I think that it is rather unfortunate that my best thinking happens at the most inopportune times…i.e. the shower. And when I’m in the shower, the thoughts seem really brilliant and I feel this intense clarity, but by the time I can jot them down, they seem fragmented and I wonder if they would even make sense to anyone but me…
Anyway, here is the fragmented shower-thought that I will be discussing in this week’s classes…
This quiet whisper of a voice came to me, without context or commentary, and it said, “It isn’t about finding the answers, it’s about learning to ask the right questions…” And then the voice was gone, leaving me to decipher this on my own. We fervently and futilely search for the answers, the solutions, the things that will lead us into the light…I am starting to think they don’t exist. Because to have an answer, to know something, implies permanence, and this finite understanding cannot exist in a dynamic world through which the winds of change are always blowing. And I realized that the progress of my own practice can be measured by the fact that being able to ask the important questions has become so much more important than actually answering them. It takes courage to be open and honest enough to ask these questions that require us to continuously reflect upon and refine our life practice; this courage is what I wish for you…
Rilke also has something to say on this matter:
be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
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