From 100% certainty to 0% certainty

Back at Wisdom 2.0, Daniel Siegel shared a perspective with a group of us that really clicked for me. I wanted to share that with you here.

Dan Siegel is a neuroscientist exploring how our brains work - how do interpersonal relationships occur and affect our brain, how does creativity work, and so on.

Someone asked how neuroscientists would explain the “spaciousness” or “presence” or that feeling of “oneness” that spiritual teachers like Eckhart Tolle or Jon Kabat-Zinn or Buddha talks about.

His answer was this:

Everything exists on a scale from 100% certainty to 0% certainty, or 100% potentiality. These are the quantum states.

100% certainty are all the usual 3D things - here’s a table, here’s a computer, I’m in my car, there’s a red light, I stop, and so on. We absolutely need that dimension, or we can’t function in the world.

But at the same time, there’s another dimension. The dimension of intuitive knowing. Of spaciousness, presence, connectedness, and so on. Where those things come from, there cannot be 100% certainty.

It’s like a polarizing filter on your sunglasses or your camera: The “100% certainty” filter will not allow those things to come through, they simply cannot exist in that dimension.

But if we can let go of the need for 100% certainty, then we can open ourselves up to intuition and other forms of knowing that aren’t certain, but are equally valuable. We have to accept knowing without certainty to access them, though.

And the trick is to be able to navigate freely between those dimensions. To be able to exist in both at the same time. To not insist that only one of these can be true.

To be willing to let go of 100% certainty for a while, so we can gather the information that dimension has for us, before we go back into the 3D world and act on it.

Or not. Maybe we just want to hang out in that other dimension for a bit, because it’s real nice :)


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