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The Mystic's Life Lesson #15
Facing Your Doubts
As you proceed toward higher consciousness you will very likely have periods of doubt. Doubt can be a good sign or it can be very harmful, depending on how you deal with the consequences of your doubt. Certainly the road to higher consciousness is no place for the naive. An observant and discriminating mind is not only helpful, it's essential. Otherwise, you'll believe anything! You will misinterpret your experiences and make so many mistakes that you'll become extremely confused and turn your life off into some trip of fantasy, complete with super-high beings and also a goodly number of hobgoblins.
Some of the definitions of doubt are:
The word doubt comes from the Latin dubitare, "to waver in opinion."
As you proceed toward higher consciousness, you are growing, your life is changing. Set values are being updated and reinforced, while some which prove unworthy of you are being discarded. Thus, it is a normal matter to find yourself at times "wavering in opinion." To be unchanging in your opinion is a sign that you are very likely allowing some deep emotional convictions to dominate you; and your mind is not being given its chance to evaluate, ponder, and develop a new set of concepts which will enable you to better understand the process you are going through.
Many quitters of this great highway to fulfillment refuse to doubt. They are striving to escape into a new frontier of life. They refuse to entertain doubt because of their desperation for success and acceptance in a new area. They deny their doubt or drown out their doubt by various means, including a form of unrealistic romanticism. They are too busy having fun to think. Then, several months, or perhaps even years, down the road some shattering doubt which they cannot ignore rises up before them and confronts them in such a powerful manner they fear they cannot escape it. A significant crisis shakes them because all the ignored doubts, all the old apprehensions and mental quibbles, as well as perhaps significant unanswered questions, pour into the awareness of the once-carefree traveler.
In not having prepared for a doubt crisis, in fact, in storing up doubts while at the same time not developing the strength and the sharp mind needed for formulating and understanding new concepts, this poor, unrealistic, and generally immature seeker bites the dust. He leaves in an emotional rage, or his behavior becomes bizarre, totally inappropriate to those who have been sincerely sharing in the journey with him.
Doubts must be faced, not harbored. Of course, they shouldn't be expanded and exaggerated, nor given the freedom to dominate your quest. Nevertheless, any true path, and certainly the field of higher consciousness itself, will not flee in terror from earnest questions, nor will it punish you for being yourself. Certainly it will not withdraw from you simply because you are striving to know and appreciate it more. Sincere doubts are often a sign of growth. Each and every sincere doubt is a potential for greater understanding. While it's true that higher consciousness is a level of awareness far beyond the day-to-day skeptical mind, the integrative wisdom of the higher consciousness nevertheless can reward an inquisitive, interested attitude. Events in your daily life, and also the ideas in the great scriptures of the world, need to be thought about, deeply pondered, in order to be well understood.
The mind can be satisfied in its own territory. There are appealing and powerful reasonings which the mind can achieve, if you are willing to be honest, and if you are not trying to make your mind ignore reality. Be willing to genuinely seek the truth and be genuinely humble in considering your new possibilities and new experiences. Also, deeply study the words of those who have been so wondrously blessed to experience higher consciousness.
Remember the beautiful example of Apostle Thomas?
"Doubting Thomas" said he could not believe Jesus Christ was resurrected and alive unless he, Thomas, could personally see Jesus and touch Jesus' wounds. Jesus did not condemn Thomas or send him away. Rather, Jesus satisfied Thomas' doubts through and through.
However, some people are so foolish that they stop everything whenever they have a doubt. The momentum of their hearts and minds, the tremendous forward movement of their aspiration, is stopped dead while they rummage around with a limited mind, seeking in a generally half-hearted way for some powerful answer. Even if they received a powerful answer, chances are these aspirants would not understand such an answer, being unequipped as yet in terms of concepts and in terms of mental/emotional maturity to appreciate it.
When in doubt, go forward! The answers to your deepest questions will be solved if you're willing to maintain your momentum and keep going. The highway to higher consciousness is regularly jammed by those who stop everything when they have a doubt. Those who are always stopping have to start all over again. Frequent doubters, they regularly sputter to a halt. After considering the alternatives of not seeking higher consciousness and noting how empty other attitudes of life seem, they lurch ahead once again.
People who are always stopping and starting do not go very far. There are some who claim to have been seeking higher consciousness for years but, in fact, they have barely started. They stopped so many times, they thoroughly destroyed any aspiration and devotion which they were developing. They have, in fact, scarcely begun. They have not been "at it" for years, they only think they have. In reality, they have been proceeding toward fulfillment for only days — perhaps minutes — when you consider the actual amount of their forward-moving thoughts and attitudes.
It's possible to be a stopper for a lifetime but you won't find success. The road to higher consciousness is dynamic. It involves a continuous forward movement of each aspect of your life.
Just as it would be foolish to try to drive your car sixty-five miles an hour down the road while at the same time holding your foot on the brake, there are perhaps thousands who proceed toward the higher consciousness while insisting on maintaining a dominant attitude of disbelief. In their continual attitude of disbelief, they fail to get anywhere. Indeed, they burn up inside.
If you are not capable of focusing on your ideals while applying self-discipline, introspection, and devotion with openness and hope, check to be sure some part of you isn't fiercely pushing down on the brake. By brake we mean doubt — the inclination to disbelieve anything and everything that is occurring on your journey.
Be More Conscious!
Let's say it even stronger. Some travel, or at least say they are traveling, while refusing to be more conscious. They have developed their doubt into an ongoing state of intentional ignorance. On the road toward higher consciousness you are free to disbelieve or doubt anything you choose but you must make an effort — if you want to succeed — to be more conscious.
While you might laugh or even be shocked that someone would be fool enough to try to go for a long journey while pressing one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brake, many attempt this absurdity. You will likely meet a number of these people who, by force of habit, fear, or a sense of arrogance, believe they are proceeding toward higher consciousness while totally denying its reality or their own possibilities of experiencing it. Further, these confused doubters seem, additionally, to put on blinders and develop an unwillingness that any of their faculties become more sensitive, more aware.
Keep in mind, however, while there are many self-stopped seekers, generally the most successful people on the paths of enlightenment are those who doubt most sincerely. They are motivated to go forward in an effort to solve their doubts through verifiable experience.
Remember also, it is good to doubt early on your path. Naive acceptance doesn't do anyone a favor. Naivete is a form of ignorance, a form of stupidity, which eliminates a maturing process which is so necessary. Early in your journey develop the habit of paying attention to your doubts, whether they are mental, emotional, or intuitional. Face them. While maintaining your forward momentum, give them a chance to be resolved through your experience and your research. Be honest with them. Your doubts may well be genuine concerns from deep within you.
Your doubts may be your greatest assets — along with your aspiration and sincerity. If you face your doubts and deal with them constructively, you will see the glowing dawn of superconsciousness soon.
Your Insight Exercise
At least once a week take fifteen minutes to sit quietly and examine your thoughts and feelings for doubts. Be physically relaxed but mentally alert. Allow your doubts and emotional frustrations to reveal themselves. You may wish to start this insight exercise by first directing your good will outward to your world and then inward to yourself. Then, say aloud, with feeling, something like this:
Then, pay kind attention to those doubts which float into your sincere, confident view.