It is human nature to want to not know.
I’m a college student. (Well, sort of. It’s a little more complicated than that.) Which means that right now, my life is filled with complete uncertainty. What do I want to major in? What’s going to be my future? Do I event want to go to college?
I used to say this a lot, but for the first time in my life, I actually have no idea what I’m doing.
And when I accepted that, it sort of…excited me.
The last thing I want is to bring religion into the mix, but it’s such a prime example. Thomas defines faith as lying somewhere between science and suspicion. “But what we call believing cleaves firmly to one side, which is why belief has something in common with science and understanding; yet its knowledge does not attain the perfection of clear sight, wherein it agrees with doubt, suspicion and opinion.”
In order to believe in something, you have to be faced with the science of it. The understanding. In religion’s case, you have to understand how religion works – the church, the symbols, the prayers, and the community. Those things, you know and you can see with your eyes. But in order to have faith in something, you have to agree with doubt. You have to be certain of this uncertainty. You have to know that you won’t know.
I think it’s the same with life.
There’s something about uncertainty that excites humans. If it didn’t, I’m not sure how we could’ve made it to today. How did our ancestors know that fire was useful? That certain plants could be eaten? That cow’s milk would taste delicious?
They didn’t. Sure, they might have understood the science of things – that if this plant was edible, maybe plants of the same kind could be – but there was still an uncertainty. It could turn out the plants weren’t edible, and they could’ve even been deadly. There was a risk.
A huge part of taking risk is finding out if that risk was worth taking.
There are people who are going to be okay with not finding out. They’ll play it safe and stick to the science – after all, with such an evolved world we live in there’s enough science to stick to that risks are almost no longer necessary. Maybe they’ll spend their lives asking the question, maybe they’ll be so comfortable that they’ll forget the question – I don’t know. I am not one of these people.
The people I am part of are those hungry to not know. They’re not afraid to take risks, because whether or not the risk pays off, it’s better than just simply never finding out. They like not knowing, because it just leads to answers, and answers lead to more questions and that’s the fun of it all.
Will that bite them in the back? Who knows? I’ll get back to you when I find out.