I am the Hidden Treasure that Desires to be Known is a Biblical reference, but one can apply to life itself and what we actually know about life itself. We ae able to note the fundamental sense in which physics, with its equations, only ever gives abstract structural descriptions of reality. It never tells us anything about the intrinsic nature of matter, in so far as its intrinsic nature is more than its structure.
‘Physics is mathematical,’ Russell wrote, ‘not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little: it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover. For the rest, our knowledge is negative.’ He went further, observing that ‘as regards the world in general, both physical and mental, everything that we know of its intrinsic character is derived from the mental side’ and – again, many years later – that ‘we know nothing about the intrinsic quality of physical events except when these are mental events that we directly experience.’