DiscoverOn Being with Krista TippettFoundations 2: Living the Questions
Foundations 2: Living the Questions

Foundations 2: Living the Questions

Update: 2022-10-207


It is a deep truth in life, as in science, that we are shaped as much by the quality of our questions as by our answers. Those moments in our lives when a new question rises up in us, stops us in our tracks, are pivot points. They are openings for discovery and new possibility to break in. Yet it’s easy to forget this in a world that is in love with the form of words that is an opinion and the way with words that is an argument.

The notion of revering the power of questions — holding them, loving them, living them — is inspired by a phrase of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. It has become a discipline woven all the way through Krista’s way of seeing the world and the community of conversation and living that is On Being. And it is as relevant as ever before in the post-2020 world. All of the great challenges before our species — ecological, racial, economic, political — are vast, aching, open questions for which we will not have anything like shared answers anytime soon. The deep wisdom behind the notion of living the questions offers both nurture and pragmatic instruction for meeting the callings before us — towards inner grounding, presence to the world, and the possibility of recreating our life together.


Consider picking up a journal, or something to record with, when you sit down or step out to listen. Take it, and the prompts below, as a companion in listening and your life beyond listening. Also: you might invite someone, or a few others, to join you.


Turn some curiosity and reverence to the questions that are alive in you, as questions for both yourself and for the world.


Take up living the questions as a practical and spiritual discipline.  Formulate a pivotal question that is rolling around in your life, at that boundary between what is personal and what is public and civilizational. Write it down, hone it, and make a commitment to take it as a companion and guide. Keep it over your shoulder, in your ear, as you move through your life for the time ahead. And find some ritual for staying attentive to what it invites you to see and to move away from and to move towards.

If you are faithful to living a question, it will be faithful back to you.


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Twitter: @kristatippett










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Foundations 2: Living the Questions

Foundations 2: Living the Questions

On Being Studios