March 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 3)

Early spring blessings, dear friends! Up north our slumbering earth is gradually beginning to shake itself awake, while further south we already see signs of the mystery of growth and transformation. That which has been sleeping awakens, and the mysterious cycle of life begins again. In this age of what has been called "information overload," we are nurtured by the mysteries of life. While reams of information are available to us at any moment and our minds are constantly busy, always expanding our stores of knowledge, at the same time our souls are starving, yearning for time and space to rest in the Great Mystery. We can build bridges between our minds' knowledge and our  souls' longing in the deep silence that is always available to hold us in loving embrace.

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Mystery is to be embraced

Mystery is to be embraced, not avoided. It is the place where the great secrets of the universe are told. In the center of mystery there sits, like an ancient treasure chest hidden long ago, wonder and awe. Swirling around the edges of mystery is learning, the kind that leads to wisdom. Mystery is the magic dust that transforms the mundane into a life glittering with significance. Once you have found the courage to enter the mystery, you are less likely to be overwhelmed with fear ever again.

~ from DANCE OF THE DOLPHIN by Karyn D. Kedar

The true mystery of the world

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.

~ by Oscar Wilde

Mystery bubbles up like a spring

I have a friend who speaks of knowledge as an island in a sea of mystery. . . . We dredge up soil from the bed of mystery and build ourselves room to grow. And still the mystery surrounds us. It laps at our shores. It permeates the land. Scratch the surface of knowledge and mystery bubbles up like a spring.

~ from HONEY FROM STONE by Chet Raymo

A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment

A sense of Mystery can take us beyond disappointment and judgment to a place of expectancy. It opens in us an attitude of listening and respect. If everyone has in them the dimension of the unknown, possibility is present at all times. . . . Knowing this enables us to listen to life from the place in us that is Mystery also. Mystery requires that we relinquish an endless search for answers and become willing to not understand. . . . Perhaps real wisdom lies in not seeking answers at all. Any answer we find will not be true for long. An answer is a place where we can fall asleep as life moves past us to its next question. After all these years, I have begun to wonder if the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.

~ from MY GRANDFATHER'S BLESSINGS by Rachel Naomi Remen

It is important to have a secret

It is important to have a secret, a premonition of things unknown. It fills life with something impersonal, a numinosum. One who has never experienced that has missed something important. We must sense that we live in a world which in some respects is mysterious; that things happen and can be experienced which remain inexplicable; that not everything which happens can be anticipated. The unexpected and the incredible belong in this world. Only then is life whole. For me the world has from the beginning been infinite and ungraspable.


Mystery is at the heart of Creativity

The Creative Process is a process of Surrender, not control. Mystery is at the heart of Creativity.

~ from THE ARTIST'S WAY by Julia Cameron, thanks to Brigid O'Connor

You will know the divine mystery

Love all the earth, every ray of God's light, every grain of sand or blade of grass, every living thing. If you love the Earth enough, you will know the divine mystery.

~ from THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

To kneel at the tim of the abyss of our profound unknowing

Our planet is awash in the gentle light and shadow of an impenetrable Mystery; it is time, in spite of all our vaunted learning and might, to kneel at the rim of the abyss of our profound unknowing.

~ from ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE, by Marv and Nancy Hiles

Taking on the mystery is yielding to grace

Taking on the mystery is yielding to grace, letting go of all explanations, analyses, ideologies, self-images, images of God, agendas, expectations. Taking on the mystery is undergoing the finitude of years, hallowing diminishments, and living into the solitude of our own integrity. Taking on the mystery is undergoing the pain of learning that there are no empires favored by the Holy One: not the Roman, or the British, or the Soviet, or the American. Taking on the mystery is undergoing the grief of understanding that there are no theologies favored by the Holy One: not communism or capitalism, not Islam, Judaism, or Christianity. Taking on the mystery is acknowledging that we cannot name the mystery, though we try; we cannot claim the mystery, though we do. The mystery names and claim us, inviting us to take it upon ourselves as if we were God's spies.


Our life is a faint tracing

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.

~ by Annie Dillard

The divine mystery is not a collection of problems

The divine mystery is not a collection of problems. As the mystics keep chanting, it is a light so bright that it blinds us, that we are bound to experience it as darkness. To become intimate with it, we have to "unknow" worldly knowledge. We have to give up our tendency to assault it as we would a problem, learning to wait patiently for it to reveal itself as an intimate, at times even shy and vulnerable, lover. . . . The mystery never fails to nourish and heal me. I know that my spirit has been made to contemplate it, to love it as the central reality and treasure of my being. It is my lever for moving the world.

~ from HOW TO HANDLE TROUBLE by John Carmody