In my last entry, I explored the disconnect between my voice and thoughts – a severance that reasons and gives rhythm to my soul and movement. Or in other words, my voice is to my thoughts as my movement is to my soul. I began to discuss ignorance, as defined by Michael J. Smithson. He stated that there are different types of ignorance, such as; nonknowledge (“I don’t know”), negative knowledge, closed ignorance (“I do not want to know”) and uncertainty (“I am not sure”). I tie the concept of ignorance into my discussions of biculturalism because I find that there are multiple levels of ignorance that complicate the environment for one to break down and assess one’s own identity. I guess I can explain it in one simple pyramid-graph.
Each type of ignorance affects the biculturalist in a multitude of ways. As we established in the last entry, ignorance is not always negative and there is an essential role that it plays throughout society and systems. Ignorance is not always a disadvantage “for the ignoramus” and it does have a “fundamental influence in human cognition, emotion, action, social relations, and culture.”
What I am attempting to illustrate in my impromptu graph is that ignorance of self is the foundational informant to other types of ignorance that maintains uncertainty, distortion and the unknown of all affairs that relate or contradict the belief system of “self”. Maybe this should not be a pyramid, but more of a spider graph – all forms of ignorance stem from one we have inflicted onto ourselves.
When I was younger, and have questioned or misunderstood my biculturalism, I looked for outside assistance in clarifying my thoughts and opinions. As I have grown older, I have learned to maintain only a trusted few because far too many times have I been given anecdotal advice from those who express any/all of the above ignorance types I listed above. It was confusing as hell. To this day I am still trying to sort out if their advice regarding each culture and assumptions they taught me to use are relevant or not.
My overall conclusion is that my voice should not just explain my thoughts, it should explain my soul. And my movements should not only express my soul but it also echo my voice. I want to be in sync. But it truly feels that some days I have two sets of everything. Two cultures. Two homes. Two thoughts. Two souls. Two voices. Two directions in life. I continue to sift through my own learned ignorance and the ignorance of others to achieve a solidarity with my future, rather than a solidarity with my family’s tradition and past.