Live the questions
“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 would 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, some day far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke, from Letters to a Young Poet
I heard this quote at a workshop today and it knocked my socks off. The workshop wasn’t related to anything religious, but I thought, Wow, that is what I do with my questions about the church! It was surprising and lovely to hear it described so beautifully by Rilke, and it made my eyes well up right there in the workshop.
I feel like at church arriving at the “right” answer is valued almost to the complete exclusion of valuing questions. It felt so wonderful to recognize questions as valuable, too. As part of the workshop we did an exercise where we just asked questions – no answers allowed. I learned from it. So I’d like to know, what are your questions? No answers allowed!
Here are a few of mine:
What does life outside our solar system look like?
What if patriarchy is God’s will?
What if God isn’t real?
At what point in human evolution did our ancestors become the spirit children of God?
Why doesn’t God intervene more in our world?
At what point in history did people forget about God the Mother?
What are some of your questions?