Certainty vs. Clarity

True awareness is a choiceless awareness, which is an open state of mind without grasping onto anything. Such openness may feel vulnerable and uncertain – a state of confusion and chaos. Hence people hold on to some beliefs that give them certainty – to feel comfortable. But life is inherently uncertain, unpredictable and ambiguous. Our craving for certainty and lasting security is the root cause of our suffering.

"The source of our unease is the unfulfillable longing for a lasting certainty and security, for something solid to hold on to." – Pema Chodron.

If we are courageous enough to stay open with that confusion and uncertainty with total awareness, it would naturally lead to clarity and understanding. Such an understanding and insight lead to true liberation. This is the process of mindfulness/meditation. In mindfulness/mediation (and also in science), we gain clarity and understanding, as oppose to absolute certainty. Only dogmatic beliefs give absolute certainty; with this false sense of certainty and security, people have inflicted so much of suffering to themselves and others.

Intelligence is about navigating the complexity of life and finding certain clarity to deal with it skillfully.

"I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain. In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar" — Richard Feynman

CK. Kamaraj

28 October 2020