Last modified on 3 November 2014, at 11:23

Mystery

The Mystery of mysteries is the Door of all essence. ~ Laozi

Quotes about various forms of Mystery and Mysteries.

See also:
Secrets

QuotesEdit

I want to hear you laugh.
Don't let the mystery go now. ~ Kate Bush
A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. ~ Winston Churchill
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. ~ Albert Einstein
I've never seen anybody really find the answer, but they think they have. So they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer. ~ Ken Kesey
  • I have sometimes suspected that the only thing that holds no mystery is happiness, because it is its own justification.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, "Unworthy", In Praise of Darkness (1969), tr. Andrew Hurley, Collected Fictions (1998).
  • Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers.
    • Ray Bradbury, in "All flesh is one: what matter scores?" in When Elephants Last In The Dooryard Bloomed : Celebrations For Almost Any Day In The Year (1975).
  • I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”
  • The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
    • Albert Einstein in Mein Weltbild (1931), as quoted in Introduction to Philosophy (1935) by George Thomas White Patrick and Frank Miller Chapman, p. 44.
  • It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature.
    • Albert Einstein in Mein Weltbild (1931), as quoted in Introduction to Philosophy (1935) by George Thomas White Patrick and Frank Miller Chapman, p. 44.
  • The angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
    • John of Patmos, Revelation 10:5 - 7, (KJV)
    • Variant translations:
    • In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
  • I'm for mystery, not interpretive answers. … The answer is never the answer. What's really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you'll always be seeking. I've never seen anybody really find the answer, but they think they have. So they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.
    • Ken Kesey in "The Art of Fiction" - interview by Robert Faggen, The Paris Review No. 130 (Spring 1994)
  • Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
    Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
    These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
    this appears as darkness.
    Darkness within darkness.
    The gate to all mystery.
    • Laozi in the Tao Te Ching, Ch.1, as translated by Gia-Fu Feng & Jane English (1972).
  • Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao.
    Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name.
    As the origin of heaven-and-earth, it is nameless:
    As "the Mother" of all things, it is nameable.
    So, as ever hidden, we should look at its inner aspects.
    As always manifest, we should look at its outer aspects.
    These two flow from the same source,
    though differently named;
    And both are called mysteries.
    The Mystery of mysteries is the Door of all essence.
  • Free from desire, you realize the mystery.
    Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

    Yet mystery and manifestations
    arise from the same source.
    This source is called darkness.
    Darkness within darkness.
    The gateway to all understanding.
  • Freed from desire, you can see the hidden mystery.
    By having desire, you can only see what is visibly real.
    Yet mystery and reality
    emerge from the same source.
    This source is called darkness.
    Darkness born from darkness.
    The beginning of all understanding.
  • The unwanting soul
    sees what's hidden,
    and the ever-wanting soul
    sees only what it wants.
    Two things, one origin,
    but different in name,
    whose identity is mystery.
    Mystery of all mysteries!
    The door to the hidden.
  • Ride, captain ride, upon your mystery ship,
    Be amazed, at the friends, you have here on your trip.

