Faith and Doubt

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Doubt exists in the real and constructive sense, of course, for if you lived without doubt, you would indeed be gullible. That would fit into the category of the wrong and distorted version of faith. Also, gullibility, the lack of right doubt, contains many negative aspects. It contains wishful thinking, not wanting to accept and deal with any unpleasant aspects of the self or others, or life in general. This comes from laziness. The person who does not doubt in the right way wishes to avoid the responsibility of making decisions, choices, and of establishing autonomy.

The person who doubts in the right way moves toward faith and is in faith. But the person who doubts in the wrong way creates a tremendous split. The question here arises not only what you doubt, but also how you doubt and why you doubt. What are the real motives for doubting? For example, you doubt the existence of a supreme intelligence, of a creative universal spirit. With this attitude your claim is that you doubt, but you really mean that you “know” it does not exist — which of course is impossible, for you cannot know this. It is also dishonest because you take your very limited present perceptions as the final reality. Moreover, such a statement always contains a further dishonesty — and that is the hidden stake in such a belief. It is as personally tinged by wishful thinking as the wrong kind of faith is. There are numerous reasons for this personal stake, as for example the fear of having to face one day what the personality frantically avoids facing now. There is wishful thinking in believing that life ends, that nothing has any rhyme or reason, because then nothing matters anyway. So “faith” in a non-God exists in order to hope for no consequences.

When people deny the value of a spiritual path of self-confrontation, although possibly not the existence of God, this too harbors the hope that such confrontation can be avoided, is unnecessary. Doubt of this kind is seldom doubted. It is always justified with “this happens to be my belief, which is as good as yours,” and is presented as if this kind of assumption were arrived at truly honestly and deeply.

If you doubt something that you do not want to know — for whatever reason — then your doubt is dishonest. This wrong kind of doubt has a lot in common with the wrong kind of faith. Both are governed by wishful thinking. Very often those who are proud of their doubting because they do not wish to appear gullible in the eyes of others never doubt their doubts. So you must question your doubts. Do you have a stake in what you doubt? What are the honest reasons for your doubts? On what real considerations do you honestly base these doubts? If you doubt your doubts, if you question them, you will arrive at the truth that governs you in this respect and thus you approach faith.

If you doubt others — rather than your own motivations, distortions and opinions, your subjective judgments and negativities — you deny the truth in yourself. Only when you are in your truth can you lose the self-doubt that gnaws behind the suspicions and doubts you harbor about others. This projected self-doubt must not be confused with true intuition and perception, which feels very differently and leads to a very different expression and interchange. If you use pseudo-intelligence to substantiate your doubts, distrusts and suspicions, in order to avoid the discomfort of self-confrontation, you create a greater split between you and reality, and therefore between you and truth. Thus you manufacture suffering and discontent and a vague unease that you cannot pinpoint.

We have here a typical dualistic picture. We have apparently two opposites — faith and doubt. Religion will glibly say faith is “right” and doubt is “wrong.” Intellectually-minded people will say equally glibly that faith is “wrong” and doubt is “right.” The two factions quarrel. Each believes it is right; it has the truth. Yet a real and a false version exists on both sides. In the real version, faith and doubt are not mutually exclusive opposites. They complement each other. The real kind of doubt selects, weighs, differentiates, gropes for the truth — not shying away from the mental labor of dealing with reality. This leads to the various steps of faith. In each of these steps the right kind of doubt is necessary. For example, when you hesitate to leap, you must doubt your fear and your assumption that this fear may be the ultimate reality. When you tend toward the lazy kind of faith, doubt must awaken you into mental activity. When you tend to doubt in the destructive way, faith must protect you from being submerged in it and blotting out the moments of truth you have already experienced.

There is a key to how you can always find the unity, the right faith and right doubt, and thereby come out of ill-placed faith and ill-placed doubt. That key I have given you. It is your dedication to truth and love. Long before you experience and therefore believe in a divine spirit that governs and dwells in all that is, you can safely use truth and love as your guideposts, as your directives to govern your life, to surrender to, to let go of something untruthful and unloving into that which is truthful and loving. As you make truth and love the center of everything you do, you will experience the living God within, the strength, the health, and the know-how to solve all your problems and to get out of the negativities you seem locked into, unable to give up. That venture in faith is the movement that combines faith and doubt as one complementing whole in the service of truth and love.

