‘Do we decide questions at all? We decide answers, no doubt, but surely the questions decide us.’ Lewis Carroll
Is there a value to our questions that we haven’t quite explored yet?
Questions run around in my mind that relate to our existence, the web of life, of which we are somehow a part. What is interesting to me is that, once voiced, it seems that everybody at some point in their lives asks the same questions. As Lewis Carroll says above, we are free to choose the answers but it would seem that the questions are a constant in our lives, that innately create a connection between us. If we were to locate the origin of the questions themselves, then perhaps we would be part way to finding the answers. What if the point is not only to locate answers to the questions but to see the existence of the questions as their own answer, as a clue?
If we can look behind the questions themselves instead of assuming to find a single, objective, sequential or linear answer, then perhaps we would finally be getting somewhere… perhaps we could finally get through that door. Reverse the process of the search, and perhaps we will find that we can fit, like Alice, through the door. For, in her adventures, it is not that the key is the wrong size for the door – when she is trying to get into that wondrous garden – but that her size (consider that as our perception) is the wrong ‘shape’. The key and the lock and the door are all perfectly in accordance with one another before she comes along with her questions (and before we arrive at perplexing conundrums with our fixed beliefs). It is only through changing our expectations – our fixed patterns of thought – that we too can expect to enter the already existing garden of enchantment. We might think of that garden of paradise as freedom of thought – being at perceptive, or receptive, choice – or, perhaps, even freedom from thought.
My sense is that it is our perception of the universe, the perception of what our questions are or even should be, or how we ask them, and what we expect from them, that creates the repetitive cycle of questions and answers that actually take us, oftentimes, nowhere. How wonderful would it be to be able to loosen our current parameters (or mind prisons?) of perception, in order to be free to receive the answers that the relationship that we have to our questions might be keeping at such a distance from us. If the ‘clue’ lies in the already existing questions then maybe we need to look at the origin and structure of the questions, where they actually come from. What if they are not ‘human made’ but are simply a reflection of a greater force that is being mirrored through us, through our minds… a collective, or meta, mind?
Perhaps the harmony of the spheres lies in the fact that the questions remain the same, and it is the answers – found through the ages – that tell us about ourselves in each period of time rather than about, for instance, God. If, as I suspect, life is about mirrors, relationships and reflections, then surely the answers that we are continually coming up with are about getting to know ourselves rather than getting to know God. And perhaps this is as it is meant to be. Perhaps all the fighting and the wars and the perceived evil in the world is not about us ‘getting it wrong’, being separate from God, but it is the necessary process of us getting to know ourselves with God, or Life, as our witness.
Joy, if based on the permanence of achievements, seems to be hard to keep a hold of. Sometimes it can also be hard to ask ourselves to want to explore the more difficult places of some of those things that we so often resent in life such as pain and suffering, confusion and darkness and the intangibility of joy. We may wonder why these states states are not only to be endured but are actually totally necessary for our growth. Joy is the moment of transcending growth, the moments where we experience the freeing from a cocoon, from a now redundant mind prison… an expansion. Joy is simply a celebration of the ability to recognise our own growth in each moment, an ability to feel the rewards of hard work done, joy is what we feel when we finally ‘get it’.
If we are not willing to grow, we don’t get to feel deep joy – we remain stuck in the feeling of a small state of being, with limiting parameters, like Alice, after taking the potion. The reason joy does not last forever is because life is a process, a constant movement inward and outward, not just forward or up. When we feel joy, we are resonating with our connection with the universe, and since we are still fledgelings at this process of growing and expanding our consciousness in order to allow our fullness to become apparent to us, it is no wonder that joy seems to escape us – for our lessons are always upgrading and expanding along with us, while the questions remain the same (who am I, why am I here, how do we as humans fit into the greater scheme of things…?). Our experience of our answers are constantly expanding along with the universe. And joy upon joy is what we feel when we reach that moment of completion, but the point is that each moment of completion is both a birth and a death at the same time, which is why we are never still in that moment and which is why we can sink so quickly back into the abyss of questions and re-experience the void of confusion and not knowing again and again, until we feel ready to explode sometimes, or simply to give up in exasperation! But, what if you don’t give up? Can reversing the question/answer phenomenon yield insight? Escape? Freedom from suffering?
