Chapter 29: Positive Thinking: Philosophy for Phonies
The first question:
I am a firm believer in the philosophy of positive thinking, and it was a great shock to hear you speak against Mother Teresa and her philosophy of positive thinking.
I am pleased that at least someone was listening, someone was awake, someone was not asleep. This is what positive philosophy is: you are shocked and I am happy!
But I am not a believer in anything at all. Belief as such is against my way of looking at things. Belief is a blind man’s groping in the dark. I do not believe in anything, I do not disbelieve in anything - because both are belief systems. Either I know or I don’t know. I am absolutely clear about it
You are saying that you are a “firm believer.” What does it mean? A firm believer - why have you used the word firm? There must be some infirmity hiding behind it. Is not just being a believer enough? You know it is not; hence you have to add something more, make it more solid, more strong. But whatever you do, a belief is a belief, and can never become knowing. Your firm believing simply proves that your doubting is very firm. A firm doubter needs a firm believing. An ordinary doubter simply believes.
Belief is to cover something. If the doubt is too big then you have to stretch the belief into a firm belief. You have to repress your doubt very strongly, because you know that if it is not repressed strongly it will throw off the cover of belief and you will be naked before your own eyes - hence the shock. The shock is not irrelevant.
If I criticize Mother Teresa, why should you be shocked? Either you see that what I am saying is right and there is no question of shock, or you see that what I am saying is wrong; then too there is no question of shock. From where comes the shock?
Shock needs two things: one part of you - the deeper part of you, the repressed part of you - sees the truth of what I am saying, and the repressor part of you does not want to see it. This conflict creates the shock.
You may be a firm believer in the philosophy of positive thinking, but I don’t think you understand what the philosophy of positive thinking means.