"What exists my knowledge, exists without my consent," says The Judge, the terrifying antagonist from Cormac Mccarthy's Blood Meridian.
The Judge is an example about what is so scary and imposing about the need to know everything, about the contempt for mystery. But that impulse doesn't have to be scary. Need proof? Consider Christopher Hitchens.
Christopher Hitchens, whom the world has sadly been without since December 15, 2011, resented the foggy and the unknown. But his wish was not, like the Judge's, to destroy it. His wish was to illuminate it.
But not everybody thinks that is a noble goal. Andrew Cohen, for one, thinks that Mysticism is necessary.
And the conversation over what goes into finding truth is not a black and white issue. Novelist Tim O'Brien is famous for thinking that a fictional account can be more rightly called "true" than can a factual one.
Hitchens, for one, quested tirelessly through his life to dispel the fallacies and the ignorance which plagues all humans, whom he thought to be a bit irrational and prone to hysteria. As he was fond of phrasing it, "evolution has meant that our prefrontal lobes are too small, our adrenal glands are too big, and our reproductive organs organs apparently designed by committee; a recipe which, alone or in combination, is very certain to lead to some unhappiness and disorder."
So, in contrast to The Judge, he suggested a healthy way to deal with the resentment of the unknown, which was to try our very best to gather facts, to reject superstition, to encourage discourse, to value reason, and to recognize our limitations as to how far that is possible for human beings.
That is how to demystify life.