Thursday, December 24, 2015
Questions of questions?
On a recent morning walk with a neighbour, I was recalling a great evening I was at. Time is a Blind Guide is an uncommon name for a music group. It suits the jazz genre, alright, and that is not where the greatness arises from. Thomas Stronen whose facilitation enabled the fusion with Prakash Sontakke, the vocalist and string artist and Adarsh Shenoy the tabla artist, created a near timelessness in cosmic tones – as if to spur the question “So where does great music come from?”
In questions of art, laws of resonance may be a useful guide, but the clue to their labelled identity lay in the art of writing. Canadian author Anne Michael’s first line in her book Fugitive Pieces is the name of this group.
What questions get answered when such art consummates? To me the fascination left me at a high point of the year gone by.
In the year 2015, we also completed our transition into a new house, where the stated aspiration of the first inhabitants is to be the ‘greatest’ community ever. That was not a high-point, despite being happy about the abode and the surroundings we now have. I recalled for my morning walk companion a lesson from my master coach. It was a question a science journalist asked Einstein for a series on questions that engaged scientists of that age. “What’s the most important question a scientist may ask?” While that got Einstein working his mind, I often recall a sense of wonder in his process of inference. It took the physicist about half an hour to return from his inner rooms to the scientist with the answer “Young man, the most important question a scientist may ask is this – Is the Universe a safe place for humans to live in?”
In much needed hindsight, I realized, that the questions one asks of social relations, do not mirror the patterns of questions we may relate to in pure sciences. The questions we have of human relations are also nuanced, in that questions of law seldom satiate dilemmas of human regards. On the day marked as the birth anniversary of Jesus, laws of biology are to be suppressed to explain birth of the towering figure. When through the trials of life, Jesus was asked to explain the laws of love in legal terms. One now understands that a plane higher than the one in which the questions arise resolve the questions beneath it. Jesus asked of those who followed him to love God with all one’s soul, mind and heart. As of matters on earth, he said “Love thy neighbours as thyself”.
Psychologically, or spiritually, it is impossible to love others, if one hates oneself. Logically, or legalistically though, we may bind that expectation within governmental constitution. ‘Greatest’ community ever? Sounds like we got our questions confused, or our answers contrived for questions we are not clear on, I thought to myself.
Perhaps, our expectations for social laws to follow patterns of pure science in deterministic ways muddle our reality. It is a case in which our awareness is still-born, or resisted with. This is perhaps why Edward De Bono came up with his po questions that offers at least a third alternative to the dominant frames of reference in our thinking and argumentation. In my earliest reading of his work in a book called Future Positive, the dilemma he posed as example of fallacious thinking resonates even today. It was that of a child asking his father a challenging question as does Calvin of his father in the famous Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. “If God can do everything, can he make a stone so heavy that He himself cannot lift it?”
The distance between who we think we are and what we essentially are. Our inner worlds are unique to each of us, and irrespective of how we may understand commonality of our external worlds a question for me is this:
If we came without material possessions over which people may contest in their biological lifetimes, what will it take us to dispossess impostors of well-being before we explore our inner worlds more completely? Nuclear war, biological terrorism or Climate change?
What are the questions on your mind?