Now the three experiences which
I have mentioned to you (and I could have added others) seem to those who
have experienced them, for instance to me, to have in some sense an
intrinsic, absolute value. But when I say they are experiences, surely,
they are facts; they have taken place then and there, lasted a certain

9)
definite time and consequently are describable. And so from what I have
said some minutes ago I must admit it is nonsense to say that they have
absolute value. And I will make my point still more acute by saying “it is
the paradox that an experience, a fact, should seem to have supernatural
value. Now there is a way in which I would be tempted to meet this paradox.
Let me first consider, again, our first experience of wondering at the
existence of the world and let me describe it in a slightly different way[;|:]
We all know what in ordinary life would be called a miracle. It obviously
is simply an event the like of which we never have seen yet3 never2 have1 seen.
Now suppose such an event happened. Take the case that one of you suddenly
grew a lions head and began to roar. Certainly that would be as extraordi-
nary a thing as I can imagine. Now whenever we should have recovered from
our surprise, what I would suggest would be to fetch a doctor and have the
case scientifically investigated and if it were not for hurting him I would
have him vivisected. And where would the miracle have got to? For it is
clear that when we look at it in this way everything miraculous has dis-
appeared; unless what we mean by this term is merely that a fact has not
yet been explained by science which again means that we have hitherto
failed to group this fact with others in a scientific system. This shows
that it is absurd to say “science has proved that there are no miracles”.
The truth is that the scientific way of looking at a fact is not the way
to look at it as a miracle. For imagine whatever fact you may, it is not in
itself miraculous in the absolute sense of that term. For we see now that
we have been using the word “miracle” in a relative and an absolute sense.
And I will now describe the experience of wondering at the existence of the
world by saying: it is the experience of seeing the world as a miracle.
Now I am tempted to say that the right expression in language for the
miracle of the existence of the world, though it is not any proposition in
language, is the existence of language itself. But what then does it mean

10)
to be aware of this miracle at some times and not at other times[.|?] For all
I have said by shifting the expression of the miraculous from an expression
by means of language to the expression by the existence of language, all I
have said is again that we cannot express what we want to express and that
all we say about the absolute miraculous remains nonsense. — Now the answer
to all this will seem perfectly clear to many of you. You will say: Well,
if certain experiences constantly tempt us to attribute a quality to them
which we call absolute or ethical value and importance, this simply shows
that by these words we don't mean nonsense, that after all what we mean by
saying that an experience has absolute value is just a fact like other
facts
and that all it comes to is that we have not yet succeeded in finding
the correct logical analysis of what we mean by our ethical and religious
expressions. — Now when this is urged against me I at once see clearly,
as it were in a flash of light, not only that no description that I can
think of would do to describe what I mean by absolute value, but that I
would reject every significant description that anybody could possibly
suggest, ab initio, on the ground of its significance. That is to say: I see
now that these nonsensical expressions were not nonsensical because I had
not yet found the correct expressions, but that their nonsensicality was
their very essence. For all I wanted to do with them was just to go beyond
the world and that is to say beyond significant language. My whole tendency
and I believe the tendency of all men who ever tried to write or talk
Ethics or Religion was to run against the boundaries of language. This
running against the walls of our cage is perfectly, absolutely hopeless. —
Ethics so far as it springs from the desire to say something about the
ultimate meaning of life, the absolute good, the absolute valuable, can be
no science. What it says does not add to our knowledge in any sense. But it
is a document of a tendency in the human mind which I personally cannot help
respecting deeply and I would not for my life ridicule it.