Feb 22, 2019

Do the enlightened doubt?

A question formed as a parable, by Aella:

Imagine an old enlightened man on a hill. This man has a long white beard, eats nuts every day under a tree, and writes spiritual philosophy mixed up with strange riddles. He is highly esteemed, having lived a long and rich life searching for meaning, and now travelers from across the world come to him to gain his wisdom. Many are confused, but some leave enlightened, and continue to study, debate, and learn from his words.

Some students, youthfully ignorant and certain, challenge him – "How can you know?" they ask when he says something mystical about the sky. "That makes no sense" they say in response to his koans.

I have two questions – one, is it possible this man has some real wisdom or knowledge, or are all sorts of setups like this generally just people taking a crazy person seriously?

And two – in your conception of this scenario, does this old man experience doubt when his ideas or challenged? Does he ever think "Hey, I might be wrong about all of this?" as opposed to "the young student does not grok"?

Would having uncertainty in his own positions reduce the amount of 'mystic goodness' he can do for people? Would having uncertainty in his own positions mean that his ideas aren't actually that wise or mystic after all?

If there were to exist a wise and enlightened mystic man dispensing spiritual knowledge from a hill, would it be a requirement that he have no doubt?