Originally posted by Coletti
This brings up a question I have been struggling with. Does doubt mean one is not saved? Is certainty guaranteed for a Christian? What is certainty? Is it an emotion?
Almost all the verses I can think of that deal with the issue make the work of Christ the object of certainty. The implication of this is that, I may be certain that Christ work saves, ...[text shortened]... faith entail certainty - and if I am not certain, I do not have faith.
What do others think?
The experience of being "entirely free of doubt" is, in my opinion, an immature stage in spiritual development. It happens frequently to those who have recently undergone a spiritual experience and interpreted the experience as meaning that now they are "finished" spiritually, or "saved". This is common not just in the born-again Christian phenomenon, it also shows up in Islam when someone undergoes "conversion to the Will of Allah", and it also shows up in certain Hindu yoga traditions where a practitioner may have undergone a spectacular experience involving altered states of consciousness. One find this in Zen Buddhism as well, during the breakthrough experience known as "satori", where the practitioner may think that now their ego has been fully transcended and absolute reality has been perfectly realized. It is a "half-cooked" stage.
A mind that has no doubt at all is either extremely rarefied, or has temporarily suppressed doubt owing to the spiritual experience it is caught up in eclipsing everything else. I believe the latter to be the case in the vast majority of times.
The mind by its very nature "doubts". That's what minds do, unless they've been straitjacketed or deeply conditioned to a "this is the only way" programming. I think that the spiritual process is simply one of seeing, more and more deeply, that one's essential nature is not
the mind. We have a mind, much as we have a body, but neither defines our deepest identity. Seen from that perspective, whether the mind is doubting or not is not too big a deal.