This morning I picked up an Osho book that I read a few years ago called Tantra: The Supreme Understanding. I found a passage that really spoke to me, where Osho distinguishes between several related concepts: Doubt, Belief, Faith and Trust. I think it is fascinating how he considers doubt and belief opposite sides of the same coin, doubt being the more negative view and belief the more positive. Yet both are in denial of something else, “againstness” in Osho’s words rather than acceptance. I think the prevailing view is that you either doubt something or believe it. However if you consider these two concepts similar, then this opens one up to the question: “If I am not doubting or believing, what am I doing?”. This is where Trust and Faith come in: Faith is a trusting, a deep trusting, a love. It is neither for or against.
The reason this spoke to me so much was that in the past few months I’ve been wrestling with doubt. Several events in my life created the conditions for a doubting mind, and reading this I had the realization that the events in my life have simply moved my attention from belief to doubt. While the Believing-mind is accompanied by more joyful states then the Doubting-mind, both are in effect limited ways of being in the world. As Osho states, giving attention to doubt feeds it, and suppressing it will only cause it to live in your subconscious. My experience is that doubt is an extremely corrosive attitude, how then can we get rid of it? By moving our attention and our energy towards trust, by being indifferent to the doubting mind. Only by being indifferent can doubt disappear completely.
The events in my life have shown me that the only reliable way to be in the world is to trust. Trusting all appearance, good or bad, being indifferent. But not indifferent as in not caring. Indifferent as an absolute acceptance. This trust is the beginning of deep faith, and the very foundation of love.
Please read Osho’s own words below. To put this in context, Osho is speaking about a spiritual students readiness to receive teachings. Enjoy:
…And your readiness means that doubt should simply disappear from the mind. It should not be suppressed, you should not try to defeat it, because defeated it will remain in you; suppressed, it will remain part of your unconscious and it will go on affecting you. Don’t ﬁght your doubting mind, don’t suppress it. Rather, on the contrary, you simply bring more and more energy into trust. You simply be indifferent to your doubting mind, nothing else can be done.
Indifference is the key: you simply be indifferent. It is there – accept it. Bring your energies more and more towards trust and love – because it is the same energy which becomes doubt; it is the same energy which becomes trust. Remain indifferent to doubt. The moment you are indifferent your cooperation is broken, you are not feeding it – because it is through attention that anything is fed. If you pay attention to your doubt, even if you are against it, paying attention to it is dangerous because the very attention is the food; that is your cooperation. One has just to be indifferent, neither for nor against: don’t be for doubt, don’t be against doubt.
So now you will have to understand three words. One word is ”doubt,” another word is ”belief,” the third word is ”trust” or ”faith”. Doubt is a negative attitude towards anything. Whatsoever is said, ﬁrst you look at it negatively. You are against it, and you will ﬁnd reasons, rationalizations how to support your ”againstness.” Then there is the mind of belief. It is just like the mind of doubt only standing upside down; there is not much difference. This mind looks at things positively and tries to ﬁnd reasons, rationalizations how to support it, how to be for it. The mind who doubts suppresses belief; the mind who believes suppresses doubt – but they both are of the same stuff; the quality is not different.
Then there is a third mind whose doubting has simply disappeared – and when doubt disappears, belief also disappears. Faith is not belief, it is love. Faith is not belief because it is not half, it is total. Faith is not belief because there is no doubt in it, so how can you believe? Faith is not a rationalization at all: neither for nor against, neither this nor that. Faith is a trusting, a deep trusting, a love. You don’t ﬁnd any rationalizations for it, it simply is so. So what to do?
Don’t create belief against faith. Just be indifferent to belief and doubt both, and bring your energies towards more and more love; love more, love unconditionally. Not only love me, because that is not possible: if you love, you simply love more. If you love, you simply exist in a more loving way – not only towards the master, but towards everything that exists around you: towards the trees and the stones, and the sky and the earth. You, your being, your very quality of being, becomes a love phenomenon. Then trust arises.