Certainty

The Pearl of Great Price, Mormon Scripture, has a written account of theophany in which Moses (which Moses? I’m not certain) sees God (which God? I don’t know. Eru-Jesus? The Father-Manwe?). There is a moment where the vision ends or takes an intermission, where Moses is left to himself, as the glory of God had left him.

Reflecting on the experience, supine, gazing into the heavens, Moses states, I know now that man is nothing. He says that this thought had never before occurred to him.

It is an interesting thought to consider. Man is nothing. We are dust waiting to go back to the Earth, a lit candle burning until blown out or the wick is burnt out.

How highly we think of ourselves. How certain we are about nearly everything in life. “It will all be OK!” We assure ourselves as if we had a transcript of what has already been determined (I’m not saying that determinism isn’t a thing, and … whatever, I’m moving on). Life is a mystery! I don’t even know what I am going to write next, or how I am going to finish this sentence. How can I be certain that something will be OK?

What does ‘everything will be ok’ mean? OK by what standard? Why simply OK? Why not great? Or, alternatively, why not be honest and say, “Things most likely will not go well. And, even if things do go as hoped, it will likely require a change that may be difficult for you and those near to you”?

What is our obsession with certainty? Why can’t we sit comfortably with uncertainty? Isn’t it uncertainty that has driven our species’ discoveries and advancements? If humans had embraced the certainty that the Earth is flat, then we never would have dared to sail toward the horizon line. Some of humanity were uncertain. Some grappled with questioning the certainties of their day and acted anyway.

What are the certainties in my life?

I have none.

How do I know that this isn’t a simulation? How do I know that I exist at all? What if I am an NPC in someone else’s game? What if the thoughts, words, images, in my head aren’t put there by some line of code or what-not (“in my head,” how do I know that is where the thoughts are occurring?).

I live in a state of semi-certainty to uncertainty. And that suits me.

God? No God? Supernatural? Materialistic? Religion? Science? All of these things fascinate me, and I don’t need to be certain about any of them.

With that, my thirty minutes are up.

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