The Power of Not Knowing

The desire for certainty runs deep in us - we've been raised to believe that we must know before we act, or at least to know our decisions have a "statistically significant" chance of being correct. Yet for someone with gnawing doubts even a 99% probability of success may not be enough. They feel haunted by that 1% chance that something "bad" is going to happen to them.

Secular psychologists suggest that the need for certainty and predictability is a deep human need. According to this view, people crave certainty to give them a sense of grounding - a safe haven to calm their existential anxiety.

Is it true that certainty is a  deep-seated psychological need? Or has it just become popular to think it is in a culture of "seeing is believing" - a culture that is devoid of Faith?

A person of faith actually gets stronger from uncertainty. He knows and accepts that he can only find certainty in Faith itself. "Faith is the foundation of everything."

Psychology does not differentiate between the mind of one with Faith and one without Faith - this leads to faulty conclusions - for the two brains are not alike. The person of Faith thrives on uncertainty, he craves the mysterious and unknown. For him it is the unknown that stimulates him and gives his life meaning.  It is his freedom to choose Faith not "certainty" that fills him with the vitality of drawing ever-closer to his G-d. 

The person of Faith operates from an inner blueprint that works because it is in sync with Creation.  He meets Divine Providence with a smile. When he goes through hard times, his immunity to uncertainty only grows stronger. He is at peace with reality - with G-d's plan.  His secular brothers think he's mad, yet they envy his peace - his even keel and joy.

The only place there's complete certainty is in the upper realms. In the world of the Spirit there is no need for Faith - everything is known and understood well. There are no questions or doubts. G-d is revealed.

Not here - G-d is in hiding. How else can we grow? So we walk in darkness with only our Faith to lead us and each step that we take brings us closer to the Truth.  Not with our minds do we find what is real but with the yearning of our hearts to know G-d - to be with Him in thought and deed. 

Zev Ballen, PsyD, LCSW-R Psychotherapist | Founder, Project CAREm: Israel / +972 058-556-1220            p: US / +1 347-775-3432                         e: