Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Joy 78/82: Mystery

"I would rather live in a world where my life is surrounded by mystery than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it."      
 -- Harry E. Fosdick

"Mystery is the greatest need in the human soul."
   - Emily Dickinson
Why would Emily Dickinson say that mystery is the greatest need in the human soul?  Why would we need or long for mystery?  In some ways it seems like religion, one of our oldest institutions was born from the need to take the mystery out of the greatest of unknowns ... who we are and why we're here.  That makes it seem like we long for solutions rather than mystery.

And yet ... perhaps it's the very chase for answers that shows how great our need for mystery is.  What we don't know or understand calls us like a siren's song.  We spend our lives exploring the unknown, whether it's unexplored lands, the intricacies of a disease, the illusive form of beauty, or the strange and wonderful nature of another human being.  We're insatiable in our drive to know more, to make sense of the world we live in, and, perhaps, finally know our selves and why we're here.  It makes me wonder if we ever ran out of mystery, would we simply shrivel into dust and blow away? 

But, I guess that is another mystery.

1 comment:

  1. Thought-provoking.

    Mystery is why we have art, poetry, music, love.