I should have known better - a satire
I should have known better - a satire by P.K.Odendaal - April 2015.
I have heard this being said many times too often and I have said it myself many times too often - and yet, it is a lie that we repeat again and again. We must mean something else when we say it because it is patently false.
If we should have known everything better, then we would have to know everything perfectly in advance - before the event, and that would be impossible and boring and frightening. If we pretend or liked to have known everything perfectly, then we would have had perfect vision which is called hindsight - and that is the perfect science.
Do I know of anybody who has hindsight before the sight? No, nobody, and I am quite sure that such an individual does not exist - and if he does, he will have the most frightening life imaginable? Just imagine someone who knew everything that was going to happen in advance. Frightening and contrary to the whole idea of life and free will!
It is an axiom of our life which we do not appreciate properly and fully - the fact that life would be one big calamity if we knew what was going to happen next. Waiting boringly for the next thing to happen is not my cup of tea - and yet so many people are prepared to live such a life, because they do not do or think something new. They only repeat the life they had with some minor variances - almost as bad as living in hindsight. In such an instance we would be bereft of hope, excitement, anticipation and emotion even.
It is much better and exciting to live in foresight - but also not too much of that.
But then, the Bible it says: Ecc. 1:9-10 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us.
The fortunate thing about that scripture is that what has happened before has happened to other people before, or it has happened to me and I forgot about it. I think if I do not forget things, life would also start to be boring - so I find it quite convenient to forget things, except maybe the actions of my enemies.
The further question which is now begged is: How much and what should I know to live a normal life without regret? The answer is nothing and I am not funny about it, because the reason for my answer is that knowledge is inherently dangerous to us - even lethal. That is why I repeat this adage regularly: I have been thinking, a dangerous pastime I know. And that is why that Tree of Knowledge standing in Eden is so poisonous and has killed so many millions of people over the years.
One instance of the absolute debilitating effect of knowledge is the fast and furious progression of the lie. It sows doubt, pain and bitterness where it goes and it is the only things which travels faster than light - but that is another story.
So next time in stead of saying: I should have known better, it would be much better to say: I did not see this one coming - how exciting!