Not Understanding Questions - Is It Me or Is It Them?

by Steven Paglierani - Date: 2007-04-22 - Word Count: 719 Share This!

To begin with, this is a great question. Let's begin by breaking down what you've just asked me into some "sub questions." [1] What is a question? [2] What is a question's meaning? And [3] what is a questioner's intent?

[1] Let's start with the word, "question." What is a "question?" The technically accurate answer? Something you'd like to know but cannot picture. Thus logic alone is never a real, authentic answer to a question.

[2] What is a question's, "meaning?" Answer. Your personal experience of the pictures you see when asked this particular question. In other words, your personal, human meaning comes from your visual experience of these personal pictures. As opposed to being derived from the static, abstract, literal answer to the question.

[3] What is a questioner's "intent?" Here, I'd say, the best thing to do would be to ignore this question. Why? Because motive is, at best, a labyrinth. In effect, peoples' reasons for asking questions are, at best, temporary, and for the most part, unknowable. Moreover, since the answers to all questions are rooted mainly in what you can see, even determining intent is something which requires we have a picture. Which makes knowing motive more the sidebar to a question than the main event.

Now let's look at your original question. If you cannot understand a question, how can I tell if the problem is with you or with the question? Here, the answer lies in whether you can or cannot picture what you are being asked. So can you? If so, then the problem becomes how to resolve any differences between your pictures and the questioner's pictures.

To add to this the Emergence Personality sense of this question, all comprehensive answers must address the question in all ten Layers of personality. Or at least, in a good portion of these ten Layers.

Sound difficult? It's not. You see, all pictures which move on the screen of the mind (as opposed to pictures which are still, dead, snap shots) include all ten Layers. This means all real questions are rooted in the search for a moving picture. Not simply any old picture but rather, a living, breathing, moving picture. A real "occurrence." An "authentic action."

So how can you tell if the problem is with you or with the question? The answer? The problem is always, in part, with you. How can this be? Because your finding an answer always requires you find a picture. In addition, this picture should answer the question and, in some sense, mirror the questioner's picture.

For instance, say someone were to ask you, what is "love?" What would you answer? Most folks, without realizing it, would derive their answers by unconsciously referencing their first accessible picture for this word. In other words, they would be asking themselves, what is my picture for "love."

What is my first picture of the word, "love?" A four year old boy being leaped upon and jumped all over by a litter of ten beagle puppies. Laughing, human, "boy with a dog - dogs with a boy" love. My first picture.

And yours? What is your first picture?

This picture is where you find the answer to your question.

And if you have no picture?

Then you have no answer. And you need to divide the question into, visual, sub questions, similar to what I've done here. Literally, you need to take the question apart, word by word, until you find the non visual word or words. Then you need to discover pictures for each of those words.

And if you have no pictures for the words in a question?

Then you need to do whatever it takes to find some pictures for these words. Only then can you begin to seek your own answer. Which means one thing. If you can't find an answer, it is always you, first, then, at times, the questioner second. If at all.

One more thing. You did not voice your question as how do I find the questioner's answer, or the "right" answer, or the "correct" answer. Should you have voiced your question with these words, my answer to you would be different. In those cases, it is certain the problem lies with both people. Even here, though, the problem rests entirely in the lack of pictures, either yours or the questioner's or both.

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Related Tags: emergence personality theory, good communication, understanding questions, visualizing language

Steven Paglierani is a writer, teacher, personality theorist, and therapist whose work on learning and human consciousness is read weekly by thousands all over the world. He is the author of Emergence Personality Theory, and his mission is to make the world better for children by restoring and deepening their love of learning.

He can be read or reached at his site,

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