Ambiguity versus Certainty

Ambiguity describes the case where the senses perceive a situation that doesn't fit any category already existing in one's mind. J. K. Krishnamurti coined the term 'choiceless awareness' to describe the tolerance of ambiguity. Ambiguity is actually an opportunity to get away from unnecessary judgment, and to get out of one's head. Truth be told, all social and interpersonal situations are ambiguous because the sum total of others intentions, motivations, feelings, etc.. are unknowable.

But the ego like certainty and abhors ambiguity. It produces a false sense of certainty out of thin air often, with judgments, unnecessary inferences, and explanations. The greatest anti-ambiguity measure is splitting, in which other people are sorted as either all good or all bad. In projective identification, others are coached and manipulated into being (temporarily) all good or all bad, to provide a sense of certainty.

Allowing ambiguity is not the same as knowing nothing. If one is comfortable in one's own body, one knows one's state. With good contact, it is possible to know others partially.

There are other ways to achieve reliability or dependency other than certainty. It used to be that small businesses might close during the day for some good purpose. It was understood that most patrons would understand and come back later. The feeling was that being uncertain was not a testament to ultimate dependability. Faith was put in people, not routines. Now, business fear closing in any irregular manner at all will infuriate patrons. There is an actual loss here because humans acting like machines to provide certainty are less capable of providing warmth and contact.