It dawned upon me lately one important clue why my wise meditation teacher seldom gives direct answer or statement whenever I post him a question. Instead, he will counter me with another question, allowing me to ponder and inquire deeply. What he does is to make me investigate, instead of simply accepting any statement as true or false, and comes into my own realization and understanding of what I allow myself to recognize.
There is an important dynamics occurring in this space. He knows how important for each individual to realize for themselves, instead of being spoon-fed with answers. And for realization to arise, investigative nature has to come into picture. And for investigative nature to happen, the mind has to inquire, hence his counter questioning. In the past most of my teachers keep mum over my questions and some even go to the extent of discouraging me from asking. On hindsight, I wonder how wisdom could arise when there is no skillful way of encouraging a student to grow except to believe without questioning what higher authority has to say, or worst, keeping mum over it.
My years as student, and also a teacher to some, showed me directly how their growth has much to do with how I interact with them. There are times I tell them what is in their space, without giving them opportunity to ponder. And I observed that my direct statement to anyone, be it a person who seek counseling, or a friend who needed clarity over her issue, not only reinforces what is already in her already-state of uselessness or usefulness, as in inferior or superior, but also disallows her to move out from that state. In short, my “telling” confirms in her, her own old belief patterns, or in worst scenario, using those direct statements I have said as a tool against me for what had happened.
How can this be so? Is there anything “wrong” in being direct? When I “tell”, I am disallowing the wisdom in them to inquire and thus make a conclusion for themselves. Worst, if their faith in me is blind, what I say becomes their gospel truth. For me, each “telling” or being direct, is indicating something deeper in me that I am not seeing. I can be telling from a brutal honest space, which does not help you at all, but only invoke pain. But more importantly is why do I need to be brutal? Is there something amiss in me I am missing? Could it be that I am being irritated by you that I need to attack? My teacher would have shown me that ignorance can be honest, not to mention wisdom. He would have me recognize that the key is not in honesty, as it can be fabricated. What is more important is my attitude to each moment, in short my motivation. I can be lovingly honest, giving many options for you to ponder as to allow you to arrive at your own understanding. Or I can be brutally honest, paving way to my own error and also in you.
When I tell you, instead of the wiser way of assisting you to inquire, I am already concluding a situation which is never profitable to your hearing, whether it is something pleasant or unpleasant, as that only makes you think who you are. And if you are wise, you will question my statement, which may pave way for me to look within and inquire too. But if you do question, you too can make sure that the question you post is in support of another’s journey and not a subtle statement of attack for your own fulfillment, but a genuine inquiry to understand further.
That is the whole dynamic of being conscious and bringing conscious awareness to another and when I am unconscious I am only cementing unconscious state not just in me, but also in others.