A State of Inquisition

Claire Lafferty
3 min readOct 2, 2020

The vast skies above, the deep oceans below; only so much the human eye can see, only so much the human hand can feel, and only so much the human brain can comprehend. And yet, from the beginning, we enter this world trying to make sense of it all.

Our minds explode with questions ready to be answered, and as we grow, we learn, get answers, and tuck them away and move on to other things. Content with the foundation of answers we have received, the curiosity begins to dwindle. Until one day, the contentment turns into contemplation.

  • Where did I get these answers?
  • How is it true?
  • What has held all of this together?

Thus one begins a more profound curiosity — a state of inquisition into oneself and the world around them.

So we go back to the beginning and ask the questions again; this time with more knowledge of the world, more life behind the eyes, and more conversations exchanged with others. Maybe some new answers have taken the place of old ones, maybe some have become more cemented, perhaps some new paths have been traveled, but maybe there is still something about the foundation we have built that doesn’t quite seem right.

In many ways, we learn to ask specific questions to get us to certain places. But what if when we get there, we don’t like it? What if that’s the only place we know? But, more importantly, what if we forgot how to be curious ourselves and find ourselves falling into paths already laid, known to be safe, and understood by those who have gone before us. (There are still lessons to be learned from them and are not to be completely written off.)

But, curiosity is what opens up new paths, new options, new realms of being. When we fail to stay curious, we limit ourselves. When we only take similar and comfortable courses, we limit ourselves to specific end goals, never taking the risk to open up a door that might lead somewhere grand and unexpected.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but complacency killed the dreamer.

So, how do we break free from the cycle of questions when the answers received do not get us where we want to be? Staying curious is one thing, but staying creative in the questions we ask is also essential. Because we can search and search, but if we are not asking the right question, we will never be satisfied with the answers.

And, the truth is that only you can learn the exact question in which you’ve been searching for the answers, and finding out that answer will take some digging and soul searching. But, before you can begin, you must muster up as much courage as possible, because you may start to fear the questions we have to ask ourselves. (Take heart, it means you are headed in the right direction.)

The questions we have been avoiding, the questions we are the most afraid to have an answer to, for whatever reason, in reality, are the questions we must face, and the fear of ourselves is what can trap us into a false state of contentment. Even when we ask the questions, we still may resort back to a realm of contentment. If we choose to deflect ourselves towards the questions we want to answer, because it is too scary not to have an answer and to leave behind answers that were once part of a foundation, we find ourselves persisting in a half-fulfilling life.

So while we find ourselves entering a state of inquisition, we must do so bravely, knowing that no matter who or what we may face, the most challenging part may be facing yourself, and who we once were or who we have grown to become. Maybe the most challenging part is choosing to answer the questions and bravely facing the new, unfamiliar path in front of us. But, perhaps in doing so, we find ourselves on the verge of our most liberating self yet.

What question, in the end, will lead to your most crucial personal unlocking? Well, only time will tell you that answer.

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Claire Lafferty

// the first question should not be the last question, neither should the first cup of coffee be the last cup //