Am I asking the right questions?
What questions might I ask at each level of illumination that are both appropriate to the level and motivational enough to propel me into the next level – like the Golden Question I use to investigate my presuppositions?
All questions presuppose the existence of an answer that I may already be aware of at a cognitive level other than the one I’m currently experiencing.
At the lowest levels of illumination, I tend to ask justification questions – those that elicit defense of behaviors. These types of questions are based on threat or benefit thinking in which the underlying questions are, “How am I right in this?” and “How do I get out of this?” Usually, one answer that comes to mind is, “I did it because I had no choice” – which is based on the concept that the less responsibility one takes for their life, the fewer choices or options they will perceive.
By employing illuminating questions, The Work of Byron Katie can quicken awakening and generate aha after aha in our daily life experiences – going beyond the mundane. Consider her Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet as a worthwhile example.
Beyond the lower degrees of illumination, questions are expressions of perceived deficit of understanding in pursuit of fulfillment.
For any level of illumination, I want to discern ways my inquiries evidence the level I am seeking. Investigating my motivation in asking will often reveal important information about me. In particular, when I ask a level-upward question, I want to know:
“Who am I that’s asking this question?” and “Why am I asking it now?” and “Although the question, ‘who am I?’ is at the center of every aspect of my life, how am I resisting when asking it in this instance?”
Getting Out of My Own Way
Once my question proceeds forth, my expectations can and often do influence what comes back to me as an answer. I may perceive an answer as no or a wrong answer if it fails to meet my expectations.
Therefore, I find it of great value to me to get out of my own way. That is – to open my mind to the form an answer may take. I can manage some of the forms by constructing my question in such a manner that the answer appears more obvious. That typically means getting specific, setting up measurable results – i.e., the Scientific Method.
Otherwise, I can open my mind to WHATEVER form an answer may take. Maybe the best questions are those that elicit ever more pertinent and enlightening questions.
What do you think?