Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Problem and the Mystery

On a radio talk show a guy was making the distinction between a mystery and a problem. A problem can be solved and its problematic nature resolved, but a mystery, he said, deepens and increases the more you try to fathom it. We know both these experiences of problems and mysteries.

Yet there is a different understanding of the Mystery that you hear from some mystics. This is the experience of the answer to the Mystery – such as the mystery of life - as being so obvious and simple as to be laughable because we make it complicated and profound. Some mystical insights into existence have the quality of letting go or surrendering that result in a liberation from the mysteriousness. The realized mystic says: “Being just Is,” or some such formulation of the insight. Laughter results when the mystic sees how it is that we, not the Mystery itself, that makes it all so complicated and deep. It’s all experienced as a cosmic joke; all that striving after an answer that is so ridiculously simple.

So another facet of the Mystery - which appears as the solution to it – is that there is no Mystery. The profound insight into how the Mystery is different from the problem can also be experienced as the greatest folly because the Mystery is really the easiest problem to solve. Simply don’t try to solve it.

That can work for some and not others. For others, plumbing the depths of the ever expanding Mystery is the solution, the solution that never solves the problem, making it a mystery.

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