The Neuroscience of Ignorance
The thalamus plays a major role in our understanding of what is real or what is not real. If we believe something to be real, the thalamus will help make the perception become our reality. In fact, the thalamus does not make distinction between inner and outer realities. If we approach the world out of fear and anger, then we might be drawn to shape our perception of the world out of falsehood and ignorance. Throughout our lives, we also get duped into believing falsehoods. Often racism, hate and fear become unconsciously ingrained into one generation to the next. The brain is structured to perceive and act on threats as if they are real even if they are not real at all. Two examples of pathological neurosis are denial and delusion. Often when confronted with fear and anger, those who do not want to embrace the truth or are so deeply unconscious of an alternative, will fight against the world and try to impose their own delusions on others so as not to have to face the harsh facts. As an example, many news outlets often sensationalize the horrors of the world and aggravate peoples’ differences rather than strive for reconciliation between people of opposing views.
One of the most destructive things that is at the heart of ignorance is passivity. Unless each one of us actively takes part in reconciliation, love, and justice, then the world will remain broken. If we take the world for granted then we will never overcome the horrors and sadness of it. Taking the world as it is, not asking questions, or not having curiosity will all leave us in the dark.