Part III — Essays on doubt

Doubt: the slow poison

All spiritual seekers, even those who have made considerable progress, occasionally become victims to doubt. This doubt is slow poison. It creates nothing but confusion for the spiritual seeker. Today you may doubt yourself, or you may doubt someone else. Tomorrow another wave of doubt will come into you and you will think that today’s assessment was all wrong. The day after tomorrow still more doubt will come, bringing with it even more confusion. Doubt is nothing but a great enemy in the spiritual life.

Has doubt ever helped us in any way? No. Doubt has only made a fool of us inwardly and outwardly. Suppose someone has done something. If I doubt his achievement, I gain nothing and he loses nothing. But although I gain nothing by doubt, I may lose everything. If you have achieved something and I doubt your achievement, then I will not be able to benefit from it at all. My doubt will poison my receptivity. My only satisfaction will be in knowing that I was right, which is a negative way of dealing with the truth. Instead I should try to enter into myself and collect my own inner wealth. By trying to see how much sincerity you have, I will never get abiding satisfaction. I will only waste my time. But if I go deep within, I will go right to the source of my own inner wealth and get real satisfaction.

In this life, everything depends on love. Unfortunately, some people love doubt. Outwardly they say they hate it, but inwardly, unconsciously or consciously, they cherish it. They feel that if they do not doubt, they are not wise. In order to doubt we have to become a judge. When the mind doubts someone, it feels great satisfaction in becoming the judge. The moment we doubt someone, we feel that we are a step higher than they are. This is absolutely wrong. In the spiritual life nobody is superior and nobody is inferior. We are all instruments manifesting different aspects of God’s multiplicity. In the Heart of the Supreme we are all one.

Very often a disciple will doubt his spiritual Master. He will doubt whether the Master has actually realised God. When he doubts the Master, who is the loser, the Master or the disciple? The spiritual Master, if he is a real one, has his own realisation. If he has realisation, then he is infinitely far above anyone’s suspicion and doubt. No matter what kind of blighted doubt a disciple cherishes in the inmost recesses of his heart, the spiritual Master will never be affected. The disciple alone will be the loser.

Why do we doubt? Doubt enters into us because we are not certain of our achievements, of our accomplishments, or of what we will do in the near and distant future. If we doubt others, then we are not doing something really harmful. But if we doubt ourselves, then we are doing something most damaging. The moment we doubt ourselves we weaken our possibility and ruin our potentiality. The tree which we can become will die while it is still a plant from lack of nourishment. We have just entered into the inner life, into the world of aspiration. We are now only a tiny plant. Each moment that we doubt we have to feel that we are stepping on this tiny plant with all our weight. When we doubt our inner capacity, we are doubting our very existence, the very life-breath of the seed within us. The Divine says, “I have come to fulfil you, to bring you closer to God, and you are doubting. Since you are so ungrateful when I offer this gift to your soul, your seed will not be able to germinate.”

When we doubt we have to feel that we are harbouring a serious type of disease, a fatal disease. If we don’t conquer doubt, what will happen? We have to feel that we will die. Our aspiration will not only starve, but it will die. There is death in front of us and there is Immortality in front of us. It is we who have to make the choice. If we feel that we want Immortality and not death, then we must give all importance to our spiritual life and conquer doubt with our inner cry and our inner indomitable will.

If we feel that we have a serious disease, what will we do? We will go to a doctor so that we can get an immediate cure. What is the cure for doubt? It is inner cry, aspiration. Only the divine doctor within us, aspiration, can cure us of doubt. We know that there are many things we have done which are absolutely wrong. We try to do the right thing, but we cannot always do it. Why is it not possible for us to do the right thing? It is because we are wanting in determination. We can get this determination only from our inner aspiration. Real determination, the inner, soul’s determination and aspiration are the same thing. If we have determination, automatically aspiration comes forward. And if we have aspiration, determination will be born inside that aspiration.

Doubt will leave us only when we feel that we are destined to do something for God. We get tremendous power from the word ‘destined’. This word brings boundless courage to the fore. Even if somebody is weak by nature, if someone says that he is destined to work for God, then immediately, from the inner world, heroism comes forward. He will fight against doubt and against any obstruction with a strength and inner determination that will surprise him. Obstructions may come to him in the form of impurity, obscurity, jealousy, fear and doubt, but the word ‘destined’ will smash the pride of all the negative forces. Anything that is undivine will have to surrender to this word. So if we have the kind of inner and outer conviction that tells us we are destined to serve God, then the goal can unmistakably be reached.

But when we feel that we are going to do something for God, let us not use the term ‘great’. Sometimes when our human mind hears this term, a feeling of competition enters into us. I feel that I am great; you feel that you are great. Then the question arises of who is the greater of the two. Instead, we should simply say that we are both destined to do something for God, and our task will be whatever He assigns to us. There is only one God, but each person thinks of God differently. You are pleasing and fulfilling God in your way and I am pleasing and fulfilling God in my way. If we both feel that we are doing the task that is allotted to us by Him, if we do not enter into each other’s territory with our competitive spirit, then we will both feel joy because we will both feel that we are fulfilling God in God’s own Way.