The word ‘doubt’ probably isn’t correct; it’s more like awareness that is feeling a situation. A meditative life is a life of subtle doubts – “Is it or isn’t it?” “How is it?” “What is going on?”
If there isn’t this subtle doubt, we reify every situation, and make everything into a fact of reality. We no longer listen or see as we are merely projecting to fit assumptions or doctrines (I’ve experienced this whenever I’ve talked to so-called spiritual people or meditators).
A meditative life is one where we are always aware of our habitual responses; if we’re not, we fall into the smugness of “I know.” Smugness has no doubts about doctrine and form, and cannot deal with any questioning of these, and so there is no naturalness present. When we are unnatural, tensions arise.
Doubt can be seen as negative, which reveals a low level of understanding and experience. Doubt is positive when awareness is feeling its way in a situation. We do this naturally. Putting in a screw, we are one with the activity – “not too tight and not too loose.” Rather than just ‘putting in a screw’, we adjust as the materials may be different from a previous situation.
When it comes to conversations, most of the time we engage in chit-chat, but a moment may occur where a deeper concern is raised. It is then that we either respond mechanically or with experiential empathy. If we are honest, we are familiar with concerns, especially spiritual ones.
Doubt-awareness is a matter of feeling our way for the benefit of the other. Too often, so-called spiritual people only want to hear ‘good news’, and turn their backs on dissenters who may be descending into a psychological decline. That isn’t compassion, is it?
When you never know,
something inspiring may arise!
That person in psychological decline
may be your teacher, rather than your enemy.
In true realisation, there are no enemies,
and nothing to fear.