“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries of eternity… Never lose a holy curiosity.”
“Never lose a holy curiosity.” I wonder what he meant by this phrase. What was he feeling and thinking?
Could holy curiosity be the life blood of human work? In transformational coaching, it is suggested that the coach practice from a place of curiosity. Be curious about a person and you will discover riches beyond the imagination. Each person possesses unique gifts that are waiting to be discovered or unleashed. This curiosity is manifested as patiently waiting, listening, attending to somatic cues, responding with care, and nurturing the soul.
What if our world leaders led from a perspective of holy curiosity? I wonder if we would have wars, mass killings, genocide, and other atrocities inflicted by our bruised and fragile ego. Acting from a place of holy curiosity means that we wouldn’t “stop questioning” as Einstein suggests. We might wonder about the sacredness of life, that all life, human and nonhuman, has value. Of course we grieve about human victims of atrocities but what about all the nonhumans that are innocently slaughtered as a result of our fragile ego. Life is sacred!
Paying attention to our intention is a crucial practice that opens us up to our curiosity. Awe, wonder, or gratefulness are outcomes of leading a curious life. The feeling side of our being is activated by states of awe, wonder, or gratefulness such that curiosity becomes a natural companion to the activation of our feeling side. I believe is softens our approach, ignites our empathy, and helps us see the sacredness in human and nonhuman life.
In the current Ukraine War, I believe we see Volodymyr Zelensky’s activated feeling side in all that he says. He asks questions and seems to be curious about why this is happening to his country and his people. On the other hand, Vladimir Putin’s feels are absent. He remains emotionally and spiritually detached from feelings of empathy, awe, wonder, and gratefulness. To him, life is expendable not sacred. Can we understand other parallel situations from a state of absence of “holy curiosity?”
By combining holy with curiosity, I believe Einstein is evoking the idea that there is something spiritual happening for a person who leads a curious life. He implies that we should not “stop questioning.” I take this to mean that we should try to integrate curiosity into our daily practice. It would then be the arbiter between our thinking and feeling selves. Holy curiosity evokes the feeling side of self, a counter balance to the ego self.
Here are some things to consider to nurture a state of holy curiosity:
- Try to avoid rash conclusions and listen or ask more open-ended questions.
- Try to avoid being critical and seek awe, wonder, and gratitude about all life.
- Try to judge less and wonder more.
- Try to go beyond the person’s ego and listen for the soul of the person,