The unanswerable questions.

Art work was created by me asking questions to an artificial intelligence.

In the Pali sutta With Ananda, the wanderer Vacchagotta asks the Buddha two questions: 

“Is there a self?” and “Is there no self?” 

The Buddha declines to answer both of these questions. Throughout the forty-five years after his enlightenment, the Buddha had answered many questions asked to him both by human beings and divine beings. Depending on the nature of the questions, the Buddha had largely responded using one of the four ways:

1) He gave unequivocal answers to questions which have direct answers;

2) He elaborated on answers to questions which require careful analysis;

3) He replied with counter-questions to guide the inquirer towards forming an answer;

4) He kept some questions aside.


What is the most important thing in the world?

What am I truly capable of?

What honestly makes me valuable?

Am I my ego?

Am I an imposter?

Who is thinking my thoughts?

Do I judge to much?

Can I see my blind spots?

What’s missing in my life?

Do I lie to myself?

Am I sprinting to the finish line?

Does my inner voice ever need to take a breath?

If money was no object what would I do?

Am I following the script to closely?

Has money freed me or imprisoned me?

If I had 24 hours to live what would I do?

Have I traded in idealism for consumerism?

Am I wasting time?

Why are pickle jars the hardest jars to open?

Who am I trying to impress?

Is the answer another purchase?

What really makes me happy?

Am I a good human?

Am I the problem or the solution?

Am I consuming or creating?

Am I a fortress or an open door?

Am I just quietly going to fade away?

What do I owe society?

Why do I always look back when I trip on something?

Can I change the world?

Am I relevant?

Am I doing what’s expected?

Who’s life am I making better?

How do you want to be remembered?

Do I forgive enough?

If I wear my underwear outside, is it outerwear?

What is my real net worth?

How much potential do I have left?

Who do I owe my success to?

What defines who I really am?

Do I practice what I preach?

Do I sacrifice enough?

Does my breath smell bad to a dog?

Did I sacrifice too much?

Am I selfish?

Am I useful?

Am I truly accountable?

How kind am I?

Am I really sorry?

What have I really accomplished?

Who will miss me when I’m gone?

Am I a noble human?

Have I influenced anyone?

Do clowns have fear of clowns?

Am I as compassionate as I can be?

Am I really doing what I want with my life?

Am I full of fear?

Have I become something I don’t like?

Can I keep growing?

How much do I have left in the tank?

What do I think of me?

What will I accomplish before the big deadline?

Have I become apathetic?

Have I mattered?

Is there a self?

Is there no self?

Do bald people get dandruff?

5) Will you answer the unanswerable


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