If You Are Refusing to See the Truth to Spare Yourself Pain, You Pay With Your Integrity

Discernment without judgement generates right action

Mariko O. Gordon, CFA
6 min readAug 28, 2022

When I first learned about Buddhism, I thought it was bullshit.

“All suffering is due to the 3 poisons — anger, greed, and ignorance”. No way did I buy that when I was a kid. Greed and anger? Sure. But not ignorance. Just read books and poof! No more suffering.

I thought the antidote for ignorance was knowledge.

Everything important about humaning not acquired from direct experience, I learned from books. Books raised me. No one taught me about menstruation, sex, tampons, or babies. My parents figured I had it covered when I left a 2-foot tall stack of books on puberty and female anatomy on the coffee table. 🙄 Given my feral, nerdy upbringing, it’s not surprising I concluded “suffering from ignorance” was a non-problem.

I was wrong.

It took years before it finally clicked. “Ignorance” to me is not not-knowing, but unknowing. It’s what you don’t know because you choose not to know (consciously or unconsciously). It’s the pain you inflict on yourself and others by refusing or being afraid to see — much less accept — the truth because you don’t trust yourself to have your own back.

Refuse to see the truth to spare yourself pain. Pay the price with your integrity.

When it comes to money, Ignorance means not knowing your credit card or student loan balance, or that you spend more than you make, or that the Ponzi scheme sounds like a moneymaker. Where to start cultivating your discernment?

Learn how ignorance feels in your body:

You feel confused
You have brain fog
You can’t make up your mind
You feel pulled out of your body
You feel a pressure building within
You have a vague feeling of discomfort
Your head feels it’s in a garbage can with someone banging on it

See how your mind creates suffering for others:



Mariko O. Gordon, CFA

Built $2.5B money mgmt biz from scratch. Coaching badass women to build & love their businesses, manage their finances, and make sure the thrill is never gone.