Have we ever wondered why we cannot achieve certainty forever, or maybe consistently? Consistently certain – is there such a reality? Doesn’t matter which particular area we are good or well-versed in or how certain we are, life can always throw us off tangent, only for us to pick ourselves up and re-establish another certainty in the midst of the new uncertainty.
Whether we are working towards it consciously or unknowingly, our aim is always to strive for certainty be it for money, health, relationship, property, beliefs, whatever. There is always a nagging thought of wanting things to be permanently certain. I am not sure about you but for me this desire for certainty never left me at all in any situation. Even in the midst of suffering, I have the hope that the pain will certainly go away soon. We always live for that glimmer of hope. We do not wish for that hope to be dashed. Hope is what drives us to carry on living in this dreaded dream of uncertainties. What if, what if there is in truth no such thing as certainty?
In reality, a happening happens not because we wish for it to happen. It happens because of the conditions there that make it happen. We may strive and then get what we wanted but that does not mean our striving was the only cause in making it happen. It is risky to make that conclusion since that will may make us assume that we are the very cause of it – that is where guilt can arise when negative events strike us. But in reality, there are many unseen factors contributing to any outcome, in any situation. And most of the time, if not all, those factors did not collaborate on purpose to make the outcome happen. It happens because the conditions were such.
So, what could be the root cause of this ignorance in making us chase after certainty our whole lives in the midst of uncertainty? It is about not acknowledging change. And also not realizing that happenings are all due to conditionings. Not realizing that these are the laws or realities governing our lives make us feel that we are the only cause of happenings, hence making us imagine that we are actually in full control or lousy in controlling situations. An erroneous imagination which requires re-education on our part in the true reality of life.
Change is inevitable. Change is beyond our control. Change occurs due to innumerable conditions which make happenings possible. An unexpected change in environment, weather, planet, situation, people, country, laws, rules, economy, technology, society or communal agreement or disagreement or a calamity; or closer to home, our own bodily changes affected by nutrients, imbalance of hormones, illnesses, infections, accidents – a thousand and one probabilities or permutations which we cannot know in advance, not to mention dictate. Any of these changes even a tiny one is enough to overturn our certainty; for the worst, or for the better.
Therefore, a better way of manoeuvring life's uncertainty is to acknowledge and accept uncertainty as a way of life, in every aspect, at every level. This is the surest way to peace, in the midst of uncertainty. Uncertainly, certain. And that requires immense awareness of this reality, lest the mind forgets again so easily...