Resolution #3 – Live the Questions

Following up on my earlier post about 16 resolutions, or thoughts to live by, inspired by this article at Brainpickings.org, here is the third thought. It is by Rainer Maria Rilke, and says: “I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to 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 could 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, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

I think this means that you don’t need all the answers. Be patient with those questions without answers, and just live with the questions. Maybe someday when you have more life experience and wisdom the answers will present themselves.

I agree with this. I know very little, and I think humanity overall only knows a tiny fraction of what there is to be known but that’s OK. But I also believe it is through questioning that we grow and learn. Can you imagine if we knew everything? What would there be to explore? It is the questions that make life interesting.

rilke3

Rainer Maria Rilke (December 4, 1875–December 29, 1926) was an Austrian poet and novelist. This quote is from one of his books called Letters to a Young Poet. He was corresponding with Franz Xaver Kappus , a young military student who was trying to decide between a military career or becoming a poet. He asked Rilke for advice and critiques of his poetry.

There is more information about Rilke at this Wikipedia article, and of course, Google.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to Resolution #3 – Live the Questions

  1. ME BE in Panama says:

    Kris, I read your post right after reading Indacampo’s post about being kind to yourself. I love how this, “have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language” ties into her post for me. During the 2+ months we will spend in Panama we will definitely need to, as you say, “Be patient with those questions without answers, and just live with the questions.” The importance of this is critical for us just now. We’ve done our due diligence, now we must tune into and live the questions. Listen and know what is right for us to do. I appreciate your insights.

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    • I’ll have to go see what she’s up to over there. She is good at finding very interesting things.
      You will be fine here, confused at times (and it will be written in a foreign language 😀 ) but things always have a way of working out. And, there will be a lot of new and fascinating questions as you learn about a new life.

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  2. Sunni Morris says:

    I definitely agree with this. We’ll all know the answers to our questions when it’s time and we can really understand those answers. Until then it’s patience with all things. Answers will never be revealed until we’re wise enough to understand them. Until then we should all be happy exploring the world around us everyday. There are so many marvels to take in if we aren’t in too big of a hurry to see them.

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  3. We can ONLY grow and learn through questioning, and that’s exactly what life is all about! Why else would we be here if not to be presented with the contrast of all the different personalities of the people we encounter? It helps our souls evolve. Learning will never end. Whether in the physical or nonphysical, our souls are on a constant journey of growth through learning. And when we recognize and accept that, the journey will be easier.

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    • The contrast of all the different personalities – very interesting idea. I never thought of it in that way. Yes, I agree. Without questions life doesn’t hold much interest or meaning.

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