We Can’t Know Anything For Sure (nothing is certain in life)

Stop telling people what they want to hear.

It’s not helpful at all!

What I observe often is that people want to be cuddled with, and sometimes if I don’t give them the answer they are looking for I don’t even get a reply back from them and I can feel intuitively that they didn’t like my answer.

They wanted certainty and I can’t give any such promises. I don’t control life. 

And sometimes I get a vibe from people that tells me that they had expected a more “enlightened” reply, one that would make them feel good or better. (“Isn’t she suppose to know? I mean isn’t she a ‘spiritual teacher’ or something?”). 

One thing that is absolutely certain on the spiritual path is that we can’t know anything, not one single thing can we know for sure except for our own direct experience right now and our own relationship with life, right now.

Life is full of uncertainty.

Until we embrace that we resist it, thinking we can know and we try to know, we really try very hard and we force ourselves trying to know and have certainty and guarantees, but we still don’t know, no matter how hard we try and we have never known, and never will.

When we really realize that, there’s liberation. It’s actually not a bad place to in at all.

Because in reality that’s where we have been all the time!

Now we just stop protecting ourselves trying to control and know everything for sure. 

That’s all.

Sometimes someone asks me what to do and I can sense that they want me to say that everything will be fine and they will soon get a new job or meet the love of their life or whatever, but I can’t say those things – because I don’t know!

I can say that yes, it has been my own personal experience that I have been supported by life up until now (in ways that amazes me, even if it’s very difficult at the moment financially I still have the basics) since I went full throttle on the spiritual path, but I can’t say that that is the case for everyone.

And I can’t even say it will last because I have no clue about where any of this is going. 

There’s no security in life just because you have chosen the spiritual path. 

It’s not like life ‘likes’ you more and bestows you with miracles just because you are ‘spiritual’.

Some has made a career out of their awakening while others has become homeless and penniless in the process, and some others has found a whole new career or life direction  altogether.

To be enlightened or awakened doesn’t mean you will become a spiritual teacher or guru.

A florist, taxi driver or high school teacher can awaken to their true nature, it has nothing to with “being spiritual and holy” and it doesn’t diminish the realization in any way no matter how your outer world look (if someone is poor and jobless for example) because it really doesn’t matter who you are or how good (or bad for that matter; awakening can happen to anyone) your intentions are; what life wants life gets. 

You may have noticed that life is not personal.

Uncertainty is the name of the game. It really is.

Just look at your own life; tell me what you know for 100% certainty? What do you know for sure? What can you know with absolute certainty?

Not a single thing except for what is right now.

When we really embrace that, oddly enough, there’s freedom in that. Who would have known!

But no. Lets struggle a bit more and seek and search until we find someone who tells us what we want to hear so that we can feel good for the moment and then go back seeking and searching again when that wanes off.

So no, I will not lie to you. I will not hold your hand and tell you that you will be fine, because I don’t know what will happen even a moment from now, not with me and certainly not with you.

Yes, we’ll be ‘fine’ but not in the sense that the ego thinks is fine.

There’s a vast difference in having a belief that all is well, and to actually have the experience of it. Two totally different things altogether.

So it doesn’t matter if someone writes inspirational quotes on their Facebook saying that “all is well” if it’s just a belief.

As long as it’s just a belief it means nothing. It may be comforting to hear, but there’s a deeper truth to it than merely the ‘feeling better for the moment’-part. 

To have the direct experience of it requires that you don’t let yourself be cuddled with spiritually and emotionally because the truth lies behind the idea or concept, it’s beyond it, so you have to actually start to question your own assumptions and look beyond them.

(“Is it actually true for me that ‘all is well’? Is that my own personal experience or do I just find comfort in hearing someone saying it to me? What is real for me in all this? What is this really about?”)

This requires uttermost honesty with yourself and it requires the courage to be vulnerable.

Holding someone’s hand and stroking their frightened egos won’t help one iota. 

What if we don’t avoid anything anymore, what if we don’t avoid life?

What if we just tell the truth. That we don’t know. 

Isn’t it better to be truthful and say “I don’t know if you get a new job soon, I certainly hope the best for you, and I will be here for you as a friend when you need me”, instead of “of course you will get a job soon. Good luck! And remember ‘all is well’. Think positive thoughts!” [thumbs up and tongue in cheek]

Asking someone for help or support and then get a response like that is not what I would call an invitation to real intimacy and friendship.

The first response is opening and inviting and the second response is about avoiding and closing yourself to something that is actually real and sincere.

