Why is it so difficult to trust?

Speaker: The question is, ‘Why do I find myself unable to trust?’

I could see that he was feeling a little awkward while raising this question, even a little apologetic. You feel that maybe there is something in wrong with you that you find yourself unable to trust but let me just tell you, you are a very honest being when you say that you can’t trust. The fact of the matter is that there are very few people on this entire earth who are not living in insecurity, who are not living in doubt. When you say,“I can’t trust” you mean that your mind is full of doubts, apprehensions but then so is everybody else’s mind. Do you think that everybody else in this auditorium is free of concerns, free of doubts? Not really. The truth is far from that. And the proof is that we are always insecure. We are always hunting for security. We are always looking for something that would give us that elusive sense of safety. If everybody is looking for that, that means everybody is insecure. Everybody is doubtful.

So, first thing is that take this out of your mind that this situation is particular to you. Everybody is facing this situation. This is what is making life such a tedious affair. This question is not only your question, this situation is everybody’s situation. It is just that only a few people realize it and out of those who realize, only a few are honest enough to speak of it.

Now we will go into the reasons of this ‘trust deficit’. What do we mean by trust? What do we mean by trust?

Trust can take two forms. First is ‘belief’ and the second is ‘Faith’.

Since childhood, our mind has been filled with beliefs. Are you getting it? What is a belief?Belief A belief is something that you have accepted without knowing or understanding. It is an external imposition. It comes from outside and you take it in. It is not really a product of your intelligence. You have just internalized it. That’s what a belief is. We all just keep believing. We don’t know, we don’t understand, we just keep believing. And that is the form of our ‘trust’. When you usually say, “I trust you”, all you say is – “I believe you”. Or, “I believe in a particular aspect of you”. That’s what you mean. Belief is hollow. Belief is borrowed. Belief will never give you that conviction which makes the mind doubt-free. Howsoever much you ‘try’ to believe, doubt will always remain. You may keep trying to believe but that belief will have no conviction, no energy behind you. Are you getting it?

Take a small, simple matter. Since childhood, have we all not been told to not to speak lies, to not to hurt others, to respect people, to be loving, to be kind? Have we not been told? Have we not been told to believe that ‘one reaps what one sows’? But still you will find that the world is full of liars, cheats, thugs, violent people and rapists. Don’t you find that?And every kid has been told by his parents to be ‘good’ and ‘kind’ and ‘nice’ and this and that,still there are violent people all around? but why is the world still full of crime and violence?

Because the child never understood it for himself. The child was just told to believe in goodness, in God, in ethics, in a certain morality. The child was told, “We are giving it to you, youtake it and believe that it is true.” And the child is helpless, dependent and he can do no better than to take it and internalize it.The result is that we may all keep on saying that goodness is a virtue but in our heart of hearts, we all believe that the world is a crooked place. Don’t we? It has always been taught to us that goodness is a virtue but at the same time we have a deep internal belief in the crookedness and wickedness of the mankind. Don’t we have this belief? Don’t we know for ourselves? Haven’t we seen that the wicked ones succeeds? From where do these phrases come, “That good people finish last.”From where do they come? That is the state of the world because none of our beliefs are our own. They all are all borrowed, they all are imported. They all have been implanted into us.

Whenever you would want to trust on the basis of belief, then your trust would be hollow. Despite your best efforts you will find that you cannot trust.

There is another trust that comes from totally different source. We’ll go into that. That’s where value lies. That other trust comes from your own knowing, from your own inquiry. And when you know it that way, then doubt does not remain. Then that truth discovered by you, is entirely yours. Even if the whole world says,“This is not right, this is not correct, not a single doubt will come to your mind. Let the entire world tell you that you are wrong, still you will not doubt about what you found out because you found it out on your own. And when you find it out on your own, what you get is Faith.

Faith is the result of direct knowing. Faith comes from your own intelligence. Faith is not borrowed. FaithYou cannot take Faith from somebody. You can take beliefs from somebody. You cannot take knowing from somebody. When you know it on your own, then trust is automatic. And that trust is so deep that it cannot be taken away. So, if you find that there is absence of trust in your life, then just realize that you are full of beliefs, that your life is full of beliefs. Realize that you have not bothered to live in your intelligence.

