I'm a skeptical spirtualist, what should I do?

lagrima's picture

Average: 4.9 (7 votes)

I'm a skeptical spirtualist, what should I do?

I am interested and knowledgeable in spiritual doctrines. Doing meditations. Practicing techniques. Experienced tremendous insights and divine states.

Yet, at my bottom, I'm a complete disbeliever. There is a strong conviction in me that I'm the body, that there is nothing beyond what perceived by the senses, that there is no soul or God, that everything is accidental.

I'm an alien among you. Or maybe those who truly believe are the aliens among us.

I want to believe. I want to be absorbed in the infinite.

What should I do?

alon | Mon, 12/21/2009 - 08:19
johnd's picture

The dark night of the soul

First, it is important that you be aware that you are not alone in this.

Second, it is important that you be aware that this state is temporal. It can take weeks and it can take years but regardless of religious theories but based on the experience of others, it is not part of you.

Third, it is important that you will accept this state of yours. Resisting it yields nothing but the sustaining of this skepticism.

Forth, it is important that you will understand the reason for your skepticism: We all have our substratum of sanskaras (conditioning / imprinted patterns) of disbelief, especially those of us who were raised in secular environments. And even those who grew up in truly-spiritual families (these are very rare) have their minds (whose nature is rational and thus skeptical) cultivating new skeptical sanskaras, partly as a mechanism of survival.

It is said that surprisingly enough the skeptical conditioning surfaces in full power when you are established enough on the path, paradoxically when your connectedness with the beyond is strong enough because at that point your consciousness is pure enough to contain these subconscious doubts.

It is called "The dark night of the soul" and it is painful especially because at that point it is the last thing you expect to happen.

See more in http://www.gurusfeet.com/forum/dark-night-soul#comment-5300.

I hope this helps.

johnd | Tue, 12/22/2009 - 07:46
sisi's picture

play with the subjects rather than with what they feel

Instead of trying to change the skepticism into belief, try to see the skeptic and to change him to a believer. In other words, notice the subject in you that disbelieves and then try to switch to another subject whos is also in you and believes. You will find this much easier than trying to combat the skepticism itself.

You will notice that the disbeliever is located somewhere in your head, where your gross thoughts are and that the believer is located somewhere in... yes, your heart.

sisi | Wed, 12/23/2009 - 14:00
B-friend's picture

I like this question

Why not allow yourself this freedom? It seems we judge ourselves as being in the "spiritually wrong" when we see the world in this way. The judgement compounds this state of being into a harsher one. Why not explore it? Explore "no God" and everything it implies. The harshness of this state is confusing and makes it easy to get lost, especially if we explore its depths, but just as the mind can destroy "only God" so too can it destroy "no God". Both of these are only done in the mind of course. Such are the play of the divine states and the hellish ones.

Some say then, that it is the mind that needs to be destroyed. So we start hacking at it with our machetes as if we can clear the entire jungle of ego in such a way...WITHOUT IT REGROWING...HOW FUTILE! I love the "botanists of ego" who love to point out which plant we are displaying in any given moment. I've enjoyed this guilty pleasure a few times myself I guess, but ego is only individuality. It is the "beam" that is to be cast out so that we may see clearly, as eluded to in the bible. I'm exploring this one myself, or it's exploring me..I'm not sure.

As far as being absorbed in the infinite, if the Infinite is infinite, then how can it be limited to being separate from us? It seems we are already absorbed in the infinite, but these gosh darned identifications and judgements of what we are and what the Infinite IS..are trying to tell us otherwise.

Anyhow, perhaps I took liberties with your question, but I enjoyed it's nature and honesty.

And to comment on "the dark night of the soul" comment.. Tamasic, rajasic, sattvic states of mind come and go. The dark night of the soul is something entirely different and is nothing you want to pretend to experience or encourage. It gets thrown around a lot as if it were some credibility inducing experience or special badge of honor among spiritualists. But if we truly knew what it was, we would never want to speak of it casually to another.

Good luck with your explorations!

B-friend | Thu, 12/24/2009 - 18:23
joejo's picture

I am the body

Its interesting that you feel that you are the body etc. All the previous posts have something valuabe to add so I thought to add some other comment.

