If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things. ~Rene Descartes

Critical thinking does not come naturally to all men in their turn. To engage with the world at face value alone seems de rigueur, if not in any way sufficient to the purpose of genuine understanding.

To look past the cursory in pursuit of a more authentic engagement with truth requires curiosity, imagination, and courage. How much easier – and more comforting – it is to cling to the simple illusory version of the possible, rather than challenging every assumption presented, each truism enacted, every limitation extolled.

The function of doubt in its ideal form is progressive; to approach with a mind open to possibility at purest. No single explanation is either accepted by default or dismissed out of hand. All considerations are weighed for merit, turned on their head, spun around on their axis. The mettle of an idea tempered and tested in the crucible of a mind truly alight.

Yet how insidious the adulteration of doubt when it creeps into the interstices and undermines that which we have already toiled to make settled precedent. As worthy a task as it is to question everything, to do so endlessly without the comfort of any decided truth is to run ragged the very means by which we hope to identify what truth can be; that way lies madness.