Chapter 4: Be a Light unto Yourself
Aurobindo said, “Yes, I have known him, but I don’t believe in him.”
Once you know, what is the point of belief? Belief is in ignorance. If you know, you know. And it is good if you don’t know, to know that you don’t know. The belief can deceive you. The belief can create an atmosphere in your mind where without knowing you start thinking that you know. Belief is not trust, and the more strongly you say that you believe totally the more you are afraid of the doubt within you.
Trust knows no doubt. Belief is just repressing doubt; it is a desire. When you say, “I believe in God,” you are saying, “I cannot live without God. It will be too difficult to exist in this darkness, surrounded by death, without a concept of God.” That concept helps. One doesn’t feel alone, one doesn’t feel unprotected, insecure - hence belief.
Martin Luther has written, “My God is a great fortress.” These words cannot come from a man who trusts. “My God is a great fortress”? Martin Luther seems to be on the defensive. Even God is just a fortress to protect you, to make you feel secure? - then it is out of fear. The thinking: “God is my greatest fortress” is born out of fear, not out of love. It is not of trust. Deep down there is doubt and fear.
Trust is simple. It is just like a child trusting in his mother. It is not that he believes, belief has not yet entered. You were a small child once. Did you believe in your mother or did you trust her? The doubt has not arisen, so what is the question of belief? Belief comes only when the doubt has entered; doubt comes first. Later on, to suppress the doubt, you catch hold of a belief. Trust is when doubt disappears, trust is when doubt is not there.
For instance, you breathe. You take a breath in, then you exhale, you breathe out. Are you afraid of breathing out because who knows, it may come back, it may not come back? You trust. You trust that it will come. Of course there is no reason to trust. What is the reason? Why should it come back? You can, at the most, say that in the past it has been happening so, but that is not a guarantee. It may not happen in the future. If you become afraid of breathing out because it may not come back, then you will hold your breath in. That’s what belief is: clinging, holding. But if you hold your breath in, your face will go purple and you will feel suffocated. And if you go on doing that you will die.
All beliefs suffocate and all beliefs help you not to be really alive. They deaden your being.