Mystery is a loaded reality. In movies, we convey mystery with particular music and particular settings, all of which are meant to convey a world that goes beyond the ordinary. Mystery is at the heart of human person’s pursuit for reality because in our limited way, we sense that there is something more to reality than what we can discover through our senses. This is at the heart of the first icon of God that I would like to explore, this sense of mystery.
Often when people hear about metaphysics, they believe that it is abstract and theoretical in a way that makes it either unintelligible or impractical. What does this vague notion of being and essence have to do with my day to day living? Or even simpler, what the heck does all that jargon actually mean? In this way, people see a stumbling block in a field that is quite technical in language and remote in its application.
However, metaphysics is important because it seeks to explore the sense of mystery at the heart of all of reality. In this way, philosophers, poets, and theologians throughout the ages have peered into the mystery and allowed their imaginations to explore it with wonder and amazement. The icon of God painted by such an exploration is very abstract and remote from our daily existence, but this does not mean that it is irrelevant. Instead, it tends to resemble the astronaut who has walked on the moon. When he or she returns to earth, trying to communicate the experience of outer space seems rather strange and alien. However, I am sure that every astronaut has a greater understanding of gravity and life on earth.
The metaphysical God is one of mystery and mysticism. It is that experience of being opened to a world that goes beyond our ability to communicate. Although the field has developed sophisticated language in which to explore this sense of oneness and harmony, the reality is that it is more often understood more by the mystic than the technician. Discursive reason, at best, can only lead us to the threshold of the mystery.
And such a pursuit is incredibly relevant. It is precisely the metaphysical God that is alluring to the modern human person. It is an Icon of God that speaks to people who have nourished their imagination on Buddhist and Eastern philosophy. It connects the limited truths of these religions and points them towards their supernatural fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Although the metaphysical God may seem somewhat unconnected from the Incarnation and Jesus Christ, this is not the case. Rather, it is this sense of God that is present in John’s Gospel, “In the beginning was the logos.”