Benefit of (the) Doubt pt. 1

Human beings are strange creatures. We are the only animals to question their existence. For this two-part series we will discuss two sides of doubt and how it is necessary in our creative and spiritual lives. I’ve had a bit of doubt myself trying to decide which one I want to discuss first. However, to speak on the spirituality of doubt is to speak on creativity and vice-versa. Despite this notion, one must first find a healthy spirituality that has been tested by doubt in order to be able to experience unrestrained and beautiful creativity. Doubt is a beautiful process that leads to a firmer foundation of faith (in whatever you place faith in, even if it is placing faith in nothing). This may seem like a contradictory statement because as we all know — doubt is terrifying. I agree, but only to a certain extent. Allow me to explain…

The Battle Against Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism is the unwavering faith and the full acceptance of a set of beliefs. People often assume that belief and doubt are in a constant battle, “I have to believe this or that!” “I won’t let the devil attack me with doubt!” “I believe, but help my unbelief.” These sorts of statements promote the idea that faith and doubt are clashing ideals. However, you can’t have one without the other. Like I said earlier, even belief in nothing is still a belief. Fundamentalism is signing a manifesto that says, “I believe everything presented before me.” It lacks imagination, creativity, and mystery. Arrogance develops as a result of fundamentalism. Imagine our lives if no one questioned the majority beliefs. What if no one asked, “Why does no one see that slavery should be abolished?” “Why is Hitler in power?” Why are women considered the lesser-sex?” “Why is the church accepting indulgences?”

Welcome The Doubt

If your spiritual circle does not allow for questions to be asked, doubt to be accepted, or allow for multiple interpretations — I would urge you to find a new community. If your thinking is done for you through teachings, I encourage you to ask, “What do I believe about this?” It is through questioning that we come to understand ourselves better, our reality better, whatever we may deem “God” better. Maybe it will lead us into the mystery. Into the understanding that we know nothing for certain. That we simply are. This is beautiful. All these understandings fueled by doubt will result in a groundwork for creativity to flourish. If your mind is not limited by standards of dogma, but rather enthralled with curiosity, it can accomplish something truly magical. Something that will point towards the ultimate truth — the interconnectedness of it all.

Final Thought

Our worlds and minds expand drastically when we put on lenses of different beliefs. To do this though, we must question the biases of our own lens. So why is it that doubt may cause a deep pit in our stomachs? I think it’s because we are scared to let go of what we thought was “true” for so long. We want to stick to what is comfortable and normal for us. But why? To be accepted? I ask you, “at what cost?” Just let go — enjoy freedom through your own experiences and thought.

Be free in the present,

Trace Maddox

P.S. I do realize that this post might ruffle a few feathers, but I think it is an important topic to address whether or not you may agree. Happy to answer any questions that may arise.

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