“Quest” in “question”

I posed a question to friend yesterday: “There is ‘quest’ in ‘question’. Is there a link? What does it imply?”

I received an unexpected response from him:

“In the first novel and radio series of The HItchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything from the supercomputer, Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. Deep Thought points out that the answer seems meaningless because the beings who instructed it never actually knew what the Question was.

When asked to produce The Ultimate Question, Deep Thought says that it cannot; however, it can help to design an even more powerful computer that can. This new computer will incorporate living beings into the “computational matrix” and will run for ten million years. It is revealed as being the planet Earth, with its pan-dimensional creators assuming the form of mice to observe its running.”

I didn’t quite understand the response at first. Then he continued:

“Serious point, however – the answers are no use unless you understand the questions. So the quest is for the questions of true significance, those that open up realisation of the irreducible mystery of life. As Rilke says ‘Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.'”

I love it! Thank you.

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