Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery: A Program on the Big Questions for Grade 6

Leader Resource 4: UU Mystery Messages

Here are some UU ideas about mystery. Put the ideas into your own words and use them any way you like as you make a float or another contribution to the Mystery Day Parade.

  • Mystery is fun and fascinating.
  • The whys of life and death will never be completely known. So mystery grows out of both our experiences of life and our wonderings about death.
  • "Life is a riddle and a mystery." These words are in "Where Do We Come From?" Hymn 1003 in Singing the Journey.
  • Often when we try to answer a question, we find we are asking more questions. So the mystery gets larger, not smaller.
  • One of the UU Sources is our own, direct experience of mystery and wonder.
  • The fourth UU Principle talks about the search "for truth and meaning," a search that involves exploring mystery.
  • Some UUs use "Great Mystery" as a name for a power larger than human life—a power others may know as God.
  • UUs celebrate wonder and awe. Neither would exist without mystery.
  • Reading 452 in Singing the Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnbook, says we celebrate the "glories and the mysteries" of the gift we call life.
  • Many UUs are Humanists. They believe in the power of humans to shape and change our world. Part of that power is our ability to ask questions and search through the mystery for answers.
  • UUs accept ambiguity. That means we accept doubt and uncertainty about the big questions.
  • UUs accept contradiction, too. If their response to one big question contradicts their response to another big question, they can live with that while they continue to explore and sort things out. If two UUs have each found a different answer to the same big question, they can still share many beliefs, values and Principles—while they both keep exploring.
  • UUs accept that an answer to a big question can change. Even if they settle on an answer now, they are willing to think about that big question again, if someday they find that answer unsatisfactory.
  • Albert Einstein was not a UU, but many UUs like his ideas. Here is one thing he said: "The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle."