Agnosiophobia : The Fear of not knowing…

I keep saying, I need to know what is going to happen. I keep saying, not knowing is something I can’t deal with. And I keep doing everything I can, to avoid not knowing, and everything that entails. Control, Obsession, sometimes Anxiety, when things don’t go as planned and I end up in a place where I have no clue if I’m coming or going, if I am right or wrong, if I should fight or quit.

Today I realised that fear, has a name. Agnosiophobia. The fear of not knowing.

Is it something that only I go through? Well no, since it has a name and everything, right? But as much as I tried to research it, I didn’t hit a lot of pages online with authentic information. It was all either a ‘how to deal with the fear of not knowing’ or ‘I suffer from Agnosiphobia: Help’. Even the word Agnosiophobia wasn’t as searched and talked and written about. And that makes me think, if you don’t know it, how can you know how to deal with it? And here I come back to the importance of ‘knowing’, the basic core of the problem itself. It’s ironic, I know!


We have always been told and taught, that knowing is the key to conquering. Knowledge is power. And when we know, we anticipate and that mental and physical preparation for anything and everything is what helps us win eventually. It is all over, be it history, be it psychology, be it personal lives. We all prefer knowing what is going to happen. we all want a happy, predictable, uncomplicated life, where we can be prepared for any casualties and deal with them accordingly.

Me, personally, I try my best to put things in order. Know and anticipate and be prepared for the worst because I haven’t had an easy life. And I prefer it to be easier as of now. But then, none of us have had easy lives, have we? We all have our own demons. And we all wish to know what is going to turn how and have  cheat sheet at life. Let me tell you a little something from personal experience, as much as you try to control things, as hard as you grasp, life and love and events and occurrences are like grains of sand; the more you try to grasp, the more they slip from your fingers. It is sometimes just better, to have the sand in your hands till it last, feel every grain and stone till it runs out.

I have found myself in such weird and unexpected places in all 23 years of my life. Emotionally. Physically. Financially; and all the while its a constant battle between every plan I made, carefully laid out and plans and the world trying its best to completely throw me off my axis! I’m young, and maybe some of you have been through more than I have been through, but there’s always a possibility of well laid out plans going wrong. And the lack of control we feel at times like those, is scary. It is as scary as things can get for someone like me. Because now I don’t know what to do, how to proceed.

And that is when I realised. Is it really a life worth living? Where you can tell what is going to happen every  time? Would you rather take a leap and fly and land some place you never imagined you could be? or would you stick to your patch of a nicely sowed garden, thinking it is the most beautiful patch on the planet?

It is a double edged sword, of course. But then everything in life is. We think, if we talk to others, who;ve been through similar things, or done same things, we might get an insight as to, how to proceed. Does that really work out? I don’t think so. Take Aron Ralston, If you don’t know him, He’s the author of the book Between a Rock and Hard place and the inspiration behind the Movie 127 Hours. When Aron headed to the Colorado’s, do you think anyone could have told him, this is what will happen to him? And after the incident, if someone asks Aron about the Colorado trek, do you think his account would be true for anyone else? No. Its all upto chance. And you. And the circumstances.


It’s different for all of us. Head into the unknown, without any prior prejudices, or opinions, and know what you will be in that situation. Know how people, things, circumstances can always surprise you. Do not underestimate any thing. And when you take the plunge like this, knowing yourself is the reward you get. Because you know, what you are and how you will deal with things, when you face them.

Isn’t it just worth the high you get, to know there is something you don’t know, you haven’t found or discovered yet, and the sheer and immense joy when you realise that its the best thing that could ever happen to you? I mean, quit your job, take up playing drums for your local band! You may be financially struggling for a while, but at least it makes you more happy than you ever were. Maybe you realise after a point of time that it was temporary, and you want to go back to the safe life. Well, than that is your choice. And there are always options. But not knowing that joy, never experiencing it would have been worse in my opinion.

That leads us back to knowing, and the fear of not knowing. Because you put yourself out there, you open yourself up to experiences and things you never did or would have done, to know what and how you would feel. Knowing is the key here again. And I guess we humans, can’t deal with not knowing. But the least we could do is, not let the uncertain stop us from doing what we want, in fear. Rather, do what your heart desires, who cares if its right or wrong? who cares if it works out or not? Atleast you’ll know, that you did what you wanted and there lies a certain satisfaction in knowing that.

It’s like the quote we all know and love, Its better to have loved and lost, than not have loved at all.

I found a quote, which fits in here perfectly.

I have approximate answers and possible beliefs in different degrees of certainty about different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and of many things I don’t know anything about, but I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose which is the way it really is as far as I can tell possibly. It doesn’t frighten me.

–Richard Feynman

Songs to go along with the post :

  • Jeff Bridges : Fallin Flying
  • Bon Jovi : Its now or Never
  • Jimmy Eat World : 23
  • Joe Diffie and Mary Chapin Carpenter : Not Too Much to Ask
  • Steve Earle : Fearless Heart

Published by darshitajain

artist | poet | journalist | human

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