Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Art of Inquiry
You Can Actually Start the Art At This young of age.
What Is This Called?
And please have no doubt inquiry is more of an art than mechanics of thinking. Think for a moment if inquiry is creative by the student. The researcher requires an art to his inquiries. The scientist or philosopher must not assume before inquiry. The attorney has to know how to elicit responses to his inquiry of proof. I think it is kind of cool in that regard. How do I get to the truth of theologies? How do you try to figure out what the heck I am saying?
Let us look into this area of inquiry to figure out just how to develop our skill or art of inquiring.
Hey let us start out with learning how to best wash and wax our car. I think first we should read the instructions on the products we use. That gets us to where when we call our buddy who already knows we know the language of the activity. Then we get to look it up in a book or the internet.
Did you notice how I squeezed in that notion of the “language of”? here is a fun little truth. My dad was very smart. At about the age of six we were involved in building a large cabin all with salvaged material. I was the gofer. You know “go for this and go for that”. But to be of help I had to know the names of the material and tools. He walked around and told me names and what it was for, a circular saw a hand saw and jig saw a miter saw or a chop saw and the names of the angles. Why we use a claw hammer a waffle hammer and a sledge hammer and a rubber mallet.
When I was just 13 I had a good job with a master craftsman because I knew the vocabulary, jargon and purpose for things. One of my favorites are the terms hip and valley. Nothing to do with studs and headers.
The wonderful world of words was instilled. I can look something up online, in an encyclopedia or law book or Bible quicker than slick Willey can steal your wallet. And that is fast.
So to our purpose here of inquiry. First learn the language. And then unlearn the language so you can go all layman in your head. Instead of thinking Foley Catheter think tube going up into the bladder so you don’t have to pee. If you are a Trial Attorney you have to spend hours teaching the expert witness to use the second concept to relate to a jury.
Besides unless you are half brain dead it is really fun to learn new stuff through words.
Perhaps Our Greatest Area of Inquiry Is The Human Condition - Why?
Two Brothers of Different Mothers
I Pray You Love To Inquire
Our second need for inquiry is passion. I know that flies in the face of logical or scientific inquiry. I wonder if Salk was passionate about finding a polio vaccine or he just went to the office/lab/hospital every day like just another work day. I use him because my dad worked with him. I garauntee you he got up and stayed up and worked his butt off because was passionate about the inquiries to be made in order shore up his work and success.
I do very little auto work. I just really do not care about it. But I have two buddies that just love it. They get lost in it like I do rereading the Bible. There you are one minute in the morning and the next your wife is calling you to the table for dinner. And of course this further emphasizes our need for words.
I met my wife in Saigon. We spent months haggling and arguing over a build out of office spaces. She being the Superintendent and me being assigned the corporate job of overseeing not because I did not know the Vietnamese language but because I knew the construction language. She was so insistent on doing it right rather than less expensive I really disliked her. After the job was over we had a celebratory meeting on a floating restaurant on the Sai Gon river. After that and lunch the next day turned into dinner the next evening and drinks on the top of the Rex hotel. I told her I was not going to ask her yet but that I was going to marry her. Her passion for doing the best job caused her to make inquiry into only the best products and workers available. Only then did she present the ideas.
Today 17 years later in a similar position here, the floor is routinely cleared for her to ask the hard questions of venders at sales meetings. She is relentless in learning and especially learning when someone is bullshitting, even me and my boy!
Some stuff in common of these passionate people. They read a lot. They do not just rely on the internet. They are very talented listeners. Their satisfaction is not guaranteed. And they are workaholics.
Some Seek/Inquire The Confluence of Man And God
The Victory Of Inquiry
Trust Your Gut!
Can you even believe this next attribute of good inquirers? Intuition! This one is so fun. Don’t you just love really good cop shows or movies. Murder! And the detective states emphatically to the captain; “John is the killer!” so the captain starts fuming; “And what do you base that on detective?” Det; I just know it captain” and so the captain yells; “and what evidence, what proof do you have?” Detective; “It is just gut feeling cap”. And from that the captain looks stern and says to go get the proof or don’t come back. Hopefully next is a car chase and a fist fight and a gun fight and something blowing up.
Excuse my meanderings there but what is not to like about all that violence? Better than mushy kissing.
OK back to point. You have to feel inquiry. You have to put your gut in the mix. You have to prove your gut right. Now to be sure this impetus must be cautioned by rational thought at that point that your gut may be wrong. But your inquiry is not wasted you simply ruled out one conclusion.
So you go from there to “how could I have been wrong?”. And the next inquiry has purpose leading to a greater understanding fueled by a higher resolve. If not A then is it B or C?
Follow Your Path
Isn’t it all so cool? It makes me want to go research pros and cons about anything just anything. Is that a Hornet or a Wasp? How much sleep does a child really need? Are people really starving to death all over North Korea? Is my donation really going to find cures for cancer? Are Buddha and Christ really saying the same thing about love? And oh yes that brings us to an Eric conclusion.
If you put all of the above together well yes indeed it is a love of learning. Whether it makes us cry or pump our hands in the air, whether it bring pain and or despair does not matter. We love the hunt. We love the chase. We love the twists and turn and the shifting sands of inquiry. Give me more. Give me more!! Give me a tougher area to inquire about. Make it harder, it is the inquiry I am after and not the results. I am not married to an assumption I am married to the pursuit.
“Are you coming to bed honey it is two o’clock”. “Just a few more minutes honey” (lie lie lie for you are addicted to inquiry)