Where do questions come from?
Not the everyday ‘what shall I eat and drink?’, or ‘how shall I do this?’, kind, but the big juicy ones that have implications for who we think we are and what we are here for.
These questions don’t magically appear out of thin air, though sometimes they hit us with the force of a metaphorical bolt from the blue.
And neither are they an abstract exercise.
Questions like this are organic, and we finally notice them when we are ready.
They grow and emerge from multiple influences at the edge of our attention until they unsettle us enough to face them.
They might jar with our existing worldview to the point where we are ready to ask whether it is still a good fit.
We might notice possibilities and wonder why we hadn’t observed them before. Like seeing the world in colour when we thought it was black and white.
Or it might be that we find ourselves at a junction and can’t ignore any longer the choices before us, yet we need a different road map to find our way.
Finding the answer
So often, at this point, we want to go into mechanical mode. We are in a hurry to find the right button and get the answer.
Yet how we walk with this dislocation from our sense of reality is as important as what happens as a result.
These questions are organic, and their work is not finished just because we notice them. They have to do their work in us.
And just as big questions do not arrive out of thin air, neither do significant answers.
They are formed in us and through us – we need to live with them and let them breathe.
Let’s test them out and see how they sound. Notice the cadences that resonate and those that continue to be discordant.
And share them with others. These aren’t delicate flowers that will wither outside of the glasshouse.
For as long as it takes. You’ll know.
I wonder, where are your big questions currently?
Are they in a box, hidden away, or are you walking with them in anticipation that the journey is worth it?
Thanks for reading
I hope you have enjoyed the fruitful exchange around these posts – thanks to all who have contributed to the conversation
- Monday: Awakening the dawn
- Tuesday: Closed-loop or emergent?
- Wednesday: How are your answers doing?
- Thursday: Is there such a thing as question bias?
- Friday: Going with the flow – taming our obsession with answers