New Ideas, Personal Work/Interviews/Thoughts

Musings on mystery


Ever had something that can’t be explained?


Problems, complications, relationships, deferred hope, supernatural activity, life direction, questions, prophecy, lingering words, unfairness, future outcomes, dead ends or uncanny coincidences.


Who was the murderer? Did you guess in the first 5 mins or did you jump to conclusions?

Sit with mystery for a while. It takes the pressure off. It stops things from being reduced to our thinking or limited framework. It keeps us humble and enlarges our world. It is infinitely more interesting.

The unexpected response, the mysterious eyes peering through a bridal veil.

Her mystery increases her value.

The mystery is beautiful.

The alternative is common property and at worst vulgar.

Many times we are too quick to sprout doctrines, and squash everything into a formula. We display a jittering choreography of toilet dance moves, busting at the seam to show our 3 easy steps. We are impatient to reveal our hand.

We hastily push our message forward like savings brand frozen peas on sale.

It looses its value for no thought or creativity has been applied.

It dosn’t attract like we hope. There is no interchange or resonance. It doesn’t engage or create a conversation. It may seem counter intuitive but being explicit is not always the most effective way of communication.

Swinging a blunt tounge encourages instant prejudice and defensiveness. Repeatedly slapping the listener in the face we incit resentment. Sometimes we bellow incessantly with odorous breathe, when the moment only needed a facial expression, or a body cue.

Ironically the best form of evangelism may be sealed lips and a pricked ear.

Mystery entices imagination, open thought and emotional response.

Mystery is a reel for the soul, bait for the mind, and a hook for the heart

Mystery is an intrinsically spiritual concept.

A natural act births the miracle of life awakening the breath of eternity.

Like a seed full of potential. It doesn’t need to answer the question ‘What will I be?’

It just is.

This seed everyday simply lives the question, the mystery if you will. Eventually everything it was meant to be, everything locked up in its DNA will come to fruition. But it was more an unveiling rather then an achievement in problem solving.

So much we take for granted cannot be explained. We cannot create robust formulas for gravity, the origin of life, and dark matter; let alone the most human of behaviours like yawning.

Sure we can explain away some of the attributes, cause and effect; but many of the core fundamentals of modern science with all our advances are riddled with anomalies and still sit in the ancient basket of ‘unexplainable phenomenon’

Albert Einstein once said

‘He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed’

Mystery fuels attraction and curiosity. It passionately leads us further then we may have initially desired. It reaches out dripping with aromas, spices and promise.

It’s the big question mark. What if?

It prods us to the edge of the precipice to utter those three terrifying words.


It is not always an indication of personal weakness. Its sometimes simply a nod to wisdom, humility and self awareness.

There may not be a satisfying solitary answer.

There will always be the unexplainable in your life. It is no cause to be filled with permanent frustration and despair.

A daily dose of limitation and helplessness is part of the human experience.

The unexpected death of a child, bankruptcy, the inability to hold our breathe for more then 3 minutes, the sudden loss of of a sporting dream by an unforeseen circumstance,the brewing storm, the unplanned pregnancy, the invisible block in a relationship, the return of cancer after a medical miracle.

Sometimes there is nothing to be done except to exist.

Regroup. forgive and love. To find a way trust again.

There is no way back.

Sometimes not even an apparent lesson to be learned.

Just this mystery called ‘Life’.

Asking why, only keeps us breathless like a hamster on a wheel. Prolonging the inevitable.

That question has no future.

We can only rise from the ground after the dust has settled.

We sometimes fear mystery because we cannot control it. What is in the darkness, under the bed, resting in the undergrowth, or on the other-side of the barrier, on the other side of safety. Is it freedom or lack of protection? Is it a wild animal; or simply a free animal?

We scream “Stop, slow down, run, flee, do this, do that.”

But its ears are deaf. It has no care for our agenda.

It cannot be fast tracked or paused.

It stretches us and pulls us in opposing directions dancing through our life at whim.

It will cost everything but it is the only option.

Ask an expectant mother.

Simultaneously taking too long and not enough moments to arrive. It is hard to befriend.

It only allows comfort to reside for a season.

Status, experience and training, are often left dumbfounded in it’s wake.

Well manicured fences of protection will soon become prisons. Current ideas will soon be mocked.

Like a ball and chain, our glory will soon become redundant objects of sentiment.

We may be able to stop our children from growing by holding them down with our hands but we will exhaust ourselves and create deformed children.

We can’t hold back the rain with an umbrella.

There is no choice but to ready. To ready without forcing our agenda.

Ready like an experienced surfer waiting for a wave or a sunbleached sailor tacking in the shifting breeze.

It cannot be hindered or helped, but its momentum can be left unharnessed if we force or miss the opportunities.

What’s around the corner? Who knows? Who will cross your path? When and how will this new wave hit? What’s in store tomorrow? When exactly is the “fullness of time”? Not one person in the world can tell you precisely.

