[Duplication of a private session blog entry originally posted on March 14, 2013]
From a private session with Troy earlier today. I thought I'd ask Michael a sort of meta-question - what's the most effective way to phrase questions to them? (Building on their response to someone's earlier question, in which they said that asking questions of them was an art.)
[ViP] hello Michael
[ViP] you have said before that asking questions of you is an art, I believe
[ViP] can you describe how best to phrase questions to you most effectively
Art could be said to be a form of expression that complies with aesthetic principle.
As one begins to learn the art of questioning, one begins to understand how to ask questions that get to the heart, core, or fundamental source of the question in a way that a response can help to beautify the life, or shed light that brings a kind of order, i.e. Beauty.
ALL questions are relevant and meaningful, but the art of questioning tends to hone the questioner's insight and sense of aesthetic toward only those questions that are truly going to bring beauty.
It may take many questions, and types of questions, and angles of questions to get to a state where one feels the art of this process.
As with most forms of art, it is an evolutionary process of refinement.
There are 7 Types/Levels of Questions that one tends to go through, and not necessarily in any particular order, but circling through, depending upon the subject of question.
SUPERFICIAL, REMEMBERING, COMPREHENSION, APPLICATION, ANALYSIS, SYNTHESIS, and KNOWING.
Superficiality is not "bad," and Knowing is not a state of guaranteed bliss.
Superficial questions tend to address the mundane and temporary elements of a life, where answers may make little difference to alter the experience or offer insight.
However, the more these questions are asked, the greater the potential for Remembering. Remembering, then, is a state of self-responsibility, and questions tend to then shift away from those superficial questions that can either be answered by oneself, or determined that one can manage the experience without asking about it.
For example, "Will I get a new job this year?" This is a vital and important question, but the answer will not change the work necessary for one to get the job, even if the predicted answer is "yes."
One begins to then move into REMEMBERING questions. This question would then morph into something more like, "how might I best pursue and fulfill my intentions for landing a job this year?"
This level of questioning can help to bring about COMPREHENSIVE questioning. This might then show up as, "what Agreements, Karma, and Self-Karma might be playing a part in the obstacles I face with this intention?"
Comprehensive questions tend to take into account that one does not exist within a vacuum, and that the impact of others, and the impact of inner conflicts must be considered.
This then helps to lead to APPLICATION, which is when one begins to play with scenarios as part of the questioning: "If I do this, what are the probabilities of that."
ANALYSIS comes when experience has been gained from Application. It is a level of questioning based on one's own assessments and experiments and experience. There is more elaboration in the body of the question, more information to share.
The question now has moved from "Will I get a job?" to "I have tried this in the past, and this in the past, and have been met with these results, though I'm aiming for other results. What now?"
We are being highly simplistic, of course, and depending on the subject of questions, these examples would change, but the Analysis level is all about sharing what you have come to experience so that the responses can consider where you are with yourself in that line of questioning.
This tends to lead to SYNTHESIS questioning.
This is where most of the work of answering and insight has now shifted to yourself because you have now had a starting point of question, have now remembered, comprehended, applied, and analyzed, and can now bring synthesis to the experience gained.
Your questions, then, would tend to be aimed at rounding this out, but not removing you from the equation that leads to Knowing.
The Synthesis level tends to move away from all details and gets to the heart, or core. "I've been trying to get a job for a year now, doing everything I can, but is that what I am really trying to accomplish? Why? And why this particular job? And, other than the necessity for income, is there any other reason to pursue it?" and so on.
KNOWING blossoms from these questions, then. And, ironically, the need for answers drops drastically, and the emphasis is more on sharing, exchanging, and trust.
"I've been pursuing landing a job for more than a year. I've come to realize that I am extraordinarily resourceful and that my entire life is not hinging on whether I land a job, or not. Now I want a job because I WANT a job, not because it defines me, saves me, or breaks me."
"What other benefits might I have missed in this experience so that I can build from this?"
Again, these are highly simplistic for the sake of example, but you can see that the shift in questioning moves from passive, to neutral, to active as one begins to take more responsibility for the questions AND the answers, and begins to form an aesthetic principle from what matters to him or her.
The shift away from panic to trust is a part of that evolution.
Trust can only be born of experience, so it is not that one must be at odds with the other.
It is a matter of polarity, as usual.
We do not share this so that our students will only ask more ephemeral and abstract questions, but so that they might understand how their own evolution in questioning might come as they work with us. Some find this evolution to mean that there is nothing more to learn, or that there is nothing more to ask, but they can miss out on the sharing that comes after the Analysis stages.
And one will always be asking from different levels, as one does not evolve as a whole toward Knowing, but accumulates Knowing from the process that will always start from Superficiality.
The evolution in this art of questioning is not so much to learn how to ask the perfect questions or formation of question, but to grow toward gaining the greatest responses from those questions, and getting to the he(art) of them.
This content may be discussed in the current blog entry on this topic. See How to Ask Michael Questions.