World religion: spirituality and mysticism: wonder and unknowing
A book excerpt from the spiritandflesh.com religion and spirituality online library.
This is a book about wonder, about the great enigma of life, about ourselves, and about God. It is a book about the absurd, inexplicable, fantastic 'miracle of being' which we are, and of which we know almost nothing, though we claim to know so much.
This is a book about how we might realize the magic of existence again; how we might forget our false selves, remember our true selves, and live, and love, and play in the great mystery all around, and within us- the great mystery of existence, of life, of God.
This is a book about being, not doing; it is about how we become ourselves without struggling; how we walk free without escaping the prison, and how we fly without leaving the ground. It is a book about our return to innocence, to our own pristine heaven within- to humble unknowing, or wise ignorance, as it were- which comes about when we lose the encumbering mass of images we have, at our great expense, created and become ensconced within. In doing so we regain the liberating experience of absolute unknowing, and the profundity of indescribable awe.
There is a cornucopia of quotes in this work, the magnitude of which seemed essential to reveal the extent of diverse individuals who have, throughout history, attempted to express their personal exhilaration with being. I have sought to bring together a great many of these disparate voices and yet produce a singular song; a song which has been sung from time immemorial until the present, in many different languages, under many different guises, for many different reasons. In doing so I have drawn from an abundant variety of different sources: from poets and writers, past and present, Taoists, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Sufis, Jungian proponents, occultists, laymen, artists, mystics, madmen, and a host of other inimitable voices. Within such distinct perspectives there is yet a common thread running through the fabric of our multifarious existence; a thread that has been spoken of, or written about, in many unique ways. This thread is the apocalypse of absolute incomprehension- the benediction of wonder- where ignorance is reborn, innocence is returned, and beauty is awoken from its slumber in the false. Such is the outcome when the mind becomes unglued from its preconceptions, theories, and facts, and finally forgets all it has learned, thus coming to look upon existence as if for the very first time.
Life is an amazing implausibility; explain it, or explain it away, however we try, it remains thoroughly astounding; to imagine life through the eyes of someone who has never before experienced it, is to acknowledge that it is, in the most remarkable sense, absolutely unimaginable.
Hence there is no 'meaning' that I am attempting to relate in this book, for meaning itself is the cause of our predicament, of our false walls, of our heart's division.
I do not seek to fill the reader with knowledge, understanding, or interpretations (that I leave to the pundits, preachers, and pedagogues). I have no 'truth', no method, nor solution to offer. I want simply to wipe the slate clean, to bury the old way, so as to resurrect the new; to smash walls down, instead of building them up further; to widen the hole through which we may again grow and become whole.
I hope only to present the antithesis to thesis, the unsolution to life, and the re-mystification of all that seems profane, and so to move our consciousness onward. I envision no specific destination.
(excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas)