People who are utterly and completely sure of themselves confound me-
whether it be about theology, Godde, politics, history, science… or any discipline.
What if more information becomes available?
What if that information contradicts one’s assumptions?
What if differing perspectives challenge old facts?
What if we need to acknowledge two conflicting truths exist at the same time?
Can you imagine how fun, exciting, scary, and wonderful that would be?
When I star gaze, especially when I am alone, listening to a cacophony of insects flutter and chirp and water splashing over stones in the nearby creek… I experience a bone deep connection with all that is and was and will come. I am flush with the awareness that what I do not know is so much greater than I do know. Scholars of every discipline only grapple with the edges knowledge. The Mystery is greater than our ability to comprehend in its entirety. Is it possible for the finite can comprehend the infinite?
Not that I want to stop trying to understand more deeply, but the older I get the more in sync I am with Michelangelo who, at considerable age of 87, said, “I am still learning.”
There is something essential in accepting both our desire and our limitations in the search for truth. And, if we are honest, the moment we claim to possess an absolute truth, some sneaky contradiction up-ends it. If we are honest.
It’s why I am suspicious of politicians and preachers who claim absolute fealty to one truth or one idea and reject ideas and information that contradict. I am suspicious when they impose circular thinking on their followers and reject critical examination of their ‘truth’.
Questions are one of the beginning points of human development. Who hasn’t spent time with a toddler’s incessant questioning? There is nothing like the pummeling one takes from a two year old’s “What’s that?” and “Why?” – that push us to the limits of our ability to explain.
In the best of all worlds we never stop asking those profoundly human questions.
In the best of all worlds, we never stop growing in our quest to understand ourselves and the world around us.
In the best of all worlds, answers become more and more complex and less and less absolute.
What if we could wrap our minds around the idea that contradictory things can be true? What if, rather than clinging to absolutes, we find other ways to confront our fear of the unknown?
What if the fear of the unknown is an invitation to unending questions?
What if our questions don’t lead us absolute answers but to ever deepening questions?
What if we seek answers not as fixed points but as open doors?
What if we all admit that we are still learning?
What if a collective will to question made change less threatening?
What if, in our embrace of uncertainty, we became more and more human?