This morning I awoke to my usual hundred-something emails, which, of course, ninty percent of are junk. I do get good ones too, though, and I found the Digest version of posts from one of the Yahoo groups that I am a member of, Belle Papier. One of the members, Judy Carlson, writes:
I received a post from my dear friend who is battling lung cancer, and doing very well, to my eternal joy. I would like to share part of it with you.
Human life is a quest. We are on a journey the end of which is not in sight. Searching, longing, questioning is in our restless genes. The practice of philosophy is a way of life that results from falling in love with questions—-the great mythic questions that can never be given definitive answers. Who we are and what we will become is determined by the questions that animate us, and by those we refuse to ask.
The difference between Einstein and Hitler depends on the questions they asked. What you ask is who you are. What you find depends on what you search for……. Imagine the different type and quality of life you would have if the main question you asked when you got up each morning was each of the following: Where can I get my next fix of heroin? How do I serve God? What will the neighbors think? What happened during the big bang when the world was created? Who will love me? How do I get power? How can we destroy our enemy? How can we end violence? Where will I spend eternity? How can I make enough money? Who are my friends? How can I be comfortable? Is my cancer curable? How can I become famous? How do we heal the earth? Where can I get food for my children?
What is your quest? Your question?
* What is the purpose of my life?
* What ought I do?
* For what may I hope?
* Whom do I love? Why?
* What curtails my freedom?
* How can I escape from the constricting social, political, sexual, and economic myths that were imposed on me by my family and culture?
* To what cause, idea, faith, may I surrender without destroying the integrity of my self?
* What does it mean to experience the sacred?
* How can I live a spirited life in a world dominated by a secular-technological-economic vision of reality?
* What is my credo? My philosophy of life?
Such thought-provoking questions… things that I wonder about, on and off, all of the time… and also wonder, likewise, how others’ questions differ, and why? Why is it that I wonder about ‘the purpose of my life’ while others wonder about very different things, if they wonder at all?