Occasionally, I ask questions about my experience. “What is that?” “Who did that?” “Why?” Usually seeking to place blame on someone else or to justify my behaviors or position – to make me feel right. In other words, I’ve used a question as a defense.
I may use a question to satisfy a need as in, “What must I do now?” Answering a question in order to satisfy a perceived need tends to settle my consciousness back into the safety of First Degree Illumination – the “non-disturbed state.”
Questions are the doorway to Third Degree of Illumination consciousness – choice. And yet, I see that I also use questions in Second Degree of Illumination defense. That’s due to the nature of questions and the presuppositions (intentions) behind them. When I ask a question, the answer to which I already know, I’m likely to invoke confirmation bias to satisfy my question and defend my belief or behavior. I’m not questioning my defense – instead – merely defending with a question.
I admit I ask few questions – I tend to favor statements like, for example, “That’s the way it is!” I especially enjoy putting some authority behind my statements, “In my experience, that’s the way it is!” (using my experience as an authority). Although that last statement feels more accurate and true, it presupposes quite a bit. The answer to such a question usually supports and thus defends my present position. Second Degree Illumination question!
From Certainty to Questioning
To ask a Third Degree of Illumination question, I would rise above defense and authority, asking a question that does not satisfy my need to be right. I would challenge my current position – especially my “observations.” I would question my statements of fact. You might say, I’d use the scientific method to raise my consciousness out of defense.
To ask a truly Third Degree question that is free of my own bias – crafting from Second Degree defense into Third Degree choice, I would use the language of choice. Considering my previous examples:
Degrees of Illumination Review
- First – Competition, Safety
- Second – Defense, Justification
- Third – Choice, Questioning
“That’s the way it is!”
Turned into a question:
“That’s the way it is?”
“In my experience, that’s the way it is!”
Turned into a question:
“In my experience, that’s the way it is?”
Identical words – made into a question.
The concept here is questioning my internal authorities I use for defense. Especially questioning those things I feel certain about is as simple as placing a question mark (?) at the end of my statement of certainty instead of the finality and determination of the exclamation mark (!).
This week, notice those verbal statements you make that end in an exclamation (!). Internally, question your certainty by quoting yourself verbatim with a question mark at the end instead. Notice where your question(s) take(s) you. Question that, too! For ANY question that results in a statement, make a question out of it. Statement –> questioning –> new question –> yet more questions…
If you’re like me (lol) you’ll probably get a charge out of the discoveries you’ll make as you question your certainties. It’s been a real eye-opener for me!
It’s been a real eye-opener for me? Yes, really! Yes, really? Well, maybe… Maybe?