The inspiration behind every great discovery has been the spirit of inquiry. When that inquiry is directed outwards – “What is this? How does it happen?” it is science.
However, when it is directed inwards – “Who am I? What am I here for? What do I really want?” it turns into spirituality.
We have an informal gathering every evening, no matter which part of the world I am in, and after some group singing, I take questions from those present. Over so many years, I must have been asked hundreds of thousands of questions on various topics. Out of those questions, I have come to realise that essentially there are only five types of questions.
Questions coming out of misery
Many times people ask questions when they are feeling miserable. They are usually of the nature “Why did this happen to me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?” etc. When you see someone asking a question out of pain, just listen to them. They just want somebody to hear them out. They are not really looking for an answer.
Questions coming out of anger
“I did nothing wrong. I was right. Why am I being blamed? Why is this happening?” These are the kind of questions that arise out of anger. Here also, the person is caught in the whirlpool of their feelings and emotions and they want to justify them by asking such questions. When somebody is in such a volatile state of mind, no matter what answer you give, it doesn’t go in. On the contrary, it gives rise to more questions and justifications.
Questions to draw attention
Some people ask questions just to show everyone that they are also there. Their satisfaction lies in asking the question so that everybody notices them rather than finding the answer.
Questions to test the other
There are some who ask questions to test if the other person knows. They already have an answer in their mind and want to compare if the other’s answer matches theirs.
The fifth type of questions is asked by people who sincerely want to know something and have faith that the person they are asking knows and will tell them. It is only this type of question that should be answered.
Intelligence is omnipresent
Every particle of this existence is brimming with intelligence – the seed knows when to sprout and the flower knows when to bloom. All of life that is happening in this creation is expressing that infinite intelligence. When you begin to behold this breathtaking phenomenon taking place all around you, all your questions start dissolving into an overwhelming sense of wonder. That is the true art of living.
Meditation can take your mind to that state of wonderment. Try Beyond Breath, a free online session and enjoy a guided meditation with a live instructor.