Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reflections: Antlers in the Treetop

Moose is a guy I know from the blog, Ragged Thots. Although I’ve never had any indication that Moose visits this site, when I came across the following thought in Richard Ford’s excellent novel, The Sportswriter, I thought of Moose and decided to post it here:

Mystery is the attractive condition a thing (an object, an action, a person) possesses which you know a little about but don’t know about completely. It is the twiney promise of unknown things (effects, interworkings, suspicions) which you must be wise enough to explore not too, deeply, for fear you will dead-end in nothing but facts.

Perhaps Moose will somehow find his way here and read it. Perhaps not.


Moose said...

Interesting post. Thanks for thinking of me. I would agree with that for the most part. Maybe I'm being a technocrat here but there are some things that shouldn't remain a mystery....take for instance gravity. Having that mystery solved has been a boon.

But, especially in art, you DON'T necessarily want the mystery solved (unless you're reading Nancy Drew, but I digress...a lot) as that takes away much of what draws you to the object of interest. It's the whole premise of Keats's "Ode to a Grecian Urn." The two characters never achieve the kiss they are longing for but keep the passion for eternity.

I know we've discussed this before in the debate about facts and their purpose in life, as well as science/math.

I believe that science and technology make life more livable while arts and literature make it more bearable.

Rodak said...

Hello, Moose--
Yes, there is of course a whole universe of objectivity reality, governed by the laws of physics. But in the realm of morality there is the possiblity that our actions can be better determined not just by knowing the statute law but by also appealing to what might be called "intuition" or, more contemporaneously, "pattern recognition." This won't necessarily render empirical fact, that conforms to the letter of the law. But, Jesus, for instance, did not think that highly of the letter of the law, but rather valued the spirit of the law.
I completely agree with your thoughts on science vs. art.
Thanks for the comments.