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Monday, April 6, 2020

Morning Reflection: The Questions that Bind Us

The Questions that Bind Us.

I’ve been watching a new show recently, trying to keep my mind occupied and distracted from everything that’s going on right now.

Yet as often happens when we try to run from our fears, we end up running straight into something that makes us confront them and face them, or at least think a whole lot more about what we’re running from.

And I wondered how it is that in my attempt to avoid, I find the same questions in front of me.

Then it struck me, as I sat there binge-watching a show in an admittedly futile attempt to keep my mind off of the pain and sadness that surrounds us right now, that it’s not that the questions are unique to me.

The questions that we are asking are in a way universal to us as humans, as people, as a thinking consciousness that is aware of time and the universe.

These are the questions that drive us, if we dare to ask them.

It’s almost as though the price of being human is to ask the questions, to ponder and to wonder. Sure, some find refuge and comfort in answers that are given by others, and if that’s you, know that I am happy for you, and yet somewhat jealous.

But in the end, there are always going to be more questions than there are answers, and what really matters are the questions we choose to ask, and the direction those questions take us.

And it’s by asking the questions that we make a meaningful impact in the lives of others.

Because meaning is what we’re all searching for. We’re driven by this insatiable need to find a sense of certainty in everything, so that somehow, someway, all the chaos and uncertainty of living in this temporal universe can fit into some nice understandable box.

If we can draw meaning, and find some pathway through our lives that aligns us with some grand purpose, than it speaks to us that our lives have not been in vain, our experiences have not just been random.

Because in finding a meaning, we somehow find a sense of value, a sense of worth.

Which is, in its own way, the ultimate distraction. If we are dependent upon meaning, then we are still locked into a value based paradigm, where we seek some way to enhance our own sense of being more than ‘just human’, more than ‘just alive’. It's as if we needed some additional adornment to the incredible wonder of consciousness, the majesty of awareness, and the nobility of just being alive.

The questions that bind us together, are also the questions that bind us to the limiting pathways in which we walk.

Now I’m not saying that it isn’t good to ask questions, because it is. I’m not even saying that you shouldn’t try to make your kinder, or gentler, because you can if you wish. I’m not saying here that you can’t have a sense of the nature of reality that aligns you with the deity or the concept of your choice. You can absolutely do all of those things.

As long as you realize that your value doesn’t depend on any of those things.

In my life I have asked many questions, and I hope that I will get to ask many more. But I’m trying to ask the questions without needing to take a sense of value from the answers, so that I might filter the results that come back to me without any intervention or shading from my own needs.

Because in the end, the answers that I choose need to be the ones that I believe are correct, in the absence of any personal bias, prejudice or desire.

Only then, will the questions yield answers that will make sense.
Dr. Alan Barnes

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