Questions to the Rescue

"Questions to the Rescue" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


Most of us would rather wither up and die in our certainty than allow questions to interfere with our tidy beliefs. Why? Because our beliefs work for us. Remember: we believe what we believe because we need to. Our beliefs work for us. It's only when we realize they don't that we begin the painful process of either: 1. rejecting that belief; 2. tweaking it; 3. come up with a replacement; 4. try even harder to make it work. The mind doesn't like the pain of paradox. So it seizes on certainty. I've seen it many times where a person begins to evolve in their thinking, but they get to this place of utter terror and so they revert back to an even less evolved belief so that this process will never happen again. I wrote a whole book on the value of questions, Questions are the Answer, where I explore the development of the role of questions in our spiritual lives. We can get to a place of peace of mind where we can rest with the question without the obsession of it being answered. That is, we are at peace with mystery. This doesn't negate questioning. In fact, when we feed one question, it reproduces! So we continue to explore and discover while at the same time at peace. It's a kind of knowing that many mystics have called "unknowing".
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