Doubting is a self-deluding form of believing

Skeptics often deride believers for not being sharp enough to doubt questionable ideas.

Though skeptics may have sharp intelligence that is well used to doubt fallacious beliefs, their intelligence is often not sharp enough to doubt doubt itself, which is the foundation of their skepticism. They overlook the fact that being skeptical essentially means believing one’s doubts. So, such doubters often risk becoming deluded believers of doubt. Deluded firstly because they believe in something that keeps them forever in ignorance – doubt can only tell what is wrong, never what is right. And secondly because they often don’t recognize that they are believers too. People who are aware that they are wearing a lens can check its color and the accuracy of what they see through it, those who aren’t aware of their lens can’t check their vision. Such is often the skeptics’ plight.

Still, skeptics are right in criticizing the unthinking believing that characterizes many believers. They may be surprised, however, to know that not all believers are unthinking – many thoughtful people have chosen belief after intelligent contemplation, as, for example, scientists like Pascal (“Little science takes you away from God, but more of it takes you to him”) and thinkers like Emerson (“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen”).

The Gita recommends this kind of deeply considered belief when it urges us (18.63) to deliberate its message before making our choice. Gita wisdom offers a comprehensive worldview that explains our identity, God’s nature, the world’s purpose, our ultimate destiny and the best means to achieve our highest potential. And it also delineates a time-honored yogic process for gaining experiential realization of higher spiritual realities. Why should anyone let a miscalculated belief in doubt deprive oneself of such an intellectually stimulating expansion of consciousness?

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