Repurposing Why

Although generally used to communicate my reasons for my objective behavior, the word  “Why” can also serve to indicate and link to an underlying, subjective purpose.

At levels one, two, and three of the Seven Degrees of Illumination, I use “why” and “why not” to elicit objective defense of my belief. Beyond level three, I use only “why” for an entirely different, subjective purpose. (see

This means I can use “why” to elicit my underlying subjective purpose – my reasons for being. Such an exploration may raise me out of defense and into the light of what is beyond it.

The key is to KEEP ASKING WHY!

A useful and meaningful “why” question tends to elicit a more mindful answer – encouraging even more provocative “why” questions. Courage will take me past my fear of what I may discover from my inquiries. It’s okay to ask for help from another in dealing with the fear factor.

“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom.” – Marilyn Ferguson

The rise in mindfulness is illustrated in the graph above, which clearly shows the increase in how often we collectively have asked the why questions over the past few decades. The graph tracks the use of the word “why” in books over the past couple centuries. Cool!

Repurposing Why

“Why” can be useful when it puts you onto a path toward more mindfulness and awareness of who you really are. When your “why” question leads you to an “ah ha” moment, DON’T STOP THERE – KEEP ASKING WHY!

It’s just a matter of asking the “why” questions… and asking and asking and asking… WHY!

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