Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Introduction to the FAQs
We ask questions all the time, but rarely do we stop to think about how we’re asking them. One might consider the following insight:
All questions are good questions . . . in facilitation of our own [individual] learning. However, every question is not the right question . . . in facilitation of a systematic understanding. Notice how the phrases that follow the ellipses (“. . .”) represent a contextual qualification of that which came earlier in the sentence.
For example, a frequently asked question received by the Project is, “How are you going to motivate people to do work in the community without money?” This is a common question from someone in modern society who understands motivation to do “work” as either coming from an external place of punishment or reward. The question presumes the non-existence of self-motivation and the desire to contribute. Fortunately, there is such a thing as being internally motivated. Hence, it is not the “right” question, for if it’s presumptions were followed through into the response, then the response would not be useful. Community does not exist to motivate people; instead, community is designed to not inhibit self-motivation. And yet, the question, “How are you going to motivate people?” is a question that if responded to comprehensively, and the response critically considered, may facilitate a more holistic understanding of the root problem. Herein, a more interesting question might be, “What would a system look like where we are all facilitated in working toward our own (and all others) highest fulfillment, with joy and abundance?” Notice that this is a more open question, which does not presume inaccurately (Read: that “work” is something we only do when forced or rewarded by something external to ourselves). Essentially, the kinds of questions you begin with lead you to the types of answers you are going to get; context is vital. Answers strictly framed by the questions that are asked may be limiting comprehension. Note here that “right” questions lead to answers that evolve our understandings and our potential for fulfillment in the real world.
Just as there right and wrong questions, there are also right and wrong answers. In engineering, if a designer gets the wrong answer, the engineered system (bridge, for example) is likely to fall down or otherwise malfunction. Conversely, if the engineer gets the right answer, the system will remain stable and standing. A society, like a bridge, is an engineered system. Often, when the wrong question is asked, the wrong problem is solved.
In community, we seek to understand why we have done what we have done, and why we think the way we think. When asking questions, there is no need to conform to standards that have been constructed by others in an effort to avoid punishment or looking less (i.e., shame). Inquiry, in essence, involves the expansion of our awareness to more greatly understand why we have done what we have done, and why we can do differently in a compassionate way, which is only liberating. Without inquiry, all we are left with is fight or flight. We are all fallible, we are all learning.
Questions are psychologically powerful — not only does hearing a question affect what our brains do in that instant, but they can also shape our future behaviour. When a question is posed, it has the potential to influence the brain’s thought process. Therein, questions that do get attended to with some good level of mental effort can have power influence over the person answering the question. When a mind is thinking about the answer to a question, it has a difficult time contemplating anything else. In general, research in neuroscience has found that the human brain/mind can only think about one idea at a time (although there are certainly many subconscious processes occurring simultaneously). Hence, when someone is asked a question, it “forces” their mind to consider only that question. Behavioural scientists have also found that just asking people about their future decisions significantly influences those decisions, a phenomenon known as the “mere measurement effect.” In concern to decisioning questions, such questions prompt the brain to contemplate a behaviour, which increases the probability that it will be acted upon. In fact, decades of research has found that the more the brain contemplates a behaviour, the more likely it is that the organism will engage in it. Just thinking about doing something can shift perception and even alter body chemistry. Take note that asking more questions when sharing information is more likely to keep an interlocutor engaged.
Herein, it also relevant to note that phobias show up in the kinds of questions we ask. Questions that conform to fears subvert our capacity to see things other than the way we have been trained and acculturated to see them. Hence, the honorable question is the one determined by how we respond to the response.
In community, we look forward to new questions: A new question may convey a new perspective, a contradiction in the present system, or a useful design consideration that we overlooked. With that said, some questions look a lot like questions, but are really personal, subtly concealed attacks. We do not look forward to these questions, and we will likely not respond to them. Also, if you feel that you have a better response to one of these FAQs, or that you have your own FAQ that you would like to add to this list, then please contribute it through our contact webpage.
The Auravana Project’s response to any particular question herein should become clear, and possibly even self-realizing, once the design specifications have been read and integrated in their entirety. Questions about the system’s reasoning and its technical functioning will more than likely be answered by a reading of the specifications, which become a reference tool to provide direct and integrated answers to such questions. When someone has questions about logical derivations and technical specifics, then we have a comprehensive specification as an informed part of our response. However, when questions are time-sensitive and paradigmatically limited, then this FAQ is more useful. With that said, we don’t have all the answers, and we don’t claim to; we are still designing the system.