Are you getting it?

Let me give an example. There is this room. If there is a man who cannot really see on his own, he will have to be dependent on others and he will have to believe what others tell him. He will have to believe you when you tell him that you can walk thirty steps right, down this hall, and then take a right turn, walk another ten steps and you will get the door. What can the poor fellow can do? He has no option but to believe you. Beliefs come from others and a certain doubt will remain in his mind. The blind man’s steps will still be shaky because he is not using his own eyes. Lot of questions will arise in his mind. “Well, they said take thirty steps down this hall, what do they mean? Thirty big steps or thirty small steps?They said, keep walking straight down, am I really walking straight down or has my path become a little angular, a little tangential?”

Are you getting the drift of it? Doubts will keep coming to his mind because he is just believing. On the contrary, there is the man with his own eyes and his own ability to see and understand. Does he need to believe? If he wants to get out, what will he do? He will use his eyes and find out. This finding out is the action of intelligence. You don’t need to believe, but unfortunately our minds are just full of beliefs. We have not found out. We’re acting like the blind men and the tragedy is, we have our own eyes.A blind man can’t do better than that, he’ll have to be dependent. But you have your own eyes and still you are dependent on others. And then is it a wonder that you cannot trust? Obviously what is borrowed cannot be trusted fully. Only your own can be trusted fully.That which you have found out on your own, only that can be trusted fully. And that trust is called Faith, which comes from your own knowing.

Are you getting it?

Take a few examples, you all have been taught something about ‘God’ and most of us would be coming from families that have taken to a certain religion and who believe in some kind of idea about God. But don’t you have doubts upon God, so often? One who has really known God becomes totally free of fear. And you find that you are always full of insecurity. In your heart of hearts, you know that this ‘God’ is nothing but a concept that has been given to you. You’ve never found it out.

Similarly there are words like Love, life, career, success, education, words that are so central to your lives and you’re always in doubt about these, aren’t you? You’re confused. Don’t you find yourself confused, often? You find yourself confused because you have never bothered to enquire on your own. What really is the meaning of this word ‘Love’? What does one mean by ‘Work’ and ‘Career’? Somebody told you a few things and you took them. And different people have been telling you different things. And there are so many doubts. We’re always confused. For two days, we believe in one thing, after two days, something else.

Are you getting it?

All that confusion is because there are so many external sources that are exercising their influence on our mind and we have just become obedient slaves, who take those things in. You don’t need to trust at all. If you find yourself unable to trust don’t even try to trust. Try to find out, try to enquire and then there will be no need to trust. “Why do I need to trust? I know.” When you know, do you need to trust? So, don’t trust. Find out. Know. And then you will find that trust comes like a shadow. Don’t try to force yourself to believe.

Does that give a little clarity? The rest will come only in the light of your own intelligence.

Watch the session at: PrashantTripathi: Why is it so difficult to trust?

Read more articles on this topic:

Article 1: How to have faith?

Article 2: Fear can be answered only with Faith

Article 3: What is ‘understanding’?

2 thoughts on “Why is it so difficult to trust?

    1. Acharya Prashant (आचार्य प्रशांत) Post author

      There are various opportunities to connect to and meet Acharya Prashant. These are:

      1. Meet the Master:

      Meet the Master program is rare opportunity to meet Acharya Prashant personally, either physically or online. To meet the Master, send your application, write to requests@prashantadvait.com or contact: Ms. Anoushka Jain: +91-9818585917.

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      Advait Learning Camps are monthly retreats organized under Acharya Prashant’s guidance. These camps are about spending four days and three nights in the lap of nature, while reading, reflecting, learning and evolving. So far, scores of ALCs have been organised in places like Rishikesh, Mukteshwar, Jim Corbett National Park, Chopta, KainchiDham, etc.
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      Course in Realization, a classroom-based learning program led by Acharya Prashant, is an initiative towards disseminating clarity and intelligence in the world. In this course, a rigorous study of a scripture or a saint is undertaken each month.
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