HOW ABOUT BEING ABLE NOT TO KNOW?

   Knowing is desireable. "The way out is the way through," and "The answers lie in increased wareness." was Ron's consistent view.

   Nicholas Zvegintzov, an engineer, wholeheartedly agrees:

   "Understanding a system means knowing what to do when things go wrong, knowing how to seize the advantage when things go right, and knowing how to make changes to keep things going in your favor. Knowledge is power -- in management, government, love, war ... and software systems."

   In "Union Station" (p.254 Tech Vol II) Ron describes a process focused on knowingness:

   "OTHER PEOPLE (R2-46) to be run ONLY in railroad teminals (at present this would probably be malls),.. Use live people. "Tell me something you REALLY KNOW about that person. WHAT WOULD YOU PERMIT THAT PERSON TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?" (an early way of running withholds?)

   In theory, this is a 2nd postulate process, in the series: (1) not-know, (2) know, (3) forget, (4) remember. It was found that the first and 3rd postulate forms "ran" better than the 2nd and 4th, and this led to the development of WATERLOO STATION (p.284, Tech Vol II):

   "This is the power-process of the group of processes we call Locational Processing. An extraordinary amount of two-way com-munication and in particular acknowledgement must be used to run this process."

   "Commands: 'Tell me something you can NOT-KNOW about that (indicating or describing) person.' 'Tell me something that person can NOT-KNOW about you.' To not-know is an ability."

   In a similar way, "Tell me something you wouldn't mind forgetting." was found to be more effective than the "remember" version; and in the early days there was a description of the "Resistive V", the "person who anxiously had to know before he could go."

   There is not only an ability to know, but an equally important ability to not-know. The accent is on ability. This has only become clear to me recently. A question could be: "What are you able to not-know about ---?" I can get a feeling of free-ness by being willing to not-know about someone or something, especially when I seem to have a compulsive "MUST KNOW!" in the area.

   A want, need, desire, and especially a compulsion to know can pull attention into an area and fix it there: "I want to know what you've been doing to keep you out so late." for example. This is a level on the pre-have scale: 43 - WANT TO KNOW.

   A good example is a detective story. Could you simply leave it, with the ending as unknown? Here is an ability, accompanied by a new kind of self-deteminism, an ability not to get "sucked in" by any number of "mystery sandwiches." A freedom from compulsive "whatsit?"

   The ability to not-know applies to education. See "The Volunteer Minister's Handbook," p.8:

   "A person can be hung up on the all-importance and everythingness of a subject. .. To teach someone a subject just have  him  select  out the unimportances of the subject. He will start to think everything is important but coax him on with ARC and control .. You acknowledge and ask him to find something else unimportant. .. You keep at this repeating it .. and eventually "all-ness" will start to disintegrate. .. a person who never selected out the importances of .. any subject .. has a history of being punished within an inch of their lives."

   So, along with the ability to know goes the ability to not-know. Regaining a freedon of choice to do either at will feels pretty good.

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