In this article friend and fellow alakai Stewart Blackburn will explore the power of asking questions and in the process weave in some Huna and related concepts. In order to stay true to the topic, we will present this as a series of questions and answers. Plus, we close with the invitation for you to ask us questions.
Why Are Questions So Important?
I recall us (Stewart and Pete) having a conversation when I was last over in Hawaii and we spoke about the adventurer tradition of Huna. You said something that really struck a chord with me which was ‘a question defines an adventure. The answer merely says that the adventure is over. It is in the exploration that we really get to grow’. I think this is really relevant to the topic of questions. Without questions, things become ‘fixed’, we stop growing when we stop exploring and stop questioning.
I think also in relation to Huna, if we don’t question then we don’t push boundaries, we don’t find the new. One thing that I like about Kahili Huna, and this relates to the seventh principle of Pono, is that Huna is an evolving system, not something fixed in time, not something that we think ‘well that is a nice exploration of the history of ideas in that particular area’. Questions allow things to evolve. Life is an open system and questions demonstrate this.
Besides the very important aspects of growing and exploring, I think that the act of questioning itself has a beneficial effect on the mind. It stimulates curiosity, a most precious commodity. Curiosity, wonder, and awe are aspects of our Higher Mind and the more we explore that Higher Mind the more we know our true selves. And that is what many explorers are after!
In Huna Are Questions Particularly Valued?
Yes. Knowledge like this in Hawaii was traditionally shared through a process of questioning. Things were not like we are used to these days where things are neatly packaged and presented for learners. It was up to the student to explore a topic or work with an experience and then ask the teacher (kumu) questions to aid understanding. There was no formulaic sharing of knowledge and if questions were not asked that was where things ended.
Even when presenting information in the way most people are used to today, I like the frame that Serge uses in his workshops. He assumes that attendees have questions and he is answering them. Of course, he still welcomes additional questions and sees that as a vital way to learn and expand this knowledge for everyone. I was speaking to Serge recently and he was reflecting that not enough people ask questions so it is an important topic.
I am sure it is no coincidence that Serge gave me an ordination name that translates as ‘man seeking knowledge’ as I do like to ask many questions!
Very often it isn’t the information in an answer that is particularly valuable, but rather the energy behind the answer that has the most effect. In order to be truly effective, an answer must be taken into the listener, and he or she must allow themselves to be changed by that energy. This is an energetic experience, not an intellectual one.
Questions open the questioner, it makes him or her available to the changes that may come with an answer. Without that opening, whatever information may be passed along may or may not be integrated. That’s why rote learning is so particularly ineffective. The student hasn’t been encouraged to open emotionally to learn sufficiently.
Can The Seven Principles Of Huna Be Applied To The Topic Of Asking Questions?
I believe so – after all anything’s possible! In my experience the seven principles can be applied to anything and they provide a really useful way of presenting and exploring a particular topic. So, for example, off the top of my head you might apply them as follows:
- Ike: Asking questions increases awareness of a particular topic and you need to have some awareness to know what questions to ask.
- Kala: Asking questions expands understanding and frees you from the limitations of ignorance.
- Makia: Asking questions is a way of focussing and getting deeper into a topic or aspects of a topic.
- Manawa. Asking questions requires that you address a topic in the present moment.
- Aloha: Asking questions can bring to light connections between concepts and situations that were previously not apparent. Questions keep us growing.
- Mana: As the saying goes ‘knowledge is power’, so asking questions is a means of empowerment and increased knowledge and awareness empowers.
- Pono: Well, this one is kind of obvious, asking questions and getting answers (particularly useful ones!) increases your chances of success.
I think Pete has laid out the seven principles well. I might add that many questions just scratch the surface of a topic and that without some entry point we never go deeper. As Pete said regarding Makia, the focusing that comes with questioning help us go into areas that are profounder and richer. Thus, the satisfaction we get by gaining some knowledge is immeasurably increased by the greater insights that can be collected by questioning.
Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
Hopefully this has inspired you to ask questions. If so, that’s great as we (Pete and Stewart) are actively encouraging people to send us your Huna related questions (concepts, applications etc) where we will be more than willing to answer them over on www.urbanhuna.org. Send any questions to email@example.com
Pete Dalton and Stewart Blackburn ©2021
Who Are Pete and Stewart?
Pete is an Alakai of Huna International living in the UK. He uses Huna for coaching and empowerment and produces the Huna Adventurer’s Newsletter. For more information and to sign up to the free newsletter visit: www.urbanhuna.org
Stewart is an Alakai of Huna International living on Big Island Hawaii. Stewart's website is www.stewartblackburn.com He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org