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Sam Keen, H. L. Mencken, Lord Byron, knowledge, wonder, academia, and existence

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas




“If man is to survive, he must never cease wondering.”

Sam Keen



One of the hindrances to absolute wonder is the vanity of mind which believes it can understand what is far beyond its capability. And so, the world of ‘learning’ is dangerous because from it we learn largely to know life improperly, and the mind would rather know improperly than not at all.

The blame lies not just on academia, but on the whole infrastructure of particularization and mentalization. Luckily, however, though learning may blind us it cannot destroy the mystery of being. As H. L. Mencken optimistically pointed out: “Penetrating so many secrets, we cease to believe in the unknowable. But there it sits nonetheless, calmly licking its chops.”

It is merely our task to open our eyes again, without any lens between life and ourselves.

           As such we must renounce scholarship for exactly the very same reason that it is justified: that is, we must renounce it because through academia and book-learning people are taught to believe that they ‘understand’ things. And yet all this ‘understanding’ does is allow us to misunderstand and misuse our marvelous selves, thus denying us our rightful place in a world of wonder.

Byron lamented: “Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most/ must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth,/ the tree of knowledge is not that of life.”

            None of us are free of sorrow, and none of us are innocent, for we have all ‘gone to bed with the devil’ so to speak.

           The equation is simple: knowledge equals sorrow. And why is that? Easy enough: because existence is unknowable, and therefore to ‘know’ it is to not know it; that is, to believe that we understand what cannot be understood, is to disfigure it, and therefore to exist in a unreal way, which equals sorrow. ‘Unknowability’ is the essence, the inherent, underlying reality of everything. And so, the more we separate ourselves from what we inherently are- mystery- the more we ‘fall’ away from our highest possibility.


excerpted from:


way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra



THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer














Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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