❝ Questions are just as important as answers. The goal is not necessarily to arrive at an absolute answer. The goal is to improve the quality of your questions. The quality of your question determines the quality of your answer.❞
When I searched for the source of this quote, something very peculiar jumped out at me. I say ‘at me’ because what I found is in stark contrast to how I experience the message.
Pause for a moment.
What do you perceive as the core tenet?
For the time being, I’ll disregard the underlying question that’s begged, how to define the ’quality’ of questions?
Internet searches based on the quote above reveal a common view, that our questions determine our future. One author states that “the questions you ask can make the difference between success and failure.” What I read in these interpretations is purpose-driven effort to improve one’s future, and even “to avoid the destruction of one’s life.” Ouch!
It appears that the goals, for many people, are to find answers that spur positive behaviours thereby empowering change to achieve success. For me, the focus of this viewpoint is primarily on the future. It is ‘results oriented’. This abruptly and abrasively contrasts the invitation I experience in the opening quote.
I’m on board with the idea of ‘quality of questions’ in as much as it helps me explore the nature of what I’m experiencing. Again, a separate discussion is necessary to explore the character of quality questions, but that’s only possible when I know what I’m looking for from the questioning. My aim is to see deeper into the present. It’s ‘awareness oriented’. In other words, to look at the essence of the current moment—the only moment that actually ever exists?
By asking questions that help me explore what I’m experiencing and how that’s encountered, I also examine what is processing that information. The most fundamental questions become, “Who is experiencing, encountering and examining?; Who is aware?; What is the substratum of awareness?” (I use the word ‘awareness’ instead of ‘consciousness’ because the latter is overburdened with assumption and anthropomorphic dogma.)
To a large degree, I don’t care about what happens in the indeterminate future. My focus is on being completely aware to what is here and now, to what always and already is. I find that by investigating the essential nature of what is and then remaining knowingly as that, without superimposing any ideas on it, the future unfolds far more harmoniously. Of course, I make plans and have goals for things I want to do, but those things develop as natural outcomes to conscious living; they reveal themselves as results of who I am in the present moment. Whereas, when I focus on achieving things in order to transform from where/what I am to something else, I find that tension rises and possibility of expression decreases.
The quality of a question then becomes the degree to which it provides clarity in and of the present moment. To be honest, I like clarity far more than I like tension.
❝ The presence of awareness is not something that we become, although in almost all cases its recognition requires some investigation. It is simply our essential, irreducible nature or true self, the ever-present background of all changing experience.❞
✌️ ∙ 🌱 ∙ 🙏
This is my personal journey—a soulful sojourn in which I share musings arising in and from self-inquiry. I don’t always go into all the characterising details; To me, such minutiae carry more value when explored as pointers in investigation occurring in both silence and when teased out through vulnerable conversation. The purpose is to share some insights that may resonate for you in your own journey.