The first question:
Lately several friends have asked me if I was skeptical towards sannyas, the ashram and you. I had to admit to the truth and said, “Yes, at times I am.” This left me with a feeling of guilt. Have I committed some unforgivable, sacrilegious crime or is it natural to be skeptical out of being sure? I do not know if you are enlightened. I can only feel your beauty and trust.
Faith is afraid of doubt – afraid because it has repressed it. And whatsoever you repress you will remain afraid of, because it is always there deep inside you, waiting to take revenge, and whenever the opportunity arises it is going to explode in you with a vengeance. Faith is sitting on an earthquake and every day the doubt becomes stronger, because every day you have to repress it. Sooner or later it is more than you can repress, it is more than your faith. Then it simply throws your faith away.
But trust is not afraid of doubt because trust is not against doubt. Trust uses doubt, trust knows how to use the energy contained in doubt itself. That’s the difference between faith and trust. Faith is false; it creates a pseudo kind of religion, it creates hypocrites. Trust has a sublime beauty and truth about it. It grows through doubt, it uses doubt as manure, it transforms doubt. Doubt is a friend, doubt is not the enemy.
And unless your trust has moved through many doubts it will remain impotent. From where will it gather strength, from where will it gather integration? If there is no challenge it is bound to remain weak.
Doubt is a challenge. If your trust can respond to the challenge, can befriend your doubt, it will grow through it. And you will not be a split person, deep down doubting and just on the surface faithful, believing; you will have a kind of unity, you will be an individual, undivided. And that individuality is what is called “soul” in the old religions.
The soul is arrived at through doubt, not through believing. Belief is just a mask: you are hiding your original face. Trust is a transformation: you are becoming more illumined. And because you are using doubt as a challenge, as an opportunity, there is never any repression. Slowly, slowly doubt disappears because its energy has been taken by trust.
Doubt, in fact, is nothing but trust growing; doubt is trust on the way. Always think of doubt in such a way: that doubt is trust on the way. Doubt is inquiry and trust is the fulfillment of the inquiry. Doubt is the question and trust is the answer. The answer is not against the question – there will be no possibility of any answer if there is no question. The question has created the occasion for the answer to happen.