The Disappearing Question

There are times when we are convinced we need to ask a certain question of a certain somebody.

The question seems important, meaningful, and, if answered, that we would be better off, more enlightened, or more capable of making an important decision.

What happens though when the opportunity arises to ask it? Many times, the importance of the question mysteriously evaporates. Just moments before, it seemed like the whole world hinged on the answer but now that we are face-to-face with that somebody, we don't feel we need to ask the question anymore.

This is all mind stuff. This is a desire to be free of an entanglement of one kind or another, without realising that either there really is no entanglement (it's imagined) or that it's not meant to be resolved just yet.

We might still ask the question despite not feeling its presence or relative importance in the moment.

Like a sugar high, we get a sense of satisfaction that is soon followed by a sense of regret. And you can be sure that whatever information is offered, if any, to you as a result, will miss the mark, not be good enough, or create further questions and confusion.

By in large, questions are not designed to be answered immediately. They are designed to get your attention and point your consciousness to something in need of correcting. Questions are intimately connected with evolution. Did Einstein's Theory of Relativity come out of nowhere? Yes. But it also came from a mind and heart deeply curious about the nature of reality. 

By holding the question, investigating it, and respecting it, Einstein was eventually given a breakthrough that fundamentally changed the way we understand how space and time works.

Questions similarly mature us. It takes courage to investigate their answer, especially when there is no known map to follow. As we fit the puzzle pieces together — as we inevitably will with enough time and patience — we grow and get a sense of accomplishment that boosts both self-esteem and confidence, propelling us to the next level of our evolution where new, more difficult questions will be met.

No doubt, there is a time and place for sitting down with somebody who is a few metres ahead of you on the path and picking their brain or sharing your most closely-held concerns.

We do not want to make this our go-to strategy but something that is used sparingly, when all other avenues of investigation have led to dead ends. Then such interactions take on a more heartfelt and balanced tone where your innocence is maintained.

The question's job is to produce an answer. It happens effortlessly, and it also happens in ways we least expect.