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Asking is about getting clear on what it is we want. It is setting intentions. When education is working well, it opens the mind. A good teacher will invite questions and discussion to wake up the mind to possibilities. Asking questions clears the way for discovery.

Science begins and ends with a question. Can this be done? What is this? How does it work? What more can this do? Just think of the things we wouldn’t have if someone didn’t ask a question first. When an hypothesis is set, isn’t that really a what-if question?

Asking acknowledges that we can’t know everything. From this place, there is more room for learning to take place. The Buddhists talk about being in that place of “Beginner’s Mind.” Where you know you don’t know it all and the mind can be a-light with questions.

In one of the Gawain stories in the Arthurian and Celtic legends, Gawain finds himself in a strange castle where a warrior is laid out as if he’s dead, with a sword in his heart that continues to bleed. Later, Gawain is witness to the Grail which floats through the hall serving everyone present. Gawain, however, fails to ask about the Grail and instead asks after the warrior. (You kinda can’t blame him for that, being a warrior himself.) However, though the land began to heal, the king still suffered. It wasn’t until later, when Gawain saw the Grail for the second time, that he remembered to ask about it. And then, finally, all was healed. This story carries a side note to me that you get more than one chance to ask. But the key is always in the asking. You don’t have to know all the answers, you just have to ask.

Seems you don’t even always have to hang around for the answer. Ask the right question and things can start to change instantaneously. The answer comes in a holy instant. You might not need to do anything more about it. Including discovering what the answer was.

We might balk at times about putting our lives in God’s Hands. After all that work to figure out what we want! But when we ask for what we want, aren’t we in a way, giving it up? Handing it onto someone else? What if we ask ourselves if we could think of it as handing it over to God? Is there much more powerful a thing to do than that?

In her book, “The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love,” Susan Jeffers suggests that sharing what we know is a good way to show we love someone.

She was speaking about our traditional roles as men and women.  Men, easily, seem to know how to fix things. Where women are more practiced in the art of nurturing.  What if we made a conscious effort to teach each other what we know?

What a win-win situation this is!  I get to talk about something I know well and you get to learn something new.  Something in that process passes between us and strengthens our relationship.  Making us more than the sum of our parts.

I can think of no better way to give something of ourselves.  And won’t the receiver be so much richer for getting something so precious?  It is a yin-yang balance that just feels right. Doesn’t it just feel ancient and wise to pass along what we know?

This sharing of knowledge has plenty of benefits.  It makes us all more well-rounded, more capable people. It allows us to meld our complementary skills and talents.  Creating a better world for it. Surely, it would enhance the education of any child in the vicinity!

Even more importantly, it creates a bridge of understanding between us.  As I learn from you, I get a clearer picture of who you are and how you operate.

It’s a chance to show and tell how you see something.  Sharing your passion and wisdom on a subject.  People love to talk about themselves and their lives.  We all, in a way, really just want to be heard.  This transferring of a skill, talent or passion is a way to be heard while giving something in return.

Can we put a value on education?  On expansion?  The cost of a college degree or a certificate program?  What about a lifetime of learning, person-to-person, me to you, you to me?  As free as love.

I had written a piece about how Evolution doesn’t disprove the existence of God, but my friend Bill pointed out the holes in my logic, showing me I had taken on a much bigger topic than I could handle in a small blog. Thanks, Bill for your clarity.

So, instead I’ve decided to write about Torture. (A much smaller topic?) As a spiritual person I don’t like to label things “good” and “bad.” But Torture seems to be so obviously “wrong” on so many levels. It’s illegal, immoral and, according to some experts in the field of interrogation, pretty much useless.

I can’t deny that there’s a part of me that would relish seeing Bush and Cheney go down for something. After all the ways they abused the American people, caring more for the have-mores and stepping over the Rule of Law whenever they pleased, getting us into a war under false pretenses . . . It seems like, if they were prosecuted and did time, it would go a step further in preventing other administrations from torturing ever again. But I don’t know if there’s a guarantee of that.

Frankly, it could well become a witch hunt, as I am not the only person in this country who would enjoy getting some Justice. But what would be the cost of that Justice? Justice, while a splendid concept, in practice, is not always about what’s Right.

Matt Taibbi, author and contributing editor for Rolling Stone Magazine, said on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” that prosecuting these upper level people would “suck all the air out of the room.” It would take away attention from all that Obama wants to do. Healthcare, Energy and Education are big initiatives. He’s not likely to get anyone to listen if Bush and Cheney are on the chopping block. Maybe later, in his second term, when things have calmed down in this country and we’re on a better path, maybe then we can consider an investigation to set the record straight and tell the truth for posterity. Doing that might offer some healing and make others think twice about doing it again. If we push this now, though, we may not get all the wonderful things on President Obama’s agenda.

There are no “little guys” to protect, as Cheney would have us believe. The little guys have already gone to prison. President Obama has squashed all the fabricated loopholes that made torture possible. There is no chance that anyone will be tortured while he’s in office. We can only hope that future generations will act as wisely.

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