In the world of exploration, Certainty is a killer. Knowing that I’m right – ‘Yes, I’m certain!’ – is a one way ticket to nowhere else.
Why? Pretty obvious: you get what you look for – you find what you know. The prejudices you look through pick up corroborations and delete the errants. Nothing new there.
But turn the perspective on the immaterial world and the same applies. Religious certainty is a killer. Nothing more is required of the believer than to adhere. Adherence means living out the consequences of the belief, and maybe defending it. Following the paths, patterns, structures implied in the belief. And this is as it should be because, if you’re going to believe in something, then wholehearted is the way to go. Right?
What if – what if there is merit in the opposite – complete uncertainty – ‘I don’t know but I’m going anyway’ ?
Being right leads to entrenched positions, concreted attitudes, rigid responses to the curlies that life throws up.
Just being – stripped of the accreted filtering layers that shelter me from the unpredictable weather of Uncertainty – is a challenge. I have to trust what I don’t know, who I can’t name, whatever it is that is beyond the reach of my intellect. It means removing control from my beliefs. It means I don’t care about being Right anymore. It is inexplicable and indefensible to anyone else who sees the outcome as Wrong. ‘Why?’ gets a shrug, a smile and a lengthy, open eye-contact.
How did I come to this? read more …
Life is easier without them.
Not the ones that hold your shirts together and not the ones you find in elevators or on keypads. I’m not writing about zippers and Siri.
It’s the ones I’ve stitched onto myself, the threads shallow beneath the skin, and the bright, shiny ones that surface in my skin, wires running down into bone marrow and even deeper into my psyche, rooted in something forgotten. These ones especially, like gross, shiny, flat-topped pimples located on the edge of awareness and trailing inside to something unknown – these ones I can do without. read more …
I lost my reading glasses last night. Annoying. Without them, I have to squint at anything I read close-up. We had driven to Launceston in the afternoon, with a number of stops, to drop two friends at the airport, then driven home in the dark. So I searched my clothes; I searched the car. I looked on the benches and table-tops where I might have put them on my return. Nothing. Do I start phoning the café, the airport, the friends?
No, I squinted, and that’s all I did. I did not enter into an internal diatribe about my failings, nor look for a way to shift blame. My mind, so used to being in charge, did not leap to making up interpretations of this little event. There was no rage, merely the ephemeral annoyance. I went to bed content and in the morning found the glasses in their case beside my seat in the car. read more …
I wasn’t born depressed –
I was born free.
Somehow, I picked it up, or learned it,
or caught it.
Maybe the could-be-crack in me faulted under stress.
Maybe it was a virus, like the one that causes stomach ulcers,
or a cancer-like cell that hides in us all.
Maybe I looked down once too often and the fear stuck.
It doesn’t matter now. read more …