Prayer is the way to open the door to the heart. If an inquiry is without prayer, then it is initiated more by your doubts and not created by the search; then the inquiry is not for the sake of the search, it is to raise more doubts. One who has set out only to doubt, his doubting becomes unhealthy, it is sick.
And it is not that someone who opens his door with a prayerful heart loses the right to doubt – in fact only he has the right to doubt, because now doubt is only a part of the longing for the solution; now doubt is creative, not destructive; now doubt is only to find the way
to remove all the hurdles; now the questions are there to get close to the answer. Now the inquiry is not the game of a diseased mind, now this doubt is not the disease of a sick mind, it is now the search of a healthy person.
Trustful doubt – these words appear to be very contradictory, but if we try to understand them from a different angle it will be clear. Try to understand “doubtful trust.”
Even when we trust, it is full of doubt. Even if we put our trust in someone it is full of doubt; doubt is the undercurrent. In fact we trust only because inside there is doubt and we want to suppress it. And when doubt is inside and trust is on the surface, trust will be weak, because the inner is more powerful and the outer, the superficial, will be feeble; that which is on the periphery will be weak, and that which is at the center of the heart will be powerful.
So doubt is inside and trust is just imposed on the outside like clothes. Just as clothes do not eliminate your nakedness, they only hide it, similarly, trust imposed on the outside like clothes does not destroy doubt, it only hides it.
The opposite is also possible – what I call “trustful doubt.” Trust is there in the heart, doubt is only on the circumference. That doubt becomes a part of the journey to strengthen the trust, because how can someone who has not doubted, trust? But actually he is full of trust.
Maulingaputta, a disciple of Buddha, said to him, “I ask you, not because I doubt you but because I doubt myself; I ask you, not because I doubt what you say but because I doubt whether I have understood it rightly. I ask not because I doubt your achievement, I ask you because I doubt my footsteps – and the journey is very long and
the dream so vast. I have doubt about my own footsteps. I ask you so that my trust gets strengthened, I ask you so that my trust becomes profound.”
Whenever one asks prayerfully, the doors of his heart are open; he does not come with doubt, he comes with a question. Questions can have answers, but doubts can have no answers, because someone who wants to doubt will go on doubting every answer you give him.
Doubt is an infinite regression: you give an answer, he doubts it; you give another, he doubts it; doubt is his basic premise. Whatever you say, he doubts it. Then there is no way. But if doubt is only a part of the search, just a methodology – a method, not an end, not a solution, not a goal – if doubt is not the premise, but inquiry is, doubt is very helpful.