Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ambiguity Breeds Depth

"Number nine... number nine..."

When the Beatles uttered these words on Revolution 9, they added at least a perception (if not a reality) of depth, inherent in their mystery, to the lyrics.

Advertising billboards are banned from being displayed at the Grand Canyon (thank God). You won't even find a sign advertising for the Canyon itself. Just try to imagine a flashing neon sign in front of a lookout at the Canyon reading, "Huge! Enormous! Amazing! The Wonders and Awe of the Grand Canyon!"

Such a sign, besides being a little long, is not only superfluous, but in stating the obvious it undermines the true magnificence of the Canyon.

I used to wonder why God didn't present Himself as a visible man in the sky. Why does He choose to be invisible? Why can't I hear Him like I would hear a friend's voice? Why does God hide?

For the same reason that He forbade the Jews of the Old Testament from creating "graven images" in the form of idols representing His presence.

God shrouds Himself in the veneer of ambiguity because ambiguity breeds depth.

It is His mystery that inspires our imaginations.

The invisibility of God shines...
The silence of God screams....


Adnan said...

I couldn't disagree more. Depth isn't created when someone says something that is open to interpretation. The works of kurt vonnegut and tagore are 'deep' in the sense that they expand your paradigms and warp your rendition of reality. Their writings are not vague, actually these authors distinguish themselves by writing what they want to say not what the public thinks they could say. By conveying profound ideas with little words instead of little meaning with many words, actual progress is made. There is no idea too big to be put into words.

Greg Jones said...

Then why CAN'T we put a sign up next to the Grand Canyon stating the obvious of "Huge, magnificent, awe-inspiring" WITHOUT detracting from the very truth of these words?