So I said “if I don’t know it I’ll look it up on Google.” And the response “how will you know what to look for?”.

    Liked by 1 person

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