What is The Question? You have probably asked it many times before. It takes different forms such as: What is the purpose of life, What is â€œitâ€ all about, Who am I, or any other existential question.
Many people have questions like these and there are no shortages of people selling answers or cheap solutions.
Some examples of â€œanswersâ€ are cosmologies such as one where God loves you and when you die you will be with Him in Heaven, The Secret Law of Attraction, or even Buddhism, science, or drug induced peak experiences.
While some of these might provide solace, ways to improve your life or your intellect, or insight into The Answer, none of these provide The Answer itself.
Unfortunately, The Answer to The Question isnâ€™t easily transmitted. It is as ifâ€”despite the sages that have come before us, with their teachings and their writings and their methodsâ€”we must each reenact the journey for ourselves; to perpetually rediscover all the depths that have already been explored. You canâ€™t look it up on Wikipedia and you certainly wonâ€™t find it in this blog post; if you could, The Answer wouldnâ€™t be referred to as The Unknowable.
The Answer is ever elusive because
The Question is ever evolving.
Why is the answer to questions like â€œWhat is it all aboutâ€ and â€œWho am Iâ€ so elusive? It is because as answers are discovered by the question asker, the question asker evolves and thus so does the question. As oneâ€™s understanding deepens, â€œitâ€ and â€œamâ€ and â€œIâ€ deepen even further, just past oneâ€™s grasp. In this way, answers to The Question are always temporaryâ€”satisfactory only to the old you. As in the Tao Te Ching: â€œThe name that can be named is not the constant nameâ€.
As you progress in life you often times feel like youâ€™re losing ground, less certain about your abilities or your wisdom, than when you were younger. With The Question coming up time and time again, and with some of the answers that come up, it is understandable that one might come to a nihilistic view, an existential crisis, or depression.
However, this infinite treadmill can be a source of comfort too; no matter how much you â€œget itâ€ there is always room to â€œget itâ€ more. Whatever span of life you have left, you can use it to grow the depth and span of your relationships, to strive towards liberating all sentient beings, to improve your artistic abilities, to reaching ever higher levels of awareness, etc. You may never achieve The Answer, but youâ€™ll be more impressive than if you had never attempted.
So, What is â€œitâ€ all about?
I invite you to leave a comment with what you think it is all about.
Iâ€™m inclined to say that it is all about growth via asking The Question in pursuit of The Answer. Though this answer might get me hit on the head by a Zen Masterâ€™s stick!
- From a Zen standpoint you can get The Answer in an instant. Itâ€™s not that â€œyouâ€ â€œgetâ€ The Answer, it is that you are The Question and there is no Answer, or you are The Answer and there is no Question, or both. This will get me hit too 🙂
- If you only ask The Question, but have no actions in life youâ€™ll probably become suicidal. Better to live an integral life where you ground The Question in a meditative practice, keep physically active, socialize, and eat a healthy diet.