Question of the Week: 12/10 - 12/16 "You have said that there is nothing to search for, but isn't all of this questioning a search as well?"
Yes and no.
As Takuin goes about his day, there are no questions asked, apart from "technical" questions, i.e., I wonder what time the next train arrives? OR Should I put this thing in the laundry? It is not as if there are absolutely no questions, but who will answer them?
Let me re-phrase the above: As Takuin goes about his day, questions come and go, but there is no one here to ask or answer anything.
No self is asking anything, nor is it answering. If a question comes up, it simply comes up. No one is searching and no one is hoping for an answer. There may be genuine curiosity, if it falls within one’s interests, but there is no hope or desire to own the answer.
Looking for the Answer
If the self asks a question with the aim of finding enlightenment, what is going to provide the answer? The knowledge that one already possesses? Can any answer provided by the self have any meaning in this situation?
Many people go into the world of Zen and read the koans with the intention of finding an answer. But what will interpret the question in order to find the answer? Can the question arise without the need to ask it in the first place? Does the question need the questioner?
If the self asks, it can only answer with what it already knows. And what it knows always comes before the question, so all of the questions of the self arise from the answers that are already present. Can there ever be a new question?
Who is Asking?
If "I" ask the question, it only happens out of a need to reach the result. It is something that the self feels is needed to progress to another stage of development. But are there other stages? Is there anything inwardly that needs to be developed? The self cannot search without separation.
The questions I ask, although seemingly logical, are not meant to be answered with what you know. And since the questions come from what we already know, is it possible to answer them?
Who is Answering?
If I ask a question, and you answer with, "Yes it is," or "No it isn't," how exactly do you come to either conclusion? For example, if I asked you, "Is it possible to be free of all belief?" how do you answer? If you answer YES, then what gave you that answer? And what if you answered NO?
If you answered yes, you might say that your own experience has shown this to be true. But are you there? Are you free from all belief in order to find out? No? Then how can you possibly know the answer is yes? If you are not there and you answer yes, then it is just a theory; just a fantasy that you think MAY be true.
And if you answered no, you might say that people in the world are not doing it, and therefore, it isn't possible. So, you know everyone in this world? You have seen the entirety of their lives and absolutely know the conclusion? No? Then again, it is just a story you wish to believe.
Why Question at All?
Certain questions may have the effect of bypassing the self, so to speak. And if that happens, then there would seem to be great value.
If you are able to see through all of the stories that you believe, all the illusions of your life, then what might happen? There is the possibility that as one sees through the illusion, it is destroyed entirely. But I am not saying that it will.
In the end, questioning is just a means of pointing in a particular direction. But if it points at any-thing, that thing cannot be known.