On confusion

Finally, I get to write about something about which I am an expert. Confusion is a state of mind in which nothing makes sense–the world is illogical, the pieces don’t fit together, two and two don’t make four. For me, the best way to deal with confusion is to admit that I am confused and that the confusion is not going away any time soon. Whether one is actually confused or just pretending to know what is going on, the world is a complicated place. Confusion often arrises out of a desire to put the pieces together when there is no chance that the world actually makes sense. There are those who would argue the world always makes sense, that it just is, and they create a bunch of myths that explain everything. It isn’t so much that the myths are untrue–they are–it’s the initial premise that myths explain the world which is wrong. Yet, confusion is not a comfortable thing with which to live, so many people resort to listening to spurious myths about the way is constructed, constructing a world which makes sense to them, but it doesn’t make sense to others who don’t except their take on reality. Confusion is really about accepting the fact that many times the world–fragmented, chaotic, contradictory, dissonant, and unexplainable–is not logical or sensible in any way at all. The problem with confusion is probably something quite simple: we hate feeling confused, which is the result of not keeping a lid on our own egos. We think we can know the world, and we won’t admit to confusion. I am quite comfortable with feeling confused. I have come to terms with a world that I don’t understand, and I’m not sure I want to. Perhaps a little confusion is a good thing–keeps us honest about how much we don’t know about the world, a quantity which will probably fill volumes someday. We get cocky with our computers, tablets, and smart phones. We live with the illusion that we control things, that we are manipulating the world, that we know what we are doing. We are kidding ourselves about how we think we have constructed our own logical realities. Confusion is the chaos of bad traffic, a broken escalator, a dead battery, or any of the strange and confusing happenings that break up our daily routine which appear unexplainable or unfathomable. We give ourselves headaches trying to make sense of things that make no sense. We talk about fate or destiny, but this is nothing but self-justification for what is actually chaos. We want to see order where there is none; we want the world to make sense–confusion is anathema to our psychological profiles as type A personalities who want to control everything. By allowing myself to feel confused, I make no claim to understanding why the world is as it is. If there is a big picture, I haven’t been privy to that conversation, so I’m not going to worry about it. So when I don’t understand the crisis or conflicts of the world, I don’t worry about it, especially those things which I can’t change, and work on those problems which might have solutions, no matter how confusing they might be. I also find my own attitude to be both confusing and inexplicable most of the time. Confusion is a helpful way to view the world because it removes the pressure of explaining everything, allowing me to be more comfortable in a world that I only partially understand.