To refer back to Alice’s story; when she is falling down the rabbit hole, at the beginning of her journey, she experiences the letting go of time, she experiences darkness, and she suddenly doesn’t know ‘facts’ anymore – her previous reality is momentarily suspended, as is she! Now the point is that Alice doesn’t try to climb back up the rabbit hole, she makes the decision – in that moment – to experience the wonder of a new set of possibilities and becomes open to input, to new information, to a different understanding of life, her life. She decides to let go, into the falling, and she starts to notice her surroundings. And I put it to you, that unless we are able to do the same thing, suspend judgment, embrace fear, let go of preconceptions, become the observer of that which we are experiencing, then we will be attempting to climb uphill at a time when we are being pulled in a different direction. Life suddenly becomes very hard. But, in truth, life has the absolute (and relative) capacity to be entirely enchanting!
Life is magical. Life is metaphor. Life is everything. The concept of God is the same as the concept of a grain of sand, or a boiling kettle, a child falling over, or a smiling sage. The answers are in the questions, like crumbs leading Hansel and Gretel out of the forest.
I think it would be interesting to trace the threads through the different schools of thought over the ages, to see what situations were going on at the different times of documented history, and what schools of thought were needed; how the answers served each set of thoughts in that time of perception. In doing this I wonder if we could create a space and hold it open long enough to entertain the possibility that we are doing the same thing right now, that there might be a different way of contemplating the world of questions and answers. What if we could discover something new about our place in life’s evolutionary process, as a result? Could we discover a reality where relationship is paramount and the understanding of the processes of inter-connection of all living beings (on so very many levels and in so many different forms – visible and invisible) could enhance our access to (the garden of) enchantment? Through this perception might we recognise that the very form of life is constantly changing before our sometimes blind eyes, and it it’s only our desire to hold onto old patterns of thought and perception that keeps us in prolonged pain, and that feeling of dis-enchantment?
I propose that the perception prisons of pain that many of us repeatedly recreate for ourselves can be shed, as quickly as we can learn to change our perception of reality (what we think it should be). We can learn that this pain is not some form of punishment (for some from either a just God or an unjust Devil) for misdeeds done or good deeds not yet done, but that it is simply a blatant reflection back to us of where we are at within ourselves, manifested in our total experience of life. Where we are stuck, we suffer, where we flow, we are free. Consider this; are your answers more important to you than your questions?
I encourage you to try considering your own questions as your gateway, not to the typical world of ‘answers’, per se, but to a world of magic, possibility and renewal. You are an alchemist of mind, of your own experience of your mind. Your skills are right under your own beautiful nose! Take the potion, eat the cake and follow your own curiosity down the rabbit hole of your own evolution. Remember, our evolution is the evolution. There is a field where life already flows and there’s a rabbit hole with your name on it… I will meet you at the bottom! (I’ll be the one holding the light!).
Thanks for reading, Clare.
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Please enjoy the SONG “Listen to Me” – a lyrical wonder focussed on how the Universe is always listening to the questions in our minds… watch out, she might be listening to yours too!
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Bio: Clare is a life & creativity coach, sound-healer, international speaker, protector of the sacred, and educator for the creative potential of humanity. Clare has been a singer/songwriter, recording artist, performer and healer for many years. She researches Consciousness for Social Change and teaches Creativity & Innovation at SFSU & with individuals. She also has developed a theory Dynamic Emergence for our collective evolution – you can work with her individually, or as a social group. Musically, she has 7 CDs (available on her website) and has taken her knowledge of sound healing and conscious reality shifting onto many platforms including; radio, hospitals, conferences, workshops, ritual space and performs for sacred yoga and Labyrinth walks at Grace Cathedral, SF. She’s used Sound for her own healing and for deepening her relationship to the Sacred. She accompanies herself with Shruti and piano. Her work and music are at clarehedin.com & dynamicemergence.net. She has recently released a personally created video workshop series: 7 Stages of Self-Transformation (only $129).