I’ve talked about starting a blog for a while now. I kept telling myself that in the new year, I would do it. Well, we’ve been in the new year for ten days now and I am just beginning my first post.
Truth be told, this is not the first time I have sat behind this computer screen to write. I’ve tried. But, every time I’ve brewed a cup of tea and opened up my laptop, my mind goes blank. All those ideas running through my brain every day, the ideas that, for some reason, I thought worthy of posting online, seem to fly away into the ether. These ideas are replaced with questions. What do I have to say? Why would anyone even want to read what I have to say?
I don’t have answers. It seems that the more I search for answers, the more questions seem to arise. The thing is, though, I love questions. I am endlessly curious about the universes lying within and without. I love questioning and I love to be questioned. Questions create movement in a stagnant mind and allow for the discovery of new territory. Questions open the heart. The more I question, the more I learn; the more I learn, the more I question.
A couple of years ago, I took a Philosophy Works class in Manhattan. (www.philosophyworks.org) This is what I wrote after the first class, during which we discussed happiness.
What is Happiness? We can talk about it and define its characteristics. but not it. We know when we feel it. We most definitely know when we don’t feel it. But trying to tell someone what happiness is is akin to trying to describe the taste of salt. It just is. We know it’s not sweet. But, that’s it. “Not sweet” does not equal “salty” just like “not unhappy” does not equal “happy.”
We discussed how sometimes, many times in fact, we’re working working working searching searching striving and straining for happiness. We think this one thing, this one person, this one accomplishment will bring us happiness aaaaannnd what happens when we fiiiiiinnally have that thing? Are we happy? Enh, not necessarily. Oftentimes, we discover that happiness came when we weren’t even paying attention. It’s like a star in the night sky. It’s when you don’t look directly at it, it shines brightest. That’s happiness. Looking at it, trying to verbalize it makes it fade.
Opening yourself to the unknown, to the mysteries and the questions of life is like seeing that star. Questioning something like the definition of happiness opens yourself to the multiple possibilities of what happiness could be. You begin to see that what makes you happy could include a lot more than what you imagined before. Asking questions helps you peer into the multitudes lying within your soul.
It’s like God, or whatever concept of the Divine you choose (or don’t). Sometimes, the more you try to define the Indefinable, the less you can feel it. Yet, so many try and try, grasping at doctrines and dogma in order to create, or re-create, an experience of Something that lives behind and beyond our limited consciousness. So, just like with happiness, the more I open myself to its numerous definitions, the more I experience happiness. The more I’ve opened my mind and heart to the infinite possibilities of the Divine, the more direct access I have to an internal and external presence of God.
Some thoughts on questions I like:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves… Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
“The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” — Anton Chekov
“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.” — Euripides
What questions have you asked yourself lately?