“Question Everything” may sound a bit like a Hippie saying from the 60s, along with “Make love, not war” and “Hell no, we won’t go.” But it was actually the ancient Greek scholar, Euripides, who lived in this world from 480 to 406 BC, who first said: “Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.” Words of great wisdom because so often, once we believe we have an answer to anything, we close down to the more-there-is-to-know that lives within every answer. When someone says, “That’s the way it is period,” it’s not. There is no period to the Endless Flow of Life, no stopping for a pause or applause. The most we can say is “That’s the way it is right now” while remembering that every “now” flows without hesitation or interruption into “what’s next.”
Even though our Inner Being—the One that is forever one with the Infinite All Knowing, Eternal Flowing of God Energy—offers us an answer immediately to every question we ask, there is always more to any answer that is far beyond what we’re able to comprehend in our current state of mind or interpret from our current awareness. In the same way we might simplify, or lovingly “dumb down” an answer to a child, every answer given to us by Infinite Wisdom is given at the level of our ability to understand in that moment. And, it’s exactly what we need to know in that moment. “What can I see now? What can I know now? What can I experience now” is always answered in the moment…for the moment.
Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions. Do not search for the answers, which could not be given to you now because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Then someday you’ll gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answers.” As we patiently live as much life as we can now, with the intention of living it at the highest awareness we have now, we will naturally live our way into every answer and every resolution in our heart. At the perfect time, always as we are ready for them, the answers come. Sometimes an answer may come as a question for us to ask our self, as if every question has a deeper question just beneath it. For example, just recently during my spiritual practice I closed my eyes, turned within, and asked God this question: “How can I feel more of You?” The answer came, “How much can you love?”
Whatever we come to know we must allow to grow in our awareness. Otherwise our awareness will stop expanding, and so will our experiences of life. We won’t experience the joyous richness of learning something, but not everything, about who we are and what life is. The important thing is for us to continue to ask and learn. Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. It’s not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer. I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity is the positive flow of Mind Energy that moves us forward into, and within, Infinite Awareness.
We were born into this world passionately curious. Most young children drive adults crazy with their constant mantra of “Why?” It doesn’t matter what an adult answers back either, because an answer for a child simply stimulates a new question. When we were young children, the world was filled with new things to learn about our self and life. We didn’t think any discovery we made was going to be the last one! We didn’t expect learning to end. We instinctively knew that for every answer a new question would arise and there would be more to know.
But once we started school, we soon learned that there were precise questions about a lot of things that had precise answers we needed to know. And, even if we weren’t interested in most of those answers, it was important us to remember what they were anyway. Being distracted by our imagination just got us in trouble because we were told that when we were off exploring the life within us, we weren’t learning the important facts about the world around us that we needed to know. Not having an answer, especially right answer, wasn’t rewarded because it meant we weren’t trying to learn and that we could and should do better.
Remembering all the right answers got us a big A+. But when we didn’t know them all, our reward went downhill. And, as our grade got lower and lower, so did our self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. And because A+ kids were teacher’s pet, and got chosen for all sorts of cool things, we began to feel left out of the cool things in life. Whether we were one of those A+ kids, or our grades hovered just above passing, we learned that having all the right answers was the way to succeed in school, with our parents, with our peers, and in life. Einstein said, “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.”
Even though some of the smartest people to appear in this world have been the ones who asked the most questions, as adults we often prefer to take the “I already know that” approach in life because we’re afraid of looking stupid. Have you ever had a conversation with someone whose repetitive response was “I know that.” Often our adult mantra is “Tell me something I don’t know.” But, when we think we know it all, we don’t have eyes to see or ears to hear anything more even if the Voice that tells us is within us, closer than the beat of our heart or next breath.
There will always be more to know, more to see and hear, because we live in an Infinite Universe that is endlessly creating and becoming more. We read in the Book of 1 Corinthians, “And if any man thinks that of himself he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know it.” Knowing is an experience of reality that must be lived, not a fact to collect in our head. When we live in our head, and base our life on the facts of the world, our life may go in a direction it didn’t need to go if we’d been listening to our heart. For example, a very sweet and good-humored man was feeling pretty good mentally and physically though there was disease in his body. But when the doctor told him that he had just seven weeks to live, seven weeks later he died.
When we look solely to the world for answers about our self and life and death, we’re unable to learn the more-to-know that our heart already knows because our heart beats with a rhythm that can’t be found in books, the world of facts, or the words of experts. We read in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun. When we’re focused solely on the world for answers, we become narrow-minded and spiritually unteachable. And, the thing is, we can’t learn more from the world because it is made up of what we already know, those already thought thoughts that have become visible things. We read in A Course in Miracles, “For if you think the world you made has power to make you what it wills, you are confusing Son and Father; effect and Source” and questions and Answers.
When we stop asking for more awareness, when we lose our curiosity, we become quoters of people we admire, or quoters of the same writings and references we’ve quoted for years, without
any greater awareness of a deeper meaning to the words we have been quoting. We become a declarer of affirmations we don’t experience as real because our awareness of what is possible for us, or anyone else, hasn’t expanded in our mind.
Shams Tabriz wrote in Soaring with Angels, “Can you step beyond the limiting definitions that we have placed upon humankind and conceive of yourself as truly a seed of the Divine? And can you summon the courage and the willingness to explore this possibility?” Explorers have no doubt there is always more to know, more to see and more to experience in life. Even when they like a place they’ve discovered, they continue to explore more. Do we have the curiosity and courage to explore our Divinity? Has our curiosity survived the limiting definitions we have placed upon our self, others, and life? Or has the passionate curiosity of “Why?” of childhood turned into adult excuses, explanations and accusations of why this or that happened?
Do our questions about life and what’s next outshine our human need to have all the answers right now? Is our mind still open to the joyous possibilities of life that are available to us at any age?
We can begin to expand our experience of life right now with the question, Why not? “Why not more love, why not more peace, why not more joy, why not more health and well-being for me and the world I see?” As we patiently live those questions now, with the intention of living them at the highest awareness we have now, someday soon we will all gradually, without even noticing it, live our way into the answers.