Albert Einstein once advised his audience to remain curious. “The most important thing is not to stop questioning,” he said. It’s one of his more famous quotes and a significant influence behind the making of Jacmus.
It’s during the early years in life when we are most inquisitive. We often search for meaning in everything we see, feel, taste, smell and hear. But it’s also during these years, when we are most susceptible to influences, particularly of those we trust.
Our parents, family, teachers and communities are people we grow to trust because of the way they make us feel safe and secure. This special bond influences the way we think and what we believe. The people that nurture and love us say it’s true, so, therefore, it must be.
Never questioning defeats learning
Society tells us right from birth we belong to certain groups of people. Our ancestors came from somewhere, we’re born into a particular religion, or we belong to a specific class of people.
And because of this special bond that we have with the people we trust who pass on this information, we often go on believing these answers.
Some people believe these categorisations until they die. They pass them on to their children and their children’s children. They never question their past, or whether what they grew up to think is true or not, because change is a difficult thing for a person to accept.
That’s not to say we don’t remain curious about things we don’t know or that we can’t learn new things about the world or ourselves. But to change the way we perceive the world requires either a momentous event or a great deal of persuasion, or both.
Ingrained beliefs are difficult to change
Too often we’re faced with the truth, but we still only see what we want to, what supports our ingrained beliefs. Or we skirt with the idea, but never fully accept it because fear of what it means to change the way we think draws us back into our comfort zones.
We could stand to lose a great deal by changing what we have grown up to believe in. We could lose friendships, family and institutions that make us feel safe, needed and give us purpose. Without these, we risk being alone.
To question everything about our lives, who we are, what we see and experience, and what we’re told to believe or understand is a road filled with risks. But it can also be a path filled with wonderment, new discoveries and new friendships.
Jacmus doesn’t set out to provide definitive answers. This is a place for questioning everything. Life, religion, governments, science, experiences, principles and even hard cold facts. You could say, Jacmus is a place for philosophy.
Never stop questioning life
Like most things in life, Jacmus is evolving. Did you come here looking for an answer through a search engine query only to find it missing or not the answer you wanted to find? We’re questioning everything that has come before including prior thoughts and posts.
Do things that don’t evolve, die? Do they fade away into history? Are they forgotten or remembered through a different lens of perception of what was? Questioning history and what was said or discovered before has just as much relevance as exploring the future and unknown.
And what type of questions should we be asking? Should they be scientific, rhetorical or simply things we mull over in the murky soups of minds? Trying to make sense of who we are and our world shouldn’t be restricted by constructs that in themselves deserve questioning.
To stop questioning is to accept, regardless of what it could be or pretends to be or what it sets out to be. Questions beget answers, those answers raise more questions with the possibility of what becomes an endless stream of what-ifs, whys and hows.
Right or wrong questions
And who said that the question we should ask isn’t why but how? Without questions, learning stagnates. Without questions, we become copies of someone else’s understandings. Without questions, there’s a danger of becoming complacent, irrelevant and ignorant.
There are, of course, lots of other types of questions. The hows, the whens, the whos, whats and wheres. But does it make why something happens or why someone does something less relevant? Understanding how something works is essential, but so too is the motivation.
Jacmus is a place for questions that don’t necessarily have answers set in stone. It’s also a place where both facts and suppositions can co-exist and be queried.
If you’d like to join us on this road of discovery and hopeful enlightenment, then there’s plenty of room for those who want to question their beliefs, worlds and teachings. There’s ample scope for discussions and sharing on Jacmus.
We don’t always get things right. Most of the time, we’re probably wrong but unless we ask the questions, then how are we to know and understand the answers we receive?
Never stop questioning.