Alex Bierach

Developmental coaching for grounded achievers

Questions

23 June 2019

“I can answer the question, but am I bright enough to ask it?”

- James Lee Byars

I’ve been inspired for years by Edge and the quality of discourse offered there. The whole idea behind the site is to gather smart and interesting people and have them ask each other the questions they’re asking themselves.

I’ve always loved this emphasis on questions.

A brilliant voice on questions is the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. He says:

“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

This seems crucial to me because there is so much we will never understand and if we want to remain open to learning we must recognize our own uncertainties and embrace them.

A good question opens up new worlds. It tunes us into the mystery.

The most important areas of development at any given time in our life can be framed as questions we are living into. Asking the right question can unlock a clearer developmental path.

An example might be: How do I know what to say “no” to? Or conversely, how do I know what to say “yes” to?