THE RIPPLE – News – Olney Daily Mail – Olney, IL

Part One of a 3-part series
Dear Readers, today I write to you from Portaria, a small village on Mt. Pelion in Thessaly, Greece. I’ve arrived here with my partner, Dain, to unwind, unravel, and unlearn.
For our entire lives, we’ve fed our minds information about how to live – from which fork to use, to which hand should wipe our rear ends, to what type of work we should spend the majority of our time doing (for the rest of our lives).  Some of this learning is useful, some of it is useless.
The real questions is: how much of this learning energizes our spirt?
As humans, we can make big fusses about how to live: right vs. wrong; good vs. bad, etc. I’m wondering if most of this fuss actually distracts us from the deeper matters which more directly impact our existence and the quality of our co-existence.
I do not wish to shame any aspect of my experience, nor anyone else’s way of life. I do wish to present this question: Why have certain things become unquestioned/unquestionable within culture?
Welp, it’s that time again: Let’s jump aboard the quintessentially non-linear Ripple trolley, and take a ride …
I invite you to travel back in time right now. Travel to a time early in your childhood when you questioned something out of innocent curiosity.
Or, maybe you questioned it because a part of you did not feel truth in something you were being taught. Travel back to that time.
Remember your innocence in that moment.
Recall whether your external environment greeted that curious innocence with openness and explanation or some other type of energy.
Remember the energy with which your environment responded to your curiosity.
Now, being entirely self-honest, recall whether you were satisfied with the answers you received.
Recall whether you asked more questions to investigate the information, or whether you accepted the information as truth because someone you respected provided that information.
Travel forward from that memory and see how your question-asking behavior showed up throughout your life.
Did you ask a lot of questions, or did you “learn” not to ask question.
What is your personal behavior (or learned habit) with regards to asking questions?
(Please, do not judge any of the following questions or answers you discover)…
Do you shrink before you ask?
Do you feel safe to ask from an innocent curiosity?
Do you sometimes ask with an energy of judgment in your words?
Do you ask for the purpose of judging?
Do you ask to be told how to live?
Do you ask to feel whether what you are told feels true to your spirit?
Do you sometimes live by information that feels good to your mind, but unaligned with your soul?
Do you ask other people for their advice more than you ask your intuition for its knowing?
Do you sometimes have the answer inside of yourself, but prefer to trust an answer outside of yourself?
These questions and so many more are some of the most powerful inquiries we can make.
As I sit here writing from the country in which democracy was founded, I offer the following questions:
Is culture a mass hallucination?
Is culture simply a set of unquestioned ideas that were created by former generations?
Does the concept of “culture” keep you unconsciously bound to living by certain ideas – ideas which you have not fully explored the purpose, truth, and efficacy of for yourself?
What culture do you live by, and why?
Does your answer to that last question include some sort of truth which you’ve acquired through your own experiences?
Or does it contain some ideas which were passed down to you by others?
Can you ask these questions without judging yourself and this author?
Can you ask these questions without feeling guilt or shame for asking?
Do you ask questions in your life hoping to find the answers you want? When perhaps the true answers, are the ones you intrinsically know (but perhaps don’t want to admit?)
That’s a heavy last paragraph, I know. But, I AM with you as we all question.
Through this questioning, perhaps we can unlearn some of the useless learning we’ve allowed to dictate our lives.
Perhaps we can keep the information which excites our spirit.
Perhaps we can embody new information which enhances our quality of co-existence.

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