Even should we deem ourselves smart and highly intelligent it is likely that the state of Anāgāmi (previous) is quite simply beyond our ken. We may not like to acknowledge it and may even doubt its existence, much less understand what it encompasses. But there are many things in this world which are currently beyond our ken, some of them with effort might be brought within our ken, others not. For example, I know, that no matter how hard I tried, there are aspects of mathematics I would never get.
If we are an arrogant know-it-all, then we may assume our ken is bigger and more comprehensive than it is. We may poo-poo anything outside of our ken. In this respect we could blunder into something we know bugger all about and imagine ourselves safe in doing this. We may discount the idea of karma, of sin and of God. I mentioned the notion of karmic lenses in an earlier post. Someone who was becoming Anāgāmi would most likely act as one of these and fall neatly into that category.
Now if you are a know-it-all it is very unlikely that you will heed advice or knowledge other than your own. Why would you because you already know it all? Moreover, it might be very inconvenient for you to act upon external advice, so by default you would not. Even if the person providing that advice was warning you about traps of your own making, you would not listen, this being a part even the jaws of the trap in any case. Thus, as if by prophecy you would walk deeper into the trap of your own making and be unaware of it tightening. Because you know-it-all such a thing is utterly impossible.
Until such time as you start to acknowledge that there are things beyond your ken, you will act with a reckless abandon. You may even through your actions draw others into the trap which you have made. You may need to convince them that you are “right”, especially if this is an addiction of yours, “wanting to be right” I mean. So off you go beyond your ken and out of your depth. In time you may end up in a right old pickle out of which there is no easy exit. All of this need not have happened if you had not so badly wanted to be right, but hey, know-it-alls are always right, aren’t they?
“I can handle it” can be a sentiment more bravado than fact. There are many who say this before their first encounter with smack or meth. But this can refer to much simpler situations too.
Having cued this up:
Have I ever strayed beyond my ken and gotten myself into difficulty?
Was this because I deemed my ken to be more encompassing that it actually is?
Once I sensed the limit of my ken, did I carry on regardless?
Did I thereby create a trap of my own making?