The ineffable

March 5, 2010 at 12:17 pm (God, philosophy, religious experiences, science)

I said

…my experience of goodness is something I fear will disappear if it is eventually “explained away”

But really – learning to read music, learning the technicalities of intervals and harmonies, learning the mathematics of music, does not take away the magic of the musical experience. If anything, it only enhances it.

There will always be the ineffable. And no amount of science is ever going to make it anything other than ineffable. We do experience reality through the lens of our own consciousness, and science does not change that. Art and the ineffable have their own language, and it is not the language of knowledge or fact, but the language of experience.

If I abandon irrational certainty for the glorious state of knowing that I do not know… then I believe I will only be better off.

My values will drive my world view, and my world view will support and shape my values. And above all, I believe honesty with myself will pave the way to reason and empathy.



  1. susanne430 said,

    I think admitting that we don’t know everything is a good step. I guess this is where faith comes into play.

  2. Achelois said,

    I really like this post for a lot of reasons.

    I grew up thinking this is good and that is bad and I was taught that cheating on your spouse is bad and keeping things from them is bad. Fornication is bad. Men and women are equal. Blah. Blah. Blah.

    Those became my values. And they were very precious to me.

    And then one day I found out that those were not the values of my ancestors. That times change and shape values. Those were not even Islamic values. I would never be equal to a husband or a brother. I would inherit half of what my brother would inherit. I wasn’t even smart enough to equal him as a witness. I was a half-man. Half-wit. Half-everything. My husband could bring home another wife without even informing me. He could even never tell me. And these are matters where I can’t sigh in relief and say, “well thank God we don’t have slaves with which my husband could sleep without marriage!” because we still have women willing to marry married men. We still have countries where law and inheritance is based on shariah. We still have men who divorce their wives via text messages and we still have women who wait decades to get a divorce from an abusive husband. We still have imams who say men can beat their wives. And we have women who never remarry or else they will lose custody of their children.

    But you know what? They are not my values. And I’m finally okay about accepting it.

    “My values will drive my world view, and my world view will support and shape my values.”

    • Wrestling With Religion said,

      Great comment! I am going through the same thing – gradually learning that I don’t need my values to be endorsed by some belief system. If the belief system is removed, the values still remain. And there is no need to contort our minds trying to reconcile our values with the history of religion… which you and I have both done a lot of! Isn’t it a relief? 😀

  3. Achelois said,

    It is a relief! Makes me happier with myself and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: