Both sides of the equation: The mystery in view

The goal of this book is to explore both sides of the equation and in doing so to lift the veil on what is so often a huge and bewildering mystery for us. The Bible tells us of the two great mysteries, the mystery of iniquity and the mystery of godliness. Both will bewilder most of us however brilliant we might be, because they can’t be grasped by reason.

We brush up against them daily – the problem of evil – that man knows what good is but is still inclined to choose otherwise, and the strange phenomenon that we currently call our better angels – that profound sense of what good is, that surprises us and beckons us to another way. We can be quite surprised by the religious responses that surface in all of us from time to time, throwing light on our decisions and influencing our commitments if we take them seriously.

It may not be kosher to talk about these subjects but they creep up on us and confront us daily. There is always much more going on than reason alone is able to grasp or explain. In the words of Blaise Pascal, 17th century mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher who laid the foundation for the modern theory of probabilities: “There is more to knowing than knowing can ever know”.

There always is another reality gently knocking at the door of our consciousness. We may be haunted by it, yet we don’t quite know how to grasp and apprehend it. It is like an exquisite existential itch that is beyond our capacity to scratch and we dare not allow ourselves to become aware of it because we fear its capacity to claim us. There is a sense this lingering and ghostly finger that beckons us on to know beyond reason, that can no longer be denied, yet as 20th century French philosopher Henri Bergson said, “The forceps of the mind do violence to the things it tries to grasp.” Why? Because the mind itself, and our conventional way of knowing, is clouded by archaic emotion and is often distorted by ego needs.

We need another mode of engagement with this multidimensional realm of reality.