I’d been stewing about the world’s tumultuous situations, and had just been thinking that “the older I get, the less I really know” when I ran across this image and quote: “To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the true knowledge.” (Socrates)
It was suddenly apparent to me how “knowledgeable” I had already become, because I truly know so very little.
Over the years, I’ve found that people seldom ask for advice; and even when they do ask, it is more so as a confirmation to their own way of thinking rather than for a counter-statement to be considered.
It isn’t that they wish to be suddenly awakened from their existing ignorance. It is only that they wish to believe that they are NOT ignorant because they believe things to be a certain way. It is far less about “knowing” and actual wisdom accrued, and more about reaffirming their “belief and opinion” on the subject in question, whether substantiated or not.
Because to truly “know” is to understand how limited our present state of consciousness is to comprehending anything but the simplest of situations and motives.
I mean seriously, …just look at that image. Look at the birth and death dates for Socrates himself: 469 – 399 BC. It would appear that he must have lived his life backwards in time. 70 years of walking backwards to us in the present was actually a forward gait toward free-thought and refusal to bend to political pressure.
The apparent time paradox is that a particular point in time was chosen for the historical reference point of Western civilization, i.e.: the Gregorian Calendar’s approximate birth of Jesus the Christ, which meant that anything that happened prior to that approximated date was designated as Before Christ, or BC, and counted backward as it approached that birth date. Likewise, anything after that date was designated as Anno Domini, or AD, and counted forward from that date. The Gregorian Calendar is pretty specific on one particular religion’s chief priority date.
But to Socrates when he was actually living his life forward in what was then considered a Greek calendar—probably Athenian, he lived 70 years facing forward toward his death date, not backwards away from it.
Here’s a historical “calendar” comparison for the date and year of January 1, 2000:
|Gregorian||1 January 2000|
|Chinese||Cycle 78, year 16 (Ji-Mao), month 11 (Wu-Yin), day 25 (Wu-Wu)|
|Ethiopian||23 Takhsas 1993|
|French||Décade II, Duodi de Nivôse de l’Année 208 de la Révolution|
|Greek||22 Kiyahk 1716|
|Hebrew||23 Teveth 5760|
|Islamic||24 Ramadan 1420|
|ISO||Day 6 of week 52 of year 1999|
|Julian||19 December 1999|
|Mayan||Long count = 126.96.36.199.0; tzolkin = 9 Ahau; haab = 8 Kankin|
|Persian||11 Dey 1378|
Now does the Gregorian Calendar really depict all known historical events in a true chronological timeline from the first recorded civilizations until the present? Not really. It is pretty focused on regional significance within a Christian-based context.
The next image is a chronological timeline of known world civilizations depicted per the Gregorian Calendar’s BC/AD point of reference just to give a little additional perspective to civilizations prior to that BC/AD designation date.
The only thing I “KNOW” for certain in this writing honoring the wisdom of Socrates, is that a single-point perspective and an observer’s reference points are key determiners when assessing any situation and for defining the motives of all involved in decision making.
It doesn’t mean that one or two folks have all the answers to the world’s problems.
But it does mean that the world has come a long way in various stages of development to have reached the present world situations. And no single perspective or point of reference should be the determiner of how those problems are resolved. It has to be a group effort.
As it presently stands, I may not “KNOW” much. But I do “KNOW” that.