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Taking It Home, Session 14: Life as Mystery

In "Riddle and Mystery," a Tapestry of Faith program

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science... It was the experience of mystery, even if mixed with fear, that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude. In this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. — Albert Einstein

Talk about the quote. Do you agree with it? Are you religious in the same way Albert Einstein said he was? When you look at the stars at night, do you have an appreciative sense of wonder and mystery?


Today's Big Question asks, "Will we ever solve life's mystery?" We reviewed UU responses to some of the other Big Questions we have asked in Riddle and Mystery. We saw UUs have many responses to mystery, but mystery will never be completely "solved." Our story showed that questions lead to more questions, and that exploring mystery can lead to more mystery. For WCUU, we created UU materials for a Mystery Day Parade. In WIT Time, we talked about the big questions we most want to have answered.


If your family had a mystery tool kit, what would you put in it? Maybe someone knows a lot about science, and knowledge could go in it. Maybe others are very familiar with UU Sources, and our Sources could go in the tool kit. Someone who likes to dance or sing might have tools for celebrating mystery. What else? You decide.


When is the last time someone in your family said: "I don't know. It's a mystery to me." What is the biggest mystery your family has talked about in the last week? Did you solve the mystery? Will you ever solve it?


What are some of your own or your family's favorite mystery books, films or television shows? What about your friends'? If you have a favorite mystery book or movie, share it with a friend or family member. If you really love mysteries, start a mystery book club at your school or congregation.


Travel to a mysterious place. Maybe it will be a haunted house. Maybe it will be a place where most people do not think about mystery—but you do.


Photograph a mystery or try just the opposite: Photograph something that has no mystery to it at all. Can you think of such a thing? Before you answer "yes," remember some of the Big Questions you have talked about—like where things come from, and what they are. Now see if you can find something that has no mystery at all.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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