They come through the doors – searching. They want answers, they want guidance. They’re afraid to be disappointed yet again. Perhaps this time it’s going to be worth it. Perhaps this church, this synagogue, this teacher, these writings, these practices . . . Perhaps finally, this will be IT.
An answer . . .
Is an answer a real thing or is it manmade?
Looking outside, I can see people, cars, animals, trees . . . I don’t see answers. I don’t see questions either. What is an answer?
That’s not a part of the real world – of reality. We were taught very early on, to acknowledge a concept – an illusion – one that’s called questions and answers. The theory behind this is that every answer gets us closer to that which we try to achieve / get / have. Asking the “right questions” will give us the “right answers” and create a fulfillment of whatever expectations we may have.
It’s pretty straight forward actually, or so we’ve been told:
I want a cookie.
I ask a question: “where are the cookies?”
I get an answer: “They’re in the jar on the shelf.”
I open the jar and eat the cookie.
We have just proved the existence of questions and answers.
Or have we?
Did we ask the “right question”?
What makes us think that we did?
Perhaps the “right question” should have been:
Why do I want a cookie? Or
What happens once I’m done eating the cookie? Or
Who is that “I” who wishes to have a cookie?
Or just about any question at all.
Perhaps, what we consider “the right question”, is the one which helps us create and perpetuate an illusion of understanding, to be delivered through “the right answer”.
Why does it seem that the questions that bother so many people the most, have no answer?
Why do we believe that the questions come first, followed by answers? It could easily be seen the other way around: Every answer that we get, creates three more questions. But that of course, is not a part of the way we’ve been taught. We just happened to stumble across this opposite concept by accident, and our teachers may just dismiss it as being too philosophical or perhaps be puzzled as well.
What if in reality – true reality, reality beyond human ideas, concepts or language – there is no such thing as questions and answers?
If that’s true, then the answers that we supposedly receive and interpret as a roadmap to get us closer to something or somewhere – is just a part of a lifelong self deception. But this self deception is incomplete and imperfect. Here and there, we see repeatedly, how some of the most troubling questions that come to us, remain unanswered again and again. Questions that we may have had for ten years, or twenty years, or half a century – same questions, still no answers.
Sometimes, we become convinced that this time we actually do have an answer. It’s life changing. We now have a road to walk and we begin to tread it. How wonderful – what a relief. We begin to explore this exciting new road, and after a while, once the initial excitement has worn off, we come across new questions.
It is the answer which created these new questions. Questions that were not there earlier. The road that we believed would reveal to us something that is missing from our life in the present, gradually becomes less and less paved, until it completely disappears, leaving us in the middle of nowhere, with more questions than before, less hope and more cynicism.
When will we stop asking questions?
What does it take before we see the illusion that’s behind this theoretical way of understanding the world?
What does Guidance mean?
What qualifies as guidance?
What do we expect when we seek guidance?
How would we know “guidance” if we see it?
If we are wise enough to know, that which we still don’t know, how can it be that after thousands of years of existence as a species, we still ask the same questions as people asked thousands of years before us? What’s wrong with this picture?
What are we looking for?
What are we hoping to find?
What would happen once we find it? . . . “THE END”?
What if we question our very questioning itself?
What if there is nothing to be found?
What if we have been interpreting some inner feeling of discomfort, through the lens of the question/answer paradigm, further reinforced by ‘concepts’ and ‘language’?
What if we simply allow this feeling of discomfort – whatever it may be – to be left as it is? Perhaps it’s there for a reason. Perhaps it’s trying to show us something, to teach us something. Why should we get in its way?