“Questioning is the piety of thinking” Martin Heidegger
Aphorisms in Honour of Martin Heidegger
To think as a philosopher is above all to question more deeply and meditatively.
What is most worthy of meditation is that which most of all invites deeper questioning.
Deep and challenging philosophical questions are the best gift a teacher - or anyone - can receive.
A teacher, in any walk of life, is he or she who - more than any student - never stops questioning and therefore never stops learning something new from all that (s)he teaches, practices and experiences.
The best teachers: those who never stop asking the biggest and most basic philosophical questions - and who never stop discovering new questions even in their own answers.
How to stop learning: to follow any tradition, path, practice or school of thought without seeing the questions it was a response to - and the new questions it raises.
To seek is to quest. To quest means also to question. To cease to question is therefore to cease to seek and quest, to cease to seek new questions in one’s ‘answers’.
Without on-going questioning, a spiritual teachings can, at best, offer only a psychological ‘comfort zone’ - and at worst a promises to ‘free’ the seeker from any need for deeper questioning.
For someone to merely ‘agree’ with or ‘like’ my teachings is absolutely meaningless unless it awakens them to new and deeper philosophical questions.
As soon as our own being, self or life is no longer experienced as a question, we cease to fully ‘be’.
If Being itself were not itself and essentially a question, nothing and no one would exist or ‘be’.
If the supreme awareness were not itself faced with “the question of being”, i.e. of the possibility of nothing at all coming to be from within it - then there would be nothing at all.
Hence Heidegger’s most basic question of all: Why is there anything at all rather than nothing?
Every being is imbued with a fundamental will to be – a will that is still driven by this experience of being itself as a primordial question and not a simple ‘truth’ or ‘fact’.
A question – and in particular the question - ‘the question of being’ - is that which most fundamentally vibrates in all that is, imbuing it with divine life and creativity.
What I most of all desire to hear and know from any reader, student or teacher: not what do you think or have experienced but what are your biggest, still-remaining questions?
What is ‘philosophy’ except a ceaseless digging for the deepest possible questions of existence?
The depth of wisdom and truth in any ‘philosophy’ or ‘teaching’ is therefore directly proportional to the depth of the questions with which it begins – and never ends.
What I teach: an awareness of every feeling, event or experience as a felt or experienced question.
Just as an artist experiences the creative process as a questioning process – feeling it as a question for example, where and how to place the next brush stroke, structure the next bar of music, phrase the next line of a poem etc., so is life itself an on-going creative process, driven by felt questions.
Only she or he who is always pregnant with or in the grip of a new question will forever give birth to new creative insights.
A question can also be compared to an unresolved chord in music. Hence the enormous power of music as a direct medium of philosophical questioning.
We must be able to let a question have and hold us in its wordless grip – as an unresolved tone or chord of feeling - before we can even begin to grasp it in words.
‘Philosophy’? What is that?
Philosophy is thinking itself as an art form – the capacity to freshly and creatively formulate in words and concepts, what begins as a wordlessly felt but unresolved tone or chord of feeling. Yet feeling remains a more primordial mode of knowing - and of questioning - than either language or imagery.
Philosophy is also the recognition that there is not one single religious, spiritual, scientific or philosophical word or term - for example ‘God’, ‘Being’, ‘Self’, ‘Essence’, ‘Existence’, ‘Spirit’, ‘Matter’, ‘Energy’ - that is not in itself questionable and is therefore in itself a question.
Standing alone amidst a multiplicity of spiritual, psychological and scientific teachings and their terminologies, the ever-vital and yet ever-more marginalised role of the philosopher is to teach the lost art of creative questioning – not least a questioning of the single word.
Therefore the philosopher will always be the ‘black sheep’ among those who do not question the very words or terms in which their beliefs or teachings are couched, and the deeper levels of meaning and awareness they may conceal.
‘Questioning' Staying with the simple awareness that there is always more to any word or concept, thought or thing, sensation or emotion, event or encounter, than we initially experience, understand or be aware of.
‘Questioning’.Expanding a time-space of awareness in which what would otherwise not occur or become aware to us, does occur and become aware to us.