Making a concrete response to the mysterious

Our pathological desire to know

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Human beings, by nature, demand resolution.

It’s part of our existential quest for meaning. We want answers now, and if an answer isn’t readily available, we’ll happily and expeditiously manufacture one.

Wiesel’s award winning book on the fiery souls of ancient religious leaders writes about this very issue:

For the believer, there is no question; and for the non believer, there is no answer.

It’s an interesting binary. One that doesn’t allow much room for flexibility and openness. But it’s how so many people live in the world.

And so, it’s really an invitation to see if we can exist somewhere in the middle. To see if we can cultivate a deep comfort level with uncertainty, maturely look reality in the eye and help ourselves to a big humility sandwich.

Personally, my impatient, compulsive and obsessive need to know has always tiptoed the line between aggressive skepticism and pathological curiosity. In the face of uncertainty, I’m the kind of person who stops and drops everything until he has a significant understanding of the question at hand. Someone with a deep longing to resolve the burden of life’s ambiguities.

Which is certainly be useful in a variety of situations and endeavors, but it can also be exhausting. Both for me and the people in my life.

Recently, though, life has been teaching me otherwise. Because nobody actually knows anything. We’re all just guessing. And the sooner we accept that it’s all one big goddamn mystery, the better it will be for all of us.

Sing it with me, friends:

I don’t have to be in the results business anymore.

I don’t have to know how everything works.

I don’t have to berate myself for not understanding the whole of creation.

I don’t need answers to become a protective fence around my anxious core.

I don’t have to rush to fill in the gaps with nervous belief and excessive information.

I don’t have to prolong my endless and futile search for quick explanations and efficient resolutions.

Isn’t it liberating to know that intelligence is not the solution to everything? Isn’t it relaxing to know that we can survive not knowing?

Yes, it demands a posture of vulnerability and humility and uncertainty. But it’s a far more interesting place to be than having it all figure it out.

Remember, true intelligence happens when you stop trying to be smart.

How are you making a concrete response to the mysterious?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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