One of my family friends who grew up an orthodox Jew, recently became a Christian.
While visiting him, I saw a Christian book in his car. The book was about the problems of alternative spirituality. The cover listed examples of spiritual transgressions, such as yoga, remote viewing, psychedelics, and Buddhism. Some of which I’ve dabbled in. So I felt uncomfortable.
But instead of pretending the book wasn’t there, I challenged myself to start a conversation. I asked my friend about the book, and his experience becoming a christian.
I tried to stay curious and open to criticism. Maybe I could learn something?
I realized in this conversation that certainty makes me uncomfortable.
Religion isn’t the only topic rife with certainty. People are certain in all areas and topics.
There’s a philosophical difference between people who revere certainty and those who revere uncertainty. I’m in the latter group. Maybe that’s why it’s so uncomfortable for me; I feel a fundamental difference from those who praise certainty.
Fundamental virtues aside, certainty can interfere with conversation. While I focused on finding common ground, my friend’s certainty kept bobbing up for air at times where it felt uninvited. For example, I told my friend that I admired his ability to find his own path. To which my friend corrected me, “It’s not my path.”
While I criticize certainty, I have no criticism of my friend. I don’t know if he wanted to have a conversation in the same way that I did. But I do know that certainty is not a tactic that speaks to me.
The Lesson Here is Two Fold
- I have to figure out why I’m uncomfortable in the presence of certainty
- If I don’t think certainty is valuable in a conversation, then I should be cognizant of when I’m overly certain
Uncertainty, My Other Challenge
I had another post planned for today about the funeral I went to. I decided not to post it. Weirdly and unintentionally, the post was about the discomfort of uncertainty. I didn’t make the connection until now.