Asking the Right Question

asking the right question

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." - Stephen Hawking

How does the universe work?

The smartest people in the world have been working on this question for centuries. Some say we've made progress, though I'm not so sure. See, when it comes to big questions like this, there are many factors to consider before even attempting to come up with an answer.

First of all, in order to come up with an answer for something, you have to know what you're asking. More on that later.

Another important factor to consider when approaching a big question is the method by which you plan to answer it. With a complex problem such as the mystery of the universe, you’re not going to get very far in solving it unless you have some sort of system; some sort of organized method by which you can track your progress and begin to comprehend this complex subject that you are choosing to explore. 

A system is also important because it will help you not only organize and understand things for yourself, but it will help others understand as well. In helping others understand your way of thinking and your system, you can then start to build credibility, and perhaps community, around it. This brings us to yet another factor to consider: belief.

Any progress we’ve ever made in understanding things, like the true nature of the universe, is built upon a belief system. Religion, philosophy, spirituality, science, astrology, politics.  These are all belief systems. Some systems use sense. Some use logic. Some use a little bit of both. Regardless, they all help establish a general consensus about things, and help keep us in check when we go off to explore the big stuff.

So, if you have a big question, there may already be an established belief system in place that can help you answer it. If not, you could always form your own belief system. Ah. Yet again, we’ve arrived at another - and perhaps the most significant - factor to consider when approaching any big question: you.

The universe is everything. You, a human, act merely as part of it - an origin point from which you can observe the universe - everything - around you. And not only can you observe it, you also have the ability to perceive it however you see fit. This ability forms your own, personal perspective about the nature of the universe and your place as part of it. It is your consciousness, and it is responsible for any question that you have ever asked.

So, back to my first point about knowing what you're asking - do the smartest people in the world want to know how the universe works? Or, do they want to know how the universe works as it relates to their own human experience of it? Logic or sense?

Who are you?