Self Doubt

SELF DOUBT

Ozodi Osuji

Web Dictionary defines self- doubt:

self-doubt

[ˈˌself ˈdoubt]

NOUN

  1. lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.

“His later years were plagued by self-doubt”

synonyms:

shyness · bashfulness · unassertiveness · modesty · modestness · self-effacement · humility · humbleness · meekness · timidity · timidness · timorousness · reserve · reticence · introversion · insecurity · apprehension · uncertainty · hesitancy · nervousness · reluctance · restraint · inhibition · unease · uneasiness · self-consciousness · shame · embarrassment · sheepishness

     Self-doubt, often associated with agnosticism, is not knowing what to do for sure, lack of confidence in one’s self and one’s abilities.

    Should I do this, or should I do that? One is paralyzed by this doubt and in the meantime, Time is not waiting for one; time plows on and before you know it, you are getting old, still unsure of yourself, unsure of anything at all. Self-doubt is my state of mind for most of my life.

     So, what is the etiology of self-doubt? I do not know what caused my self- doubting for sure, but the following is my conjecture regarding its causation and genesis.

     Self-doubt is not committing one’s self to one thing or the other; it is rooted in not committing to theism or to atheism.

    Theists tend to take their God as existent and relate to him; atheists tend to be equally sure that there is no God and behave as such.

    Agnostics cannot quite make up their minds whether there is God or not, so they are in doubt about God, about their origin and source, their creator hence not sure about who they are.

    Doubt and skepticism tend to push folks to search for answers, so it did to me, anyway. But how about if you consciously searched for answers, as I have done for thirty-two years, and still have not found them.

     I did not take the idea of God seriously until my thirties and began my search for God. I began by reading books on Hinduism, then progressed to Buddhism, Gnosticism, and, of course, my inherited Christianity and African religions. I am a walking, talking encyclopedia on comparative religions and can teach them at any levels, but I am still not sure whether God exists or not, and not sure of who I am.

     By not being sure of who I am, I do not mean psychologically; I may not be sure of anything, however, I am sure that no human being alive or dead understands Western psychological as much as I do; Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, R. D. Laing, Abraham Maslow, BF. Skinner and his fellow behaviorists and neuroscientists could learn psychology from me. I know that this position seems boastful, well, if you consider yourself knowledgeable on this subject give me a call and let us talk and see if you will not find an excuse to run away. I was barely thirty years old when I worked in the mental health field and the psychiatrists were mesmerized by my knowledge of their field and consulted me on every aspect of the subject; in no time I was made the director of the agency at which I worked. Like everything else in my life, soon, psychology seemed not enough, and I investigated other subjects.

    I am not sure of who I am. Nevertheless, the following propositions make sense to me. If there is God, I call it the whole self. There is a whole self and each of us is a part of that whole self.

      If we see God as a person, in anthropomorphic terms, God is the father; he created each of us, so, each of us is the son of God. God and his sons are formless spirits; there is no space, time and matter in them.

     There is one God; he has infinite sons. God and his sons are joined as one shared self and one shared mind; there is no space and gap between them; where one ends, and others begin is nowhere. God is in his sons, and they are in him; they are oneself.

    God and his sons are the same and equal formless spirit. In this unity of many as one they are harmonious, live in perfect peace and joy and are eternal, permanent and changeless.

     God and his sons have a mind; ideas enter their minds, and they pursue some of them, think about them.

     The idea that each son of God could be greater and more powerful than God and other sons of God entered the minds of the sons of God. The sons of God wanted to be more powerful than God and since they cannot do so in reality seem to have made themselves go to sleep and in their sleep dream that they have separated from God and each other and invented our physical universe and infinite other universes, in which they seem greater than God and to each other.

    All their universes are dream universes hence not real; only the union of God and his sons is real.

     We dream in several universes; eventually, each of us returns home, awakens from his sleep-dream when he wishes, when the script that he wrote, with the aid of all of us, and is acting out in his dreams, is fulfilled.

     Religions are aids for enabling us to know that there is God and that there are steps to be taken to awaken from our dream of separation from him; dream of self-forgetfulness (by Self is meant God, he is our real self).

     That much seems true but is it true? I do not know for certain; doubt comes in, again.

      I have had what folks call spiritual experiences that the average person would use to justify his belief that God exists and go on a proselytizing mission to tell people that God exists.

     They say that if you indulge in pure reason, ala Rene Descartes, without faith, ala Soren Kierkegaard, you cannot be certain that God exists. God, for the hyperrational person, can only be accepted by making a leap of faith. I am not willing to accept God or any idea on faith!

    The result of not knowing the truth for sure is immobilizing self-doubt. Self-doubt is the ego intellectual’s bedmate. Can it be overcome?

     I should think so. When will I overcome it? I do not know. I am still hoping to do so!

Ozodi Osuji

January 17, 2022

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