We can’t control life but we can chose what our relationship with it is.

We can chose to be honest with ourselves and others or we can chose to avoid life as it is and pretend that we have certainty and answers.

In order for a true human connection to be able to happen we have to allow ourselves to be courageous enough and admit that we can’t really know anything.

But to hear someone say “I don’t know” means to the ego that this person is ignorant and should not be listened to. 

The ego want to hear someone say “I know, and here, let me sell you my new program that will help you know for certain what life will bring you tomorrow. In fact, let me teach you how to control your destiny and create your own life, because I know. And you don’t”.

But the truth is that they don’t know either.

But many people so badly want to believe them so they buy their products and books.

Or a person can flock around different gurus and sweep the floors of their ashrams for decades hoping that being in their presence will awaken them, but just have a closer look and you’ll see the same faces year after year, hoping for the same thing that the other feet-kissing guru followers do – that someone will give them what they think will liberate them and free them from the uncertainties of life.

Truth is there is no security or guarantees, not even in enlightenment.

Life will continue doing it’s thing regardless, and the only thing that awakening brings to the table so to speak when it comes to the subject of certainty is that you will finally be totally okay with not knowing.

That’s all. And that’s true freedom. It really is.

I don’t know, I really don’t have a clue”. Say it out loud and really feel into the truth of that.

It’s not gloomy at all is it.

It may sound gloomy to the ego, but once you feel the truth of it, it’s nothing but.

It’s actually liberating and allows us to stay in the moment and also to play more and try new and different things in life because we’re not obsessed with having to know if it will lead to a safe place or not.

I love Dido’s music and one of her songs came to mind just now where she sings:

“I wanna be…
The lover who really loved
The dancer who danced..”

To me those words mean to live life fully and love fully, dance your own dance fully, without thinking of any rewards or safety in the end.

Just for the sake of loving and dancing and feeling and experiencing, that’s what life really is about.

And sometimes life is messy. 

And don’t we all just want to have a friend that lets us know that they ‘understand’ rather than one who tells us that they ‘know’ and pretends to have all the answers? 


Sometimes our life path is wobbly and shaky and full of uncertainty and we look to others for answers so that we can have the illusion of being in control. But the moment we let go and are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, that’s when the scenery changes and it actually becomes beautiful. It becomes okay not to know and life starts to feel way more adventurous and full.


You might like this article as well: 

Spiritual People Can Be Really Annoying


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  1. I admit I am one of those people always wanting some kind of security/certainty:( I just wanted you to know that this article was very enlightening and inspiring to me to be Courageous and look at life more as an adventure! Thank you for sharing your inspiring thoughts today and for being true to who you are no matter what any one thinks~ to me that’s Pure Strength! ~ I am working on changing my life to be more like you! Thank you for helping to guide me in the right direction!
    Melissa Wren Loveland Colorado

  2. I’m so glad to hear that Melissa. (That you like my articles)

    I like seeing people think for themselves and to be themselves and if my articles can be helpful to someone then that’s awesome so thank you for sharing that with me 🙂

    I’ve just published an article that may be a bit thought-provoking to some (as Astrology is a strongly held belief-system for many), but then again, it may also be inspiring and eye-opening to read for someone else – I do believe that many can relate.

    You find it here: http://mariaerving.com/astrology-not-true/

    Hope you enjoy the read! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Critical Thinking: Astrology · Maria Erving

  4. A little PS: To just begin to ask yourself what you really know for sure will start to reveal to you that we don’t know anything and we have never known.

    Just look at your life; did you know that you would meet all the people you have met, did you know what life experiences you would go through up until now?

    Do you know for absolute certainty what will happen tomorrow? (even if you have set plans, you still don’t know if they will happen until they do, which always is in the Now).

    It’s very revealing to start to look closely at all this, and you will get lots of aha’s when you do, but you have to look and ask within, that’s when the realizations come and you will feel almost amazed when realizing the truth of that, and that that it’s actually not a bad place to be in at all, to not know, because that’s where we have been all the time.

    It’s only the resistance to that knowing (and the trying and struggling to know) that brings suffering.

    When we let go of the need to know, there’s freedom.

    But we have to actually look at our own life experiences and what is right now. “What do I know for sure except from what is right now?”.

    It’s not enough to just believe it or think it’s a nice idea that only applies to others or whatever.

    It’s actually reality for all, at all times.

    We just go through life thinking we know. When in reality we don’t 🙂

  5. Pingback: A Life Worth Living · Maria Erving

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