In a recent conversation with a friend–whom I respect both at a personal and intellectual level–I made the discovery I lead with in the title of this post. It’ll be a short post. I just feel it has to be recorded now, before the realization vanishes and I fall back into confusion and disassociation.
Through his definition, he posits that a mystic is one who is perfectly comfortable with the unknowable. My immediate gut reaction told me this wasn’t me. Just wasn’t. I spend most, if not all of my time digging for insight and “truth” in its many elusive forms. It doesn’t sit comfortably with my mind and I must do everything I can to satisfy the urge to know. Where no knowledge is available, I exhaust the fringe of research and experience, dream up possible theories and test the strength of current explanatory models.
I am a truth seeker. A scientist-at-heart (social scientist by university training/degree). I must attack all areas of uncertainty, picking up whatever tools are available to pierce the darkness and reveal something.
That is not to say I think less of his dedication to mystery. In some ways, I envy his ability to sit still in the storm of not-knowing. There is peace and perhaps a measure of maturity in that path that I so rarely feel in my eternal quest for illumination. Every interaction I’ve had with this friend of mine confirms this. He’s a laid back and enviably cool-headed person and that’s perhaps what drew me to strike up conversation with him when we met.
I often need to remind myself to be still and trust the answers will appear. Perhaps that’s why Daoism calls to me so strongly. It is a religious philosophy based on peace–quietude–so it offers tools and pathways to achieve this state of mind I find elusive…
… But what am I going on for? I promised this would be a short one!