“Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one.” Voltaire.
You cannot know anything for certain.
To move forward you must think divergently.
The world grows weary of you acting as if you are certain about things you can’t possibly be certain about.
As is your heart.
Open your arms and let the winds of conflict tear at the clothes of knowledge that you fasten so tightly around you.
And you will see that you know next to nothing at all.
Your perceptions do not necessarily correlate with reality.
Your grasp of what is out there, your umwelt, is so unbearably small.
Your sensorium barely enough to get by in the world you find yourself in.
Information is infinite and unobtainable to you in its completeness; a horizon you can never reach.
Close your eyes.
Step into the uncertainty of myths and legends that show how narrative fragments in your past, present and future are of meaning.
Let your imagination open up a world of transcendence.
Feel your heart rise up and go deeper into the story: imagined possibilities of excitement and discovery.
If you feel you can’t do this, then it is because you either live in a world of dogmatic theism or you live in a world of factual certainty where you believe science and reason tell you everything.
And these two worlds love duelling with each other.
Which is sad - both sides claiming they have absolute truths, when they do not.
If you love science, as I do, then embrace an intellectual humility that accepts that what you know and what we know as the human race through science, is vastly outstripped by what we don’t know.
Science is amazing: an exploration into distant lands - but we know too little to commit to a position of strict atheism.
If you love God, as I do, then be honest that what we do know informs us that literal interpretations of religious stories are normally wrong. They just are. Rediscover the wonder of uncertainty and see your stories as myths that open your eyes to who you are, who we are as a people and who God is. Faith has been ensnared by literalism that bleeds away the power of narratives and renders you morally bankrupt when you judge others and leaves you intellectually floundering in the absurd.
Throw off labels and categorisations that seek to hold you within doctrinal walls. Allow for the possibility of belief and faith within your heart that is fluid. Avoid tribal identification which places a barrier between you and others.
“Try to seek comfort with having multiple narratives and uncertainty – an active exploration of new ideas. Live a life that is free from dogma and full of awe and wonder – celebrate possibility and praise uncertainty.” Dr. David Eagleman.
( With thanks to Dr. David Eagleman, who informed most of this article. Eagleman takes a position of Possibilianism which is a philosophy which rejects both the diverse claims of traditional theism and the positions of certainty in strong atheism in favor of a middle, exploratory ground.)