I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the devotion to answers has prevented discovery, greatly hindered innovation, and basically kept the human race planet-bound when for the last 300 years we could have been exploring the stars.
I know. Kind of a sweeping statement. Let me explain this point of view.
We’ve all been educated and socialized in the belief that to understand something, you “search for the answer”. You look it up in the dictionary, you research the encyclopedia, you explore the Interwebs until you find the answer to your question, which usually turns out to be a conclusion or a judgment about a particular unwanted condition or personal conundrum. You have to agree with the answer before you can “accept” it as “true”. My question is, how can you agree with something you previously declared you needed an answer for? What are you agreeing with? Something you already knew, obviously.
Having awareness versus knowledge
That’s the whole point. It’s not about knowledge. It’s about awareness. What causes awareness? A question. Awareness then leads to choice, and making a choice creates more awareness. When you are attempting to get an answer to a question, aren’t you really asking for more awareness in a particular area? There’s a huge difference between awareness and an answer. With an answer, inquiry stops. The question has been answered, it’s all settled, no need to look further. This effectively stops awareness. With awareness, you are always aware that there is more, that there is a greater, larger picture to gain awareness of. Awareness stops or freezes with an answer.
Consider how much further along science would be today if scientists would have made questions more important than answers? Research stops once an answer is obtained. And when answers become codified as “laws” and “theories” it effectively squelches further questioning. We are in the habit of “coming to conclusions”, as if that is the end all and be all of our inquiries. As if that’s a good thing. Well, it’s not wrong, it’s just limited. What if you never came to any conclusions about anything? What if you stopped searching for answers, and just kept asking questions? What would your daily life be like?
For one thing, you would stop judging, because judgments and awarenesses cancel each other out. You can’t get a new awareness with a judgment held in place. Conclusions are really just judgments with a justifying story. So you wouldn’t have a story that leads to any sort of “conclusion”–you may have a story that demonstrates how you got to more awareness, but you wouldn’t have a story that concluded: “Therefore, I’m not suited for this job”, or “that’s why I don’t like dogs”. It would all just be an interesting point of view that could change at any moment with a new awareness.
This “changeableness” is actually quite threatening to many people because you then become “unpredictable” or “undependable”. We have set up a social stigma against changing. This is part of being in judgment and coming to conclusions about others, in an attempt at predicting behavior, which is really just a control story. You would need to give all that up.
What if you woke up in the morning with the question, “What wonderful and amazing things could happen today?” or “What are the things I can do to make my day amazing?” And as your day progresses, you just keep asking these questions, and once something does happen that’s amazing, you don’t conclude that it was because you asked for it. You instead say, “How does it get any better than that?” or “What else is possible?” And a new awareness comes to you.
If we all could live in the question, it seems to me it would be only a short time before we have solved the world’s problems and are vacationing across the Milky Way.