Inquiry: It is better to question assumptions

 

It is better to question assumptions. (It is better to question underlying assumptions – ones own and those of others – than to not do it).

  1. True?
    Yes. It feels that way, sometimes. I can find stories supporting it. I can find others who agree. I act and speak as if it is true, sometimes.
  2. Sure?
    No. It’s just an opinion. One of many possible view, each one with some validity.
  3. What happens if I take that story as true?
    • I tell myself it is better to question assumptions. I get stressed, uncomfortable. There is a “should” around it.
    • If I apply it to myself, I tell myself I should question my own assumptions. There is a sense of pressure around it. A lack of freedom to go either way. A lack of clarity. I feel trapped by my own should. When I question my own assumptions, it comes from a sense of pressure more than curiosity.
    • If I apply it to others, I tell myself that they should question their own assumptions. I recognize a plethora of assumptions behind what people say and do, and if they don’t seem clear about it, I tell myself they should question their assumptions. I seem to do this more with people in the media. And even more with spiritual teachers. There are always assumptions (stories as guides) behind our actions and speak, and sometimes, it seems that those are not questioned or clarified, even for certain spiritual teachers. I tell myself they operate on autopilot instead of clarifying for themselves the underlying assumptions, and using those assumptions (stories, guides) as tools in a more clear and conscious way.
    • When did I first have that thought? In middle school, when I started to be aware of some of the – often unfortunate – underlying assumptions many operate from. (From some of my teachers and others.)
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • There is a sense of a more open terrain. Open in the direction of questioning assumptions, and also not do so. There is more of a sense of curiosity around it. Interest.
    • I am curious about the dynamics around assumptions, what happens when they are questioned/clarified and not, and some of the benefits and drawbacks of each.
    • There is more sense of neutrality around it, combined with curiosity and interest, and free to be guided more from kindness and experience.
    • I recognize more clearly it is my own advice for myself.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • It is not better to question assumptions.
      • Assumptions are from culture and subcultures, so we fit in quite nicely (even) if we don’t question assumptions.
      • There will always be innumerable assumptions not explicitly questioned or clarified. Always one more. And one more. That’s part of the game.
      • Life (the universe) is set up so we sometimes question assumptions and sometimes don’t. Life (the universe, God) does not seem to have a preference.
      • Any story is an assumption, and any story rests on innumerable other stories – also assumptions. Sometimes, we are more clear around these stories – from having investigated them for ourselves. And other times, there is less clarity around them. It is natural. It is how life is set up.
      • If I need to question assumptions, life will tell me. It tells me through signs such as stress, discomfort, tension, obsessions, compulsions, complaining and so on. And it tells me what needs to be inquired into through bringing attention to it. (I complain about someone, and what I complain about is what I need more clarity around.)
    • It is worse to question assumptions.
      • If the questioning comes from a should, it may be. When a should is behind an inquiry, it is often less honest and clear. There is a pressure and pushing behind it, so it is not open in all directions.
      • Sometimes, it is fine to just go with what is without questioning. It is a part of life. It can even be quite enjoyable.
      • In some situations, what we find when we question assumptions may (apparently) require more from us than we are ready for. The cost may be too high for us in the situation. It may be good to put it off for a while, until we are more ripe and ready for it.
    • It is better to not question assumptions.
      • Yes, why not just live life without questioning everything? We can still live healthy and mature lives even without questioning any and every assumption.
      • In some situations, taking the consequences of what we find may be too high for us. Until it isn’t.
      • Sometimes, it may be good to put it off and just live instead. If we need to question certain assumptions, life will tell us. (Through stress, obsessions, etc.)
    • It is better for my thinking to question assumptions.
      • Yes, that is where it needs to happen.

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