Inquiry Outtake

It strikes me as strange that–after reading a dozen books over a span of decades–the themes they address can remain so mysterious. It seems to be a defining characteristic of the Time, Space, Knowledge vision that if you start to feel you have become an expert, then you have already fallen off the wagon, and have once again returned to a concrete world where the landscape is planned and the plants all potted.
But how—according to the TSK vision–can this fate be avoided? The later books increasingly advocate a path of “inquiry”.
I have to admit that I hold back from this path, and feel ill-equipped to question my way into a greater space and time. If the process of inquiry yields a more abundant kind of knowing–which in turn opens to a more fulfilling reality–then what holds me back? Do I not know how to question? Or does it just seem too difficult, too great an affront to my comfort zone?
I associate inquiry with a scientific method that I don’t exemplify in either work or my personal life. Yet, TSK inquiry feels different than scientific research: more a new vision of reality than a painstaking enumeration of an accepted reality. If there are hypotheses to test, they are the unquestioned assumptions by which we live and which—as long as they remain unquestioned—limit our sense of what is possible.
Asking questions for which we already know the answers will leave in place the answers we already live by. It seems we are being invited to ask questions more like those asked by children, who don’t imagine that they know the answers. But if we formulate those familiar questions (“Why is the sky blue?”–“Why can’t I have what I want?”), we will think that we already ‘know’ the answers. Whether provided by religious teaching or the findings of science, our answers won’t awaken us to a new way of being in the world. We will remain confined within the realm of established conclusions, interpretations, and beliefs that provide the answers we live by.
TSK questioning cannot be satisfied by a Google search. To enlarge the terrain we experience, we can’t just cram more facts into the old one.
Then how do we start? Perhaps questioning can empower us to be more present, and thereby more able to engage with obstacles that have merely been defined as ‘real’ limits.
When we actively question ‘unquestionable’ assumptions, we become present within our own minds. Seeing how certainties just pop up from nowhere, we may be bold enough to ask for their proof of identity. Then, poof, we may see that they are not living presences within the flow of time and space—and remain far from a knowing that falls freely like spring rain.

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