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En Query

September 18, 2012

The question, in the last analysis, was the very same question as in the first analysis – indeed it was the only question there had ever been. What was the question?1 It has been asserted that the question was first articulated by the old man, Sumner, some time ago. Others have countered that Sumner heard it from Old Akkadon, or perhaps that as both were students of the philosopher-king Heras, it originated with him. Still others have contended that the question was born with the Mother and to ask what it ‘is’ – a priori – is an absurdity. For my part, I cannot say. How can I say when I cannot ask?

Were it not for a certain pleasure derived from the division of labor and craft, I might lament my distance from this prime philosophy. The philosophers do not cook, nor toil under the bright lights in the swelter. The cooks and the farmers and tailors do not sit strained in the shadows, silent and reticent. Both are vital – that much is agreed – and in that complement there is an answer. But to what? Without knowing the question, how might I hope to know the answer? Indeed, some might say, if there is an answer at all; there are those heresies whose whispers fleet through the night and wonder – just loud enough – if there is a question at all.

Such blasphemy is as insidious as it is ludicrous; how else must we explain the mad prophets – they alone who dare to confront the abyss, they alone who, having sacrificed their very coherence, deign to return to us, eyes afire with lunacy, in the hopes of imparting some small measure of grace? They who, in the very act, contradict themselves? No – to question the question itself is to commit an egregious sin of regression and redundancy.

If we allow such a fallacy to operate unhindered, what is to save us from the downward spiral of madness, through and through those dark gateways in our minds? I imagine sinking back into the edges of the fog, questioning my questioning of the question, asking all the while if my incoherence is indicative of the question itself. I do not even know what that means, so what salvation is there in the pursuit of such vanity?

Akkadon once enigmatically declared that life itself is the question, and – a posteriori – the ponderance of life is the answer. I cannot accept this on its own without qualification, for it seems to imply that the vessel for the answer – reality – is the question and the questioning of this vessel’d question is the answer. Is one the other? Such assertions serenade the border with the pseudo-wisdom of the False Five (Aris, Fuci, Colum the Navigator, and the charlatan twins, Aegis and Nova).

Or perhaps, it occurs to me, I am the one confounded. Perhaps Akkadon – for surely he was wise – was merely misread? Life might readily be the answering of the question, and to ask precipitates – indeed is apart of – the answer. In such a sense, it would follow that to consider the question is to in some way contribute to the answer. There is surely something to this.

I will write more later – the roast is aromatic and the kettle beginning to hiss.

~ Commentarii De Quaestiōne, Belis of Query

1It has been posited, not without ridicule, that: “’What’ is the question.”

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From → Short Stories

One Comment
  1. Brittain Sluder permalink

    my Latin might be off

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