I’ve been reviewing my spiritual principles over the last few posts and have now come to the one I think is darn near indispensable for anyone who seeks to embrace spirituality after rejecting religion:
Fully aware that I have been and can be wrong, I acknowledge doubt and remain open to new understanding.
This is my list of spiritual principles, not yours, and one of the joys of being a heretic is that you don’t have to agree with me or anyone else. In other words, ignore me if you like, but may I also suggest that you think for a moment about embracing doubt? I believe that this may be one of the most important things a heretic can do.
I embrace doubt because I know how often I’ve been wrong in the past. I’ve been wrong about people, wrong about whether a street was one way or not (it was, and I was going the wrong way), wrong about jobs, wrong about philosophies, completely misguided on political candidates, and ridiculously mistaken about whether or not that twisted green sprout showing its head in my garden was a weed. (I thought it was, but it wasn’t. After I ripped it from the ground and destroyed the bulb it came out of, a neighbor informed me that my mother had planted that before she died. It still pains me to realize that I stupidly yanked out something my mother tried to nurture.)
If I can be so wrong about a green shoot or street, might I be misguided about something as important as spirituality? Might there come a time when I’ve misjudged, miscalculated and pursued a path that hurts instead of helps? Might I need to readjust and reconsider, and either tweak or completely replace my practices?
I have no idea if that time will come, but in every other pursuit in my life, I’ve stumbled across my own mistakes at one point or another. And that’s why I wholeheartedly and even jubilantly embrace doubt. Understanding grows with maturity, and I intend to grow with it.
A NOTE ON THE PHOTO: This marvelous image was harvested from http://publicdomainarchive.com/. A thousand thanks to them for their fine taste and their generosity.