An uncertainty of mind can produce only a lack of understanding.
But, doubt must not be confused with a withholding of judgement,
of consent and support, which is the attitude of an open mind. An
open mind can be alert and thus be aware of the many influences
and conditions which tend to prejudice the mind and make it incline
towards, and decide on issues which are not relevant.
A mind hi doubt is a mind which is inclined to disbelieve, and
this inclination is already an obstacle to understanding. An open
mind will be aware of those obstacles and therefore not be inclined
Whereas investigation of facts (dhamma-vicaya) may lead to discovery,
mere doubt as perplexity (vichikiccha) brings about a wavering state
of mind, which cannot decide one way or the other, because of its
lack of understanding.
When there is doubt in the mind, it is a symptom of confusion-a
lack of understanding of the real issue. The confusion is about
certain means or methods which become so important that the object
of action is obscured. All political parties promise to help the
poor man, but they cannot unite and thus be of actual help, because
they are divided as to the means; and thus there is confusion, opposition
and conflict. But if the issue is clearly understood, action can
follow immediately, and such action is not the result or the reaction
to a party manifesto.
Doubt, therefore, seeks a solution without understanding and that
leads to perplexity, confusion and conflict without solution. Doubt
seeks certainty, safety* security for the mind, and that brings
about prejudice in favour of the 'self. The open mind which does
not seek a solution is alert and is thereby able to see clearly
without prejudicial doubt, without confusing the issues; and so,
through direct investigation ib understands with clear insight and
without inclination facts as facts, doubts as doubts, false as false;
and thus see the truth.