Saturday, February 14, 2009

Truth and Beauty, Beauty and Truth

Just a thought that's been kicking around in my head for quite a while now:

As one who has reconciled himself to his nature as rather a geek, it's easy for me to think of truth only in terms of the rational. Propositional truth, if you will. A statement is either true, or it's not, or you're not sure. Maybe you can't fully measure the factors or evidence to prove or disprove its veracity, but it's still a statement.

To view truth in this way imposes some rather large limitations on the world, and on God as the creator of that world, however. Jesus said He IS truth, and so my view of what truth is, and is not, deeply reflects, or at least limits, my view of God, and of His world. Sure, God is a God of order, of logic, of reason. There's no denying that, and as such, one aspect of truth is that of rational, logical thought and proposition. But God is also a God of magnificent beauty and splendor. He not only is beautiful, but He also created beauty, and He created our ability to perceive and admire beauty and beautiful things, as well as to create beauty and beautiful things (or at least reflect some aspects of His beauty, depending on how you look at it) ourselves, through art and self expression. Every culture throughout history has had rich and varied appreciation of art and beauty. It stands to reason then (no pun intended), that if God is beauty, and created our appreciation of beauty, then He reveals a bit of Himself to us in beauty and beautiful things. God is simply too big and magnificent to be encapsulated solely in the concepts of logic and reason, in rational thought and proposition. There are aspects of God, and therefore aspects of truth, nay, truths themselves, that can only be communicated, revealed, through art and beauty.

We were created with certain inadequacies, holes in our being, for which our souls ache, and long, and in each of these we see an aspect of the God who is calling out to us, to fill those needs.

When your soul begins to ache, let it.

Revel in the truth that is revealed in your longing, that there are things outside yourself that you were created to need, to interact with, and find fulfillment in.

“Art can warm even a chilled and sunless soul to an exalted spiritual experience. Through art, we occasionally receive – vaguely, briefly – revelations the likes of which are unattainable by rational thought.

Like that tiny mirror in fairy tale: you look into it and see - not yourself - but for one, fleeting moment, the Unattainable, to which no man can ride or fly.

And your soul begins to ache.

--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Nobel Lecture on Literature, 1970

1 comment:

mjkisses said...

I know that God speaks to me everyday. A flock of birds or a ray of sun through the clouds just to remind me of his presence in my life. Lately he has given me an ache. It's one that cannot be fullfilled by myself or anyone else for the simple reason that it is something someone would have to give me and they don't want to. What amases me is that he led me to your blog to talk to me once again.LOL. Isn't our God pursistant in his love, and he keeps up with the times of technology too :) lol.