There are vast differences between the earthly realms in the heavenly realms, but mankind thinks only from the earthly realm; and this is because the mind of the mind is capable of nothing more. The mind of the body and the mind of the emotions, or feelings, are both capable of having much more tactile contact with the spiritual or heavenly realms; but our connection between these three minds has been lost and they operate dysfunction only within our Being. So men think from the intellect; and they get into arguments about things. Heavenly realms don't have arguments; hellish ones, of course, do, but that is outside the scope of this essay.
Doubt arises in two different ways in man. Earthly, or natural, doubt arises from the intellect and the ordinary state of being. This kind of doubt often becomes academic; and when it degenerates, which is a natural occurrence, simply because what is low intends to go lower, it becomes self doubt, which afflicts mankind in ever greater measure.
Self-doubt is a destructive force. It brings things down. All fear arises from self-doubt of one kind or another; and this is what tears individual men and women and societies apart. This tearing apart or destructive force is both natural and necessary, because creative forces cannot operate without it, but in so far as possible seekers on the spiritual path should avoid self-doubt. It's an unproductive avenue that simply causes us to obsess about ourselves and who we are; in other words, it becomes a downward spiral into greater and greater selfishness. (Gurdjieff called earthly or self-doubt inner considering.) Although self-remembering is one of the most essential tasks in the spiritual realms, the concept itself is easily misunderstood and can be turned into a destructive force all on its own. We should be careful to consider this not just with our intellect, but with our sensation and our feeling as well.
Heavenly doubt is a creative force of upward movement. Make no mistake about it; one cannot be neutral or have neutral intentions. Natural doubt has a negative intention, and heavenly or spiritual doubt has a positive one. One cannot tread water between these two forces.
Heavenly doubt can in some ways be expressed in a single sentence:
Am I not loving enough?
This question cannot be applied as an intellectual exercise, but must be brought to as many moments as possible in a lifetime, as an active principle of inner Being.
Anyone who applies this question often enough in the context of the intersection of the three minds, rather than bringing it up within their thinking mind alone, will begin to see the efficacy of its action almost at once. Heavenly doubt centers around this question of love and its inner application within the context of the outward expression of life. It is a creative force that slowly dissolves the ordinary Being in favor of one that is far more permeable to the angelic realms, who are constantly sending their energies inward towards men and women to support them.
This inward flow of the divine energy is closely related to heavenly doubt; and earthly or self-doubt blocks it. Self-doubt is a form of tension. Everything connected to earthly and self-doubt ends up devolving into fear in one way or another, because it moves away from the angelic realms and from God, and the further the distance from these realms, the greater the fear.
A great deal more could be said on this subject, but I would prefer that readers contemplate it for themselves at some length, make an effort to both taste and feel heavenly doubt, and see the difference between heavenly or spiritual doubt and earthly or self-doubt.
Moreover, the distinction between natural or material thought, which is always of the intellect, and its ultimately destructive nature when functioning on its own, ought to be drawn in an inner sense so that one sees that all one's "turning" and associative thoughts form a vortex that pulls one away both from heavenly doubt, and the upright self-respect one ought to have within one's being both for oneself and forces from the angelic realms. If one understands the difference between heavenly doubt and earthly doubt, which can be done through feeling and sensation better than it can the intellect, one takes a step in the direction of balancing the centers. Heavenly doubt creates an inner agency that brings the centers together.
Jeanne de Salzmann referred to this principle as seeing one's lack, but for my own work and for these times, the principle of heavenly doubt carries an equal, but newer, force. In any event, the ideas and the action are the same; and we need to see this question from many perspectives in order to understand it properly. Hence the neologism.
The unfortunate fact is that the lower realms also attempt to exercise influence over mankind; And they do so exactly through this self-doubt which feeds fear. Men and women think such thoughts belong to themselves; they don't see how much they are under influences. But knowing the source of such things helps a human being to make choices in what they align themselves with.
This is a much more complicated subject we cannot deal with here. But readers are encouraged to refer to Swedenborg's observations on the subject.