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As survivors we always have to wrangle our need to certainty, the fear that comes when we don’t have it and what to do when doubt becomes our most dominant perspective. I’m reading a terrific book that addresses these things. Today, I’m sharing an excerpt with you…
The sound of truth, like some harmony that only the wise can hear, rings out in the spiritual salons and in the clerics’ quarters; it is heard from the high pulpits and after eating peyote.
But the sound of truth — the words and rhythms — is just a seduction. The emotion of certainty is just an emotion — no more true or false than any other. The mind says yes because the mind fears what it can’t predict or explain.
The mind seeks the exquisite relief of order and linearity. It seeks the Great One who can finally explain our pain, our waiting in the dark. The mind is always ready to say yes because it is wired into us, into our hunger to make sense of this place.
The idea of truth deceives us. The light holds a million versions of the truth — no one of them complete or whole. Each is the partial wisdom of one moment, looking across one vista. Each is a moment of great vision and a lie, because certainty seduces, and in that certainty every other vantage place is lost.
We seek certainty because it is the antidote to fear. We seek certainty because it’s the one thing impossible to find here.
But certainty is more dangerous than doubt. From conviction come razor-edged rules. Beliefs born of certainty harden and become swords of emotional violence. They cut and wound. They kill love because love — above all — accepts. It softens around each necessary flaw.
Certainty divides the world into what is true and false, rejected and embraced. It is the defense of the righteous, the self-willed. It is what war — in every form — is made of.
So this is certain: there is no certain truth here. And the certainty we think we find is often damaging; it is never the last word. It is never complete.
While doubt is painful, it is not a curse. Jordan has told me that doubt and uncertainty are necessary to our development as souls. They create a rocky field where things grow that can be found in no other place.
Sitting at my childhood desk once again, I meditate as I prepare to speak with Jordan. Behind the glass mask, a candle emits blue light. Outside, a susurrant breath of wind pushes through the redwoods. Finally, from some internal stillness, I ask Jordan why doubt and uncertainly are a necessary part of our life here. His answer comes in just a moment. Jordan explains:
Matthew McKay, PhD, is the author of Seeking Jordan and numerous other books. He is a clinical psychologist, professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA, and founder and publisher at New Harbinger Publications. Visit him online at http://www.SeekingJordan.com.
Excerpted from Seeking Jordan: How I Learned the Truth about Death and the Invisible Universe. Copyright © 2016 by Matthew McKay, PhD. Reprinted with permission from New World Library. www.newworldlibrary.com
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