    Ride, captain ride, upon your mystery ship,
    On your way, to a world, that others might have missed.
  • Tao mystics never talk about God, reincarnation, heaven, hell. No, they don't talk about these things. These are all creations of human mind: explanations for something which can never be explained, explanations for the mystery. In fact, all explanations are against God because explanation de-mystifies existence. Existence is a mystery, and one should accept it as a mystery and not pretend to have any explanation. No, explanation is not needed – only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberates.
  • "Can you think of any reason why someone would kill him?"
    The troll scratched his head. "Well, 'cos dey wanted him dead, I reckon. Dat's a good reason."
  • Mystery is delightful, but unscientific, since it depends upon ignorance.
    • Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind (1921), Lecture I: Recent Criticisms of "Consciousness".
  • But the divine mystery is inherent in the divine, a part of the nature of God, and can never disappear. And this means that it is still a mystery even to the mystic who has directly experienced it, nay, even to God Himself. That is why it is ineffable. The mystery and the ineffability of God are one and the same thing.
  • Between the mysteries of death and life
    Thou standest, loving, guiding,— not explaining;
    We ask, and Thou art silent,— yet we gaze,
    And our charmed hearts forget their drear complaining;
    No crushing fate, no stony destiny!
    Thou Lamb that hast been slain, we rest in Thee.
    • Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Life's Mystery", reported in Charlotte Fiske Rogé, The Cambridge Book of Poetry and Song (1832), p. 544.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Whoever believes in a God at all, believes in an infinite mystery; and if the existence of God is such an infinite mystery, we can very well expect and afford to have many of His ways mysterious to us.
    • Ichabod Spencer, p. 421.
  • Where is the subject that does not branch out into infinity? For every grain of sand is a mystery; so is every daisy in summer, and so is every snow-flake in winter. Both upwards and downwards, and all around us, science and speculation pass into mystery at last.
  • Augustine, the father of [[theologians], was walking on the ocean shore and pondering over the truth, "three distinct persons, not separate, but distinct; and yet but one God;" and he came upon a little boy that was playing with a colored sea-shell, scooping a hole in the sand, and then going down to the waves and getting his shell full of water and putting it into the hole. Augustine said, "What are you doing, my little fellow? " The boy replied, "I am going to pour the [sea]] into that hole." "Ah," said Augustine, "that is what I have been attempting. Standing at the ocean of infinity, I have attempted to grasp it with my finite mind."
  • Were there no mysteries in the Bible, we should doubt its being the transcript of the Eternal Mind. The "mystery of godliness" adapts it to our ruined race. Those mysteries of the Bible are like the mountains of the world; they give grandeur to the landscape and fertility to the soil.
  • The mysteries of the Bible should teach us, at one and the same time, our nothingness and our greatness; producing humility, and animating hope. I bow before these mysteries. I knew that I should find them, and I pretend not to remove them. But whilst I thus prostrate myself, it is with deep gladness and exultation of spirit. God would not have hinted the mystery, had He not hereafter designed to explain it. And, therefore, are my thoughts on a far-off home, and rich things are around me, and the voices of many harpers, and the shinings of bright constellations, and the clusters of the cherub and the seraph; and a whisper, which seems not of this earth, is circulating through the soul, " Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known."
  • The Bible tells me explicitly that Christ was God; and it tells me, as explicitly that Christ was man. It does not go on to state the modus or manner of the union. I stop, therefore, where the Bible stops. I bow before a God-man as my Mediator, but I own as inscrutable the mysteries of His person.
  • In viewing the scheme of redemption, I seem like one viewing a vast and complicated machine of exquisite contrivance; what I comprehend of it is wonderful, what I do not, is, perhaps, more so still.
  • That great chain of causes, which, linking one to another, even to the throne of God Himself, can never be unraveled by any industry of ours.
  • We know, and we feel, that the vast business of our redemption, arranged in the councils of the far-back eternity, and acted out amid the wonderings and throbbings of the universe, could not have been that stupendous transaction which gave God glory by giving sinners safety, if the inspired account brought its dimensions within the compass of a human arithmetic, or denned its issues by the lines of a human demarcation.
  • The nature of Christ is, I grant it, from one end to another, a web of mysteries; but this mysteriousness does not correspond to the difficulties which all existence contains. Let it be rejected, and the whole world is an enigma; let it be accepted, and we possess a wonderful explanation of the history of man.
  • Can any thing be more mysterious than the union of soul and body, unless it be the still greater mystery, which some have professed to believe, that matter can be so organized as to produce the amazing intellectual results which we witness in man? In believing our own existence we believe a mystery as great as any that the Christian religion presents.
  • At some turning point of your life, when some great joy flashed, or some great shadow darkened upon you all at once; when some crisis that wanted an instantaneous decision appeared,— why, what regions of thought, purpose, plan, resolution, what wildernesses of desolate sorrow, and what paradises of blooming gladness, your soul has gone through in a moment.
  • We live in the midst of infinite existence; and widely as we can see, and vastly as we have discovered, we have but crossed the threshold, we have but entered the vestibule of the Creator's temple. In this temple there is an everlasting worship of life, an anthem of many choruses, a hymn of incense that goes up forever.
  • We are children shut up as yet in the narrow hollow of our native valley, with all the universe, outside the closely engirdling hills, for a great wonderland, of which we dream childish dreams, as the light of morning or evening kindles from beyond. "Laws of Nature" — what dost thou know of them, O man? Look out on the great miracles of nature, blooming in flowers and stars, away to the gates of the city of God, what dost thou know of its laws and wonders?
    • John Cunningham Geikie, p. 424.

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