Two and two is four; how much is four?

So. 2 + 2 = 4. How much is four?

The answer is: infinity.


Yep.  Four is 2+2, 3+1, 1389-1385, 500/125, and so on. There is an infinite number of possible answers because “how much is 4” is the wrong question. Wrong questions sometimes get right answers, but they more often do not.

Before I get too miserable about not finding the answers to my questions, I need to be sure I am asking the right questions. What is my life expectancy with this diagnosis will elicit one answer, how long will I be able to continue leading the active life I lead now might elicit a different answer, and how long will I be able to perform self-care and enjoy being with my family, could quite possibly elicit yet another.

I don’t have anything much to add, actually. I’ve just been thinking about questions and answers, and not necessarily related to health.

Any thoughts?


6 thoughts on “Two and two is four; how much is four?

  1. To remind themselves about the impermanent nature of every thing and that every thing is constantly changing, some Buddhists say ‘I might die today’ many times a day. That statement of truth helps to keep thinking based in reality instead of dwelling on things that are unreal and cause pain.

  2. If I asked those question of my oncologist, I’d get a non answer. He chooses not to answer them. He will say that some people live many years with this, but doesn’t quantify some or many. Makes true decision making very difficult.

  3. To trust in God and rest in Him should be enough for those of the Faith, but as humans, we always want to wrest control from Him and do it ourselves – it is a continuing tension until we relax and let Him hold the balance of our days, trusting His timing for everything.
    p.s. – this is a message to myself as well as a response to your writings. 🙂

  4. Judy – That is very interesting and reminds me of a truism in the Western monastic tradition. Are you feeling empty and dry in your spiritual life? Never mind; those feelings will not last forever. Are you feeling happy and fulfilled in your spiritual life? Never mind; those feelings will not last forever. Spirituality is not about feelings. Thank goodness!

    Lisa – I have a great onco. She didn’t want to answer me and I asked her to explain her reasons. She did, and I considered them and then asked her to tell me anyway. She used a very precise formula to calculate things and told me. (It was four to six years. That was almost eight years ago.) I would have great difficulty with an onco who did not answer my questions with the information I need.

    Maxine – Thanks for your comment and the important reminder. 🙂

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