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QUESTIONS

Whist during my teens and early adult life I thought it was the answers that would enlighten me, I now realise it is the questions. It is the questions I ask that keep me engaged in the process enquiry and out of that process I can make discoveries, gain insights and experience my own revelations. Whilst I am asking questions I am exploring and better able to keep my mind open. Once I think I have an answer I end the exploration and close my mind. If I believe in the answer and become attached to that belief I rule out an infinite number of other possibilities, as it is hard to believe in contradictory answers. We could say that the more answers we believe in the more closed minded we become and the less creative.

I find it helpful to return to my childhood curiosity and try to look at everything with a fresh mind. It is interesting to note that answers that satisfied me years ago no longer do, and I can re-open a new chapter of exploration.

Human history suggests that anything we choose to think of as an answer is superceded. We once thought the world flat, then round with us at the centre of our solar system, then we orbited the sun, and now we think we are somewhere towards the edge of the universe. We have gone from nature having laws, to relativity and onto everything being a probability. The likelihood of the present general beliefs being superceded is high. So perhaps the answers are illusions anyway, just our current thinking and about to change.

I find it hard to find any answers that are consistently true. Even something as simple as 2+2=4 only works some of the time and even then is an approximation. Two drops of water added to another two drop results in one. Even if we try to do it by weight the water will be collecting dust, evaporating, the weighing machine will be expanding or contracting and the earth's gravitational field changing depending on the position of the sun and moon. Even the cherished constants of gravity and time appear to change depending where we are in the universe. So if the answers are not really true anyway, does believing in them simply keep us living in a rather small minded illusion.

Although I love exploring various subjects and sometimes find aspects of them useful I do not believe in any of them. I would rather feel free to explore further and expose myself to new and different thoughts. I wonder whether it is the questions that ultimately enrich our lives? Is it by asking questions that we deepen our experience of the body and world we inhabit?

For me the questions I ask keep me connected to myself and the world around me. The questions help me engage in life and find everything interesting.

Copyright Simon Brown, London, 2009