Top 7 Ways To Answer Essential Questions

By Tony Cuckson

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In Corrogue I am asking the essential question.

I sit by the fire listening to the roar of the wind in the chimneybreast. While this fire burns and warms this room Murphy our Border Collie/Spaniel cross lies on the couch. He looks forlorn as only spaniels can. He is asking himself his essential question.

For Murphy there is only one essential question.

This is, “Why can’t dogs fly?” This is following a onetime experience. Chasing bats one night in friend’s bedroom, he leaped through the window to land with a crash on the top of their conservatory. This was while we as guests below ate a beautiful meal via candlelight. He has not since that time attempted dog flight.

As for myself I continue to examine the essential question, “Who am I?”

When this is answered you know why you are here. You will not lament not having lived. You will not howl like the wind rushing down this chimneybreast wailing like a Banshee. You will not ask another essential question, “Is this all there is?” You will know, “We can be heroes just for one day.” You can, if you ask the right question, be a hero/ine everyday.

To be a hero today and all other days needs the following understanding.

  1. Ask the right question.

    Persevere and seek to ask the right question. Percival the knight who seeks the Holy Grail is on a quest. This is the origin of the word “question.” It means “ion” - to enter into the “quest.” Only Percival – the one who “presses on through the valley”– does not ask the question he is given to ask. Thus the wasteland remains a wasteland.
    If we avoid asking our essential question our life too may be a wasteland.

    We have all come to ask the real question. This is the question “Who am I?” When the answer to this question is known all else follows. This question is a question only a hero/ine can ask. It is a question that takes you too the heart of your essential self.

  2. Asking the essential question takes you on the hero’s journey.

    In answering essential questions we get to live a life of paradox. The deeper we go into the question the higher we go and the higher our energy rises. We are not burdened by the unessential. Going deep allows you to spiral upward. You return to the same experience until the lesson is learned. This is until you know how to spin the straw of ignorance into the gold of wisdom.

    This week read some inspiring words. Not to many. Spend a week reflecting on these words. Write about these words. Quest for their deeper meaning. Come to know them for yourself. Let these words by like Russian dolls. Let them surprise you

  3. Overcome the taboo against asking essential questions.

    When seeking the source you are called to be essential. You are called to follow the still small voice of the heart. You are called to follow universal values. This may mean you become less socially acceptable. What you then engage your energy with will not be “normal.” You will leave the herd mentality of social consciousness. You will begin to turn evermore inward to the source of all wisdom. This is your connection to the real source of life.

  4. When questing for essence do not let judgements get in the way.

    To allow the knowing of essence you have to give up judging yourself. Give up the negative dialogue that you spin and weave in your head. You life’s energy is imprisoned in the high tower of judgements of limitation and doubt. These are beliefs and judgments from parents, teachers and significant others. Allow a little space for lightness to enter.

  5. Allow your essential question to enter your body.

    We forget we are bodies. We forget that the body is a field of intelligence. It is a field of knowing. We, for the most part, think the brain is the real source of intelligence. The heart has a great intelligence of its own. It is more able to answer questions of essence.

    Ask your essential question. It is answered through the heart. You are entering into a body of wisdom. This is your personal body of wisdom. Relax and trust in this body. The answer will come. It is unlikely to come in the way you expect. You have to be attentive. You have to trust. This is the first and last lesson of all heroes.

  6. All essential questions to have their own time.

    Like Percival in the story of the Holy Gail one perseveres. One “presses on through the valley.” This “pressing on through the valley” is the meaning of the name Percival. You will be taken on all sorts of diversions. This is to be allowed. You will return to the same place to answer your question at greater and greater depths.

    The answer can arrive at the most unexpected and usually at the most inconvenient times. It may, and is likely to, shake you up. You may find all is well in a secular sense but it does not satisfy your longing. There is, you feel, at the centre of your being essentially something missing. This is the answer to the essential question about life and the meaning of your life.

  7. Essential questions bring you to your senses.

    We are locked out of our senses. Life is no longer sensational. It is often routine and boring. We do what we did today, tomorrow and the next day. We follow a purpose dictated to us by our social consciousness. Sometimes this is a collective “What’s in it for me,” kind of quest.

    At other times it is less self-centred. Until we are willing to ask our essential question we do not authorise our unique sense of purpose. Our unique body of knowing gets left out and then wonder why we do not get to hear our hearts calling. Learn to be essential. Begin the quest of knowing who you are. Follow the instruction, "To thine own self be true.”

    Murphy has given up questing for the moment. He lies asleep. He is dreaming of flying. The wind that was roaring down the chimney has settled. It is less angry. A stillness has fallen in this room. Here on this “acre of diamonds” nestled in the valley between the mountains of Cuilch and The Playbank I will press on. I will persevere on the hero’s journey into what is essential.

    Blessings upon you and those you love and do not love.

Tony Cuckson is an Anam Cara. This Celtic term means “Soul Friend.” He specializes in providing insight for the spiritual journey, Irish Blessings, words of wisdom and finding inner peace. Visitors to Irish Blessings Matter website and Tony’s Blog get the opportunity to develop a purpose driven life through articles, newsletters and other programs. Get your free report called “7 ways to it’s a wonderful life” at [http://www.irishblessingsmatter.com] or visit Tony’s Blog at http://www.irishblessingsmatter.info for the best resources on spiritual growth, spiritual cinema, spiritual parenting, spiritual coaching and spirit in business.

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Article Submitted On: February 27, 2005