Monday, February 13, 2017

Wall of Doubt

A Monk

"The hermit, all day and all night, beats his head against a wall of doubt. That is his contemplation.

"Do not mistake my meaning. It is not a question of intellectual doubt, and analytical investigation of theological, philosophical, or some other truth. It is something else, a kind of unknowing of his own self, a kind of doubt that questions the very roots of his existence, a doubt which undermines his very reasons for existing and for doing what he does. It is this doubt which reduces him finally to silence, and in the silence which ceases to ask questions, he receives the only certitude he knows: the presence of God in the midst of uncertainty and nothingness, as the only reality, but as a reality which cannot be placed or identified."

The Hermitage Within, translated by Alan Neames


  1. I find lately that self is constantly brought to the fore by what is happening in our country, and world. My old guru used to say: 'When a naked woman walks in the room, your practice flies out the window!' Life sets before us what will most distract us from God and inner peace. 'Naked women' just meant those distractions - and today's politics have become that for me. I know the antidote: More Mass! More silence. More prayer and service.

  2. This quote describes my constant state of doubt. I never thought of it as anything positive or spiritual. It is an unknowing, but I find this state very painful. So, reading this was very healing. I can accept this banging of my head on the wall of unknowing until this elusive silence comes. Oh well.


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