We might think that knowing answers would make us more knowledgeable, not less, but the truth on some level is that the more answers we have about any topic, the less intelligent we are about it.
Think about it. What are some characteristics we ascribe to people who know all the answers, the know-it-alls? Right. They’re arrogant, narrow-minded, full of themselves, intolerant and intolerable. They don’t ask questions or even grasp the value of questions, so they stop learning, and over time they become less and less knowledgeable because knowledge is about information. Wisdom is about meaning.
Life is constantly moving and changing. Answers are only good if we write them in sand. When we write them in stone, life moves on and our answers become first stale, then dated, then obsolete, then wrong, then in the end outright dangerous and hateful of life. Every answer that does not turn itself into a question is a curse to those who possess it.
We often hear of institutions being “soulless,” and they often are, but what does that mean? It means they have stopped asking questions; they think they have all the answers and know everything they need to know.
There’s a program on TV called “Undercover Boss” in which CEOs go undercover in their own companies. Without fail, they come out stunned at what they didn’t know about their own employees’ lives and their own company. The show is about the boss, and through them the company, regaining soul. How? By asking questions.
Bring it down to the individual level. Show me a person with no questions, and I’ll show you someone whose ability to love is limited. Show me a situation where love has died and I’ll show you people who have stopped asking questions.
If you feel the passion has gone out of your relationship, try this: Start asking questions about your partner. Ask them silently and aloud. Start digging and very soon you’ll hit the fresh water of reawakened compassion. And if any relationship can be saved, it can only be done through questions. For how can we love anything without asking questions: Who are you? What do you need? What wakes you up and turns you on in life? Love is asking questions.
Now expand this thinking back out to life in general. Wholeness ethics calls us to live question-based lives, and to know that caring begins with asking. How can we ever be in right relationship with life if we don’t ask questions? Possessing the answers may make you well-informed, but it doesn’t make you wise. Only questions do that. That’s because wisdom is from the soul. Not the intellect or the ego. Find your questions and you’ll find your soul.