Friday, 13 October 2017

Truth and Beauty and the Here and Now

Life is hard, but love will help. Love is on our side.

If your understanding of poetry is that it is the expression of the beautiful, then by any reasonable measure love is poetry. Therefore it is only possible to express any deep understanding of love in a form that is pure art and reveals pure beauty. Therefore the best philosophy of love must be poetry, and this to me is the essence of the language of spirituality. Truth expressed in beauty, revealing love.

This is how we're able to say that truth is beauty. Not that mere appearance of beauty ensures truth, but that anything that claims to be a deep truth about love, if it is not beautiful it simply cannot be true.
Not that all of reality is beautiful. To claim that would clearly be false. It's just that I think love is better and I believe that because it is better, love wins.

Truth can be painful, whilst still being beautiful. Truth is able to remain beautiful through the pain, because it carries hope. We can have faith in the hope, and that itself is beautiful. We trace the rainbow through the rain.

I've travelled the world, a bit, and everywhere I go I meet good people. You have an incredibly rich and complex understanding of the world, deeper and broader than at any point in history before. Merely by living, and functioning (mostly), in modern society there is a huge amount you just know and understand (and take for granted) that was just not understood by those who came before us and upon whose shoulders we stand. Whatever you may think of yourself, that means you're clever. You know a lot of stuff and you use that knowledge all the time. But the truth is, we all have our gifts and our qualities. The essence of what it is to be you or to be me. We all can have a place, a part to play. Things to do and ways to be useful, and to enjoy doing it. It just takes a bit of working out between us. What a thing it is when you're able to really see people and to really trust people, whilst keeping your eyes open. And yes, maybe some people are dumb. But only relatively speaking, not in absolute terms. And it makes the challenge of raising children such a task. There's so much for them to learn and understand (and explore and create and enjoy). We have to care for those we love, but that still leaves us (sometimes) with the capacity to care for others too. It seems like wishful thinking, but it actually happens in small communities all the time, where people really care for each other. It's the nature of what it is to be a family. Negative behaviour and negative world views inevitably come from the way people see the world, how they learned to see the world from their childhood and life experiences. Many, probably most, want to be good but the world is scary, complex and confusing with so many contradictory voices and hosts of difficulties. A negative worldview (including how you see other people including people groups) can seem like the truth, like the right way to think. The challenge, and it is a challenge, is to demonstrate that a positive world view can work and that caring is actually just a better way to live. However far apart we may feel, and honestly everyone feels like an outsider and that's scary, the reality is that we do actually live together. We share this place, like it or not.

If we accept that because love is beautiful any expression of the nature of love must also be beautiful and that this is the essence of spirituality, this tells us something of the nature of the truth any purported spiritual work or text contains. The truth of anything claiming to be spiritual, claiming to reveal something of the nature of love, is to be found in its beauty. So we read spiritual works not for the mundane and literal truth they may (or may not) contain, but in order to understand the beauty within them and how that beauty reflects and casts light on reality and the substance and ways of love.


"That which art love, I will trust it completely. That which art the enemy I will fight. Even though I am scared I will fight."

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