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quicksand questions cartoon by david hayward

The Discovery Channel says that if you get stuck in quicksand, the worst thing you can do is struggle. They say that if you fall into quicksand, “resist the natural instinct to kick your way out.” Instead, they suggest to “you need to stay calm and lean back“. Then, “as you begin floating, slowly start moving your feet“. That’s how you survive quicksand.

Pretty good advice for surviving questions. I mean serious death-threatening questions. There are many who don’t deal with questions at all. So they don’t travel. They set up camp in one spot and stay there the rest of their lives, risking nothing, endangered by nothing, learning nothing. But if you want to learn and grow, then it means travel, and it means maybe falling into the quicksand of questions.

So what do you do? Same thing:

  1. Do not struggle.
  2. Stay calm.
  3. Start moving slowly.

This has worked for me. Once you learn to relax and allow the questions to come, they eventually lose their threatening character and will sustain you in order for you to move on. Answers may come but they never replace the questions. They join together to form a mysterious thing called Wisdom.

So, here’s a simple little spiritual supplement for this Saturday:

  1. What is a disturbing question for you that you’ve been avoiding? (Is there a god? Is there an afterlife?)
  2. Why is it disturbing to you? (Have others told you not to ask it? Are you afraid of the answer?)
  3. How would you feel if there was no simple answer? (The mystery remains a mystery that you respect.)
  4. Does the question enlarge you or limit you? (Does it expand your consciousness and love, or the opposite?)
  5. Write about your thoughts. (Document where you are now with the question.)