So many of us are seeking answers. We turn to science, religion, philosophy, and our own experiences for some kind of understanding or comfort. We seek an explanation, a foundation to build our world-view upon, a paradigm or system with which to navigate reality. Answers are what we are after, and answers are what are offered in abundance by both the well-meaning and well-informed as well as the clueless or hucksters of the world.
I wonder, if instead of answers, we should seek questions. I wonder if we are asking the right questions.
We call the achievement of discovery or knowledge “enlightenment”. We become more “brilliant”, and display our “brilliance” when we apply our knowledge in some manner. Those in the know are considered “illuminated”. That sounds like a worth-while goal, to be “illuminated”… to be more “luminous”. When I observe the objects in nature that are luminous, they appear to be their own source of illumination. Their brilliance comes from within. The Sun is the most luminous object in our sky, and is most certainly its own source of light. The Moon, by comparison, reflects this illumination. It is reliant on the Sun for its brilliance.
This is how I see the process of seeking answers. It is seeking to be like the Moon, reflecting the brilliance of other, more luminous objects we are close to. Seeking answers means that we lack our own brilliance, our own illumination. It seems to me that our effort lies beyond merely seeking answers, but rather in formulating the right questions… and then developing those answers for ourselves. Self-Evolution must involve some manner of developing our own brilliance, of becoming luminous rather than merely enlightened.
We speak also of paths, referring to a philosophical route to enlightenment of some sort. A path leads us somewhere, at least in theory. That is key, that any path only leads the person “walking” it to a place in theory. Who’s theory is it? It is the theory of those who have walked the path before, who are illuminating that path for others. However, can we really walk the same path? A path is a natural, organic thing. It changes with time, and is unique to each person upon it. Each person brings with them their own illumination, distorting the path itself according to their own Individual quirks and perspectives. Each step they take along the path is unique to them.
While a person may be shown a path, and even guided on a path, to walk the path blindly… blinded by the brilliance of another rather than seeing with your own illumination, profits the seeker nothing. The path must be walked with intent, and must be illuminated by one’s own brilliance. The illuminated on the path become points of light in the distance, guiding those behind with their brilliance while also serving as an example of the illumination required to truly make that philosophical journey.
What then, are some questions we might ask? These are some of mine.
Who am I?
No, really who am I?
Does my behavior support my definition of self?
Am I me, or someone else’s definition of me?
Am I consistent in who I am?
Do I do anything?
What do I want to do?
How do I do it?
Why do I do it?
Is this “real”?
If it is not “real”, what can it be?
What is “real”?
Ultimately, illumination is relative. There are those who are not illuminated. Worse, there are those so dim that they do not even reflect the brilliance around them, they draw it in and dim others. Those that make the choice to recognize are slightly more illuminated. Those that engage in the Process of being illuminated are even more so. From there, illumination grows.
I strive to ask the right questions. I strive to be illuminating.