THE UNANSWERED QUESTION – KO’HAM
Stone: Rock Crystal
The Mantra: Ko’ham
To find out who you really are it must be more important to you
than everything else and you must ask it
with the utmost intensity.
Only then it will open like a blossoming flower,
finally revealing the Answer.
a) The Unanswered Question
is expressed in many ways, but the main ones are:
Who am I?
What am I meant to do here, what is the meaning
of my life, of the world?
Where was I before incarnating in this body I now wear?
What happens after death?
How can I become free of all my suffering and uncertainty, be happy,
discover and fulfill my true destiny?
Each asks the Unanswered Question one’s own way.
How would you ask it?
In the Bhagavad Ghita Arjuna asks it to Krishna thus:
What is the Self? What is action? Of what
are we made from?
What would you answer?
Of what are you made from?
Rumi asks it in most poignantly:
All day I think about it, and then at night I say it.
Where did I come from, and what am I
supposed to be doing?
I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that,
and I intend to end up there.
To end up where?
There is only one place that is real.
The Christ’s answer to “where did I come from” is very touching: He said that if they ask you where do you come from,
say that from the Light we came,
from the very source of the Light by its own accord
manifested through our very image.
If you are asked where do you come from, what would you answer?
From your parents?
Ha ha ha ha!
How is the Light manifested through our very image?
b) For thousands of years so many Teachers, Scriptures and Sutras
have revealed the eternal truths which can transfigure our lives, but the Unanswered Question remains,
for it can never be answered
on the mental level.
Ask yourself then:
What is the Answer that I really want to experience
as my reality?
c) The Kabuli:
Once when the Kabuli was asked the way to the mosque by a stranger He replied:
Ah, no! My friend, you must find it
by yourself alone!
If anyone else tells you the way then even the mosque
might become the doorway to hell!
Yes, the Kabuli was exaggerating a bit to make a strong point.
But what do his words tell you?
The Unanswered question is the ultimate Riddle:
only after solving it we will be able to find out who we really are, clear up all our human problems and accomplish the Mission of our Soul.
we will never find the Answer with our mind but by going
far beyond it, much deeper
The Devil’s Advocate:
How incredibly dumb can you humans be!
Even after knowing that it is the forever UNANSWERED Question, what do they go ahead and do?
Keep asking it!
Are you all not utterly insane?
The Unanswered Question matters much more than the Answer:
by concentrating on it long and intensely enough
we can go beyond it.
How is your concentration on it?
Words of Power:
I no longer ask myself the Unanswered Question for each
instant my Inner Guide shows me exactly
what I need to know right then.
When Vijay grew up and enquired about the Unanswered Question he was told that he had been born in order to:
– Get an education, a job, a family, have some fun
then just grow old and die.
(His parents, school teachers, neighbors, etc.)
– Support a football team of his choice, have lots of sex, eat well,
see action, sexy or amusing films, read comics.
– Join the world’s Revolution, the Internationale,
and create a paradise on earth by putting to the wall all fascists, right wing politicians, capitalists, the clergy, and generally everyone who disagreed with us.
(His leftist friends.)
– Make love not war, smoke dope, hitchhike around –
“being on the road” – and listen to the Beatles.
(The Flower Children, amongst whom he lived awhile.)
– Do some voluntary social work
like for example taking care of the children of dysfunctional families, then you will grow old and die satisfied that it had all been worthwhile.
(His guardian, after his parents died.)
– Suffer, endure life
and learn to no longer hope for love or anything else in order to not to be any longer hurt or disappointed, then just grow old and die.
By his early teens his failure to find any real answers was driving him almost mad with an unbearable frustration, but eventually learned that
we all must deal with the Unanswered Question on completely
another level than the mind.
From “The Quest”:
Asking the Unanswered Question is like enquiring about another world, the Heavenly Kingdom,
and attempting the impossible, to get there before having first
found out WHO we really are.
I feel very much like Rilke did when he wrote:
“Ignorant before my life’s heavens I stand, gazing out
in wonder. Oh the star’s vastness, their rising and descent!
How still, as if I didn’t exist. How do I share in this?
Have I somehow dispensed with their pure effect?
Is my blood’s ebb and flow altered by their changes?”
Is your blood’s ebb and flow altered by their changes?
In which way?
As already mentioned, the Unanswered Question can only be approached in levels far beyond the rational human mind.
Books or the words of Teachers can certainly be a help,
but ultimately they are just signposts to it,
and we must find the Answer
Is this your attitude?
Strive to remember your Origin, when you were still aware
of being one with the Divine.
Until you are able to do that, imagine it as vividly as possible
to feel at least a hint of His Ecstasy,
Love and Vision.
To which extent can you feel it?
It will come.
Question/Ko’han 1 to 3:
How often do you ask yourself the Unanswered Question?
If not often, what do you consider more important than asking it?
If not often, you are being deceived.
Question/Ko’han 4 and 5:
In a certain sense
You are yourself the Unanswered Question
and its ultimate answer.
Does this make any sense to you?
Do you FEEL – not just mentally know – that you ARE?
Question/Ko’han 6 and 7:
Thich Nhat Hanh said that
By looking at your image in the clear stream you answer the question
by your very presence.
Where is this clear stream?
Much closer than you think.
1) Formulate your own personal version of the Unanswered Question.
– Then do not even try to answer it –
just keep looking at it for as long as you can
until you break through.
– Ask yourself this famous ancient Zen ko’han:
What did my face look like before
my parents were born?
2) Consider this passage of Vivekananda
No question is so near and dear to man’s heart
as that of the internal man.
How many millions of times, in how many countries has this question been asked!Sages and kings, rich and poor, saints and sinners, every man, every woman, all have from time to time asked this question.
Is there nothing permanent in this evanescent human life?
Is there nothing, they have asked, which does not
die away when this body dies?
Is there not something living when this frame crumbles into dust?
And if so, what is its destiny?
Yet, it is not that the answer did not come; each time the answer came, and as time rolls on, the answer will gain strength more and more. The question was answered once for all thousands of years ago…
for the same divine essence from which the ideas emanated is ever
present in man, therefore he can always understand them.
But then why so few really understand them?
3) Ask yourself these questions of Mère:
Never tried to understand how you feel? Yes?
No? How strange!
Never sought to understand how, for example, decisions take place in you? From where do they come?
What makes you decide one thing
rather than another?
And what is the relation between a decision of yours and your action?
And to what extent do you have the freedom of choice between one thing and another?
And how far do you feel you are able to, you are free
to do this or that or that other
or nothing at all?
– Answer Her questions.
1) These verses from the Quest:
Like a lion in his own personal Night
the Unanswered Question echoes back in him
who so many times already to Awaken desperately strove,
but always broke down in the end
by this subliminal, poignant feeling thwarted
of not being truly himself yet,
never having really been…
To which extent are you truly yourself?
2) This metaphor of Ryokan:
Your finger points to the moon, but blind
is the finger until the moon appears.
What connection has moon and finger?
Are they separate objects or bound?
This is a question for beginners in seas of ignorance wrapped.
Yet one who looks beyond the metaphor knows that
no finger and no moon are really there.
What do the finger and the moon represent?
Why no finger and no moon are really there?
3) These verses of Wu Hsin:
“What am I” is the Only Question.
With the attention fixed on the sense of being,
Ask the Only Question.
Do not develop an answer.
Ask the Question and wait.
When a thought intervenes, ask the Question again.
This continues until one falls of the floor.
Poor old Hamlet, with his “To be or not to be”!
The real Question really is, has always been
whether to remain one’s lonely little self
or finally accept to be all.