This Q&A with John-Roger is derived from questions and answers on the subject of doubt, published in the Movement Newspaper and the New Day Herald between 1977-92.
Q: The word doubt is like a powerful sword that keeps me from moving. It blocks the Light and love from flowing through me. Is there any way I can get rid of the doubt I feel?
J-R: Doubt can be used as a tool to protect you and to prove to you that which is reality, Don’t fight the doubt. Just let it be. And then gain the knowledge that overcomes the doubt.
Q I have a lot of doubt about this spiritual path. Can you help me get rid of my doubt?
J-R: My job is not to remove doubt. It may sound strange, but if I don’t create some doubt for you, I haven’t served you. We want you to bring your brain/mind with you when you come into MSIA. We want you to look at things and check them out. And doubt is sometimes part of checking information or evidence: “I doubt this. Therefore, it must be false, bad, wrong, no good.” Doubt has no information or evidence in it. It has a feeling that things don’t fit. If you have that feeling, you then use your intelligence to go in and see either how things do fit or what does not fit. Now you’ve proven something for yourself. Either way, your doubt has served you.
Q: What is a good way to overcome doubt?
J-R: Your question seems to infer that doubt is a negative thing, and I don’t necessarily perceive it as such. I perceive doubt as one of the tools of life. And I see skepticism, also, as a tool of life. You use your skepticism to sort out the things that come to you. Then you use your doubt to test, to see if you want to be involved in those things. Your doubt might be proven to be correct. You might find out that the thing was wrong or deceitful or just not workable for you. Then your doubt has been positive for you. Its a “negative feedback” approach… like observing the gas tank at empty tells you you have to stop for gas—that’s positive information. You don’t look at the gas gauge at empty and panic, thinking you’ll be stranded for life. You look at it, make the appropriate actions to correct it, and then go on.
Sometimes you produce doubt to protect you against your emotions because you don’t want to be made a fool or a sucker; you don’t want to feel misused or abused or rejected, so you place doubt there, like a guardian angel to protect your emotions. And that’s not negative, either, as long as that type of protection is necessary. When you become strong in your own selfawareness and in your Light consciousness, you won’t need those types of defenses. And that will be a nice day!
Q: I quite often find myself playing the role of skeptic. What should I do?
J-R: Don’t judge yourself too harshly for being a skeptic. Skepticism sorts the things that come to you so that you don’t get caught up in all the illusions of the world. Your doubt can be there to assist you in proving if things work or not. So skepticism and doubt can become valuable tools to work with in the fields of negativity.
Q: I have so much doubt that it’s hard for me to believe in anything. I want to believe that Spiritual Exercises are doing some good, but I just can’t seem to get past my doubt. What can I do to change this?
J-R: To thine own self be true. You’ve got the results of entertaining doubt and you’re not happy with it. Often when people doubt so much, they are really looking for the truth. They want to know the truth, and know that they know. Truth resides in us as the foundation of giving and living and sharing. Do you understand that you have to start giving in order to have what you’re looking for? You have to expand beyond the doubting process, beyond your thinking process of doubt. You can do this by choosing to feel good and letting that good flood through your mind as joy.
A good way to get that feeling started is through being of service. And we’re not looking for perfection here, we’re just looking for the doing, from the excellence, the loving that’s inside of you. Let the Spirit that is inside of you bring forward the perfection of you, for it knows much better than the rationality of the mind, or the emotions, or the body.
Choose You this day whom You serve. If You’re serving in the house of God, you become a servant who’s free. If you choose to serve in the house of doubt, then you’re also the one who will slave to make sure the doubt maintains itself. It really is your choice.