The Gift of Uncertainty

I'm reading a book by Robert Kull (Solitude: Seeking Wisdom in Extremes).  He writes, "Conceptual knowledge is often used to shield the mind from the unsettling experience of profound uncertainty; the uncertainty engendered by direct engagement with the world.  But instead of building a self-enclosing fortress of knowledge, the intellect can be used to expand the space of awareness and enrich the experience of living."

I recently interviewed Tomas Grifferos, Executive Director of Fundacion Vertical in Santiago, Chile.  Grifferos, a fitness educator, helped train Rodrigo Jordan, PhD, and his team of Chilean climbers for their successful ascent of Mt. Everest in 1992.  Once back in Santiago, Jordan founded VERTICAL S.A., and Grifferos was its first employee.  The VERTICAL team discovered that they could leverage the principle of uncertainty in their outdoor leadership development programs and achieve dramatic effects.  "As a person in nature," Grifferos said, "you have something that makes you want to move, and what makes you want to move is uncertainty, not knowing the outcome.  Uncertainty levels out the physical differences in people, big or small, fast or slow.  You don't know what is going to happen.  That means they must work together."

So profound, yet so simple.