Some say we are not one body but within this there are different bodies. Annamaya(gross or body susisting on food),Pranmaya(energy/vital or body of breath),Manomaya(emotion & thouht or mind), Vigyanmaya(sheath of intelligence or discriminatiom or subtle mind) and Anandmaya(body of bliss).All Spiritual insights come from subtle mind. Sages have given various ways in which this subtle mind can develop. Sage Maharshi Ramana gives the path of inquiry (Who AM I).

According to another ancient mystic tradition the gross body imitates the other bodies but the astral body can only grow by lot of work and when the heart centre gets activated. The body of intelligence is further down the road and would require special effort. But the starting point is in trying to be aware of I which is a unique centre of our conciousness.

By itself the idea that u r the body is not a problem but when it goes against your other belief that it mustn't be so it becomes a problem. To investigate on what is or starting from where one is gets rid of this conflict.

joejo | Sat, 02/06/2010 - 04:11
joejo's picture

I am the body

It is not that one day you just get up from meditation and Lo! the idea that you are the body vanishes. The process is of gradual refinement. Before we begin the inquiry there are various erroneous notions. To give up these notions is itself a progress. Besides as Ramana Maharshi himself said that one cannot find out the progress one is making at least not directly.

The very questioning is all important. It is the fire of discontent that drives us & must be kept alive. Skepticism is also healthy. So I see no problem at all unless your Idea of spiritual life is one deep slumber in some make belief haven.

joejo | Fri, 02/12/2010 - 03:10
Gilana's picture

Dear Skeptical Spirtualist

Knowledgeable spiritual doctrines will not give your truth. They are somebody else's truth, yours is living and changing right now. Find that.

Experience is not truth either. Find your truth beyond experience.

Divine States are not truth either.

A complete disbeliever is the greatest place to start. Stay there stubornly until the truth is sooo evident that you just can't aruge anymore. Then it will be real.

If you believe in the body, go all the way into the senses (not pleasure, mind you, that's a whole different trip)...they will also lead you to god.

Don't believe in ANYTHING. Prove it or reject it. That is the way to know.

Don't want anything. God punishes those he's mad at by giving them what they want. :{

P.S. you are not an alien. Aliens are impossible.

Gilana | Mon, 02/22/2010 - 16:04
lilian's picture

The most efficient ways I know to overcome this barrier

Skepticism - accept and observe the skeptic thoughts, do not fight them, then leave them aside, you will see that it works after a certain time.

Identification with the body - don't try to force the notion that you are not the body, it has no effectiveness. The best way to break this identification is to have a serious session of meditation in which you observe your body sensations. At some point, you will notice that the identification with the body has transformed into separation. This is the first magic described in http://www.gurusfeet.com/blog/two-magics.

lilian | Thu, 06/20/2013 - 04:29
Elijah_NatureBoy's picture

Be Them Both!

A skeptic is the most likely to come into realization than the strict followers of either path, therefore, follow both paths with objective awareness to see where they lead.

If you only wake up after the sun is above the eastern horizon and goes to sleep just before it disappears behind the western one how would you ever know about the joining of the mornings to evenings we call sunrise and sunset? The place of enlightenment is the joining of the opposites and if we never see a joining of them we will never know to entered it, therefore, spend time in each without rejection or accepting of them and without identifying yourself with either but remain conscious of when you are crossing from one to the other. Once you recognize you are in the joining look in both directions, whence you came and whither you're going and then at the middle, their joining. More than likely you and not recognizing that they are joining so open your consciousness until you can recognize their joining.

--Elijah "NatureBoy"--
Presenting SEEDS OF LIFE @

Elijah_NatureBoy | Wed, 03/05/2014 - 13:19
JimmyRR's picture

I was a skeptic

As a skeptic I had perceptions of what Spirituality was, these perceptions I had came from religions and religious people. I defiantly didn't buy into it and I still don't at this time buy into religions.

After learning about the Power of Now, things are becoming a lot clearer. I did feel an inner body experience that I believe is my spirit.

I posted my experience if you would like to read it.


JimmyRR | Tue, 05/27/2014 - 17:23