Being Comfortable with Uncertainty: Reflections with ConsciousCafe Singapore

Published: October 5, 2019
Author: ConsciousCafe

Uncertainty is everywhere and we cannot escape from it. We crave certainty. However, life with certainty will be predictable and maybe even ... boring?

We know some things to be true. Others we know to be false. In between there remain many things of which we are uncertain. We do not have full information about the present moment, the past is shrouded and we do not know the future.

Uncertainty involves evoking many emotional states: fear of the unknown, anxiety, surprise, anger, depression, the desire to control, to name just a few. The lack of certainty can also create a response on a physiological level. The brain is wired to react to threats; the limbic system triggers an instinctual survival response of flight, fight or freeze, if the threat is too overwhelming. That is an instinctive mechanism that has followed us since primitive times.

At some point in our growing human civilisation - rife with language, the written word, buildings! - our society “exploded” in a new direction, and we humans shifted from instincts into awareness.

These days, our lives are so much more certain than they were even 100 years ago, yet they are ever more complex. We often mix the uncertainty with complexity, applying knowledge or attempting to make quasi-rational decisions to try and overcome or deal with uncertainty. We follow set rules of our intuition. Or sometimes we simply wait ...

We had an excellent time exploring this theme at ConsciousCafe Singapore. We explored and shared personal experiences on how might we deal with uncertainty when it arises. Is the desire to control uncertain situations or circumstances born out of habit or fear?

There were a few artists amongst us and we had an interesting exchange on how the uncertainty affects creative processes, and how curiosity can help to overcame discomforts of the unknown. We expanded the topic, too - shifting into ideas of probability, chance and uncertainty theories in physics, all adding a brand new dimension to the topic.

And now we'd love to pass the question off to you: are you comfortable in uncertainty?


ConsciousCafe Singapore Leader


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