Reverse Confidence

October 21, 2004

Have you ever looked back on your life, thought about the
incidents and situations you faced in your life? Often, the
sudden and out-of-the-blue surprises that we are at first
shocked by and terrified to overcome later turn out to be
important turning points or stepping stones to something
else. They did serve a purpose and were necessary in our pur-
suit for something else. In the very situation we did not real-
ize the bigger picture, but later on, sometimes even years later,
everything makes perfect sense. There was a red line after all.
We just did not realize it earlier.

There are a few Hollywood movies that tell the story from
the end to the beginning. The film Memento is one of these.
For the spectator, this is a very annoying experience because
the causal relationships we are so used to in our everyday life
is working in reverse. The situation and things happening are
not leading to something but are results and consequences of
something that has already happened. Therefore, it is practi-
cally impossible to “know or expect” the next phases of the

Our life works this way as well. We can only track back the
events leading to this point but the next phases are not known
to us. This makes us insecure and uncertain about our future.
Anything can happen—or that’s the thinking.

We could use reverse-order logic on our life as well. We are
very confident when looking back on our lives. The sense of
security derives from knowing that finally everything turns out
to be OK (because we are here to reflect back on our memories).
Similarly, we also understand better the circumstances and may
analyze the reasons and situations that we have already lived.
But why are we so uncomfortable with our future? Why should
it all change and things become unbearable for us suddenly in
the future? Our activities in the past were necessary and led us to
many surprises. Not all of them have been negative and many of
them have actually given us something. We have learned from
our mistakes and these experiences have given us new ideas and
added new dimensions to our lives.

Look back on your life and focus on some important devel-
opments in your life. Can you claim that all the incidents and
situations in your life have been totally chaotic and range from
whatever unexpected irrational incident to another in no partic-
ular order, where putting it together makes absolutely no sense
at all? Has all of it been a pure waste of time and resources? Pure
chaos means that random events happen and each incident is
not in any way interrelated or dependent on any other occur-
rence. Chaos consists of no logic but a hidden logic is no chaos.
Reverse confidence may start to make sense. 🙂

This is the original text, and an edited version can be found in the Fragments of Reality -book.