I'm a fan of both Mystery and Reality. I'm capitalizing their names to personalize them, as if they were beings we could actually interact with rather than abstract ideas.
Mystery is, well, mysterious. (I'll use "she" to talk about her because, being a man, I find females to be more of a mystery than males.)
You can't say much about her because there's not much to be said. She's what lies outside the bounds of our knowing. That makes Mystery intriguing, just as a beautiful woman in a suggestive dress makes us want to learn what lies beneath the surface of the cloth, while a fully naked woman leaves nothing to the imagination.
Reality obviously is open to view. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be calling him Reality. He isn't totally transparent to our understanding, of course, since there are many levels to him. It's fair to say that he's a complex guy. Just when you think you're privy to all of his secrets, Reality surprises by revealing hitherto unknown dimensions.
Frequently Mystery transforms into Reality. Less frequently, perhaps, Realty transforms into Mystery.
We can come to know something that previously we were completely clueless about. We also can realize that what was once a confident object of knowledge has become an enigma.
So Mystery and Reality are constantly dancing together.
But it's an unusual dance, because one of the partners is mostly, if not completely, unseen, while the other looks like he is shadow boxing (or rather, shadow dancing) all by himself. Together, they make a pair that provide endless enjoyment to humans as long as Homo sapiens has existed as a species.
Without Mystery, life would be boring, sterile, almost lifeless. Without Reality, life wouldn't exist as we know it, and probably not at all.
To offer up a familiar example -- TV shows -- last night I watched the final episode of Homeland, a captivating Showtime series that has engrossed me for quite a few years. It wasn't the final episode of a season. It was the final episode, period. Homeland is done.
I don't want to give too much away in case someone reading this is, like me until yesterday, making their way through a bunch of recorded episodes of the final season. Suffice it to say that, not surprisingly, I had no idea how Homeland was going to end up. It was a mystery.
However, I knew that within an hour or so all would be revealed. Mystery would transfer herself into Reality in an ontological sex change operation. From not knowing what would happen with the main characters would come a knowing.
Plots that preserve an ever-changing air of mystery are highly watchable. In truth I had no idea what was going to occur next, though often I wrongly believed that I did. My emotions were pulled this way and that as Mystery changed herself into Reality and then back again.
I'd silently scream things like "Carrie, you can't kill Saul! You just can't!"
But I knew that no matter what I wanted, the episode was a solid reality implanted on the hard disk of my DVR, digital video recorder. It was both pleasurable and painful to have my emotions manipulated in such a skillful way by the writers, actors, and director of Homeland.
In the end, Reality held center stage, as he typically does in TV shows and movies. I knew how Carrie and Saul ended their lengthy relationship, and it was exceedingly satisfying to me.
(Thank you for that, Homeland. I was worried you were going to pull a "Lost" on me; the final episode of that series left me with a What the Fuck? feeling, almost a sense of betrayal after so much time invested in following the unfolding mystery of the island, only to be met with a blah denouement.)
This points to a psychological truism, not quite a fact, but almost so: Often we want Mystery to reveal herself in a certain way. Of course, that goes against the grain of who she is -- hidden, unpredictable, enigmatic. So we love Mystery, until she disappoints by turning into a Reality we're uncomfortable with.
Naturally there's more to say about the relationship between Mystery and Reality. Likely I'll be doing that before too long.
I'll finish this blog post by saying that it turned out way different from what I first intended when I typed in the title, Mystery and Reality have an intriguing relationship. That's the beauty of writing, and of life. We set out in a certain direction, with a certain goal in mind, and before we know it we're exploring a very different territory.