The Joy in Mystery

The world around is beautiful, and mysterious.

Simple things like the snowflakes, the moving clouds, twinkling stars, diffused sunset colours and a baby’s smile arouse a feeling of awe and wonder. I enjoy being a witness to such special moments. Sometimes they bring in poetry, sometimes they inspire curiousity. Science is a tool for the latter, where models compete for description of things that are sometimes very subtle. Complex formulae sometimes obscure reality, especially for someone like me who cannot absorb without an image (and colours). However, intense (or rather, free) thought brings in incremental revelations. Moments where you see how the subtle is incorporated in to what looked obscure. Equations speak. Diagrams become animated. There is a great joy in understanding, quite similar to the joy of meditation… or the experience of watching sunrise at the Besant Nagar beach.

While there is a certain regret as to why I did not spend more time with my scientific quest at IITM, I hope these moments will be more frequent now. There is certainly no greater fulfillment than one of complete understanding. And even infinitesimally small increments feel wonderful.

The stars are infinities away,
but each step towards them is a sparkle of joy…

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7 thoughts on “The Joy in Mystery

  1. wats exciting also is that u know u have not understood completely, but u know there is more to it.. :)can often be exasperating, but still an interesting feeling

  2. sup: yes, in fact “knowing the incompleteness” is a catalyst for passionate curiosity!arbit: thanks!dimple: yes, indeed πŸ™‚

  3. I agree that understanding things gives us a certain satisfaction. However, there is a certain beauty in the unknown and the mysterious. do you think that “decoding” nature using science takes the whole beauty aspect away from it?

  4. rider: thanks for the comment. i think science helps us to identify patterns, and that adds to the beauty of nature. for instance, the falling objects helped newton identify the pattern of gravity. each thing in the universe pulls every other thing. and the realization of this pattern makes you say “wow”! you are only able to appreciate the beauty more… feynman was once asked a similar question, and he had a much better answer to give:”I have a friend who’s an artist, and he sometimes takes a view which I don’t agree with. He’ll hold up a flower and say, “Look how beautiful it is,” and I’ll agree. But then he’ll say, “I, as an artist, can see how beautiful a flower is. But you, as a scientist, take it all apart and it becomes dull.” I think he’s kind of nutty. […] There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower. It only adds. I don’t understand how it subtracts.”

  5. Infact, i read that book very recently, i.e. “Surely you are joking mr feynman”. one can again argue that a scientist will find beauty in logic and patterns. And an artist in abstraction and intution. to each his own. but beauty definitely exists! πŸ™‚

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