We are creatures of habit. We seek patterns that feel familiar, because familiarity is comfortable. In a brain hard-wired for survival, we fear the unknown. When a thing is known, we can assess it, classify it, determine its ability to help or harm us. But the unknown always holds the possibility of being harmful, and so often, we would rather seek something knowingly harmful than anything unknown. Better the devil you know.
Because knowledge in our consciousness equates with survival, we look to know things. We look to make things knowable, to draw lines, calculate causes of effects, construct patterns. The simpler the line can be between cause and effect, the easier it is to feel that the situation is known.
Nothing terrifies us quite like chaos.
But the nature of the universe is that everything causes everything, everything influences everything, everything touches everything. The pattern of truth is a fractal, not a line. Cause and effect are an eternally emerging web, not a linear series. The patterns we create may sometimes prove accurate (a stopped clock is right twice a day, after all), but these linear patterns are not the way of nature. And yet, it is in our nature to seek certainty.
In a reality that is inherently uncertain, how can we satisfy our need for certainty? It seems an impossible paradox. Our usual linear thinking cannot make the math work, but let’s step outside of linearity.
What can we know for certain? We can know what we feel.
In fact, we cannot know anything but what we feel.
We can know only what we hear, not what was said. We can know only what we see, not what is before us. We can know only how food tastes to us, how actions impact us, how experiences affect us. We know what we feel, and we know that we feel. Our identities are nothing other than the feelers of feelings.
We are not our feelings; we are that which feels them. To feel is to be, and we are that which is.
The truth is, this is all we can know for certain. Everything we believe we know beyond our feelings is a fantasy. Perhaps our fantasy is correct, in line with what’s actually happening (a stopped clock is right twice a day). This does not mean the external reality we construct is anything other than a construction.
To live in line with nature is to anchor your certainty to what you feel and that you feel it, and nothing more. The only knowledge that can be known is a greater knowledge of our own feelings and experience.
For those of us used to looking for certainty, there is little more terrifying, more threatening than embracing uncertainty. But we are not without tools to navigate it.
Creating certainty in external reality gives us the false impression that there is a map to existence that we can follow. This could not be further from the truth. What we have is a compass, and nothing more. We have is our feeling. What feels right, and what feels wrong. What feels good, and what feels bad. What feels joyful, and what feels painful.
This is the only tool we have.
Stepping into uncertainty is a profound threat to our ideas of our power, but stepping into a certainty of our feeling gives us back a power that is untouchable. Nothing and no one can stop you from knowing yourself, from knowing how you feel.
The deeper you root yourself in this knowledge, the more true power you have. It is the power not to declare what a thing is, but to declare what you experience. It is not the power to make the glass half empty or half full, it is the power to choose what you say about it. The power not to change the world, but to change yourself, as yours is the only world you can experience. Your experience is the only thing you can experience. Your feeling is the only thing you can feel.
To know the truth is to know yourself. To know yourself is to know everything that can be known by you.