Break out of the mundane: Inspire wonder with mystery

In my last video, I talked about having this feeling of wonder about the fact that the universe exists at all, and the fact that we get to exist and have this life.
How can we trigger this feeling? How can we break out of this kind of sense of assuming that it’s all normal, so that we don’t feel it anymore.
In everyday life, we become numb to the wonder of existence, because we are just assuming that it’s the case that we’re alive.
That’s just OK, automatically, I’m alive.
I don’t even think about that.
Instead, we’re thinking about all the little details and the little problems that we’re having and we have to work with.
Which from a practical point of view, of course we have to think about those details.
But it’s so easy to get lost in those details and lose sight of the bigger picture.
One thing for me that helps me to reconnect to that sense of wonder is anything that is a mystery.
I love mystery.
I love anything that has this kind of this feeling of a great unknown, that really triggers my imagination and wants me to dig into it.
It’s like when there’s a mystery, when there’s an unknown, it’s something that doesn’t have an edge.
It doesn’t have a limit, because we don’t know the full story.
So anything that’s mysterious, it connects us to the wider universe.
It connects us to something beyond what we know.
Because we don’t know how far that mystery goes.
Whereas something that’s mundane, maybe it’s even what makes a thing mundane, is that feeling that we kind of understand what it is.
We understand the full story.
There’s no mystery in it.
It’s like we can see the whole package.
We see what this thing is, and that’s all it is.
It seems like for many people, so much of our lives can become like that.
They can become mundane.
Maybe our work lives: going to work and feeling like you know pretty much exactly what’s going to happen that day.
You know the parameters of your experience.
Now, maybe you’ll have an unusually good conversation with somebody.
That can always break through that mundaneness.
And maybe something surprising will happen.
You never know what surprises will come.
But it’s easy to fall into this sense of “I know pretty much what to expect.
That’s what my work’s about, and that’s the full picture.
I’ve got it figured out.” […]
That is a mundane thing.
Whereas a mysterious thing, a wonderful thing, something that we don’t know how deep it goes: we don’t know the limit.
It surprises us with the lack of a boundary.
We don’t know its full extent.
We don’t know what it’s all about.
We don’t know exactly what to expect.
It’s open to the great unknown.
So that can help to trigger this feeling of wonder and amazement that can so easily be lost in mundane, predictable things.
Now, I believe we can have this feeling about anything, because we really don’t know the depths of anything. […]
But I love looking into mysteries to really bring out that feeling.
I just find them so fascinating.
Mysteries can come from anywhere, just all the things that we don’t understand.
Everything going on in the world that we don’t know.
We can study the mysteries of nature and the universe, and of course the mysteries of history.
What were things like in the past? What was really going on? I find this an endlessly fascinating whole world of mysteries to look into.
And if I had to pick one symbol of this kind of mystery, above all others, it seems that just a perfect symbol of it: it is the ancient Egyptian pyramids.
They are just a symbol of this ancient mystery that still goes on.
What were they all about? How were they built? Why were they built? What was in the minds of the people who made them? I don’t think this will ever be fully solved.
It could only get hints of it.
But it’s just fascinating to look into it.
And in science, there’s the mystery of what is this physical universe that we’re in? What is around us? What is this space that we’re in? How did it come to be? What is out there? Endless mysteries all around us.
We don’t usually think about them in our day-to-day lives.
But it seems like even just calling to mind these mysteries helps us to remember that we are in a mysterious world.
We are in a world that we cannot simply put a boundary around and say “I have this figured out.
I know what to expect from it.” It can sometimes feel like we know what to expect from our lives, and we know what to expect from the world, but there’s always so much more than what we can possibly imagine.
So whenever I find my life somehow dragging down into mundane details a bit too much, I like to remind myself of the great mysteries and remember how wonderful it is to have a chance to experience this universe.

#wonder #mystery #inspirewonder

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