Language, the final deceit "What we want from religion is guarantees." I agree, many seek this. But many join simply for a supportive community, for morals for their kids, to still fears, to augment meaning and much more. I don't think a huge number are extreme in looking for guarantees -- they are much more pragmatic. People do want cushioning. As you say, since life is full of uncertainty, they have learned that cushioning is important. I don't mean to be picky, but in analyzing religion, it is important to be clear on why people do it. I don't think most people are in a religion, having chosen it because they think they found one true path that really does have the answers. Most realize the accident quality of their "choice" but since they are their for community, sanctity, comfort and such, they can remain in spite of what others would consider cognitive dissonance. But I totally agree with you that much of intellectual Buddhism (as opposed to incense-prayer Buddhism (my coin) is embraces uncertainty and shoves it in the believers face. But many Buddhist intellectuals simple make a subtle substitution as only a self-deceiving intellectual mind can -- they gain certainty finding a path or understanding mind or finding a way to commune with the Buddha-Nature or to see reality "as it really is". Arggggh. Nothing worse than sanctified hypocrisy. [btw, I have not seen you do that once here [yet]. And indeed I have heard you speak against it!] Like you, I believe that learning to embrace uncertainty (or the "yellow light" that I speak about in this post) is an incredibly valuable skill. I laughed at your criticism of "lineage" used in Buddhism as certainty. Just last night, after visiting a Nyingma group, I had the intuition that they use lineage like Christians use Creeds. If we take emptiness seriously, we must realize that we cannot use Buddhism to confirm our selves. Brilliant! The only problem I saw yesterday in visiting the Nyignma group was that perhaps "Emptiness" rolls of the tongue, mind and expectant heart of Nyingma aspirants as does "God" off the theists or "Mindfulness" off the Zen Buddhists. Language is a primal false comfort zone for us all.