This is a Beezone edit and adaptation of a talk Adi Da Samraj gave to a group of devotees in Netherlands in 1986.
did not enter into and endure or pass through the Spiritual
process by being an asshole or true believer. Doubt was my
Siddhi, the kind of Siddhi I acquired through that
intellectual discipline, I do not believe or communicate
bullshit, nor do I suggest that you bullshit yourself. Put
yourself through the hard school, and really consider it.
You must realize that capacity for discrimination, or you
really cannot cut it in the Spiritual process. It takes a
long time to be really schooled in discrimination. There is
more to discrimination than just things of the mind, ideas
and so forth. Discrimination is a tool you also bring to
non-ideas – to impressions and events that have nothing to
do with intellect or mentality or culture or society. You
must bring discrimination to events that transcend the
conventional or lower bodymind, that transcend the first
three stages of life. I was able to use that tool in the
higher stages of life. I know how important it is as an
instrument for growth into the higher stages. Therefore, you
must acquire a similar capability.”
Franklin Jones (Adi Da Samraj), 1971
Doubt is a very interesting mental activity. It can be helpful when judging a situation that may seem dubious but when it’s chronic and pervasive it can be damaging.
Doubt is very much a mental activity, as it first appears. There seems to be an object of doubt, someone or something. “I doubt the XYZ will will the world series because….” or “I doubt his sincerity”. Doubt is a apart of normal and useful behavior.
But if you get further involved with doubt or the mental activity of questing the validity of something or someone you may discover another element of its nature. Or more accurately your nature.
Doubt is primarily an activity of your mind. First and foremost. We tend to think that doubt is doubt of something because when we get into doubt it’s always associated with something that seems doubtful. Whereas actually doubt is a mechanism that doesn’t have anything to do with any object or thing to be doubted. Doubt is just another form or sign of the knot of self-contraction. It is self-contraction itself.
What we call doubt is a rather a mental and emotional way of noticing the self-contraction. And it’s just that, self-contraction. It’s not doubt of something. It’s just self-contraction.
When doubt begins to bind you then you may begin to pay more attention the the activity of doubting itself. The activity of doubt not the object or thought of doubt. Chronic doubt creates stress and when you feel the stress of doubt then you may start to try and figure you way out. Whereas that is not your proper business when you are collapsed into doubt. You must understand yourself sufficiently. You must begin to realize that fundamentally doubt is not about a some thing.
PHASING LIKE THE MOON
You didn’t start going into doubt because suddenly the thing you now doubt was coming into doubt. You started to collapse into this doubt simply as a phase, a kind of even a biological phase, what it is really is a psycho-physical phasing of self-contraction. All kinds of influences cause one to do this and appears to be more prominent at some times more than others. It’s like the moon phasing.
Self-contraction as doubt always takes the form of emotional dissociation. A kind of mental superiority or protection. It may also show it self as irony and sarcasm. When you feel emotionally dissociated because of self-contraction then all of the relations that you are emotionally connected to are now something from which you are dissociated. Every time you fall into self-contraction you tend to get divorced from your spouse if you’re married, you want quit your job, send your children away and never see them again. You may want to send your friend a letter or make a fast remark and never have anything to do with him again. You dissociate yourself from things and others. This is not reasonable obviously.
One day you’re in love with someone. The next day, because you’re contracted, you can’t even connect with them emotionally. It suggests, it most clearly suggests that there’s something wrong with you.
WAY OUT OF DOUBT
You must be able to identify the symptoms of doubt, just as you identify sinus congestion as a cold. You must be able to identify doubt as self-contraction and see it as some object that is now doubtful to you.
Self-contraction always takes the form of emotional dissociation. A kind of mental superiority or protection. When you feel emotionally dissociated because of self-contraction then all of the relations that you are emotionally connected to are now something from which you are dissociated. Every time you fall into self-contraction you would tend to get divorced from your spouse if you’re married, you’d quit your job, you’d send your children away and never see them again. You’d send all your friends a letter or make a fast remark and never have anything to do with them again. You would dissociate yourself from everything. Ultimately you might commit suicide. This is not reasonable obviously.
