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THE ART OF QUESTIONING

Seeing the world with the eyes of a young mind and understand it with the wise mind

Living in the question means being in synchronization with neuroplasticity and life as it is.
We learn when we ask, we learn when we don't know, we learn when we want to know, we learn when we are hungry for understanding. The problem is that we forget this when we get older, when we start to believe to have the answers learning has come to an end, and we start to die, not learning is the beginning of the end what it means to human. 

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When we are young

When we are young our identity is still flexible, and we are hungry to learn, the brain is a symphony of neuroplasticity, the capacity to create new neuronal structures is celebrating life.The normal conditioning are made in such way, that the older we get, the less we learn, it is important to understand that this is a social-cultural condition and not biological function, the brain itself has the capacity to stay young until the show is over. The trick is to training the brain, when we are young the neuroplasticity runs by itself, but later we have to take care of it, but when we do, the brain never stops creating new cells and neurons. But this is not part of our social-cultural mapping, the standard is the older we become, the less we learn and life becomes automatic and mediocre, which means then we live to protect our answer, and the answer has become more important than life itself.Depending (or being addicted) on the answer is characteristic for the first levels of consciousness, the pre-individual and individual, there we need a solid and fix reality, it provides us security, the sensation of control, and we live in an imaginary reality of safety.

Control & Security

The pre-individual identity is a direct extension of the animal consciousness, security together with reproduction, are the absolute priority. At the individual level, the animal consciousness is still very active, but now it is in conflict with the rational mind. We all know this internal conversation, and the normal respond, is control. On one hand we like to live our emotions and feelings freely, but on the other hand we can't, because it means to give up the illusion of control and security.
Since we are not trained in the Art of Questioning, become addicted to control and a false feeling of security. 
Security and control in its natural context are perfect and good, we need to live in an environment which favourable for our specie, but when it becomes pathological (and this is the standard in our culture), the consequence is the disconnection from life, and insanity of our daily bread. By being identified with these levels of consciousness, we have a fundamental misunderstanding of protection and being safe, which leads to fight life and perceive nature as something alienate. Humans on one side and nature on the other side.

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By lifting up the level of consciousness, we can take care perfectly and much better of the circumstances of the everyday living, but without the need to control life. The idea for itself to control life is ignorant and mad, because the very intent is the end of being alive, it reduces life to a problem with has to be solved and a permanent threat to our existence.That's why it is so important to cultivate the Art of Questioning, to be open to what is, and to be fascinated by the present moment.

Some examples of how we can practice the Art of Questioning:

We only know, because we ask.

How do we know that reality is as it seems to be?

How we came to the conclusion that reality is as we think it is?

How do we know that something is negative or positive?

Who we are to negate others the right to they own reality?

Have we really the authority to judge?

Are we perfect, beyond contradiction, free of any dark aspects?

Can we be 100% sure that something or somebody is as we think or believe?

How do we feel when we do not reject reality as it is? How do we feel by respecting other life forms?

Are we willing to do what the wise people teach since thousands of years, or do we want to keep on pretending to be right?

What counts is the question itself, the answer is secondary. All depends on the quality of the question. Answers will come when the time is right, there is no need to rush for it. The question should come from the heart in the first place, as an inner need, the mind is the tool to this need into a form. The conventional conditioned mind creates an answer out of his memory, therefore he have a lot of times already the answer even before the question is asked. The trained mind cultivates an open space where the answer can unfold, he tries to step back from his memory to let the mystery of the unknown come into play. Living in this way life becomes again an amazing journey and not a task list to be checked.

Who or What I am?

Who is asking all these questions?

The last question is the most important of all, she is the key, meanwhile we don't know who or what we are, there will be not place to go. For example Sri Ramana Maharshi teachings are centred only on this question.
Going deep into the enquiry of, Who I am? Or What I am? We come to the realisation, that the I, the person, the individual identity are aspects of the Self, the I don't exist as an independent identity. 
Then rise the question, Who I am when I am not me?
This will lead us to the Self. The Self, or the nameless Self, or what ever name we give to it, the Tao, the Essence, Consciousness and so on, is the only reality there is. 
Being honest this realisation is for most of us just an intellectual understanding, what is already a huge step, but out of reach as a living authentic experience. The egotic structures are very powerful, but with the Art of Questioning we have an excellent tool to come a bit closer to the realisation of the Self.

Most of us are not able to do this work without a guidance, to look for experienced people and asking for support, can be a good idea, because the path towards self-realisation has its danger and traps, and it is possible to get lost or even crazy. Anyway, this is the salt of life, it will be boring to know already the outcome.

“It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”

Albert Einstein


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Photos: Maribel Rosado.