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Is there a question we can all stay with to the very end?

This was actually Carl’s question at the end of Wednesday’s meeting (I am putting it in my own words).

Is there a question which is vital enough, significant enough, meaningful enough to each one of us, that we will voluntarily stay with it until it has been completely investigated and resolved (or exposed)?

Because, if it is a burning question to us personally, then we will stay with it to the very end.

Now, there may be no such question. - Nevertheless, it is still worth finding out if there is such a question: because if there isn’t such a question for each one of us then we will never stay with our questions completely - we will always wander off, get distracted, make detours and deviations away from the question, etc., because the question doesn’t touch us deeply.

So is there a question which is so burning, so intense, that we will voluntarily stay with it to the very end?


All that is apparent, so far, that there is no question that all participants are interested enough to stay with ‘to the end’ …if there is any such thing as an ‘end’. There are so many questions…
arising from that one question ,and would all be interested in any one of those ? What is an ‘end or ending’? For example.
I’m not sure if there is more … or less confusion in the group about feeling , emotion and thought within the group.
Clearly there is confusion about thought and feeling… and sensation which may be nether thought or ‘feeling’ …
Aside from ‘sensation’ (simply picked up via the senses from contact) is there any ‘feeling’ that is free of thought?
Thought being a response of memory.
For some , any of these questions… which may be interesting for some… would likely be countered by others …with a preference for different questions.
I don’t know if any have read the book “The impossible question”
In the book, K suggests that one asks an ‘impossible question’ as only then will people stay with it …
K then put the question:
“Can the mind empty itself of the known?”
Not ‘you’ empty it.
K went on to say that if you put in tremendous earnestness,with seriousness,with passion…you’ll find out.
But if you say “oh, it’s possible”, then you are stuck.

Yes - each person has their own particular reaction or interpretation or interest, and we get endlessly sidetracked (e.g., is feeling part of thought or part of sensation, or both etc?). However, if one has a burning, vital question, then one won’t get sidetracked - the question is then too important. We get sidetracked because we don’t feel the question is our own question - and so we play around with it at the verbal level only.

So one aspect of the question Carl asked was to invite each one of us to ask ourselves what might constitute (for each of us, individually) a burning question. - Then at least we have some sense of what a real, vital question is.

The next step is then to ask - as Carl asked - is there one question that might include all the questions; or one question that is sufficiently profound, sufficiently vital, so that the majority of the group might give it complete attention (until the question has revealed itself entirely)?

As you say, this might be an “impossible question” - but, as you know, the impossible question is put in order to make us aware of what is actually possible (which we may be missing).

This is a good example of what such a question might look like once it is verbalised.

Any explanation is of the known… the equivalent of saying ‘no’…so one is stuck.

A consideration:
The intensity and integrity of a question is dependent on the urgency to discover it.
With such necessity what emerges will be alive, demanding to be cared for by all of us.


Yes - so with any genuine question we have there is no explanation. A question is an invitation to look, to see, to listen - then the stuck-ness is part of the question, not outside of it.

As far as I understand it, when the group has settled on a common question, then it is only appropriate to treat that question as one’s own fundamental question. It is no longer A’s question only - it is my own.

And if it is my own, then I cannot treat it like an intellectual football, or some side-issue curiosity: it is my own question that I have to get to the bottom of, see completely. If I don’t see the question completely, then I haven’t seen the question at all - which is to be mediocre.

Also - dialogue is a form of meditation. It is not an argument. It is not a debate. It is the movement of fact to fact, not of idea to idea. So it requires a lot of simplicity, alertness, sensitivity - a negation of any purely abstract intellectuality.

If these qualities are not present, then dialogue descends into argument and divisiveness. And then the argumentativeness and divisiveness become the fact to be looked at and enquired into.