Surrendering to Uncertainty
Scientists recognize the unpredictability of nature, and have been trying to make sense of it. Even the most seemingly simple events are governed by this unpredictability.
When and where will bubbles appear in a pot of boiling water? What patterns will be made by the smoke of a lit cigarette? How does the position of water molecules at the top of a waterfall relate to their eventual position at the bottom? God might just as well have taken all those water molecules under the table and shuffled them personally.
The new science of chaos is attempting to predict the unpredictable through intricate mathematical models. In the classic example, a butterfly flutters its wings in Texas and there is a typhoon in Tokyo six days later.
The connection may not seem obvious, but it exists. That little change of air pressure caused by the butterfly can get multiplied and magnified, resulting in a tornado. But it can never be entirely predicted. Thatís why weather forecasters seem to be wrong so often, and why any forecast longer than about forty-eight hours away is unreliable. Yet among all the possible occurrences in the world, weather is more predictable than just about anything else.
What this says on a spiritual level is that we can never really know what direction life will take, what changes those small butterfly-flutters of intention and action might cause in our destiny.
At the same time, it also tells us that we can never really truly know the mind of God. We can never fully understand the how, where, and when of anything, even something as simple as boiling water. We have to surrender to uncertainty, while appreciating its intricate beauty.
Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).