The most beautiful and deepest experience
one can have
is to sense the mysterious.
It is the underlying principle of all serious endeavors in life.
One who never had this experience
seems to me to be, if not dead,
then at least blind.
Behind anything that can be experienced
there is something that our mind cannot grasp
and whose beauty and sublimity
reaches us only indirectly
and as a feeble reflection.
In this sense I am religious
as to me it suffices to wonder at these secrets
and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind
a mere image of the lofty structure
of all that is there.
The immense spaces of creation
cannot be spanned by my finite powers.
As small as is our whole system
compared with the infinitude of creation,
brief as is my life compared with cycles of time,
we are so tethered to all,
that not only the sparrow’s fall is felt to the outermost bound,
but the vibrations set in motion by the words that we utter
reach through all space
and the tremor is felt through all time.
Every human who can become sentient to
and experience joy in creation and its beauty
is made immune to any and every doubt about its meaning.
Observing means looking with a possibility
of knowing what I am looking at.
It is an interested seeing,
which is the prelude to a closer and more profound relationship
between the subject and the object.
Human observation implies the hope
(implicit or explicit)
of knowing, possessing, capturing the object,
namely grasping its link
with the totality of things.
Human beings are,
at least so far,
an extraordinary species,
dominating the land, sea, and air
of our native planet,
and now, in at least a preliminary way,
setting forth to other places.
The secret of our success is surely our curiosity,
our manipulative abilities,
and our passion for exploration
qualities that have been extracted painfully
through billions of years of biological evolution.
It is in the nature of mankind
and the corollary of our success
to ask questions,
with the deeper the question,
the more characteristically human the activity.
There is some comfort
in the thought that
we will never know everything.
It would be a very dull universe
for any intelligent being
if everything of importance was known.