“Be careful what you wish for!” This carries a wealth of meaning. A classic example is the man who was granted any wish by the gods, after he did them a favour. He said that he wanted eternal life, and that’s exactly what he got. He got older and older, and more and more decrepit. He realised, of course, that he had asked for the wrong thing. He should have asked for eternal youth, which is want he really wanted. But he got the question wrong and paid the price. This happens a lot! We don’t ask the question we think we are asking or we don’t make the request we think we are making, and we pay some kind of price.
Questions and requests can be immensely powerful, but you had better be absolutely sure what you are asking for. This is because Nature/the Cosmos always responds to our questions and requests, but only in the precise terms of the question or request. Any lack of clarity or lack of seriousness gets reflected in the response. Scientists discovered this when they were exploring the nature of matter. This requires a little explanation.
At first, they thought that matter was made of tiny “particles”. Later, they realised that it was also made of “waves”. But how were both possible? How can matter be made of two very different things at the same time? The answer is that it all depends on the question. If you ask a “particle question” – i.e. an experiment designed to elicit the presence of particles – you will get particles in the answer. Matter will seem to be made of particles. But when you change the question, by conducting an experiment designed to elicit the presence of waves, you will get waves in the answer! In both cases, Nature was simply responding to the precise terms of the question.
This means that if we want really useful answers, we must ask really useful questions! This is not as easy as it sounds.
For example, if we ask: “Will it rain tomorrow?”, the answer is always “Yes”. This is because we did not specify a place! Similarly, when the king asked the Oracle: “Will the battle be won tomorrow?”, the Oracle said “Yes” and the king was happy. However, he lost the battle. This was because the king did not ask who would win the battle. I am sure you can think of many examples of unclear or ambiguous questions that produce the “wrong” answer.
What applies to questions applies equally to requests. I truly believe that Nature/the Cosmos always responds to our requests, but the response will always reflect the clarity and seriousness of the request. When we are exceptionally clear and specific, and when we are wholly serious about the intention behind the request, then we will almost certainly get what we ask for. It may take some time – because Nature’s sense of time is not the same as ours – and it may come in an unexpected form, but the response will surely come, one way or another. If people knew how to ask effective questions and make effective requests, their lives would be very different.
The more intelligent we are about our question or request, and the more simply we communicate it, the more likely we will get a useful answer or useful response to our request. This is yet another example of intelligent simplicity at work!