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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Art of Inquiry

Updated on September 30, 2017
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

You Can Actually Start the Art At This young of age.

If we take the time we can create "fertile soil" for youth to feel free to inquire.
If we take the time we can create "fertile soil" for youth to feel free to inquire. | Source

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

Is it grace or luck that gives a man such wonderful sons?
Is it grace or luck that gives a man such wonderful sons? | Source

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

In as certain way inquiry is a battle.
In as certain way inquiry is a battle. | Source

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)

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And in your series of the Scorpion you make perfectly clear that a diminishing of our duty is a certain kind of failure of character. I like getting up in the morning and making priorities. And it is almost universal that I am led in a different direction. Truly duty trumps agenda.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Addicted to inquiry we may be, but our brains only function properly when we've had adequate sleep, and if you're like me you need to add in 'Coffee'

      One statement I read this week sums it up for me (and it's also on a monument to a group of WWII Special forces) "The most audacious path, is often the safest!"

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Vietnam was tough and and we had to pull people (out of some threats every week) That is as short as 1998. South would except movement toward the internet but were under the thumb of the feds we went to Hanoi to sell our deals then back to Saigon. I think my wife risked a little building out our office space. But by '01 we were doing. I cannot count the speeches I gave with full immunity so to speak. The right to fail of all men and women was my theme.

      I am so glad she risked falling in love me.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Thankful I am that God led me to my wife in Laos, and that our faith believes that we being "sealed on earth" are "sealed in heaven." Who in their right mind would ever want something so good to end just because our mortal goes the way of all flesh?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey friend. My son just poked his head through my office window. It is a little dark here now. So he queried why I had sunglasses on. I simply explained that your visits had brightened my day so that I needed them.

      Thanks for spreading the love.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 3 months ago

      And again , Eric's words of wisdom's ..........'s because there are so many of them ! You are a blessed man , I see in your families eye's my friend . Thank you for sharing and for showing by way of example rather than lecture .........You are good dude !...................;-]

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 months ago from SW England

      I like that approach!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann I think fun is where it is at. When studying for my degree in philosophy I had nationally top notch professors from the Wittgenstein/Bouwsma school of training. Backgammon and Cribbage were the games along with Chess and Checkers. They would say, when we bemoaned our many thesis papers, "If it ain't fun get a new major".

      Thank you for your support.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 months ago from SW England

      Great philosophy here! I love your train of thought and that you link it to the language as well - right up my street!

      Reading your hubs is such fun, Eric, and then the serious side is so good too.

      Hope your week is full of inquiry!

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Devika.

      We sometimes need to be brave in order to admit we do not know something.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Nice pic! If you don't ask questions you will never know. Be honest and question what you don't know. Got me thinking too.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise I had a good laugh at me yesterday. I went to the store for two fillets of Salmon yesterday. Before I knew it was a half hour later, as I reading labels on meats in that department. Not going to buy them, just interested.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      This addiction for inquiry is what has made the world we have today! There are so many wonderful inventions to enjoy. The older I get, the more I have to read or I will end up with something I surely didn't want!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Dora, I very much appreciate your encouraging support. It means a lot to me.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      I like the story about you and your wife, and the picture of your sons. I also like your thoughts on inquiry: "You have to feel inquiry. . . 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 much wisdom!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Larry I am just fascinated by our collective human condition. And I have a young son that can ask why 100 times in one minute so I get in that mode.

      Yes my beautiful bride was raised in Cu Chi.

    • Larry Fish profile image

      Larry W Fish 4 months ago from Raleigh

      A very good sermon, Eric. I never thouht of inquiry as detailed as you have laid it out. I guess I am from the old school and look at things in a simple way. I see you met your wife in Vietnam. Interesting, I met my wife in the Philippines.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Shaloo, how true. I think sometimes we even see this in a school or religious setting which is really too bad.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a true sage that Williams guy is. I always appreciate you coming by Clive, thank you.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 4 months ago

      Many people are afraid to ask questions for the fear of being perceived as ignorant. Asking questions is a sign of a seeker/learner. Another beautiful sermon!

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 4 months ago from Jamaica

      I live in a mind of inquiry. I have no clue what is pass the ice wall and i am deeply inquiring about it. Like the great philosopher Clive Williams always said, "If you have never inquired, you will never acquire."

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill that is a great thought, thank you. "How does one stop inquiring?". On first blush I would say not even death or sleep does the trick.

      There will be more here.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I feel like I just strapped on my seat belt and took a wild ride through your mind. Always worth the price of a ticket.

      But how do I stop inquiring? I haven't figured that one out yet. :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tim it is cool you mention that hopscotching which I love. I like to call it improvisational research. It is almost like the concept of the 6th degrees of separation notion. And it is a great tool for writing.

      Thanks Tim

      (I think this next edition in this area will reference your concept)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Bill. That cop scenario is a fine reflection of man. I actually think it goes back to Mind, Body and Soul stuff. But for sure back to Charlie Chan of the '20's.

      It was too hard for me to put the notion of inquiry to the fiction writer. What are they questing?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, thank you for your comment. I like your concept even more with 2 billion year old rocks/formations. And there are many other ways to believe in creation and understand the history of earth. What is a "day" to God anyway?

      When I wrote this I stopped to think about how much time I spent in this area. Wow.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 months ago from Escondido, CA

      I like this article Eric. I must admit that I feel I have a mind of inquiry and I love learning. Then I think of your example with Jonas Salk. I tend to think he had a natural inquiring mind, yet it was focused thus a researcher. I am not like that today as I will hop-scotch from one thing to another at least in recent years since no longer working. I just keep on keeping on inquiring patiently waiting for something to focus on.

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      William Kovacic 4 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You always have some interesting thoughts, Eric. I like your example of the detective stories. I loved them growing up, too. I suppose I still carry some of those things into my fiction writing today.

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      Linda Lum 4 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, I really enjoyed this one.

      When you began the conversation between the detective and his superior all I could think of was Columbo LOL.

      I love that we have inquiring minds--the quest for knowledge and the joy of discovery are what set us apart don't you agree?

      I'm a Creationist and have friends who challenge me by saying "but what about the dinosaur skeletons that have been unearthed. Don't those prove that the Earth is hundreds of thousands of years old?" And then I give them my rationale--that God created this earth with a history because He knew we would enjoy unearthing (no pun intended) the mysteries.

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