Sunday, December 17, 2006

Abundance of Certainty

I heard a reporter use the phrase “absence of certainty’ yesterday. I’m not sure why some phrases catch my attention. They do that to me. Some phrases rattle around inside my consciousness way longer than I wish they might. It’s a bit like the songs that get stuck in our brains, the ones we want to scream ‘please stop’ to get them to quit playing in a constant loop? The phrase ‘absence of certainty’ did that to me today. Quite obviously it means that we cannot be entirely certain about some truth or fact that we seek.

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.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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December 17, 2006 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

Anonymous,
Oh wow, using my site!

December 18, 2006 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Hmmm, I doubt the "abundance of certainty" proclaimed in Mr/Ms Anonymous.
I'll be back later.

December 18, 2006 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Seven said...

Rob, I think they certainly owe me an abundance of commission!

December 18, 2006 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

It sounds political and yes, an evasion. I do admit I like it, but I will only use it in humor. Perhaps it pertains to the war. Perhaps it pertains to the whole notion of faith. There is an "absense of certainty" in religious belief, yet many of us still trust in our Higher Power. And for me, it is no cop out, but an admission of my own weakness. Good post.

December 18, 2006 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Seven said...

Thanks Enemy,
That phrase got glued in my head. It does have some sort of punch to it doesn't it?

December 18, 2006 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

While I live mostly by the positive slant you mention, I have an abundance of certainty that sometimes, an absence of certainty is appropriate. If used correctly, the absence can lead the way to abundance. That's how I use it anyway.

If used incorrectly, the absence can keep me tied up in the court system for a long time. Or maybe that's his misguided abundance. Hmm. Maybe I'm overthinking....

December 18, 2006 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

Jenn,
I will have to think about absence leading to abundance. I will say this; absence of the Idiot is an abundance...perhaps you are right!

December 18, 2006 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

It only leads to abundance if one is seeking abundance. Absence in itself is just absence.

December 18, 2006 at 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seven,
I like the optimism created by your phrase. And then there's the certainty of abundance. An intended belief. Thank you for the post.
Ilias

December 19, 2006 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I approach very little in my life with an "absence of certainty"- and I don't like people who operate in uncertainty...I want to be around people who know what they are doing- and do it well. However, I hadn't thought about it before now.

This was a deep post...and I've deleted 80% of my reply because it doesn't measure up to what you've written. I think I'll print this off and read it over a few more times- there is something very significant here- something that reaches way down in me.

Certainty and trust go hand in hand... I'm seeing that often I trust because of someone else's certainty- and I am a leader to others for the same reason.

Sometimes we are wrong though~ :(

December 19, 2006 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Seven said...

Ilias,
Very good. I like this turnaround of certainty of abundance.

Mayden V,
I am pleased and flattered that you feel compelled to re-read. Isn't one of the great things about posts and comments that we get to hear our friends and readers in their own voices, a voice different in expression and thinking from our own? Please don't feel the need to erase your thoughts and words, its what I thrive on. Its what makes the writing worthwhile. Thanks for being here and commenting.

December 19, 2006 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My childhood and young adulthood was lived in a state of naiveté that comes from throwing fate to the wind with a trust that “it will all work out.” Fortunately for me, it usually did. My childhood was reasonably happy, and my blind faith held me safe although I shudder when I think of my early adulthood governed by such . . . lack of internal direction.

Much of the last half of my life I lived with the absence. It was a cold and difficult time.

I've chosen in recent months to focus on finding the abundance. And I’m finding that I find myself in a state of relative peace most times. When I am patient, the “abundance of certainty” comes more often, and it is lasting longer. I find it amazing that the work I do toward abundance is easier than the work I do toward absence . . . yet it takes something that most of us grapple with . . . faith. I remind myself frequently to quit fighting to get it and let it come to me. I’m not there yet, but I’m finding peace and relative certainty. I can live with that while I continue the journey.

December 20, 2006 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Seven said...

Lynilu,
You have given us all an important clue. Faith. It is the largest tool in the belt on the path to certainty, is it not?

December 20, 2006 at 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And, Seven, it's not the blind faith that I had in youth. It is the faith of a person who is aware and knows it is worth the search, necessary for peace.

December 20, 2006 at 11:35 AM  

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