The opposite of this phrase is what came to intrigue me in a more contemplative manner. If we said instead that we had reached a complete certainty about the things in which we believe, where would it lead us?
This idea breaches the walls of science and tumbles the long held concept of scientific search head over heels. Those in science seek to prove the truths of the universe with certainty virtually each day of their life. If we hold that what we believe about science to be certain without any investigation we would be quickly dismissed as a non-serious and incompetent scientist, and I would add it would be with merit of logic that such a dismissal would occur.
If I think of the spiritual part of our existence rather than the scientific parts I can find a little more breathing room for thinking about the phrase.
If I could embrace that all things I believe contained an ‘abundance of certainty’ rather than an ‘absence of certainty’ where would this concept take me? Where would it take you?
The great religious figures of history, most notably the miracle workers, carried within themselves an ‘abundance of certainty’ about their actions and beliefs. We can also easily corral the bad figures of history within this conceptual fence. Hitler or Bin Laden become easy targets for us to light upon.
The idea that followed me around most of today involves the idea of the proper placement of our ‘abundance of certainty’. I believe in a world of natural law that originates in the good. Holding that idea gives me a head start on accepting that all good things can come to you or me if we place a large measure of faith in the natural law expressed by the historic teachers of the correct. Jesus, Gandhi, Teresa, MLK, and others showed us a glimmer of the power of certainty in the good.
The transition to evil, or the power of faithfully believing with certainty in the evil, or what I would label the unnatural way of the world, is likely to give any honest thinker some pause when considering the concept of ‘abundance of certainty.’
This is a sharp sword. We can create a great deal of pain for those with whom we share the world if we believe totally in false ways.
In my mind there is a safe harbor from this potential pain. It is a harbor created by the same governing forces that can create remarkable stories around us each day.
We all know the story of the cancer patient that medicine and the physicians have surrendered to death. From somewhere in the ‘abundance of certainty’ within the stricken man or woman a cure is already underway, no other medicine required. Or we remember the miracles worked by Jesus and witnessed by many that wrote about them. For those of you that read here regularly, you know I do not believe in miracles. I do believe what Jesus accomplished was grounded in a perfect ‘abundance of certainty’ in the natural law. I also believe natural law will fail to operate in an unnatural way, and in this way the Hitler's or Bin Ladens while doing much damage cannot command the same powers of the universe. That is the safe harbor for us all.
It is this ‘abundance of certainty’ that allows remarkable athletic performances, music from confident artists that shapes our senses and forms memories of time and place, speeches written by Martin Luther King that span time itself, resonant many years later and still containing remarkable clarity; clarity predictive of our culture’s future.
This is another way to think of the word ‘miracle’. To me it is the flawless execution of the concept of ‘abundance of certainty’ within our consciousness. Is it easy? No. Are there dangers from creating this confidence and unyielding belief around a dangerous and unnatural law? Yes.
What are the alternatives? To struggle along in an ‘absence of certainty’ is an option universally embraced. In fact it affords us a comfort zone, a way to poke and prod at our world to see how it reacts. It is a way to conduct experiments as a scientist would do. This can be good for many things and it not at all unwise for us to test our beliefs.
And maybe I have worked my way to a truth that haunts us all. Maybe we just don’t know what we believe?
At the end of this day and at the end of this writing I’m not sure I am offering the certainty I preach. That is what has frustrated me all day. I want the ‘abundance of certainty’ that leads to all things possible at my hand.
Maybe tomorrow certainty comes home where it belongs.
I did solve one thing today. I figured out why the phrase ‘absence of certainty’ plagued me all day. It’s a weak phrase, a phrase of evasion. It’s a way to keep evading the opportunity to believe and trust in myself fully. I like ‘abundance of certainty’ far better.
I’ll keep working toward certainty and pray it is well placed in the natural law when it arrives.