Inner Michael » Michael and Mystery

Michael and Mystery

Explanations have given comfort in their time but often appear irrational or outrageous when viewed from the future. Displeased gods punished humans for offending them? Mountains are sleeping giants? Stars are mythological creatures? The moon is made of cheese?

To know that we don’t know makes us uneasy yet it is a completely open learning space. If we are so sure of our explanations, we leave no room for amendments. The Divine is mysterious. Life is mystery. The cosmos and creation are mystifying. Yet, we say we are sure of our beliefs, our understandings. For example: if we are so sure of our God, whom we defend even with killing, terrorism and war, then we can never investigate or assimilate what another may have learned about the Divine mysteries.

Blind devotion or unquestioned allegiance to fact is employed because it is easy; it requires no effort, it is the lazy way to knowledge. That kind of knowledge is less about what and more about who. It invites you to tell me an answer I can feel comfortable with; gives you permission to explain my misery and give me hope of finding my way out so that I will adopt that belief and follow you. Remember Jonestown? Remember the Kool-Aid? Want to drink some? We’re talking danger, baby. Shake me out of my complacency and watch the fireworks begin.

Mystery is not deviance yet has been often treated as such through time. Any who do not share the predominant cultural world view are regarded with suspicion. To challenge the existing paradigm is to risk castration of your power in some form—perhaps actual emasculation, shunning, banishment, ridicule, attack, demoralization, disregard, and even death.

Transfer those labels of “odd,” “strange,” “uncanny,” “unorthodox” to a person and you create a “foreigner,” “minority,” or a “deviant” who if untouchable by way of defying explanation becomes “different” or “bizarre” and you set up an unbearable tension that necessarily leads to incoherency. Incoherency is not tolerated because things must, after all, be accounted for! All must be comprehensible! It must somehow fit into the already known world. If it doesn’t fit somehow, it disturbs the validity of a society’s entire fabric of knowledge. Do that and you risk the wrath and annihilation by a society that wants you to cease! Present or represent some kind of un-encountered reality or be an anomaly, and you upset the entrenched view of normal! Disturb the sleeping giant at your own peril! Disturb him and watch ‘Neverland’ crumble. Anthropologists have called it “metaphysical anxiety” and “anomic terror.”

People who would dare to challenge or intend to disturb the status quo are provocative and evocative and are regarded through the lens of metaphysical anxiety or terror. They awaken the sleeping giant who thrashes about flailing to fend off existential examination. Such people cast doubt upon the reality that inhabits a society. Labels and judgments begin to explain and alleviate this uneasiness: “primitive;” “disturbed;” “different;” “outrageous;” “deviant;” and if I can’t find one, I’ll invent something, make it up. In other words: “Get thee from me.” It’s easier to believe you are a deviant than it is to believe I am flawed or incomplete or that the view I am so comfortable with may be less than ideal or god-help-me—wrong!

Only the most courageous among us walk this path. Without them, Polio, Malaria, Black Plague would still exist; the pyramids would still be buried and Tutankhamun still unknown; germs and unpasteurized milk would still make people sick; DNA would be unknown and criminals would walk free; medicines would be undiscovered; Disneyland would not exist; racial inequality would go unexamined; the Berlin Wall would still be standing; Russia would still be the communist Soviet Union; the ‘Force’ of Star Wars would still be secret; the moon would not have a footprint; and yes, even Earth would not exist.

And most frightening of all, the Internet would not exist and that would mean: the world would not be profoundly connected; genocide could still be hidden; communication would be limited; important voices could not be heard; much of the world would be inaccessible; the potential for critical mass would not be imminent. To kill mystery is a grave error: it is to exhume the unthinkable.

Question and answer period:

Q. Did Michael Jackson use mystery effectively?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. Did it gain him attention?
A. Precisely.
Q. Did he do it deliberately?
A. Absolutely.
Q. Did he challenge the paradigm?
A. Exquisitely.
Q. Did he know what he was doing?
A. Exactly.
Q. And how well did it go over?
A. It worked.
Q. So the world heard his message?
A. Millions did.
Q. And the rest?
A. They killed the messenger.

Photo credit: Flickr “Magic Photography” (c) 2009


  1. Anonymous said . . .

    Oh yes they killed the messenger – Michael Joseph Jackson. They killed him with words and unscrupulous press that wounded his soul but they did not kill his love and the awakening he began. They did not kill the "Sparkle People that he birthed" My goodness what a tragedy to be killed for the very gift you came to give. My sorrow has no end because it is and was and will always be so unjust. But, as Michael said, Why, Why, Tell them that it is Human Nature. God bless you Michael Joseph Jackson I love you for all eternity.

    Posted February 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink
  2. SILVIA DIEZ said . . .

    Michael is the last crucified in our history. He died for L.O.V.E. We killed him, but now we have finally his MESSAGE OF UNIVERSAL LOVE! God bless you Rev. Barbara THANK YOU VERY MUCH love you! Silvia from Spain

    Posted July 17, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

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