ONCE UPON A TIME

There Was No Positive Uncertainty

 In medieval time there was no such thing as doubt, Unknown.

Positive uncertainty didn’t exist before 1989, when I introduced my positive uncertainty conceptual framework. In 2007 I started my Process of Illumination essays. I was promoting a collective worldview that is open and inclusive, one worldview at a time.

I think I can clearly admit the collective worldview hasn’t happened. I would like to say yet, but I need to accept reality. The reality is that the near future won’t bring a collective worldview that is open and inclusive. Some people, maybe many people, are open-minded and compassionate. But world-wide human behavior suggests this isn’t the reality of most. 

However, the current worldwide event, the coronavirus, may be making a difference. This worldwide event is featuring uncertainty — probably like never before. Is it possible that uncertainty is becoming accepted as the new norm?  We don’t know when or if the coronavirus crisis will end. We don’t know the future of global warming. We don’t know if  working at home will become normal? In other words, we can’t predict the immediate future; so we know it is uncertain. Are we beginning to know and accept uncertainty?   

Would this acceptance of uncertainty, if it were true, make a difference? People believe to be true what they want to be true. This will probably continue to be the norm. However, ambiguity, uncertainty, and doubt will be hard to sell. How do we convince people that what they want to be true, may not be what they want to be true? Remember, be careful what you wish for. 

Once upon a time it was believed that the sun rotated around the earth and the earth was flat. And once it was believed that seeing is believing: you need to see something before you can accept that it really exists or occurs. Those beliefs have changed. Today the earth is not believed to be flat by most people. Today believing is seeing by most.

Today uncertainty exists, although everyone doesn’t embrace it. Will it become obsolete? Will it become the common? The fate of positive uncertainty is uncertain.  Beliefs about uncertainty have been with us forever. For example: 

To be uncertain is to be uncomfortable. To be certain is to be ridiculous,  Socrates.

Madness is the result not of uncertainty but of certainty.  Friedrich Nietzsche

The future is uncertain but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity.

                                                                                         llya Prigogine

The longing for certainty … is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion.   .                                                                                      Oliver Wendell Holmes

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2 Responses to ONCE UPON A TIME

  1. Betsy Collard says:

    I thought this was a great posting! Thanks. I think you may be right about this time.

    How are you doing? Surviving I am sure but it is getting old, isn’t it?

    I’m good but wishing I could do a bit more visiting with people, etc. Winni and I take long walks, I visit with neighbors by sitting around the pool area 6-10 ft apart. We take our own glass of wine in the late afternoon and visit. That’s nice for sure.

    I would love to have breakfast……but when?????????? It doesn’t look all that promising. It looks UNCERTAIN but I’m POSITIVE about it.

    B

    >

  2. Marianne Fontana says:

    Who would have dreamed we would live in such uncertain times? But as you point out over and over, we need to live in uncertainty in order to see new possibilities. It is going to be interesting to see what changes will come from, not only the virus but the great awakening about racial disparity. Mind boggling.
    Now we have an added change, we have sold the house and can possibly move by August 12. Add to that, yesterday I did not feel well so today we went for a Covid 19 test. I’m sure I am ok, but it adds another layer of unrest.
    One thing I am sure of–you are having a birthday! Happy Birthday!

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