The mystery and the secret

To understand the relationship between mystery and secrecy, we begin by defining these concepts and how they concern us. Jankélévitch will help us to explain what distinguishes them.

Definitions of Secret

Definition of Mystery

beware, it can in a more philosophical and nuanced sense, designate what is difficult to understand but not totally unknowable:

That which is difficult to understand, to explain, but which is not absolutely impenetrable.

In the religious sense, it is sometimes what is inexplicable by reason (Christian religion), sometimes what is understandable but explained only to the initiated (ancient Roman religion).

Jankélévitch speaks of the impalpable holy of holies of our destiny.

What are the different mysteries of our world?

The most frightening mystery is undoubtedly that of death. Ionesco in The King is dying states:“Everyone is the first to die”.

But we can speak of mysteries for more pleasant exam questions to think about, such as love and charm.

Finally, some arts belong to the category of mystery, like poetry and music.

Always Jankélévitch: “The mystery is the thing of the music, because it is a mystery of transparency without depth, an ineffable and diaphanous mystery on which there is almost nothing to say.”

However, let us bet that as science and studies on the brain advance (the latter being one of the mysteries of science, not impossible to understand, but difficult), the impression that these arts make on us will be more and more identified.

Secret and mystery

difference between the secret and the mystery is that the mystery seems to be that which one will never clarify. The secret, like the secret of a safe, the password of a website, is something that can be pierced that someone knows and that can be communicated. The mystery for all is unfathomable.

Jankélévitch in Debussy and the mystery of the moment, “There is the mystery and there is the secret”.

The secret is constructed, it is the result of barriers and guesses, of an obscure cloud that can be cleared up. The mystery is the same thick and dark cloud that remains, it is not a construction made of guesses, it is not meant to be discovered (in the first sense of mystery, the one that is unfathomable no matter what happens).

→ Quotes on the Secret

General Knowledge: the Secret