The Search for Certainty
I have friends that lean into science
or a combo meal.
But one thing I see as the through line, from most people, is a desire for certainty—consciously or unconsciously.
We always want certainty—perhaps, even more now that we are in upheaval.
This is a biological need. Our brains crave certainty. Therefore, we look for patterns, even when they don’t exist. If these patterns are “proven” by subject matter experts or people we trust, all the better. Certainty makes us feel safe, while uncertainty triggers our nervous system into a threat response.
So, we seek information in our search for certainty. Information releases dopamine (a hormonal reward!). So when we find information, especially information that confirms a belief bias, we feel better…and often mistake that better feeling as the certainty we crave. “I feel relief. THIS must be the truth!”
I believe that many different approaches—science, politics, spirituality, religion, “conspiracy”–can hold truth. I believe many of those same approaches can hold misinformation and may be dangerous. It depends how the information is used, by whom and with what intent. Even facts can be manipulated.
I am a holistic thinker. So, personally, I love to see where all of the above approaches intersect and what that intersection reveals about humanity.
But don’t let any of it fool you into a perception of certainty. Few things in life are actually certain.
So, take a deep breath, triple check your sources and enjoy the (mind)trip.