I am so very tired of doubt. I want it gone. I crave certainty!
The teachings of Abhinavagupta, master Siddhi, tell us that doubt is itself a form of the goddess. All thought emotion, etc is the rising of creative energy from its oceanic source taking form in the individual mind. As such, it is a gift in that it comes from that source and it drives one to seek clarity.
Paradoxically, it is that very impetus of the creative force of nature that is also the fertile ground for doubt.
An invitation of some sort arises and with it questions. Is this right? How do I bring the thing about? Can I do it? Am I good enough? The list goes on. If answers of ‘certainty’ arise, if clarity is attained, we may indeed view doubt as a gift. Yet there is dilemma here best stated by Plato: Dear Crito, your zeal is invaluable, if a right one; but if wrong, the greater the zeal the greater the evil; and therefore we ought to consider whether these things shall be done or not.
How do we know? Answers are not static, as nothing in life is static.
In doubt, there is a gift if it drives us to seek knowledge, to refine. Of course there is the fundamental question, what is the nature of both the knowledge gained and the mind receiving it? Doubt can also be problematic in that it creates indecision, distrust and inaction. The mind swirls unable to move, caught in a rip tide of its own created uncertainty.
We seek certainty yes, and the wise understand, held too tightly, certainty kills the very thing valued. It inhibits refinement and growth. We must wrap it around us like a warm blanket that comforts and offers security yet allows for movement. A blanket wrapped too tight suffocates; air must be allowed in for life to be sustained.
These are interesting points of contemplation and a wonderful springboard for philosophical discussion. We are after more.
How can I view, more to the point, experience, doubt and certainty together as a gift? How do I refine my sense of knowing?
Once again, we come to the gift that keeps on giving: meditation.
As we naturally move individual awareness to its oceanic source, releasing for a time, our sense of structured, limited self, we permit deep rest to take place. When awareness moves back to its patterned self, as it must do, it is changed, however imperceptible and subtle that change may be. The mind, the whole being is refreshed, renewed and space is opened; perspective increased. The daily dying of the cloth of individual awareness, in the vat of its oceanic source, is itself a continual act of recommitment; a reaffirmation of our yearned for growth as more fully realized human beings.
Acknowledge doubt, address it; seek experts of every kind but ultimately, we make the decision. We want the apparatus that makes the decision, our mind, to be clear, fertile and as light filled as possible so that decisions made may be the highest at that moment. And nothing in life is static.
Experience the joy of certainty as it arises, yet hold it lightly. Give doubt its due and address again and again. In this we are not holding or maintaining, but constantly, with deep commitment, reaffirming. Yes, this is right.
It is very hard for the human mind to hold two contradictory things at the same time, cognitive dissonance arises. We live in a world of duality, yes/no; right/wrong; me/them. Yet we long for unity and in that unity, the acknowledgement and space to let our individual ‘freak’ flag fly. We cannot talk ourselves into this unity- just look around in the world. We cannot legislate it no matter how well crafted the law.
This is a change, a realization, that must take place in each individual heart and mind. As the individual goes, goes the partner, the family, the group, the town, the state, the country, the world.
We seek to cultivate space, room to grow and express on every level. Meditation permits individual awareness to recognize and hold the space between any two things that are inherently present in the realm of duality. In this, we are more and more capable of standing on our ‘ledge of freedom’ in the space between. From here, life is not either/or but both/and. When the mind-body is refined and perspective is increased, choice increases and right action becomes more apparent.
We must choose, we are always choosing; not acting, is a choice. Refine the vessel that makes every choice. Expand the space that permits the ledge of freedom to be known and lived from. Meditate.