Doubt in yourself, in magic, in possibility or even in the human race. Doubt can lead to a huge amount of conflict and suffering. The word popped up in my mind when I was meditating. I was having a wild idea that the tennis ball I held in my hand could levitate off my palm. It felt very possible! It seemed unquestionable but then a few seconds later and every time I closed my eyes, panic and fear erupted.
How? This word was the driving force between my child-like innocent imagination and the controlling conditioned thoughts. The word HOW felt like an unconscious quest to undermine me and leave me stranded. Each attempt to return to the moment where the feeling of the ball levitating in my hands seemed ‘normal’ was impossible. The thoughts were now too quick, too controlling – the perfect conditioning to keep protected in the crazy world!
You see to me, doubt stems from disappointment. It’s a gradual child-hood habit one manifests after being disappointed and no longer trusting ourselves or life. Doubt become armour.
Anything was possible as a child. We were unlimited, imaginative and open minded. I used to have dreams like movies, I used to play for hours with my toys and I had no question I would be ‘someone’ when I was older. Doubt wasn’t a friend, it was still an alien.
“Analysis always substitutes for understanding and leads to worry and doubt, and doubt in turn will lead to confusion, emotion, depression and despair. Although you cannot make yourself believe, you can observe the demon of doubt out of existence.” – Roy Masters
I came across this passage in Roy Masters How Your Mind Can Keep You Well (I found the 1991 edition) directly after seeing the word doubt pop up in my head. I love synchronicity! He’s right, because doubt is habit and therefore using different techniques, such as mediation, one can learn to observe it. You can learn not to react to it but witness it and then soon it becomes powerless over you. I know this to be true from my Vipassana meditation and personally I feel doubt has a physical sensation in the body. I feel a tightening, a slight sinking of the heart and thoughts race through my mind. Chaos!
Doubt is also on my doorstep at the moment with my present day situation and the lack of evidence in anything changing. No job, no work, no money, no vision…However I feel a sense of calm, a sense of wholeness and many old areas where I used to experience suffering have stopped. I had a terrible tightness in my chest, a tightening in my spine and a feeling like a band is stretched across my forehead (that one is coming and going!). I’ve been working hard on clearing out the old. I’ve also realised people’s opinions of me don’t define me and although they fill me with self-doubt, they are valuable lessons for me – nothing more.
I’ve been reading Roy Masters book and so far love it. I really enjoy finding these classic books because they have the core messages that are often lost in modern-day personal self-help books. They get to the heart of the subject. Then again I’m a big believer in one will find the right book/ course/ healer etc when one needs to. There are messages lying around in each corner of our existence, we just need to slow down and listen.
“Why not teach the inner man to remain unmoved by the conditions surrounding him? When we respond to our environment we take on the nature of the world we live in; when things are nice, we feel nice; when things are unpleasant or we are persecuted, we become cruel or depressed. We conform to avoid pain or to gain safety and approval, slowly giving up inner principle as we capitulate to the cruel world. When we conform we become like others, forfeiting the privileges of creative individuality; we become addicted to seeking the pleasing effects of conditions, and that sets us up to be more affected by the next negative emotional impact. The pressure-motivated person is in conflict with his true self. The inner-motivated man is happily not bothered by his variance with others.” – Roy Master (1991, How Your Mind Can Keep You Well)
So lets say ‘hi’ to our doubt and learn to let it go, learn that it doesn’t rule us and see what happens when it gives way to possibility. Where will you go if doubt is not the master?