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ARE YOU SURE?

Certainty undermines one’s own power, and turns happiness into a long shot. Certainty confines.

Dears, there is nothing in your life that will not change – especially all your ideas of God.

Tukaram (c. 1608-1649)


The antithesis of the spiritual life is certitude. The enemy of faith is certainty. The opposite of truth is conclusiveness. The good question, pondered openly, will take us much further on the journey toward awareness and completeness than the final answer, uttered with unchangeable presumption.

Surety is a shortcoming that is shared by every persuasion on the entire spectrum – whether one is an atheist or a fundamentalist, spiritual or religious, conservative or liberal, ascetic or aesthetic. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Albert Einstein discovered abundant truth about the universe because he began with the inner truth that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” What we seek is what we might be able to find. If our search ends with certainty, we have already limited ourselves, our understanding, and our God.

To gaze into the vast open space of unknowing and get lost, to dive into the deeper waters yet unexplored, to come face to face with a component of the self we had previously denied – these are the ultimate pathways to “knowing”. Without such openness and without such a posture of receptivity, we will find ourselves returning to that place where we have always been.

It is important to recognize that the question mark and the exclamation each contain a dot. Each dot hints at something more to come, something not yet said or seen or fully expressed. Connect those two dots and you might be on to something – something that questions, exclaims, and discovers – something that is real, life-changing and true.

To stand at the threshold of what we do not know and say “I wonder” is to embark on the spiritual journey. I wonder. I just wonder. In such wonder, is the beginning of faith.

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