Unknowing as Pleasure
When should I pick you up?
When does the dog have to be taken out again?
Where are the keys?
What’s going on this evening?
Who have I not reached out to in awhile?
These, or some variation of them, are all questions that we probably ask ourselves daily. These type of questions are largely questions which have a chore-like presence about them. They are questions seeking quick answer so question can turn into solution. Questions without quick solutions tied to them aren’t the type of we let occupy our mind all too often. I’d venture to guess this is because we have become built on notions of efficiency rather than curiosity.
But tough luck. Because the robots are already far more efficient than we are.
Perhaps the reality of being human, being conscious, being aware - or whatever other “being _____” you want to call it, is a reality based on the questions not tied to quick and efficient solution. And perhaps so often feel stuck in monotony, because we ask the efficient solution based questions. Is not a robots life, a life built for these same questions we focus on, a monotonous one?
But we don’t like the big questions as much, do we? The questions of the philosophy class. Instead, we like knowing. We see knowing as the gateway to the efficiency we crave because efficiency has become the housing ground of purpose.
But I’d suggest purpose, as it pertains to human mortality, is actually housed some place else. And I believe that is the realm of wonder.
David James Duncan describes wonder as, “an unknowing experienced as pleasure.”
I don’t know about you, but my day to day routine doesn’t have much of these types of unknowingness built into it.
Even our religious systems nowadays, the places supposed to be catering to things such as wonder, are built on the security of knowing. Knwoing you’re saved. Knowing there’ll be a service every Sunday. Knowing you’ll hear a passage of scripture.
Unknowing as pleasure is foreign. We’ve been rebelling against it for centuries now. The scientist and the theologian both seek to explain, but how often do they sit in the moments where what they are seeking to explain is still unexplainable?
How often do you?
How often do I?
Perhaps it’s in those moments we experience a thawing of the burden monotony forces us to carry. Perhaps in those moments we fold into the vastness of it all. Perhaps in those moments it’s not always about the answer or the question, but the floating space in-between.