Friday, January 9, 2009

Wonder and Mystery

Mystery has been used in Theological questions as a way of drawing a boundary, as in once reach, no further work can be done. Why does God allow suffering? Once the question leads to uncomfortable ground, the conversation stops with a simple statement, "It is a mystery." The more I have ponder this, the more I start to see that mystery has been collapsed as a distinction with "I don't know," followed by an unsaid demand to shut up. Mystery constructed as answer tends to stop inquiry, which contradicts the notion of mystery drawing one closer to God. Mystery is better when understood as closer to wonder than as an answer. Wonder pulls us into relationship. Wonder is why when a relationship is new, we feel so alive and it seems so fresh. Who is this person? fills us with a longing to learn more about the other. Then invariably we give an answer, and our relationships become dull and sad. Yet, what if we could stay in that state of wonder about the other, the world, life and God? Would be in a constant state of prayer?


B-W said...

I wonder how mystery came to be defined this way? ;)

I mean, think about it, when you read a "mystery" novel, you're pretty actively engaged in figuring out the solution until it's revealed, at which point there is no mystery any longer.

Tito Tinajero said...

Yes, it is a strange act top use mystery as an answer and not a question.

Bruce said...

I've noticed that the best novels always leave the reader with a continued sense of wonder and mystery, such as Tolkien, which left off with the wonder of what was the far lands? Some questions are answered, but others are left unanswered. Just enough is revealed as to keep the reader engaged, even at the end. I've
always liked reading the "mystics" of religion, such as John of the Cross or Fenelon or Molinos. They delve into the unknown and speculate about impossible things. Some of modern Christianity tries to define everything by the Bible and answer all questions. Perhaps this is not a good thing?