Skeptics are True Seekers
Skepticism is not a bad thing because you must understand what skepticism means. Skepticism means you do not know, so you’re doubtful about everything. If skepticism becomes chronic suspicion about everything, that’s a sickness. Suspicion means you’ve made a foregone conclusion. You’re skeptical means you’re still looking. You’re still willing to unwrap things and look at it, but if you’re suspicious you will not unwrap anything, because you already have a foregone conclusion about everything. So skepticism will not slow down your spiritual growth. In fact, it will hasten your spiritual growth. It is only true skeptics who turn spiritual, because they are looking for something. Others have made stupid conclusions about everything. Suspicious people have made negative conclusions, believers have made positive conclusions, but both of them are the same lot. Plus or minus, it doesn’t matter, they’re all into the same game, number game."
A skeptic is not willing to add, not willing to subtract, wanting to look at everything the way it is. That’s a spiritual process. Spiritual process means, “I’m willing to look at life just the way it is. I don’t have to add anything to it, I don’t have to subtract anything from it, I’m willing to look at everything just the way it is,” and that is the essential mindset of a skeptic. I think it’s an ideal mindset for a spiritual process - that you have no need to exaggerate anything, you have no need to play down anything. You want to look at everything just the way it is, but you have your doubts about everything. If you don’t have a doubt, you won’t investigate. The word investigation is a cruder word for seeking. A seeker is an investigator in a way. It is just that a genuine investigator is also a seeker of truth. If you say somebody is under investigation or you are investigating somebody, that means you want to know the truth of the matter. That’s investigation, and that’s seeking too. Spiritual seeking is investigation, not of some individual person but of the existence. We’re investigating the whole existence. This is spiritual seeking.
If you’re not a skeptic you can never investigate. You will jump into conclusions. If death confronts you, all conclusions will end. I know people are trying to stretch the la-la land beyond death, but the la-la land does not work for somebody who is confronting death right now. It only works for people who believe they’re immortal. If one understands the mortal nature of your existence, then all the conclusions from your life will disappear and you will become an investigator of life or a seeker of truth because they are not two different things. It is just that in the process of being skeptical, you should not drive yourself into desperation, you should not push yourself into the corner of your life. If you are a joyful skeptic, you are a great spiritual seeker. If you’re a depressed skeptic, then you’re a good client for some psychiatrist. If you can joyfully be a skeptic, then you’re a spiritual seeker, and that’s an ideal mindset for seeking the truth.