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Why do we want to ‘see’ first and then believe? || Acharya Prashant, on Jesus Christ (2017)
Author Acharya Prashant
Acharya Prashant
6 min
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Questioner: Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam!

Thomas had a great doubt about the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so necessary for us to see first and then believe? Then after seeing we doubt our seeing. How do we rid ourselves of this suspicious attitude?

Acharya Prashant: It’s obvious Nimisha. We are people identified with the ‘body’ and the ‘senses.’ So we would believe only that which the senses tell us.

It’s not really necessary for everybody to visually, optically, see first and then believe. Such a thing is necessary only for the man who believes in his eyes. Only the man who believes in the world that he sees with his eyes would want the proof of Godliness admissible through the eyes.

He has already declared that what the eyes are showing to me is True. That’s his belief. That’s his fundamental assertion - "What my eyes are showing to me is True."

So, when you would tell him that something is true, obviously he would demand that it would be visible through the eyes.

Isn’t it obvious?

He is saying, "What the eyes are saying is true." He believes in the body, he believes in the eyes, he believes in the world. Now, you tell Thomas such and such thing has happened. Jesus is back. He would immediately say that "If he is back then my eyes should be the proof. I should be able to see him. And not only should I be able to see him, my hands should be able to feel his wounds." Because this is the man who lives by sensory experience.

He says that this is true, it exists (pointing to a glass in his hand) because the skin is offering a proof of its existence. You can feel it via the skin. So even to be certain that Jesus is back, he’s saying that "I should be able to verify his existence through my skin."

The one mistake that such doubting Thomases make is that they do not see that what they are seeing is not really true. They do not know Trueness. Instead, they have a concept of Trueness which is ‘imperfect.’

Real trueness is time-independent.

Yes, this appears, this tumbler appears to be continuous, to be undisturbed, uninterrupted, unchanged by time. But such an observation is valid only through a small length of time.

If you can observe this tumbler long enough, you can find it’s changing. And if you have eyes subtle enough to penetrate into the micro-constitution of this tumbler and the water within it, you’ll find that they are changing continuously. The tumbler and the water that you see in one moment are just not the same entity that you would see or experience in the next moment.

But the change is delicate, so you feel as if there has been a uniformity, a continuity, a permanence.

You’re mistaken.

Everything in this world is changing continuously. There are no things in the world. There are only movements. Nothing exists in this world. There is only a flow of flux.

Because our eyes are incapable of determining the change, the eyes are not sensitive enough. Because the eyes are incapable of determining the change so we feel as if there is a continuity just as when we are watching a movie in a theater we feel as if there is a continuous flow of images. It is not. Discrete images are coming one after the other. But the time interval between two images, between two discrete appearances, is so small that it appears to us as if it’s a continuity, unbroken. It’s not unbroken. It’s broken and there are changes.

So, the fundamental belief of Thomas is false. The world is not True. The world does not exist as a thing. There is no great mountain. The mountain is a flow. There is nothing that you can refer to as a thing. By the time you take the name of the thing, both the thing and you have changed. The process of calling a thing, a thing is absurd. The caller himself changes in the event of calling. The thing itself changes by the time you name the thing.

The world is not True. If the world is not true then what your eyes and skin are telling you is also not True. Then Thomas should be told that you cannot verify the truthfulness of a Christ, the existence of a Christ through eyes and skin. But such a thing only a Christ can tell him. And now it’s a bad bad situation. One is stuck. Catch-22.

Only a Christ can tell you what is True and what is false. And if you are suspecting Christ himself, you have left yourself with nobody who can now tell you the difference between ‘True’ and ‘false.’

And that is why a Christ should always be met with ‘total devotion’ and ‘zero suspicion.’

Do you see the problem, the impossible problem facing Thomas? Only the Christ can tell him what is True. But for that, he must firstly believe the Christ to be True. But he’s damned now because he’s doubts over the trueness of Christ himself. He’s saying a Christ is to be believed only when the senses verify. Only when the mind certifies. And the mind will never certify the veracity of a Christ.

The senses will never be able to determine whether or not Christ really, truly exists. Even if for a moment he’s made to believe, Christ tells him, “Come and have a look at me and come and touch my side, feel the wound, and then you would know I am the same person who was crucified.”

Even if for a moment his doubts are allayed, his suspicions are put to rest, the suspicions would rise again. Faith that rests on visual proofs is no faith at all. Faith that demands mental certifications is no faith at all. Faith has to be absolutely reasonless. Faith of Thomas is founded on reasons. It is not a perfect faith. Such a faith would not stand the test of time and situations.

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