Politics Magazine

What If We All Suddenly Knew The Answers? – Modern Koans

By Andrew Furst @a_furst

Question: Every person seeks out the truth and answers in life. What would happen if everyone was suddenly enlightened with the truth and answers?

My response: All the questions and problems would change. Just like any other day. Has having the right answer today made a problem go away tomorrow or prevented new problems from rearing their heads?

Think about a recovering alcoholic. They work hard, get their feet back on the ground. They find an approach, some truth, that helps them navigate life while avoiding their addiction.

But on any given day, they can fall off the wagon. It could be a mistake; a stressful situation, or just boredom. Knowing the truth doesn’t exempt us from making mistakes. You might even argue that with all of the literature in the world and its ready availability on the internet that the answers are always available. But having all this knowledge at our fingertips doesn’t prevent suffering.  It’s about unenlightened choices not knowledge or beliefs.

If life is about choices, why are we always looking for knowledge or wisdom?  How much of the battle is won when we know what’s right and wrong?

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Modern Koans is an ongoing series that recognizes that good questions are often more important then their answers.

The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man. ― G.K. Chesterton

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