Seth Godin is an American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker. He’s primarily a consultant for business, and I subscribe to his blog, where he posts several times a month. He offers usually short and often pithy and inspiring reminders to pay attention and practice deep noticing.
Reading a recent blog, I was reminded of a time, soon after Michael Toms and I met, when I was so certain of my position on spiritual matters that I was not able to be swayed by any amount of information to the contrary. I steeled myself from doubt by setting up my tent and refusing to enter a new, more unfamiliar landscape. I was hunkered down in my comfort zone and no amount of external force could move me. And then a miracle happened: I expanded my view. I can’t say what exactly triggered that change in attitude, but I do clearly remember the sudden feeling of spaciousness. What I discovered is that I actually valued something more deep than the “local” truth. I discovered my life path was to move beyond that “lesser” truth. I noticed that I was much more excited by a search to find a more trustworthy truth, one that was bigger than the “local” truth I was working with at the time. That realization allowed me to let go of the smaller truth and launched me on my life-long pilgrimage. I am thankful that I eventually outgrew my limited landscape, put my hiking boots back on, and resumed the ascent into the “clouds of unknowing”.
Here is the blog that reminded me of my journey.
Facts are not the antidote for doubt by Seth Godin
Drink enough water and you will cease to be thirsty.
And yet, a doubting person can be drowning in facts, but facts won’t change a mind that doesn’t want to be changed. More facts don’t counter more doubt. Someone who is shaking her head, arms folded, eyes squinted and ears closed isn’t going to be swayed by more facts.
Instead, doubt surrenders to experience. And experience can only happen if there’s enrollment.
If someone is willing to find the right answer, willing to explore what might be effective, what might be confirmable, then enrolling in the journey to ease doubt opens the door to personal experience. Which, magically, can let the light in.
Experience, working it out, touching it, studying it, repeatedly asking why with an open mind… these experiences engage us, earn our attention and gain our trust.
Doubt comes from fear, which is why it’s so difficult to earn enrollment. People don’t want to commit to working their way out of doubt, because doubt is a perverse variation of perceived safety, a paralysis in the face of the unknown. Earn enrollment first, a commitment to find a path, then bring on the process and the facts.