Thursday, August 18, 2011

it "cannot be explained"

How many people turn to spiritual life because one thing or another "cannot be explained?" Two or three anyway, I imagine.

Yet without laying on some smug skepticism, isn't it curious? -- you can't explain something so the first thing you do is find an explanation for it?

Wouldn't a person who did such a thing -- and I imagine there are two or three -- have a well-warranted curiosity about what s/he was doing ... assuming, of course, that s/he wanted to be free from a credulity that is premised on doubt ... the kind of doubt that explanations seek to erase?

For example: The first thing that arises is confronting something that "cannot be explained." What is the impetus that insists on finding an explanation? What, precisely, is wrong with something that "cannot be explained?" I cannot "explain" a rock any more than a rock can "explain" me, so reckon we're about even. Yes, you can run the science and speak about geology and minerals and elements and atoms and all the rest, but does that really explain a rock? It seems to me that it explains the need for an explanation more than it explains a rock.

I guess I think that running into something that "cannot be explained" is quite an opportunity. Not so much to find an explanation, but to query the premise that an explanation is necessary or even very satisfying.

I realize I'm swimming upstream on this one. Explanations of what "cannot be explained" are so socially acceptable that wondering if they have much use or satisfaction is a sort of an apostasy. But not only do explanations of what "cannot be explained" deserve some investigation, what "can be explained" deserves the same scrutiny. And that scrutiny, I think, suggests that what passes for the satisfaction arising from an explanation, is more a compromise, a willingness to live in a world of approximations. And if this is true, it's a pretty wobbly existence, relying on compromises, never quite sure of your footing. Explaining things falls short, doesn't it?

I can't explain a rock.

A rock cannot explain me.

But there's nothing saying we can't dance.

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