: to be uncertain about (something)
: to believe that (something) may not be true or is unlikely
: to have no confidence in (something or something)
Doubt (v.): early 13th century, “to dread, fear,” from Old French doter “to be afraid,” from Latin dubitare “to question hesitate, waver in opinion,” (related to dubious) originally “to have to choose between two things.”
The sense of “fear” developed in Old French and was passed on to English. Meaning “to be uncertain” is attested in English from c. 1300.
“Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith.”
Paul Tillich (1886-1965, German-born American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian, who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century.)
“Life is doubt,
And faith without doubt is nothing but death.”
Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936, Spanish essayist, novelist, poet, playwright, philosopher, and Greek professor, and later rector at the University of Salamanca.)
“He who has not God in himself cannot feel His absence.”
Simone Weil (1909-1943, French philosopher and social activist, whose work reflected both her interest in Christian spirituality and her Jewish heritage.)
“It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher, who was best known for the novel, “Crime and Punishment.”)
“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
William Shakespeare (1564-1616, English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.)
“I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.”
Walt Whitman (1819-1892, an American poet, essayist, and journalist, who was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works.)
I found it so interesting that the roots of the word, Doubt, are planted with fear.
The nebulous state of uncertainty, where one wrestles with fear and faith at the same time is definitely a part of the human dilemma.
One of my friends equates it to the analogy of being stuck in the hallway with all the doors locked and no access to the keys. It’s our inability to know for sure what lies behind those doors. Are we to prosper, are we doomed, or are there, God forbid, more doors!?
Years ago, I had to make a life changing decision to dissolve my marriage towards a divorce. It was one of the toughest decisions I ever had to make, mainly because we had two beautiful and sensitive children at the ages of 8 and 4, who were acutely affected.
But I knew with intuitive and instinctual clarity that if I didn’t make that choice I would slide dangerously into deep sadness, become sick, and die, and that was no exaggeration.
So, I took the plunge and jumped off several symbolic cliffs to land safe and whole. As my consciousness awakened and ascended to new levels, my confidence and faith got stronger.
Little-by-little with Divine Help and army of guardian Earth angels, doubt effortlessly stepped aside.
Naturally, I agree with those wise thought-leaders who recognized that doubt is an intricate part of faith, but it is also the great trainer that encourages and pushes us towards hope, confidence, and tenacity.
Be well, my dear friends.
With Love, Tonya