Monday, 30 November 2009

Beauty will save the world

Works steeped in truth and presenting it to us vividly alive will take hold of us, will attract us to themselves with great power- and no one, ever, even in a later age, will presume to negate them. And so perhaps that old trinity of Truth and Good and Beauty is not just the formal outworn formula it used to seem to us during our heady, materialistic youth. If the crests of these three trees join together, as the investigators and explorers used to affirm, and if the too obvious, too straight branches of Truth and Good are crushed or amputated and cannot reach the light—yet perhaps the whimsical, unpredictable, unexpected branches of Beauty will make their way through and soar up to that very place and in this way perform the work of all three.

And in that case it was not a slip of the tongue for Dostoyevsky to say that “Beauty will save the world,” but a prophecy.

Click here to watch Why Beauty Matters - BBC 2 documentary by Roger Scruton shown 28 Nov 2009


Sarah Fordham said...

The metaphor in the quote reminds me of the Early Church Father Irenaeus saying that the Son and the Holy Spirit are the two hands of God: The Spirit's hand signifies creation and the Son's hand redemption. Denial of this truth and this goodness is an amputation that means man is cut off from his own being. It is a terrible alienation, but something remains - for Beauty cannot be destroyed, just as God the Father is an indestructible reality.
From all eternity His heart beats an irrefutable love and to deny this love is to deny ourselves; in doing so we lose our name and the descent into ugliness is inevitable.
This is why Beauty will save the world. Cut off her hands, cover her face, it makes no difference - she remains the only way for man to know who he is. We must contemplate Beauty as if our lives depended it. When I look into the mirror that is her face, I not only recognise who I truly am, but know that I am already known. This is home.

Roza Kinga said...

Because the truth about existence is that it is Beautiful – truth and beauty reside together. This is not about ignoring suffering or imperfection - but incorporating them into a picture where the Light triumphs, despite their full reality. We have become divorced from this in a culture where God and His traces have been nearly totally obscured. Yet Love conquers Death and is made perfect in its battle with it.

Beauty is Truth

Ruffle the water, stir the bog
Truth lies at the bottom of the soul
Like flying fish jumps and
Flies to the top.
This is the Good News,
Beautiful treasure –

Karolina Stolarska, artist & poet.