Mystery: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

Mystery, according to Albert Einstein, is the awareness of beings, entities, universes beyond our capacity for understanding, the realization that there are things we can neither explain nor even begin to understand.

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms — this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.
–Einstein

Although the mystery genre does not always pertain to the unexplainable, unfathomable in nature, it does at times evoke a sense that, no matter how many puzzles we unravel, there is always something bigger, something more elemental, perhaps, hanging over our heads, asking us Why, daring us to compose any sort of answer at all.

Truth is, we can’t answer….not usually. Why do bad things happen? Why are we here? How can we carry on when we see evidence every day of the brokenness, the depravity, the hate, the coldness of the world? How can one person help? Will it ever end?

Almost every time another mystery is written, another aspect of human shortcoming is brought to public attention. But then again, nearly every mystery also showcases human successes, human beings loving one another, caring, working together, making the effort to understand another little bit of this crazy world.

As Oscar Wilde notes, “the true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”

~Just a few thoughts on this lazy Sunday morning.

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