I wrote an article a few weeks ago related to conscious and unconscious growth and how a human being can evolve in life. In today’s article, I wanted to discuss further the process involved in the evolution of an individual.
The first thing to understand about evolution is that it is less of a collective process and more of an individual process. People have always believed that it is societies and nations that evolve, but it is not so. Societies and nations are just dead words. The real evolution has to happen in the individual.
As a result of individual evolution, certainly, societies and nations will ultimately evolve, but that evolution happens as a result of individual evolution and not the other way round.
Evolution involves three stages which I would like to discuss in detail. It is important to understand each of these aspects of evolution because they form the basis of mysticism, or what I like to call as living the mystic life.
Stage 1 of Evolution
A child is born in this world with absolute curiosity. When he grows up a little and is able to speak words, he will ask a thousand and one questions. As parents, you may or may not answer all of your child’s questions, but that does not matter to your child.
A child who is asking questions is not interested in your answers. His interest and fun lies only in questioning. You answer one question and he will ask the second question even before you complete the answer to the first.
While you are answering his question, he is probably not even listening to your answer. This is the way a child is. There is nothing wrong with the child being curious. As a matter of fact, it is good that the child is curious. It shows that he has the ability to question. It doesn’t matter that he is not interested in your answer. The fact that the child has asked a question is enough proof that he has taken the first step in the process of evolution.
Therefore, it is important that you create more situations to make children curious. Let curiosity arise in a child. Do not make the child feel stupid for being curious. In fact, help the child to ask more questions. This will give his intelligence a boost.
Stage 2 of Evolution
The second stage in the process of evolution is doubt. This is one of the most important stages because it is an intermediate stage. The doubting stage also happens to be the most difficult stage to reach.
There are many reasons why people cannot doubt. The first reason is religion. All religions talk about trust and from childhood we teach our kids to trust. Kids who are taught to trust can never grow up to be trustworthy adults. You can see the entire world around you. You will barely find a few individuals whom you can fully trust.
The reason is that these adults as children were not allowed to be curious. They were condemned for their curiosity. Because they were not allowed to express their curiosity totally, they remain stuck at the first stage all their lives.
It is strange that we always teach our children higher values in life and yet, none of these kids grow up to have any of those values which were taught to them. The reason for this is that we always condemn things in life which seem small. Curiosity may seem silly, but it is not.
If curiosity is allowed to grow completely in a child, the child then moves to the next stage and now starts to doubt.
If curiosity stimulates intelligence, doubt helps it grow. Unfortunately, very few individuals ever grow in intelligence because they continue to remain curious all their lives.
More on Curiosity:
In order that you can understand doubt better, I will have to talk about both curiosity and doubt simultaneously. I mentioned earlier how a child when curious is not interested in your answers. The same thing happens to adults as well. If you ever interact with your colleagues, friends, family members or even your parents at home, you will be surprised that none of these individuals are ever interested in gaining insight into anything in life. As adults, we ask questions but we are not interested in answers. In fact, you will notice that an adult seldom goes deep into anything related to life.
Let’s take an example of religion. People blindly follow religion without any doubt. At the most they will ask you a question out of curiosity. They will ask questions such as, “What is life?” “Who is God?” “What is Karma?” Where do people go after they die?” Notice how all of these questions have nothing to do with the individual.
When a person is curious his questions are such that they have nothing to do with his own life. A person who is curious asks questions just to gather knowledge. A curious person is never interested in self-growth. He is just trying to gather answers so that if anybody questions him in the future, he can give them a readymade answer which will make them feel like he knows everything.
More on Doubt:
Doubt, on the other hand, is completely different. When a person begins to doubt, it is not just an answer that he is seeking. He is, in fact, seeking to understand a part of himself.
Therefore, doubt is one of the most spiritual qualities, because doubt involves questions that seek transformation. When a person doubts, he is basically in search of God. He may or may not know that, but the fact that he has a doubt and is ready to go all the way to find an answer shows that this man has substance in him.
A man of substance is rare. Substance arises only when an individual is able to doubt. Always remember that doubt is one of the most important stages in evolution because curiosity arises automatically as a result of wonder.
When you are a child, you do not need to be taught how to be curious. Curiosity is a gift of nature. Doubt is not a gift of nature. Doubt arises as a result of a deep longing to uncover this mystery that life is filled with.
Stage 3 of Evolution
The third stage is Trust, and trust is rare. It is really very difficult to find a man who has absolute trust. How does trust arise you may wonder? Doubt seems so contradictory that it is impossible for it to turn into trust, but that is how life is.
A man who has doubted so much for his entire life comes to a point of complete saturation. A man of doubt is like a pot of boiling water. You go on boiling the water and stage comes where it is no longer possible to boil the water anymore. At exactly 100 degrees, the water turns into vapour and disappears into the sky.
Something similar happens to a man who has doubted. When a man’s doubt has become so intense, a stage comes where he can no longer doubt.
In fact, how long can a person doubt? He finally realises that this life which is a mystery cannot be doubted. Always remember that anything mysterious in life can only be lived. Life cannot be doubted because life is a mystery, but this knowing is only possible if you have doubted.
You can listen to my words and then directly jump to trust, but your trust will not be firm. In fact, a trust that is enforced upon an individual is not trust at all. It is just a cover up. Trust that arises out of doubt has a profound innocence and depth to it.
More on Trust:
Trust arises as a result of helplessness. When there is nowhere to go, and nothing else to doubt the individual completely surrenders himself in the hands of existence. This existence which has given birth to him for the first time becomes his abode, his solace and his strength.
This surrender itself is trust. You may have heard a saying, “Help yourself and God will help you”. When you doubt completely, you help yourself. When you have tried all possible ways and means to help yourself and all efforts turned out to be futile, suddenly, in the midst of your helplessness the entire universe embraces you. It even happened to Jesus on the cross. A point had come where Jesus doubted God. He questioned him, “Father, Have you forsaken me?”
The entire crowd was laughing at Jesus because a man who claims to be protected by God is unable to find any help when most needed. Jesus clearly saw in that moment that nothing was possible. He had almost lost the battle, but he allowed trust to engulf him in that moment and after a few moments he uttered, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.
In that moment when Jesus left himself into the hands of God, it was almost as though the whole existence was with Jesus. Christians say that Jesus was raised from the dead which is simply symbolic. Rising from the dead is a symbol of victory. It is a moment of great celebration when a human being has evolved to his highest state of consciousness.
Trust is the fragrance of a soul that has had the courage to doubt. At the highest stage of doubt, a man even doubts God, and a man who has never been able to doubt God can never trust him either.
Is God so afraid that he cannot even let you doubt him? If that is the case, then God is not God at all.
Many times, in life you will come across people that bring doubt to your mind. You will meet people whom you can’t trust and it is good. Do not trust anybody in life. Doubt every person you come across, but do not remain stuck there. Come to a point where you can trust even your enemies because trust is one of the most valuable treasures.
A man who can trust even an enemy may be cheated and deceived in this world, but he has earned something far more valuable. Let the entire world be against you, but you always remain firm in your trust. Your trust will not only transform your life but the person who cheated or deceived you will not be able to forgive himself.
Therefore whenever you place all your trust in someone, it is almost impossible for them to deceive you, because the guilt that arises when you cheat a man of absolute trust is immense. Nobody wants to take such a risk. You can cheat a person who’s trust is false, but a person whose trust is total cannot be deceived and if he is deceived he loses nothing, but you lose everything.
Therefore, trust is the final stage in the process of evolution. A man of trust liberates himself completely from all bondage and claims the entire existence to be his own.