Monday, April 6, 2015

Mystery


Philosopher Gabriel Marcel drew an interesting distinction between problem and mystery.  Problems have solutions, he said, while mysteries are to be enjoyed unsolved.  “Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived” is an aphorism attributed to Marcel. 

Too many things lie beyond our capacity for solutions.  The earthquakes and the cyclones belong to the nonhuman side of the universe, beyond human control.  When the variegated colours and sounds of nature enchant us we are immersing ourselves in the mystery of the same nonhuman universe. 

The universe does not comprehend the difference between the shifting of the tectonic plates and the warbling of the nightingale, between a shipwreck and a swan’s neck. 

The heavens are indifferent whether lightning strikes down the greatest monument or Beethoven composes the sweetest symphony.  The sense of wonder or despair belongs to the human consciousness.  The heavens are above and beyond the need for wonder as well as despair.  We don’t like that indifference.  Our hearts long to feel emotions such as love and hatred, wonder and despair.  That’s why we need a god (or many gods) in the heavens.  To mitigate the inhuman indifference of the heavens.  To be our alter egos up there in the emptiness, the scary emptiness, the emptiness that stares into our hearts. 

The emptiness and the indifference of the heavens is the mystery that we have to live.  Instead we fill that emptiness with mumbo jumbo offered to gods with our own shapes.



8 comments:

  1. A while ago, I had an argument with someone who said everything can be explained and anything that cannot be explained does not exist or is unreal. Of course, after giving up on trying to make the person understand that not everything "needs" to be explained, I went and did what every blogger would do - I wrote a poem about the incident! ;)

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    1. The ability to stand in doubt and wonder, to experience the awe, is not given to all, I think. Most people need to explain everything, even the mystery! No use of arguing with such people. They can at best impose a religion on you but won't ever understand the meaning of even that religion!

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  2. One of the greatest geniuses of our times, believed to have had the highest IQ said:
    "The more I know the more I come to know that I don't know!"
    (...and we dim wits think we know!!)
    The Mystery is something to be experienced and enjoyed rather than attempted to be explained, for it is beyond words.

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    1. The more we know the wider our perception becomes thus opening up wider areas before us... then we realise there's a lot more that we had not noticed earlier... Small minds need to compartmentalise everything!

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  3. Things are some times simpler when we don't know. They are lived better n peacefully. In urge to know everything we somewhere disown the beauty of mystery and unexpectedness... Sometimes ignorance is bliss and sometimes having a God(s) is a strength to walk and enjoy an unseen passage and to live a negative phase with a ray of hope! Like said before not everything needs to be explained, something's are to be left untouched...

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    1. Gods are often the pseudo-answers to mysteries...

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  4. Such profound words, Matheikal :) "In the sky there is no distinction of east and west; people create the distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

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    1. Yes, Roohi, eternity has no measurements. Nor has infinity. We, human beings, need to limit them within structures. And then some of us fight in the name of those structures we imposed.

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