What if there is something to that faint suspicion in your heart that there is a force of love and logic at work in the universe, who knows who you are and what you are up to? That sense-however fleeting-that something, or someone, beyond you take delight in who you are and how you are made? It’s easy to dismiss such things as childish fantasy. After all, what did we really know about the world when we were eight? And yet, Jesus did teach that unless we ‘change and become like children,’ we will not ‘enter the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 18:3). He wasn’t saying that we need to be irrational, check our brains at the door, and hang on to naive fairy tales. But I think in a way He calls us back to that moment of wonder and mystery when we encountered God with the innocence of childhood.
The experience of God will always be trans-rational; it goes beyond our capacity to analyze or reason.
Nicholas Roe, John Keats: A New Life, page 201. Keat’s mention of Negative Capability comes from The Letters of John Keats, volume 1, page 193.
I first heard the term Negative Capability in a lecture on Aristotle by Louis Aryeh Kosman. It’s a fascinating concept developed by the Romantic poet as a reaction against the Enlightenment’s tyranny of reason.