Doubt and skepticism

Somewhere K mentions the importance of doubt and skepticism in approaching all matters of life but at the same time he also mentioned the necessity of reigning in that doubt so that it won’t completely run wild. He made the analogy of like a dog on a leash that sometimes you need to let run free.

I think this is a very, very important thing to consider in these discussions of ours as we’re more or less fragmented beings and so we hardly know completely what we’re talking about, and at the same time we tend to be suspicious of others and project into them the very worst traits of the human mind that constantly deludes itself. To make things even more complicated when you take into consideration the fact that a lot of people lonely in one way or the other and they seek connection through finding people with shared values and through being validated in what they say which creates the perfect breeding ground for conflict and high negative emotions that aren’t really conducive to a healthy and sane dialogue.

I suppose the question is, how do you approach doubt? And do you seek out some feelings of companionship and validation in your inquiry with other people?

What we are doing here in this seemingly violent world of dog eat dog can be perplexing. So the creation of gods and such and ‘good’ and ‘evil’ etc (religious beliefs) can be somewhat soothing? If I believe strongly enough, I feel that I’ve found the truth’ and can act hypocritically without feeling shame or guilt? But not going down that road, I understand that I don’t know what any of this is really about; I don’t know. I want to know because what I see Man doing technologically seems to have benefit, psychologically though seems to be a disaster. Someone comes along and states: “there is no division.” …I don’t ‘know’ if that is so or not, but at this point, it seems worthy of being looked into?

I think you have described one instance of where that doubt was used rationally although it’s somewhat more complicated than that yes, but my question still remains unanswered. What is doubt to you? How do you doubt, what makes you doubt? What are the inherent qualities of something for it to be deserving of doubt? The process that created whatever is presented perhaps? Or something even more?


I am triggered by the word Doubt - its an important part of the transformation/iberation process in my view. Due obviously to my own life experiences, which include lots of zen stories (eg koans and kensho)

Why have you brought up the word? and is it connected to loneliness and friendship, or is that a separate question? Are you saying doubt might help us avoid conflict in relationship?

There is doubt and there is reasonable doubt. How do you approach reason?

I’ma big fan of radical doubt: Doubt everything, including the ‘practice’ of doubting everything! Break all that can be broken, what’s left is (may be) unbreakable, i.e. really real. But there are dangers when you apply radical doubt to your self and the world. Nihilism lurks nearby. Lostness. Despair. You need to be okay with free fall, a tough ‘skill’ to learn. (I’m a beginner.) Krishnamurti was also great fan of negation, cousin of radical doubt, so I feel I’m in good company. :slight_smile:

I don’t really think doubting everything is as good as it sounds and see it to be purely driven by a bit of romanticism. However, to doubt everything that thought has created for example has another meaning, and even then it should be done carefully and with extreme alertness as to whether there is a hidden motive behind that doubt, as in is it reactionary or has rather factual. Nihilism and despair are but the products of thought, they have no actual value or substance although it feels like the opposite and people tend to find comfort in them. He was indeed but be wary not to take him as a form of authority which would make you subtly accept the things he says on an intellectual level without doing the arduous work of making no effort and stewing in your own misery.

Sorry I am not following both of your statements. Can you rephrase it?

Do you know the difference between doubt and reasonable doubt?

“What is doubt?”
Surely doubt means uncertainty. Doubt everything that thought has invented psychologically. That is what the teachings tell…

You doubt the value of ‘universal doubting.’ Good! I do too. When I say I doubt everything, I don’t mean I doubt that if I drop a glass on the floor it will fall down and (probably) break. It’s a soft ‘everything,’ grays rather than black and white. Thanks for pointing that out. :slight_smile:

I wonder whether it is possible to doubt something that is not of thought? The very act of doubting brings thought into play, doubting is thought. “I doubt, therefore I think.” ?

Is bringing doubt into ‘the realm of no-thought’ like bringing an Uzi into a no-gun zone? But without thought and doubt to spot self-deception, how are we to know whether we are fooling ourselves?

Without thought, how are we to fool ourselves?

Take insight, Krishnamurti’s use of the term. It is not of thought. Yet we may have a mistaken, false insight, right? Our insights might fool us. Same for our feelings, intuitions and other mental actions that may exist at least partly outside the realm of dualistic thought.

What is the difference between belief and insight?

Belief is a trust or confidence in someone or something.

Insight is a sudden deep penetration or perception into something.

Belief: Donald Trump was sent by God to save America.

Insight: Not!

Yes, insight “is not of thought”, but a false insight is of thought. And because we desire insight, we’re probably having false insights all the time.

Same for our feelings, intuitions and other mental actions that may exist at least partly outside the realm of dualistic thought.

I wouldn’t put feelings and intuitions “partly outside the realm of dualistic thought” because they’re expressed as thoughts, so I’m as skeptical with them as with any other thoughts.

I brought it up because as you said it’s a necessary part of understanding ourselves and in the context of online forums and even IRL interactions it can be hindered by people’s tendency to seek out a temporary escape from their loneliness through being validated in the things that they say. Do you see what I am saying? Doubt is necessary but at the same time it’s dangerous and uncomfortable, and most times we don’t really want that, so yes it’s connected to it.

I mean ultimately the root cause of conflict in relationship is fragmentation and our endless wants and attachments, which if are given attention and thus doubt which is a state of negation then naturally they will cease and we can have a more cooperative and whole relationship with others without conflict. So in a way yes. The only barrier here is once again our tendency to seek out connection through the word instead of its negation which unfortunately puts a damper on all of this.

Sorry for the long wait as I was blocked from replying for 24h because of my account being new.

To me there is simply no difference but I suppose you might mean the difference between just doubting everything for the sake of doubt which is driven by a bit of romanticism of the image of the doubter and skeptic, and doubt as something that is necessary to see anything made up by thought?

I don’t share the same view. To me doubt isn’t an active action (something of thought), but more so a state of mind that not only sees the futility and falseness of anything put together by thought but also is constantly perceiving things completely and from that acting, and so negating. Thought comes into play in this scenario when I want to describe the exact reasons why what is presented is flawed, although this part is necessary and good in communication but when I am not communicating with anyone then doubt is always present. I think you maybe are confusing the two.

Right. It’s rather simple really once you look at it from a deep unfragmented view. Anything that exists in the realm of the mind, or as K calls the content of consciousness is subject to doubt because it can’t exist as a thought without it being inherently wrong, 1 + 1 is an exception of course.

It’s hard to completely let go of everything that we know though as we’re deeply conditioned to operate from accumulated knowledge and conclusions. It’s hard to be completely empty, and be nobody.