Living the Questions

To not limit the enquiries to questions that are expected to have answers.

To stay humble in front of questions to which I do not know the answers.
To not be irked by them, to not be disoriented by them.
To live with them. To live them.

To hold something without judgement.
To move to that field from the fields of right and wrong.

To not let the cycle of hurt continue. To break that cycle and to recycle.

And to do this especially with children, to not let them ‘grow out of their questions’ telling them that ‘it would be easier that way’.

Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Your doubt may become a good quality if you train it. It must become knowing, it must become critical. Ask it, whenever it wants to spoil something for you, why something is ugly, demand proofs from it, test it, and you will find it perplexed and embarrassed perhaps, or perhaps rebellious. But don’t give in, insist on arguments and act this way, watchful and consistent, every single time, and the day will arrive when from a destroyer it will become one of your best workers — perhaps the cleverest of all that are building at your life.

- from Live the Questions: Rilke on Embracing Uncertainty and Doubt as a Stabilizing Force

And instead of looking for answers all the time, my wish for you is that you get comfortable living the questions.

- from Live the Questions: Jacqueline Novogratz’s Advice to Graduates

“Negative Capability” — the willingness to embrace uncertainty, live with mystery, and make peace with ambiguity.

The art of remaining in doubt “without any irritable reaching after fact & reason.”

- from The Art of “Negative Capability”: Keats on Embracing Uncertainty and Celebrating the Mysterious

“… for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost.”

- from Trust Yourself: Emerson on Self-Reliance as the Essence of Genius and What It Means to Be a Nonconformist

How we ask our questions affects the answers we arrive at… Science and religion… ask different kinds of questions altogether, probing and illuminating in ways neither could alone.

- from Einstein’s God: Science, Free Will, and the Human Spirit

It’s very likely that the universe is really a kind of a question, rather than the answer to anything.

- from Kevin Kelly: The Universe is a Question

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