Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Because I do not hope to turn again.

I've been heavily reading that Icarus of philosophy, who at last soared too close to the sun of searing truth before plunging into the sea of madness. You know to whom I refer. He has his many flaws, the marks of his generation and the marks of his own frenzy, but on matters of the greatest import he stands where others can only crawl.

I've written up a storm today, but it would perhaps shock you and certainly convince none of you, so it is best to remain silent. I will only state what I have come to believe more and more over the last several months: that Keats was duping himself, that without objective meaning in the cosmos there comes to be a separation between Beauty and Truth. Much that is true is beautiful to us, but the beautifully false is vast. We yearn for a narrative order that the cosmos simply does not provide.

Once, a homeless man in Berkeley asked me what I most desired in life; without thinking, I responded that I wanted to know the truth. First and foremost, as a religious contemplative and now as a secular one, that has always been my credo. If there comes to be a war (in any sense of the word) between Truth and Beauty, I know my side.

(But in the meantime, I should like to keep company with Beauty; thus my vestigial Catholicism.)

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