What do you believe?

Do you believe in mystery? That there are tiny, almost imperceivable currents in your life that prevent you from being exposed to things before you're ready for them, and steer you toward them when the time is right?

Imagine that there is a book, or a movie, or a song that you have been dying to experience for ages, but for some reason or another never gotten around to. Years later, you're struggling with some philosophical dilemma, and you decide to pull it off the shelf to distract you from your quandary. And as it begins, you see every hidden detail of your mental chaos laid out in front of you in meaningful metaphors and pseudo-prophetic dialog.

Is there some invisible hand guiding your path? Shooing you away from metaphors that will not yet have meaning for you, and nudging you toward them when you are finally in need of the lessons they will bring? Or is the language of metaphors such that you will find meaning where you look for it, and would have found just as much meaning in another source, if your need was as great?

If there's one thing that I have learned in my service, it is fluency in metaphor. But being able to speak a language doesn't mean that one necessarily understands the physics of how sound is created and shaped into words, nor the esoteric inner workings of linguistic theory.

Nevertheless, I see the answers when I look for them. I have been asking a lot of questions over the past several months. But as my life seemed to be spiraling into chaos, I was too afraid to look for the answers to most of those questions. I wasn't sure I could handle them if they were as dark as I had feared.

Now that the worst of it is over and I am finally working on getting back on my feet, I have begun to indulge myself in looking for a few of the answers. And, as usual, the answers come in metaphor. They're in magazine articles, on DVDs, in music, in reflections, and even in unexpected software releases. I can see which way the wind is blowing, but can not yet tell if it is a breeze or a storm. If only I could quiet the fury inside, perhaps I could hear the messages more clearly.

What is the question you live your life by? What do you want? Who are you? Why are you here? Where are you going? Ask yourself these questions repeatedly, until all of your flippant surface responses are depleted and the truth begins to emerge. Which questions bring forth answers that make you feel whole? Which bring forth answers that make you fear yourself?

Which answers are you willing to die for? And, more importantly, which answers are you willing to live for?


  1. Deep. My therapist and I have been going over these exact questions for sometime now. I, myself, have been asking them ever since I fully realized that I was turning 30 soon and had yet done with my life that I had planned to do. I am slowly finding the answers I have been looking for for so long.

    • The mystery question, or the 4 questions at the end?

      I didn’t make it very clear in the post, but those four questions (What do you want? Who are you? What are you doing here? Where are you going?) were actually an example of one of the metaphors that I’m currently deciphering, and not a part of the original question of belief.

      It’s a B5 reference. Different races are fixated on the answer to one particular question over the others. And the nature of which question you find the most meaning in says something about where your values lie. Are you willing to sacrifice what you want for who you are? Or where you’re going for why you’re here?

      It’s one of those subconscious battles that’s always going on below the surface. Sometimes it’s useful to bring the metaphor to the surface and do some meditation on it. Other times, it’s just a emotional and logical goose chase. A month ago, I would not have dared ponder this. Now it seems vital that I do.

      • The Mystery Question is what I am decipfering now in my life. I think the answer actually scares me to a point. What do I believe? If I look the answer in the “face” will I be ready for the truth of it? Are any of us really ready to look that answer in the face, with no perconception, no veils, just look at the purest answer? Then we will see ourselves in what we truly are…

    • Terson, eh? At the risk of invoking a pun, who are you? You are friends with many of my friends, but your profile gives no clue as to your identity?

      Regardless, it’s not always the right time to ask every question. For instance, there are several questions that I won’t touch with a ten foot pole right now. One of them being “What do you want for dinner?”.

      • If you take a look at http://g-blog.net/user/terson, you can probably figure out who I am. If not, I’ll try to remind you who I am, the next time I see you in person. I try to avoid actually naming who I am, because I don’t want people to easily tie Terson to my real identity. I would consider myself an acquaintance of yours.

        “What do you want for dinner” is not one of the questions that scares me… Wild mushrooms and Spinach on Gorgonzola Polenta sounds like a good want for dinner (and that’s what I’m getting so, I guess it’s good my want matches my desire.)

        What scares me is what I want to do with my life. Or at least the answers I’m coming to are wanted by my heart but doubted by my mind.

        • Nope, still no clue. Oh well. I’ll just add it to my collection of mysteries.

          The dinner question terrifies me at the moment. Which makes more sense if you’re reading the context instead of the content, but that’s not really relevant to anyone but me so far.

          As for what you want to do with your life, that brings us back to the four questions. Each is a slightly different way of asking the same thing:

          • If what you want is your focus, you will be willing to sacrifice everything else to achieve it.

          • If who you are is your focus, you will be willing to sacrifice everything else to become that.

          • If why you’re here is your focus, you will sacrifice everything else to fulfill your purpose.

          • And if where you are going is your focus, you will sacrifice everything else to arrive at that destination.

          If the answers frighten you, why not consider instead which question you’re really asking. Is acquisition more important than personal growth? Is destiny more important than destination? Perhaps that will help prepare you for whatever answer eventually reveals itself.

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