humble ramble. Vol 1: certainty
Let’s try something new. A humble weekly post. Here we gooo!
I’ve never been particularly adept at following linear processes or workflows, I always enjoy having a number of things on the go — books, projects. However, I will endeavour in this case, to remain disciplined to the weekly post while cultivating space for a more instinctive, imaginative wandering of words (without trying to solve anything as such) — typically instigated by a Sunday ramble in the woods.
Walking, talking, thinking, writing …without a definite route, sounds lovely and hopeful to me, and I hope you agree.
humble: a willingness to learn, openness to new ideas, to change and an understanding of what is not known or understood, the courage to be vulnerable and acknowledge failure
ramble: a walk taken for pleasure; to write or talk without a prescribed end or specific outcome; exploratory.
This week’s humble ramble: Our apparent affinity for certainty.
Perhaps appropriately for this new series of posts, I’m thinking a lot about the idea or narrative of certainty in our current social discourse. The notion that things cannot look different than they do, or that the future will unfold in a particular way, all of which seems frightfully ill-suited for our time.
I feel as though I am living in a world that has yet to understand the discontinuity it inhabits. The reality of what lies behind the crumbling facade of stability is exploitation, the ‘othering’ of perceived adversaries. The only remaining certainty in our time is, in fact, uncertainty.
Behind this idea of certainty is indoctrination, a process of teaching that beliefs are accepted uncritically. Most of us (in the West at least) have been indoctrinated and socialized into ideologies that situate us within a context of predictable, stable and static certainty. This context enables us to form identities and positions and convictions that affix themselves, even seek to expropriate us from our sense of self.
These ideologies in our current system (colonialist, patriarchal, neoliberal capitalist) are individualized and often employed to separate humans from one another based on politics, gender, class, race — any criteria that could contribute to a tribalistic orientation towards ‘otherness’ but sold to us, packaged as ‘stability’ and ‘identity.’
These intentional and incessant narratives reinforce our exploitative system and what it seeks to optimize: social hierarchy, wealth concentration, material accumulation, financial profit, power to continue as such. These narratives are arbitrary, reductive, deterministic and dehumanizing. They seek to diminish and disconnect the agency within every one of us.
When we attune to one another and learn of experiences different from our own, we come to know the inherent interconnected and interdependent nature of humanity and change. When we listen and look, we see threads connecting revolutionary acts emerge across generations and geographies. These stories are our stories, moving serendipitously like seeds blowing in the wind, taking hold in the most auspicious of locations and moments, reminding us of our shared power.
We don’t need a collective ideology to create a new path, our ‘Hope in the dark’ is made up of mysterious and revolutionary acts already embedded in our history, and young saplings of imagination taking root in places we could not even imagine. Subcommandante Marcos of the Zapatistas described Zapatismo as ‘not as an ideology, but an intuition.’ It could be that our revolution will manifest as an ideologically agnostic, antidoctrinal mosaic of mutualism moving like water towards our flourishing future world.
The revolution is not being televised, it is live.