Self-Inquiry is built upon a simple set of questions. The mind loves a good question, loves pondering. The word "ponder" is such a delicious word, don't you think?
The work is in the answers. The riches are in the answers. The mind doesn't love answers like it loves questions. Look and see, how many questions have you asked today and how many had answers? "Guys, how many times do I have to ask you to put your shoes on and your backpacks on??" If they had actually answered me with anything quantifiable, " Three times please, Mom" I would have been gobsmacked (I feel I can only pull off British phrases online, indulge me?) All kinds of questions swirl aimlessly in the mind. At school there is a student who looks forward to picking all the glue off the Art Studio tables when he comes each week. I think this is what the mind is doing with all the questions, it's something to pick at and occupy us and it accomplishes very little. Well, rather, it accomplishes just one thing again and again: maintaining a closed eco system. Unanswered questions help create a kind of stasis that seems comfortable. The comfort is based on beliefs around what could happen if a question was answered. Most of the time the questions in my head create all of the anxiety I experience.
What does it mean to hear "no"? Have you heard of the guy who created the game, Rejection Therapy? Jason Comely had experienced enough sadness through isolation and disconnect to ask, "what am I afraid of?" and then wait for the answer. The fear was of rejection. His response was to immerse himself in it , seeking out rejection once a day. All the things that fear tells us might happen aren't reality, what's happening is reality. The mind navigated by fear is what keeps questions unanswered. If we want peace, our job is to connect with the questions and give them an answer.
Most of the time, what holds me back from asking a question of others is the fear of what people might think of me. I had a chance to notice the richness of questions over the holidays. Everyone has heard from Ram Dass or thought it themselves, "If you think you're enlightened, go spend a week with your family." I think we could update it: If you think you're enlightened, group-text your family. I think of all I'm willing to do to avoid asking a question, all the energy expended to NOT have to ask, and the thoughts are that what I'm doing is keeping the peace. It's crazy, I know! And until I waited for that answer I had no idea that's what was guiding me. When I don't ask for what I want, I'm keeping the peace. Is that true? The entertainment is in the question, the gold is in the answer. What answers can you find to help you navigate today?