We may shudder, hide and flinch at the thought of uncertainty.

We float with unresolved promise.

We scream at the barren ground.

We wince in the memories of past regrets, and poor decisions. Muttering under our breathe to our faithful friends, we run our fingers over old wounds reliving the pain. Afraid to open the shutters we blame the mystery for something it may never inflicted. For sometimes it does lash out and cut us deeply and unexpectedly.

We allow our thoughts to run rampant, setting alight fires of fear and binding us to what we cling to. So we stare blankly; Stare awkwardly into the swampy mist.

Like a deer trembling in blinding light we freeze and scurry frantically for familiarity. A prize boxer dazed on the ropes.

Maybe bruising is just part of the wrestling with mystery. A testament to our humanity. A limping hip that serves as a permanent reminder of our encounter with the untameable. A trophy of courage.

Lets embrace it! Savour the season.

Another way to put it might be; What cannot be felt with the mind can be understood with the heart.

Children and parents alike understand this.

Little bundles of questions and potential. Not yet medicated and trained in hysteria, they face the world with playful inquisitiveness. Innocent and a little naive they are brimming with life.

We like neatly packaged bundles with a bow. We like our legislated civility. We like our cotton ball padded classrooms and logical progression. We like what is tried and tested and known to be safe.

If we are only satisfied with the predictable, Henry Ford would have breed faster horses not design the Model T Ford.

Thomas Edison would have created longer lasting candles rather then populate the earth with the lightbulb.

Let go of the flotation device we know as human experience, rationale and perceived control. Swim deep below into the purple resplendent abyss. It is wild. It is untamed. It is dangerous, but this place is free. It is alive.

Let mystery peel back the ceiling to reveal a metallic black sky of stars pulling satellite dreams.

Rest without the clamps of explanation or analytical theory.

It keeps things uncomplicated and offers us an access point to truth.

It is the heart of story telling

It is in pictures, symbols, fragrances, colours, expressions, songs and sounds that take us by the hand and lead us through the forest.

Everything and everyone can be our Yoda. Animal instinct, exposure to the elements, words from the wise, foolish, friend and foe alike.

Words are not the only hammer and chisel.

Some lessons are better learned as a bystander. Food for thought, premonitions for the alert. Stealthy frequencies riding the airwaves amongst the noise.

We must let time and repetition tune us to filter the noise. To resonant with the right frequencies. To discern the shepards voice.

The noises will confuse us if we assign too much meaning early on, or jump to conclusions in haste. Sometimes there is nothing in it. We chase shadows. We read between the lines penning our wish list in the vacant space.

We join the dots and create the resemblance of an image ; but it soon turns to scribble.

It is not till all the dots appear that we can begin to draw the conclusion.

Moving deeper into mystery takes incredible patience. It must open in the right time.

Let mystery have her way with you. To shape you in the quarry.

Surrender, instead of unleashing a panic attack of flailing kicks and punches at your rescuer.

Let it climb over your fence, fly through your window and rustle your hair

It is not asking for your approval anyway.

Ready for this gift to arrive at any moment.

Your mysteries will come.

That is a given.

Proverbs 2:10

When WISDOM enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul. DISCRETION will preserve you, understanding will keep you

When it comes, be grateful.

For mystery is precious.

It is personal.

Sometimes It is like a lolly trail of clues, one leading to the next. The discovery is in the journey.

Other times the next jewel is revealed when we fastidiously value and care for what we have.

When we protect and incubate fragile seeds.

Its far too precious for public display.

Far too delicate to be put on trial in front of clumsy mouths.

It is an inheritance. Costly binding jewellery. A lifelong relationship and pursuit. Heirlooms for those that can be entrusted. It is when the unknown is made known.

In short… How do you solve a mystery? More pertinently .. How do you know a mystery?

Outside of the first three terrifying words are three more exhilarating.


The solutions will arrive when they want. If we pursue.

Pursuit starts with cherishing the marvels we already know.

John Cavallaro


2 thoughts on “Musings on mystery

  1. sstarrenburg says:

    Hey there – thanks for the very thoughtful comments on my blog – left a reply to them. But also had been meaning to comment since I read this a while ago on my phone and hadn’t got to it – I love this post. Resonated with me so much! I especially liked this part:

    “Mystery entices imagination, open thought and emotional response.

    Mystery is a reel for the soul, bait for the mind, and a hook for the heart

    Mystery is an intrinsically spiritual concept.”

    I am trying to get a lot more comfortable sitting with mystery and relaxing into things not needing to make sense. It’s a lot more restful place to live from, I’m finding.

    Great post, great thoughts!

    • I never saw this response! Thanks. Its good to know it made some sort of sense to somebody! I probably could be much more efficient with my words but it was fun to write!! Sometimes there is only a little difference between mystery and utter confusion too! 🙂

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