Friday, February 01, 2008

The next question

Theodore Sturgeon, who was equal parts master of science fiction and apostle of love, had this symbol to represent his personal life philosophy. It was the letter Q with a forward-pointing arrow through it and it means "ask the next question." He explained that this simply means that we must question every assumption that is presented to us; and then when our question is answered, we ask another one. The next question we ask may be as simple as "Why?" But we keep asking it until, if ever, we arrive at an irreducible truth that is so simple that it cannot be further questioned.

Life proceeds as an infinite series of questions that are posed to us and through us. Whether we pose the questions out of our free-thinking mind or whether they appear to be thrust upon us by circumstances, we can each make a case that in our particular atom of awareness, in our particular universe, each of these questions is of great moment. The coiled up question mark is like a spiral of energy that seeks to be released in some kind of "answer." But never is surcease found in that release; always whatever form or container we find for that energy, that further refines and raises the vibration of the whole universe, the pot must be broken one more time by the yearning spirit, always, forever and ever, insisting upon asking the next question, and the next, and the next. As Tennyson's Ulysses said upon sailing out on one more voyage, even after the Odyssey had brought him back to Ithaca, seemingly his true and final home:

Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

No comments: