Posted onCategoriesThat Sense of Wonder

You know what the problem is with the world today? Everyone is being forced to “grow up”…

I’m not suggesting people should remain immature and childish. I suspect, however, that we are losing our sense of mystery, our need for mystery, and this is a bad thing.

Since I was quite young I have been attracted to music. Well… perhaps a better word is ‘addicted’ or maybe ‘obsessed’… at the very least – fanatic. I particularly love guitar music – whether rock or metal or blues or country or, as I am listening to right now, classical acoustic. I have purchased a small handful of guitars with the intent to learn how to play. I learned to read tab and memorized the frets and practiced a few scales and chords and then I lost interest. I love guitar music. I don’t, as it turns out, much enjoy making it.

Francesco Dimitri helped me understand why as I read this chapter. He found himself fascinated with magic tricks and it seemed to him a logical next step to learn how to perform magic tricks. But he could not experience the same attraction for making magic as he felt for experiencing it from the side of the audience. He talks about how magic has two aspects – the ‘effect’ and the ‘method’. The effect is the amazement the audience feels when experiencing a magicians performance. The method is how the magician does the performance. As long as the audience is engaged with the effect, enchantment reigns. As soon as they peak behind the curtain to discover the method, disenchantment begins.

Modern science is intent on pulling back the curtain and disenchanting us all. You may think this a “good thing”. Perhaps in some cases it is better than destructive superstitions about ‘the wizard’ and its will. Much good, however, is erased when the curtain is pulled back. We are losing things which make us human… maybe… perhaps…

Love, for example, depends on mystery, on the unknown. Discovery is grand and delightful thrill, but the undiscovered… ahh… that is what motivates us to give our hearts away. I am confident that it is possible to know a person very well and still love them – despite the statistics perhaps – but in a relationship neither person is a static thing, like a book from 1907. Each day produces new pages for your reading pleasure. Sure, there are the occasional oddballs who read the last chapter first but I shall suggest that is a toxic symptom of our cultural age.