To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Observercast

Uncertainty Frightens Many Towards Delusions

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Who knows what tomorrow brings? Or the next 15 minutes? Lightning strikes. Meteors might reach Earth as meteorites. We don’t need a bop on the head to admit the iffy-ness inherent in existence.

The echo of Big Bang is universal chaos. What we designate Cosmos [“Order”] is riddled with disorder. Mutability controls every aspect of our lives with a stern uncertainty.

Natural laws enable reliable predictions, a limited certainty we feel should be extended past their applicable fields. Certainty seems safe to us, as if we are in control. We are not.

Since absolute precision is seldom necessary, we ignore the discrepancies. We will never have enough data to eliminate every unforeseen outcome.

The eternal flux prevents the stasis necessary for certainty to exist. The changes overwhelm our limited capacities. Ultimate security will always be out of reach.

The rolling, tumbling debris that Big Bang continues to push along with the expansion of the universal field guarantees a chaotic reality.

Little children are misled into thinking their parents possess all of the answers. The truth becomes apparent, but the wish for certainty still persists. Thus some welcome illusions and deluders.

Reality replaces the illusion of order with awareness of the flux. Frightened by this excitement, some ache for childhood memories of total security and happy obedience.

Frightened individuals fight reality with lies to make themselves feel safer amid life’s uncertainties. They need something to cling to even with no evidence that what they believe exists.

Like-minded liars unite – which should be their organizing cry – into cults, and, if they grow, into full-blown religions or political movements where nurturing that first lie demands total loyalty.

The certitude of liars guarantees successful cons. The willingness to believe satisfying fantasies leads the deluded astray, where, by staying, they refrain from admitting their failure.

Prophets, priests and demagogues dream up their own fantasies just like everybody else. But then they want to enforce their worldview onto others with themselves running the show since only they know the divine mind that created it.

Sometimes some lies resonate within the deluded minds of those too lazy to think or who are eager to please that authority figure they’ve spent their lives looking for since their parents proved human.

They want to be the cool kids or, at least, part of a group that’s big enough to protect their biases – to convert personal lies into a united front.

Positing finalities ignores the reality of an ever-changing world. Wishful thinking is a poor substitute for evidence. We live with uncertainties that we need to learn to surf.

Ever-changing, never fixed Nature is as close as we can come to finality. But as soon as we name it, we’re already in the past. Seeking working approximations demands fluidity.

Recalcitrant minds find facts inconvenient obstacles. So, they choose to ignore them, bypass them on their journey down the safest trails through life.

Multiple participants in fantastic fictive worlds create a faux reality, an elaborate board game spread across society with a collection of rules that regulates players’ lives.

Some see what they want to see and choose to ignore the rest, especially challenges to their comfortable ruts. Focused on the familiar, they miss the periphery where trails lead to adventure.

Change is inevitable; progress more problematic.

The truth makes many nervous. Others welcome the challenge of constant development, eager to see what comes next.

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Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.