Doubt, Skepticism, Certitude

Ever since the rise of “talk radio,” I have been increasingly aware of how, as a society, we seem hungry, anxious, and desperate for certitude, clear cut, black/white answers to all kinds of issues. People want to pick one side and have an opinion that becomes a conviction that is then validated by others. This leads to hanging out with and only talking to people who think and believe as we do, which reinforces our perspective. Doubting and questioning are uncomfortable.  As humans, we long for truth with the big “T.” Something that is ABSOLUTE.

But is life really that simple? I need to have convictions, but does that mean I stop thinking, listening to others, taking in new information?

Now when it comes to believing in others, I am basically a trusting person. I want to believe in the goodness of others and choose to give people the benefit of any doubt I may have about them. I have great respect for the intelligence of others and love to learn new ideas. While I tend to always believe another’s motives are good, I have learned that unquestioned acceptance of a new idea or philosophy does not serve me. People can lie, their teaching can be false and they may be more interested in my money than my mind or mental health.

At SEEK, we encourage everyone to choose growth, but to approach teachers, mentors, and guides with a healthy skepticism. Don’t ever give away your power to formulate your judgment by assessing information through the lens of your values, standards, and experiences. You may be longing for certitude, however, blind acceptance of another’s perspective negates your ability for critical thinking. Pay attention, keep your EYES open. Beware of being swept up with the crowd, or having your ability to process information compromised because of sensory deprivation or hypnotic suggestion. Check out our “red flags”.

Remember, Open heart… Open eyes!  Didn’t someone say, “Trust but verify!” ??


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