Uncertainty Is the Only Certainty

I started yesterday by seeing a quote online:

Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security. –John Allan Paulos

I thought Paulos’s words were interesting in light of the way I’d like to live after my present responsibilities end. Since I can’t bear the thought of settling anywhere, I am planning to live on the go, at least for a while, and see where serendipity and spontaneity take me. The uncertainty and insecurity of such a life style makes me a bit nervous, but I’d come to the same conclusion that John Allan Paulos did — that there is no certainty, and learning how to live with insecurity is the only security you can ever truly have.

Later, I read Malcolm R. Campbell’s blog Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen where he quoted Jane Roberts “The soul can be described for that matter, as a multidimensional, infinite act, each minute probability being brought somewhere into actuality and existence; an infinite creative act that creates for itself infinite dimensions in which fulfillment is possible.” – “Seth Speaks” (1972)

I read thUncertaintye Seth books once upon a time, but lost interest in Seth’s words when I realized that most of what he supposedly said had already touted in quantum physics, such as humans existing as possibility and electronic waves, which meant that his pronouncements could have come from Jane Roberts herself rather than from an all-knowing entity. (I also was disturbed by the assertion that Hitler was in a deep sleep for a thousand years. If time doesn’t exist outside of our material universe, then what difference does it make how long he was put to sleep?)

Although this might not seem to have anything to do with uncertainty, the idea that humans exist as possibilities, as an act rather than a physical being, is a variation of quantum mechanic’s uncertainty principle, which as far as I can tell says that everything exists in a state of infinite possibilities until it is observed or otherwise interacted with by another quantum object. (Actually, it says that either momentum or position of a particle can be precisely measured, but not both, and that the very act of measuring disturbs the measurement.)

And then, last night, quite coincidentally, I watched the 1994 movie IQ — just picked it blindly from a collection of movies. And there again, the uncertainty principle raised its head and took a long hard stare at me when Einstein and his cronies discussed the nature of the universe.

What does this mean? Probably nothing, though it does seem to show that uncertainty is the only certainty.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.