Harmen challenges the conventional wisdom that it’s necessary to create a focussed, specific question. He is concerned that you can limit your perception as you limit the scope of your question, and hence miss what is truly important. Instead, he suggests ‘addressing a situation’ to the oracle.
This is good… it’s certainly true that narrowly focussed questions can lead to confusion or missing the important stuff, just as he describes. Sometimes there’s a tendency to focus questions in on manageable things and avoid the difficult parts; Yi doesn’t play along with this.)
But it is also true that we need a clear relationship to the oracle’s answer, so that we know – for instance – whether we’re reading advice or a description. Or which person we’re reading about: a not-uncommon issue when people ask in general terms about a relationship.
But in practice, I think there may be a false dichotomy here. Don’t we always, implicitly, address a situation to the oracle?
(Here’s what I don’t understand: please show me what I’m missing.
Here’s what I aspire to: please offer me a guide.
Here’s the choice I’m contemplating: what if I went down this path?
Here’s what I’m faced with: please show me how best to respond.)