Jungian psychology teaches how important it is to learn to live with ambiguity and uncertainty. But how much the mind (at least mine) wants to clamp down on something fixed. I want answers!
Is this so with you, also?
Ambiguity is so uncertain. It might mean this; it might mean that; or it might be both!
How does one know what to do when things are always moving about so? For a moment we think we have some clarity and then things start to get fuzzy.
It has been said that the real evils of the world are done by people who are certain they are right. Those who doubt can cause problems too, but when we are in doubt we are still in the question—and that gives us wiggle room.
Living in the question rather than forcing an answer leads to a more peaceful life.
Sir Winston Churchill’s wife said this to him during those dark days in WW II, “You are strong because you have imperfections. You are wise because you have doubts.” From the movie, The Darkest Hour
When we are not tied down to one answer, we can open to many possibilities. When we can stay with the thought of “Yes, this would be good, and the opposite may also be good” and wait until it sorts itself out, we may come up with an answer that is better than either alternative.
But it is an embarrassment to the modern mind not to know—to stay in the mystery. We have been trained to eliminate the middle stuff. Yet, life is a mystery! Love is a mystery!
We simply do not know.
A wise person once said, “No one knows enough to be a pessimist.”
Each moment is a great “not knowing” event. This moment, this very one we are living in, is filled with so much beauty and joy and goodness and love of which we may or may not be experiencing. Things may look dark for us at any given moment. But there are other aspects, other dimensions, that are just as real. And this is true right now.
With every Yes, there is an equal and opposite No that may be just as valid.
It isn’t easy to live in the tension between the poles, but that is where the new is born. New ideas come from the fuzzy space in the middle.
It may be embarrassing for us to admit we just don’t know—our Western culture thrives on knowing. It wants the facts. It wants to measure and calculate everything. But that which is real and valuable can’t be measured or calibrated.
So, I find it wisest to remember whenever I feel very certain about something (such as what the condition of the world is) to remember that maybe what I see is only a very small bit of what is actually going on. This is especially true when I watch the news broadcasts!
This moment is not fixed. It flows! Things change constantly.
I experience more happiness when I can be comfortable not knowing what the outcome will be, but trusting that the little step I can take right now is enough. And allowing time for more to be revealed.
I often laugh at my old self that was so certain about so many things, and feel empathy with that soul that suffered so when the very ground on which she stood fell away. Though the shock was painful, in retrospect I can see that things turned out the way they needed to so that something more beautiful could come into being.
The world knows how to evolve. I don’t. Like Job I need to surrender to the true nature of things. Things just won’t stay fixed, as quantum physics shows us.
And isn’t it a lot more fun to be with someone who is not so sure about everything? This allows room to play, to be flexible, and to be surprised!
Certainty is such a bore.
The great mystery is always a surprise! Let us have grace enough to be surprised.
In love and appreciation,