stock-footage-reading-old-books-by-candlelight-bibleOver the last year I have been engaged in incredible searches of myself and my soul. I have been contemplating the vast questions, this vast universe, and my place in it. I acknowledge that this is a vital part of the human experience; the greatest minds of our time and that of our past have begun similar quests. And I acknowledge that I have been on this search for most of my life.

It is in human nature to find answers.  And there are two kinds of people who look for those answers. One, asks a question and looks for the easiest solution.  They are comforted by the quick answers. They resist the search for the other side and they can and will sit for hours listening only to what they have been told.

Then there is the other kind. The kind who is never satisfied; easy answers are automatically thought as the wrong answer. Allowing for laziness in this quest is on par with ignorance. And each step, each answer, asks a different question. Their minds race with possibilities and their fingers can rarely keep up with the ideas coming from them.

I am the second kind. Is it because I have a high IQ? Is it how my mother raised me? Is it the product of the mental illness that I suffer?

When I ask questions, I never get easy answers. For instance, contemplating questions of religion can send me down paths that keep me up at night.  Does God need our prayer if he already knows how we feel? Is God so egotistical that he needs to hear my voice in order to find me worthy? How is it that free will can exist when God and even the text of the Bible assures us that our paths were laid out long before we were born? If God already knows who and what I am, and ultimately what I am going to do in any situation, then isn’t the freedom to choose my own path a contradiction?

If I move onto the cosmos or mother nature, or even human nature, similar questions start coming that bring not answers, but more inflection.

I have learned that I am not alone in my thoughts, in my questions. I have learned through the writing and the reading of great minds such as Cicero, Einstein, even those we would consider the greatest enemies on earth, that many feel as I do. There are those that are designed simply to question.

And there are those who do not like those questions.

When one looks at this world it is literally impossible not to see that we have more questions than we have answers.  I dare you to find a man or woman who can fully explain the human brain; and yet the object of these questions are inside all of us.

I have had to learn in this year that there are people who get offended by questions, something that took me years to understand.  There are good, wonderful people out there who believe what they are told in the Bible, what they are told by the television news, and those who believe that what happens on the Internet is nothing but the truth. I have come to learn that this mindset isn’t wrong, it simply is as different from mine as night to day.

I have an aunt who is religious; several members of my family are. And since moving closer to them I have had to learn the definition of dinner conversation.  Dinner conversation, at least in my family, does not include discourse on the workings of religion on the populace, nor does it include an extensive search into human behavior – for the whys of human behavior.  Sitting at my family’s dinner table does not give me an invitation to investigate into any of these questions or the millions of others that I have.

There would have been a time that I would have resented this. I would have been frustrated by the idea that not all want to explore the where and whys of this world. I would have been angry that those I love didn’t want to challenge their mind, and in some cases improve their mind, in the same ways that I have to.

But that isn’t this world; there are simply too many brains working at the same time. It offends people when you think outside the box, or find yourself by the very questions your asking to be on the other side of common place ideas. People, as a rule, don’t like their beliefs or their hardened faith to be questioned by anyone.  And I have learned that taking away anyone’s comfort because of the questions rolling through my mind is not only a disservice to those who can’t fathom my ideas but to the good person that I am trying to be.

I have no idea when asking questions and pushing one’s own beliefs became the works of the minority.  I have no idea when people were first struck down for raising their hand and stating that something wasn’t quite right.

We can look at the past and see everyone from Galileo to Jesus and see that those who thought outside of the boundary of thought were considered to be not only the minority but those who would harm.  How many minds were silenced in someone’s quest to find power? And what did we lose in that silence?

I believe that my searches are meant to be mine. They are not to be given to the world unless we coach them in fairy tales and cute baubles.  Our minds wherever they wonder are required to be our own victory march because the alternative is far worse.

I search for the answer to many questions, but one always brings me back – How can I love my family as much as I do, and how can they love me as much as they claim, when my mind is often forced to be hidden from them? Does it make me a good person to hide my thoughts from them – thoughts of science, math and philosophy? Does it make them bad that I have to?