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To my teacher Marieke Mars who taught me self-honesty. To my courageous and loving pathwork helper Dottie Titus.

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fear truth experience feelings love God consciousness reality negativity spirituality soul pain spiritual_paths mind attitudes emotions power destructiveness movement ego energy pleasure awareness personality development lower_self divine desires change guilt childhood create conscious spirits thoughts spiritual_laws fulfillment spirit_world death happiness unconscious problems positivity earth give growth images pathwork spirit understand pride evil creation body life_force higher_self exercises cause_and_effect needs parents time prayer center duality reactions New_Age freedom sex life contact beliefs universe individuality control relationships expression meditation discipline values motives doubt reincarnation Jesus_Christ women inner_child wish faults will confusion spheres strength men illusion struggle activity shame faith maturity demands idealized_self self-image self-will authority acceptance hurt selfishness real_self frustration resistance meaning connections soul_substance receive knowledge responsibility conclusions bliss life_task Christ mass_images free_will trust observe lectures know denial intellect pretense decisions conscience perception birth Lucifer salvation religion reason marriage light identification courage laws rebellion words union humanity long receptiveness surrender misconceptions mask let_go vicious_circles communication instinct concentration no-current tension commitment fantasy involuntary_processes opinions secrets contraction expansion difficulties punishment evolution space divine_substance obedience emptiness male female passivity darkness self-responsibility grace inner_will conflicts self-confidence anger suffer groups nature cruelty pulse_of_life unity energy_centers chakras openness negative_intentionality order spiral exposure self-respect universal_self affirmations visualization laziness background_thoughts foreground_thoughts daydreams wishful_thinking superstition appearance_values being_values inferiority assumptions obligations danger defensiveness superimposed_conscience divine_conscience compulsive_conscience universal_spirit divine_spark vacuum self-awareness dimensions rigidity tradition Christianity Judaism automatism reflexes education mediums masculine feminine purification fall subtle_body God_image self-love spirit_language approval unhappiness outer_will fight forcing_current success isolation think self-discipline self-preservation criticism peace relinquish defenses sin self-alienation sadness psyche crisis yes-current intelligence effort chain_reactions perfection opposites error envy existence organism life_substance impress avoidance channel now blame fusion abundance psychic_nuclear_points Christmas leadership eternal_life admit Dottie Titus harm self-knowledge lightforces daily_review immaturity tendencies egoism ideas dependence karma Eastern_Spirituality Western_Spirituality atheism transcendence centeredness attention constructiveness world_weariness war ambition positive_thinking forms ecstasy sacrifice psychology life_plan dignity shock eros guardian_angels inner_wall blindness Eva_Pierrakos homosexuality bondage cosmic_principles static_principle restriction self-importance rulership utopia sickness betrayal weakness rejection progress prove rituals intuition subconscious transition motivations impatience exaggeration myth cooperation serenity defeat safety pseudo_solutions universal_life self-pity Tower_of_Babel false_religion true_religion rules gratification repression compassion inner_split alternatives neurosis unfulfillment imperfection perfectionism joy self-rejection masochism sloth lust gluttony depression blessings restitution hope habits security determination displacement substitution respect unknown moralize intensity self-realization universal_power childishness inner_self numbness relaxation inner_control outer_control closeness vulnerability negative_desires magnetic_fields destruction character transformation false_feelings human_nature unpleasure blocks cosmic_pull self-liking regulate flow spontaneity impulses anxiety universal_consciousness guidance health unselfishness forgive abandonment aliveness self-esteem traits dislike disunity unification interaction fate mutuality stagnation negation terror tricks cosmic_feeling force_fields disorder exchange moods devil greatness richness distortions divine_voice service group_consciousness hate self-forgiveness balance imbalance distrust omnipotence immortality pessimism manifestation self-hate boundaries abuse government political_systems lose inertia acts christians jews injustice justice deficit heal privacy win inner_space autonomy positive_aggression community
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