At the end (when it finally got there) of Indiana Jones there was some discussion about how the real treasure is knowledge.
I couldn’t help but think of snakes tiptoeing* around curious naked girls and promising them…knowledge. That was the fruit which tempted Eve, of course, and so the Church has for so long had deeply entrenched pockets of anti-intellectualism. I understand why that is, but I’ve got more in common with Eve in that I want to know things. I like knowing, just for knowing’s sake.
That’s the best thing about mysticism, really. People–when they really want to be bored–ask me why I refer to myself as a mystic and the short answer would be that I do so because Mystery is the seat of wisdom. Knowledge is a grand thing, and seeking knowledge is a worthwhile pursuit. But you have to be satisfied with the basic truth of knowledge, which is that you will never have all of it.
I chuckle when I hear people reduce the force that is God to something small. There is always our desire in humanity to reduce God to a thing we can know, hoping that in doing so we can then understand God. Justice. Love. Grace. All of these are tiny shards of the full scope of God, yet so often I see people discard mystery, reduce God to one of the components of God and then venerate the piece instead of the whole. It’s sort of like loving your parents only because they drive you to the mall, while forgetting the many other things that they do for you and also forgetting they are people who exist outside of your experience of them and should be loved on those terms.
Our God is the phenomenon of the Knowable Mystery. We can commune with God because of the blood price paid by Jesus. While we exist in this human form, however, we cannot know all of God and must be content with Mystery. That is the birth of the wise.
It is also the vexation of the skeptic. But that’s a story for another time.
*Yes, snakes once had feet.