We have a purple tree in our yard. I would love to know what sort of tree it is. But I do know I find it beautiful. Is one sort of knowledge not lacking something without the other to complement it? Which is more important, if either? Or are both not important?
On a comment to a recent post of mine, someone said that theologians “dance around the truth”. I liked the phrase, and asked whether dance, and art, and music, and beauty of various sorts may not contain “truth”. The commenter answered in the negative.
I found this sad. I want to analyse and understand the “truth”, but I also want to perform it, and sing it, and dance it, and live it. It seems to me that “truth” encompasses much more than scientific analysis. Knowing what sort of tree this is (if you know, please do tell me) is important truth. But so is appreciation of its beauty.
Without the aesthetic to complement the scientific, it is like understanding all the words but not getting the joke, or seeing the amusing image of Ben Stein and Darwin but not understanding why it is funny.
Interestingly, the discussion also touched on people who claim to commune with trees…