One day you’re in love with someone. The next day, because you’re contracted, you can’t even connect with them emotionally. Is that believable? (Mild laughter.) It suggests, it most clearly suggests that there’s something wrong with you. You’re ill somehow. In some sense, you must be ill, you see. That’s really what it’s about. If you could just be relieved of this emotional disease that you’re suffering at the moment, it would be obvious to you, because you know that you love that person, that something’s just overcoming you. If only you could just get rid of this disease then, this upset, then you’d be naturally connected with that person, and have that relationship which you otherwise enjoy with them. Or so with anything you may think about that falls into doubt.
Once you notice that you’re doubting something that you’ve otherwise thoroughly reviewed and know the truth of it you ought to identify the disease and realize that you’re just ill, a bit batty, temporarily insane. You’re self-contracted, dissociated, that’s all it is. You don’t have to trouble yourself and mind at all to try and reconnect with that. Stop getting into the thought business at that moment and start paying attention to observing yourself and finding your way out of this contracted state, this dis-ease. That’s what you need to be doing. Taking responsibility for the self-contraction. Why are you suffering?
People are always tending to get into the wrong business because they don’t understand this chronic, rolling disease of self-contraction. It is chronic. It is more or less constant in most people and it is constantly taking on different forms, different signs. Only self-knowledge will help you to get down to the right business of life in any moment. If you don’t have self-knowledge, then you’ll always make error and always be up to the wrong thing.
MORE THAN AN EMOTIONAL PROBLEM
The difficulties of doubt or more accurately the self-contracted state have their source at a deeper level. The issue is of self-generating spiritual understanding, a spiritual practice. It’s a matter of making use, first of all, of self-observation, but then making use of the practice of spiritual resort and meditation, spiritual exercise. This is what you should do instead of trying to think your way out of doubt or feel your way out of emotional distress or find your way out of a cramp or eat your way out of a cramp.
In other words, through self-observation, you’ve got to come to the point where you can identify your own dilemma and not, therefore, get sidetracked into all kinds of efforts that don’t deal with what is really wrong with you. Inevitably self-contraction leads to doubt. What you must realize is self-knowledge about that and not be led into struggling mentally when the sensation of doubt comes on. You must be able to relax that effort, know that doubt is not about anything; but only seems to be about something and is really just the self-contraction showing itself.
You can observe and understand that self-contraction and then the freer you will become of this tendency and the things that you tend to do that merely add to your stress and bewilder you further. That self-knowledge lead you to, inevitably to the spiritual process more and more.
Once you begin to understand you will, instead of busying yourself with mental efforts you can be spending your time in meditation, which is one way of understanding this phenomenon. Instead of thinking and reading endlessly, going to seminar after seminar, studying system after system, exhausting yourself you will be releasing this disease which ultimately doesn’t even exist!
Due to copyright restrictions Beezone is limited in its ability to present any more of this talk.
More on doubt:
1991 Adi Da Samraj
“Relative to what you call doubt – people imagine that doubt is doubt of something. They project doubt onto ideas about God and all that amateurish conversation. But doubt does not arise in relation to an object. Doubt does not arise simply because there is something that you doubt. Doubt is projected. Doubt is a mood of contraction. Therefore, if you observe doubt itself, you can feel it is just that. You can project doubt onto anything and make anything into a question. But doubt does not originate in relation to anything. It is just your own contraction, felt and expressed mentally, but there is also the emotional aspect of the same thing, and the physical. Doubt is self-contraction.
You have a knot over your solar plexus. You have the emotional feeling of malaise or some other negative emotion, and all kinds of thinking that doubts everything. This is your chronic state. Is this good? It is your own activity entirely. It is totally unnecessary. You are always free to do the exact opposite. You are just habituated to the self-contraction. Even at your age, with so little experience, and basically living a totally protected life so far, you are still doing it – even under the best of circumstances.
Circumstances have nothing to do with it. Practice is what cuts through this bondage. You could lock yourself in a room and choose to do nothing but meditate, and you would not necessarily find yourself any more free of it simply because you separated yourself from outward distractions. The sadhana must be done. The sadhana can be done under any circumstances, and it makes no difference what the circumstances are – your state of mind will transform them. Your state of mind and emotion is self-contracted, negative, and it is that that you view to be the content of everything.”
Due to copyright restrictions Beezone is limited in its ability to present any more of this talk.