Saturday, November 7, 2009

Facts and Truth

Because we come from a common origin, there’s a desire for that which is true. Myth is more powerful as a weapon for cultural renewal than math and science. When you want facts, look in an encyclopedia. When you want truth, look in songs, art, literature, and sculpture. In our rationalistic way, we think facts are truth, but facts and truth are not the same. Our desire to make them the same is why we sometimes never move on from knowledge into wisdom.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chesterton on Myth

“Mythology is a search. It combines a recurrent desire with a recurrent doubt. It’s not the prophet saying, ‘These things are.’ It’s the voice of a dreamer saying, ‘Why cannot these things be?’”
—G. K Chesterton

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Longing for Beauty

The books or music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them: it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of the worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news form a country we have never yet visited.
—C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 2, 2009


“We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance.”
When beauty is lost, “the whole of worldly being falls under the dominion of ‘knowledge.’ And the springs and forces of love immanent in the world are overpowered and finally suffocated by science, technology and cybernetics. The result is a world without women, without children, without reverence for love…a world in which power and the profit-margin are the sole criteria, where the disinterested, the useless, the purposeless is despised, persecuted and in the end exterminated—a world in which art itself is forced to wear the mask and features of technique.”
—Hans Urs van Balthasar

Legends, Fairy Tales and Truth

“All too often the legends old men tell are closer to the truth than the facts young professors tell. The wildest fairy tales of the ancients are far more realistic than the scientific phantasms imagined by moderns.” —Hilaire Belloc