The answer to why we ask, “how are you?” is not surprisingly found in the reply: "good;" or "not good." How you are is a question of form; attitudinal position in the universe; the constellated shape of our lives. And, somehow, the shape you are in is fundamentally related to value. Maybe the better way to say it is that form IS value. "How" is asking your relative position on the value scale; which is nothing more than asking where you are currently “hanging on the cursed tree.” That being the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: the TOTKOGAE. “How” is the world that is not you—which is both external AND internal. And your relationship to this cosmos—the “shape” of your cosmos—determines value; which is like weight or anything that can be set on a value-scale.
“Why are you,” on the other hand, is a question of purpose; of meaning. And the reply at the most honest level is often, “I don’t know.”
It is “off the scale.” Outside of the TOTKOGAE.
So, in purpose: unknown.
In form: known; good, or bad.
In value: snap replies, knee-jerk judgements. quick answers.
In meaning: slow, difficult, opacified.
“Why” is somehow in the present; at the burning line facing forward into the unknown.
“How” is instantly hung up on the past; turned back like a pillar of salt (in fear) from the unknown.
“How” seems like it matters, but it doesn’t. “Why” seems like it doesn’t matter; but it does. “Mine is not to reason why...” IS actually the “great WHY” : stop reasoning. Stop having reasons. “Why” is action. “Why” is doing. “If you do well, will you not be accepted?”
“How” is reasoned, but usually naive. “How” is definite. Finite.
“Why” is irrational. Indefinite. Unlimited in strength and power. “How” caps off at “Great!” at the top and “Awful!” at the bottom.
“Why” never truly changes.
“How” never truly stays the same.
“How” clangs like a lie.
“Why” rings with truth.
"How are you" is parts.
"Why are you" is whole.
"How are you" is in relation to the image of man.
"Why are you" is in relation to the image of God.
"How are you" is disunity. Us and Them.
"Why are you" is unity. Me, us, and God.
"How" is comparison, judgement
"Why" is acceptance, salvation.
"He who has a 'why,' can bear almost any 'how.'"
“How are you?” All I know is...I can see.
“Why are you?” I don’t know. I am to help the blind. I am to give all I have. I am to love without a reason.