The Power of Uncertainty
If there’s one thing that COVID-times have brought us, it’s uncertainty. We wake up each morning wondering what unexpected changes are coming our way. Will there be work, will there be school, will there be money? Will we or our loved ones become sick or well? What governmental regulations will be imposed or lifted? Will there be flour or toilet paper at the grocery store? Will a COVID vaccine save us or harm us? Will we ever be allowed to travel and associate freely with others again?
Unfortunately, uncertainty is something we humans tend to dislike. We work very hard to cultivate the sense of safety that certainty can bring. But in our never-ending quest for more certainty, are we robbing ourselves of the very juiciness of life? At what price safety? At what price security? Those too, are questions we ponder each day in the times of COVID.
But what if uncertainty actually affords us even greater potential power?
I remember standing at a street corner as a child, waiting for the bus and not knowing when it would appear down the street. The anticipation and unknowing, and also, a kind of temporal space in which I could just look out at the world around me and take it all in. In contrast, today we may know exactly when a bus will arrive down to the second, thanks to a smart phone app. Since I (intentionally) don’t use a smart phone myself, I was unaware of this new capability until my son Izaak, who lives in Sydney, Australia, showed it to me. To him, knowing exactly when a bus will arrive is a wonderful convenience. To me it feels oddly unsettling. That level of certainty that is so characteristic of our too-much-information age feels unnatural and even imprisoning to me.
Now let’s consider the advantages of cultivating at least some degree of uncertainty in our lives. One of the things I love best about traveling is not knowing what will happen, what I will see, and how I will navigate it all. It’s invigorating and enlivening! Many of us have had the experience of spending a week on an exciting vacation and feeling like a month has gone by. It’s because of all that uncertainty, the newness and growth and unexpectedness of it all. Life becomes an adventure once again, much as it was for us when we were small children. Remember how summer vacations used to seem downright endless? Uncertainty and newness is actually youthifying.
Or consider sporting events. One of the wonderful and fun things about them is that we have no idea what will happen and who will win. Similarly, gamblers know that it is the uncertainty of the game that creates that rush of anticipation, possibility, and excitement. Similarly, soldiers who keep re-upping for another tour of duty know the addictive craving for uncertainty and even fear that the battlefield can bring. Without the potential for failure or even death, such intense experiences would be nullified.
Of course, another lesson of COVID-times is the wretched and depressing quality of monotony. If you’ve been mostly at home in 2020, have you noticed how quickly time has passed? Although our future may be uncertain “in the large,” how we live our lives each day has become increasingly predictable and confined. The unending certainty of our daily routines has become downright stifling. I recently heard a phrase that aptly describes this situation: the interminable interim. Many of us feel like our life potential is slowly and inexorably dripping down the drain. Drip, drip, drip. But introduce one tiny element of newness — a trip to a locale you’ve never been to, learning a new skill, or even trying a food you’ve never had before — can help break the spell.
But there is still more power lying within uncertainty than you might realize.
Think about it. Without uncertainty, no real change would be possible. As I discuss in my second book Active Consciousness, at each moment in time, we are at a gateway of uncertainty. Which of the infinite possible futures will we step into next? It is uncertainty that enables our power to alter the course of our individual and collective future. Moreover, it is often the seemingly minor or “insignificant” events that can create sudden and huge changes. Twenty years ago, who could have predicted the legalization of gay marriage swiftly spreading across the globe? Seemingly unmovable mountains of certainty can be shifted by just the right event at the right time. That’s the power of uncertainty.
As I describe in my first book Impossible Cure, it is this phenomenon that also enables the outsize power of homeopathy’s infinitesimal doses. How could a single dose of a substance that has been diluted and shaken into seeming nothingness dislodge a chronic disease of many years standing? It happens, and it happens surprisingly frequently in the practice of most homeopaths, because of the power of uncertainty.
Homeopaths understand that all living things are, at base, energetic beings. We have physical bodies, but these bodies are ultimately governed by our energetic state. You might think of yourself as a complex vibration that is unique to you. An intransigent disease can then be visualized as a state of vibration that you just can’t seem to shake. Somehow, you’ve gotten wedged into a vibration that creates arthritis, chronic pain, allergies and other sensitivities, or depression, and you can’t break free of it. You feel stuck and blocked, and it seems like the only certainty is needing to take an unending stream of palliative medicines for the rest of your life.
But always, there is the ever-arising current moment, the Now. The power of homeopathic remedies lies in the ability of a minute dose of vibration, a vibration that is very similar to your wedged vibrational state, to shift you onto another, less likely, path into the future. That’s why this form of healing is called “homeo-pathy” — which literally means “similar suffering”. The homeopath’s job is to find the best-matching similar remedy that will provide that critical trigger. It’s not always easy to do and it’s not always easy to apply in practice. But it is at least possible — because of the power of uncertainty.
How can we apply this homeopathic principle to heal our current collective world-state of suffering? The very nature of COVID itself provides us with a clue. After all, if the entire world is experiencing similar physical, emotional, mental, and behavioral symptoms at the same time, these symptoms must somehow be significant. I wrote an article about this earlier in 2020.
It turns out that homeopaths all over the world have been very successful in treating COVID and have usually been able to keep their patients from needing hospitalization. (And as is true for most alternative approaches to COVID — and even some allopathic approaches — this curative information has been suppressed. Speculation about why this is happening could fill another article or two!) Homeopaths have also been compiling information about the strategies and remedies that have been successful in global databases. By analyzing this information, it has emerged that many of these remedies are associated with symptoms of loss — and not just physical forms of loss (e.g., loss of oxygen), but emotional ones as well.
Now think about the state of our planet. Loss of habitat, loss of species, loss of hope for the future in the face of looming climate disaster. Is it any wonder that we are manifesting a global disease pandemic that is reflecting an energetic state of loss? And how could we apply the homeopathic principle to remedy our predicament?
One option would be to give everyone a dose of an appropriate homeopathic remedy. Another would be to use a method that it utilized by psychological support groups. In particular, sharing our experiences and feelings with others who are going through the same thing is actually a psychological form of homeopathy — like vibrations cure like vibrations.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that we intentionally wallow in loss. I’m talking about truly facing and hopefully learning and growing from our loss rather than running away from it. Indeed, could the emergence of COVID itself be Gaia’s way of healing the planet from the intense loss that was already underway, long before 2020? It’s possible, and only time will tell — if we ultimately experience a global form of healing as a result of it. If so, we may also experience other common symptoms of the healing process along the way (known to all alternative practitioners): an initial aggravation of symptoms (which we might be going through right now), discharges of various kinds in order to clear toxins, an increased need for rest, an enhanced self-awareness of the various delusions we have been carrying, and more. Sound familiar?
As we move forward into 2021, let us remember that the power of uncertainty is our ever-present and available saving grace. And, as I also point out in Active Consciousness, it is ultimately our own state of consciousness that determines how we navigate and experience the future as it unfolds. In other words, consciousness literally is the tool we use to wield the power of uncertainty. If we constantly think about dire and bleak futures, we will be much more likely to manifest them. Or if we simply give up and abdicate our lives to circumstance and the dictates of the powers-that-be, we rob ourselves of our innate power to create something different.
Instead, let’s use the power of uncertainty to create a better future. And don’t forget that when we do so collectively, this creative power becomes even greater. Let’s envision and create the 2021 we would like to see, together.