A skeptic when he is shown of his falsity might be hesitant to leave it for the truth if no one shows him how to begin a truthful pathway. There is a middle ground in which the falsity is shown for what it is, and the truth is not yet fully revealed. The skeptic might be hesitant to set foot upon this middle ground if it means being in doubt of where to go – backwards to the falsity, or to stay put until he is shown the way forward? Of course, it may be pointed out that, at the least, falsity is itself not truthful, and thus we know as much. Nevertheless this middle ground is key to understanding Jon Bellion’s song “Maybe IDK,” for Bellion leads the listener on a journey to this middle ground, and upon it the journeyman courageously (and humbly) admits that he is ignorant.
The phrase ‘I wonder’ is repeated twelve times throughout the song. Why did he choose this phrase? Might we say that Bellion expressed himself as he was designed to do? For do we not try to understand something only because it has provoked us to wonder about it? Think of a child who asks questions about everything. Is it not wonder that provokes him to question? In fact, I would venture to say that we call children with that name in part because they wonder about so much. But, perhaps I am off topic. Bellion wonders about something because he was designed to wonder about the world. Is it too far to say that these things which provoke us to wonder are not designed to do so? If one doubts the world, do they doubt that they doubt the world? Are these questions not something to wonder about if you are a skeptic or otherwise?
The anaphora of the ‘wonder phrase’ aforementioned lends itself to a discussion of wonder. One does not merely wonder but instead wonders about something. What is it that Bellion wonders about? There are twelve things he wonders about, which could be reduced to these four categories: the material world, God, the fear of the unknown, and despair. He frames each wonder in a ‘why’ question. That is to say, he asks why he fears, despairs, or why his life is materialistically odd, all having to do with the design of the human being. Appropriate with the title of his album, no? Nevertheless, so too are we invited to wonder at the things he wonders at, for do we not all dream, live in a material world, fear the unknown, and despair at times (and many other things I might add)?
Ah ha, here we are opened to wonder itself if we were distant from it before or otherwise did not realize that we wonder at all. Bellion brings us to a middle ground, for if we doubted before, we surely can know that we wonder, even if we wonder at something that we doubt. But, are we hesitant to stay here? Or do we desire more truth? Do we desire to become doubtless? Here, we cannot look to the song for aid because Bellion only leads us so far on the journey – he gives us the first step. The rest of the way is a mystery for us to discover somewhere else – perhaps in another song of the album. At least, we can humbly say that for some of the things we wonder about, particularly if we only guess about them, we may not know how to entirely articulate what we see.
I appreciate Jon Bellion because he opens us up to wonder about the world and leads us to this first step towards the truth, a wondrous platform from which to ponder all of creation.
Bellion, Jonathan, et al. “Maybe IDK.” The Human Condition, Visionary Music Group and Capitol Records, 2016.