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Courting the Mystery

Not everything has a scientific explanation — at least, not yet. Not everything has a metaphysical or religious or spiritual explanation, either. Our vibrant Earthly reality is a blend of this AND that, rather than what is suggested by those desperate to maintain the trendy and violent it’s this OR it’s a lie narrative. We live in an incredibly polarized, emotionally and psychologically awkward moment in our history. We must consciously transcend this folly to propel ourselves — our remarkable human species — onward and upward.

Things that somehow work or operate beyond our conventional understandings shouldn’t be simply discounted, discarded, nor denied. I believe leaving a little room for magic and mystery is useful in almost everything; just because we don’t yet have a word to name it, or a formula to prove it, doesn’t mean it can’t be immediately — or even permanently — useful in advancing our broader goals and aspirations.

Truth is a flexible, impermanent idea. All throughout recorded history we have countless examples of what once was an absolute truth — even a “law” — being eventually disproved, expanded upon, or completely replaced with an updated interpretation or understanding. Those with the cognitive capabilities and the courage to stand up to the establishment are cited as history’s heroes and rebels and heretics. Some have paid for it with their lives, even if their contemporaries of the day may have agreed with them. Now, decades or centuries later, we all benefit from their choices and sacrifices.

In an era of massive data, with more information than we know how to process, it’s more important than ever to implement discernment and curiosity and wonder — in combination with logic, reason and scientific method. Only the fearful cling ardently to an absolute when all around them is increasing evidence that their position is tenuous at best. It’s dangerous to get caught up in memetic, or otherwise extremely restrictive, popular, trendy, group dynamic and closed mindsets. Not that it’s a necessity, but outliers very often become a generation’s most notable disruptors, because they stood by their discoveries or beliefs and were eventually proven to be right… or completely wrong. We must be willing to be wrong!

What if? and Why not? drive innovation. I don’t know and I’m not sure are the most fruitful places to begin. Arguments such as “that doesn’t adhere to the laws of physics” are weak, predictable and shortsighted at best. Logical or cognitive blinders can certainly have their usefulness, but overall they likely do more harm than good. It depends largely on the context.

An inherent, fundamental problem with institutional academia is the staunch rigidity that produces a culture of educated men and women who fear for their jobs and career aspirations; their otherwise liberated, critical, creative, genius minds might well discover or invent the previously improbable. Politics and corporate interests, as ever, play an unfavorable hand in this regard — and it has been this way for centuries. Isn’t it time we mature past this eventuality and ideological stagnation?

What do we know for sure? Think about it.

We “know” the world based on the ideas and stories of others. Unless one is willing to dive deeply into historical research, we depend on heavily revised, biased and reduced accounts of what came before. We do our best to discern the puzzle pieces as we go along, figuring out and fitting in notions that are agreeable. Consequently, we discard or move untested, ineffective or fragmented concepts to the back-burners or dusty shelves of our mind’s library. That which is applicable today is what’s currently true — and that definition of truth is how we frame our living reality.

Life is an open-ended journey of courting the mystery, for no matter how much we’re absolutely certain of right now — as we’ve witnessed repeatedly across time immemorial — what is certain is the likelihood of even more and greater questions than firm, definitive answers.

We have within us not merely vast potentiality, but the capabilities and capacities with which to explore them.

Solvitur ambulando