White Doe of Truth

“In this world of lies, Truth is forced to fly like a scared white doe in the woodlands; and only by cunning glimpses will she reveal herself, as in Shakespeare and other masters of the great Art of Telling the Truth, even though it be covertly, and by snatches.” Herman Melville

Herman Melville
Artist Unknown, White Doe in the Woods

We must continually seek out these glimpses of Truth – wherever there is art, beauty, goodness – we will find truth reflected. It is easy, in our modern materialistic and concrete environment, to stop believing Truth even exists. Our culture is degrading into subjectivism and nihilism – modern art and architecture are often either narcissistic or coldly utilitarian. If we take the time to read a novel by Dostoyevsky, listen to a Sonata by Beethoven, read Fairy Tales with our children, travel to and discover a unique culture – we will “snatch” some of these glimpses. Seeking and finding this “scared doe” can bring faith and hope to our perspective.

“For they (art and music) 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 from a country we have never yet visited.”

C.S. Lewis

“We need to understand the role of art, and stop thinking about it as an option, or a luxury, or worse, an affection. Art is the bedrock of culture itself. It is the foundation of the process by which we unite ourselves psychologically, and come to establish productive peace with others. As it is said, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). That is exactly right. We live by beauty. We live by literature. We live by art. We cannot live without some connection to the divine — and beauty is divine — because in its absence life is too short, too dismal, and too tragic. And we must be sharp and awake and prepared so that we can survive properly, and orient the world properly, and not destroy things, including ourselves — and beauty can help us appreciate the wonder of Being and motivate us to seek gratitude when we might otherwise be prone to destructive resentment.”

Jordan B. Peterson

One thought on “White Doe of Truth

  1. I’ve been trying to take more seriously our efforts to classically educate our last two daughters at home. Just teaching our older five religion wasn’t enough to launch them into a world that instantly attacked all of their religious values. So I’m amping up the classics. Just bought a copy of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing the Melville quote.

    Liked by 1 person

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