Sunday, March 13, 2011

The World of Lost Mysteries

In 1492, Columbus accidentally stumbled upon the Caribbean. But he didn't know that. He thought it was India. He DIED thinking it was India. He just didn't know.

In the middle ages, the people thought the world was, 6/7 water: a chunk of land with salty puddles in it. They just didn't know.

Before Copernicus, everyone thought the sun revolved around the earth. It was clearly moving around us. They were pissed at Copernicus's crazy new theory. They just didn't know.

And that was the fun of it. No one. Really. Knew.

Columbus, Copernicus, and just the ordinary people saw the world as one giant mystery waiting to be solved.

Is the earth really flat?
Who made everything?
What if the Earth were the thing revolving instead of the sun?
How do I know I'm really alive?
How do you cure the measles?
Why are babies attached to their mothers?

Questions. Endless, exciting, bewildering, dangerous, difficult questions. Who knows? No one? Alright then, I'll find out.

Just imagine. A world where you just. don't. know. Everything is new, exciting, mysterious. Like being a child, only better because you can grow up and things are still just that exciting.

Now come back. To our world, our time.

"No, it's round. Duh."
"'Science' says no one made everything, okay? Drop it."
*eyeroll* "The earth IS revolving. And so are the other seven planets."
"Hook yourself to a heart monitor if you're so concerned about whether or not you're living."
"Gah, I don't know, just get the vaccine. It doesn't matter."
"Just Google it, will you?"

We know everything now. We have Science, the Internet, and all the philosophers before us to figure things out. We've got it from here. It's all old news.

And I find that deeply troubling.

I think science is really important. It's good that we've figured things out and have vaccines and treatments. It's good that we've come so far. It wouldn't be right for us to sit around and NOT figure things out.'s a little sad at the same time. All the wonder, the bright-eyed questions and thousands of little mysteries every day...they're gone. We've solved the mystery. Cracked the case. Finished the puzzle. We think there are no more questions. No more mysteries. We've resigned ourselves to contented boredom.

We've lost the beauty of Wonder and the joy of Discovery. I can't even imagine a world where people Just Don't Know. I would want to get out and discover things, find the answers, think my very own thoughts.

There's no way to go back to ignorance, and I'm not saying we should. I'm just saying....well, I guess I'm just saying. We live in a World of Lost Mysteries, and to me it's sort of a beautifully orchestrated tragedy.



  1. There may not be a thousand little mysteries to wonder about everyday, but there are still so many. I don't think we have all the answers yet and some people are just bursting with questions.

  2. When I start thinking that everything is figured out I look up at the sky at night and stare at the stars. We may know everything about OUR planet.. but what about this giant mysterious universe we are floating in? Who has the answers beyond our universe, our galaxy? That's when I realize how very small and insignificant we Earthlings are.

  3. very well said, steph.

    i'm just glad that i was born in an era where the people know something, or have the resources to answer most of their questions...

    but hey, wouldn't it be nice we live in a place where knowledge is scarce and all we know about is that everything is made out of pure magic... (haha. ok, never mind this. i'm just being silly. blame my imagination)

  4. Dang, you guys are awesome, haha. So true, we DON'T know everything. Sometimes I think people forget that though, and then no one bothers to ask questions...and it's sad. But we definitely don't understand it all yet, which is kind of nice in my opinion. Hopefully as life goes on we'll find more and more answers...and with those more and more questions :)

    Haze: I totally get the imagination thing XD


  5. Perhaps an all-around enlightenment is necessary in today's world, but people remain, at base, very willing to just accept things as they are and not question. I often envy children because they have a curiousity to explore the world that just...vanishes once we fall into contentment and reality. I should be more curious these days and ask myself "why not? What's there to lose?"

    -Barb the French Bean

  6. Exactly! People have become so used to everything being known that they forget to *look* for the mysteries... Maybe that's even more what I was trying to say. Thanks :)