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The Inquiring Mind

Commentary by Peter Shepherd
Inquiring Mind
“The lover of inquiry must follow his beloved wherever it may lead him.” ~ Plato
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."
“Everybody has a world, and that world is completely hidden until we begin to inquire. As soon as we do, that entire world opens to us and yields itself. And you see how full and complex it is.” ~ David Guterson
E. O. Wilson said: "To the extent that philosophical positions both confuse us and close doors to further inquiry, they are likely to be wrong." The overview may seem complex but as the inter-relationships are understood, the details come more clearly into focus. As Einstein said, "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself."
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” ~ Albert Einstein
Einstein further said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." Children are such curious creatures, as are adults that retain an enquiring mind. They explore, question, and wonder, and by doing so, learn. When they are curious about something new, they want to explore it. And while exploring they discover. Through discovery, they learn. This positive cycle of learning is fueled by curiosity and the pleasure that comes from discovery and mastery.
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects is the secret of creative people.” ~ Leo Burnett
Independent thought leads to an inquiring mind, a mindset that eventually leads to the questioning of the status quo. Curiosity is the prerequisite for exploring the world around and the inner world of ideas and emotions. As novel perspectives and experiences become integrated by an individual, the greater the likelihood of finding creative links among them.
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” ~ Naguib Mahfouz
Socrates, you will remember, asked all the important questions - but he never answered any of them. Our friend Einstein said, "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning."

Here’s some further reading on this theme...

Spiritual Inquiry and the Evolution of Consciousness ~ by Andrew Cohen

What is the purpose of spiritual inquiry? It is to make sense out of life at the deepest level. If we don't make the effort to deeply grasp who we are and why we are here, we will half-blindly stumble our way through life, like most people do. And that's not much help to the evolutionary process. We are living in a time when nobody really knows what the rules are anymore. Now that we have more or less transcended traditional orientations, we really have to let in the fact that those of us at the leading edge, in so many ways, are in uncharted waters. That's why engaging in the deliberate practice of philosophical and spiritual inquiry is more important than ever. Continues...
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