Doubting Even Your Doubts

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 4 2013 @ 10:46am

Comparing what remains of his faith to “an indignant old man…wheeled into life support for a death that lingers,” the Red State Mystic ruminates over belief and doubt:

Crises of faith are supposed to lead you back to sureness: either to a reinforced belief or towards a triumphantly faithful Atheism. The latter says you must disavow those tactile experiences of the Divine. You were fooling yourself, you must say, clutching a closet’s darkness. Doubt becomes just another form of belief as the unsure questions are packed away with the rest of the dead old man’s stuff in the attic. I believe in my doubts. I have doubts about my doubts.

I still let the old man linger. I listen to his ragged breaths, slow heartbeat. If there is such a thing as resurrection, that is Christ’s business—not mine. But, I cannot look away. Doubt and belief, ecstasy and lingering pain are one around this bed. I don’t have to make sense of my life. I don’t have to make it fit your understanding or even understand it myself. I just bear witness to what I see, what I feel. I feel nothing. I am nothing. I am everything. I spill over into the world. Let’s just get this over with.

If your days last long on this earth, you will find yourself saying words that would have been abhorrent to you years before. Nasty, vile words suddenly taste sweet to your lips. Snatching the me’s out of time, I could lay them end to end and watch them argue. I have lived long enough to hold every opinion. I’ve discovered the only thing I hate is myself.