I was quite confused about ‘being sceptic’ and ‘being confused’ until I realised it is not required to be confused while being sceptical. The seeds of scepticism in my conscience were sown at the very beginning when I started putting various societal and cultural norms to scrutiny and questioned the dogmatic religious faiths. Since then I have been in a rigid habit of doubting anything and everything. I read and I learnt a lot, then again I read and I learnt more. By now I had developed the virtue of not believing in anyone or any piece of information until I myself certified their credibility and authenticity. Not believing blindly or doubting at every step is a sign of a healthy mind, but one must know its limitations. Going too far in it can prove to be fatal.
The very idea of scepticism deals with testifying every belief, knowledge or any piece of information of its authenticity. But practising it more often and putting it in use even in the domain of one’s personal lives can exhaust the thinking capability, as it takes a tremendous amount of energy in doubting and scrutinising. This exhaustion can drive the mind to a state of confusion, where it becomes hard to take sides during a conflict.
Confusion in itself embodies complexity and it can never be a part of scepticism. Confusion is a state of mind where one is in a constant tug of war between two or more extremes. The moment confusion creeps in and stays for a prolonged period, it swiftly pushes one to the verge of a mental illness popularly known as delirium. Sudden changes in feelings or perception are common in delirium, clouds of uncertainty hover around the head, and the person has a hard time taking concrete decisions, sometimes giving chills of disorientation too.
Choosing between binaries is one of the toughest tasks one has to confront, as it weeds out any possibilities of considering the wide variety of middle grounds. The world is not all sunshine and rainbows; sometimes one has to come across the rigid dichotomy of black and white, where the grey part ends up suffocating between the two extremes of black and white. In such times, Robert Frost comes to my rescue.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.