Doubts are not the problem – believing them is
Believing doubts might sound like an oxymoron because after all we think of doubts as something centered on disbelief.
Yet the truth is that belief underlies disbelief too, for even nonbelievers are believers – just that they are believers in their disbelief. Understanding that belief is not an option but a necessity can dramatically alter our attitude to belief as well as to its antipodal counterpart, doubt.
This brings us to another related point. Doubts in and of themselves are not the problem. They are natural states of mind resulting from our limitedness, from our need to live in a world far greater than our capacities to perceive, from our longing to know of truths far bigger than what are knowable by normal means.
Gita wisdom doesn’t ask us to simply reject doubt. It offers us a process by which we can know the truths that will raise our cognition to a level where experiential confirmation – purification, satisfaction, higher perception – can take us beyond doubts, just as getting cured of disease by a treatment experientially frees patients from their doubts. The Bhagavad-gita (07.01) informs us that if we hear and apply ourselves to the process of bhakti, we will become free from doubts, having been illumined by knowledge about Krishna.
Certainly, the very act of hearing about Krishna and following the process of bhakti requires dealing with some doubts, but rather than dismissing those doubts, we can just choose to disbelieve them. Such disbelief towards doubts Is not an act of blind faith – it is an act of mature, reflective open-mindedness that prevents our prejudices from taking our decision-making power away from us. After making its cogent case about the purpose of life and the process for fulfilling it, the Gita (18.63) concludes by calling not for faith but deliberation of its message.
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