(This was an essay I wrote for NPR's 'This I Believe' contest. Had to be under 500 words.)
Entombing the Enigma
Mystery is Pandora's Box. It is in this metaphorical container that I believe it must remain in the entirety of the universe. There would be no purpose in life if everything was known or solved. The beauty and wonder in the world would disappear, and instead reveal technicalities and conformity. If we, as humans, know everything, what remains in that box will be lost. There may always be an explanation, but wondering eternally if it's true keeps that hope alive.
"Mystery is another name for our ignorance; if we were omniscient, all would be perfectly plain," mused theologian Tryon Edwards, to which I echo his view. Without mystery, we would have no secrets, no love, no hope, or no wonder. It would all be gone, since everything would be known, from simple ponderings to the ends of the universe. No longer would anyone look through the sky and wonder why the universe was spinning around our seemingly motionless home, or if we are really alone.
Even if we know how something works, there will always be some mystery surrounding it. I can watch the sunrise and sunset, and know that the colors are based on light diffusing through the atmosphere acting as a spectrum, causing the different wavelengths that create the vibrant reds, oranges, and violets. I may know this, but somehow it always enchants me on how perfect the light can shine through the clouds making the tints of impossible vibrance. It's as if the entire world becomes trapped in a snow globe haze where no blue can get through… a greenhouse with orange windows.
Throughout the knowledge and facts of the world, runes and inquiries have only to intertwine themselves further into our thought. But with one fact comes a deeper question, as one revelation provokes a continuous charade.
There is magnificence in the moments of mystery of living every day and every lifetime. We may even come to terms with the clockwork of the universe, but will always be veiled with the question of 'why'. The mystery in the world seems to be declining with advancement, when in reality, it's only being shrouded by the known.