Monday, April 21, 2008

Back to Beauty

Art is created out of the Lack. It comes from the yearning in our hearts for something more. This is significant in terms of our discussion for two reasons. First, most, if not all, prayer also comes from the lack. Thus, there is an intrinsic link between art and prayer. Second, for most artists, there is the lack but no true answer (sometimes the answer is to suppress the question, which is no answer at all). We, however, have an answer; this answer does not take away the lack, but directs it towards something, someone. In fact, this intensifies the lack. Once we identify what our hearts yearn for, our hearts ache that much more. In this yearning for something more (for the Infinite), we are utterly human and utterly dependant. It is in our humanity that we, as Christians, appeal to others. It is when it is clear that we have the same desires as everyone else that the Christian life seems both possible and attractive. Our desires are most evident in our art.


Alberto Hurtado said...


I'm not totally following your reference to "the Lack." Could you help me out?

I also have another question, which might be answered by the first. What sort of cause do you see this "lack" as? It would seem to me that it is only an efficient cause spurring us onward to action. But we would still need an "abundance" (in terms of beauty for art and grace for prayer) to spur on the "formal" and "final" causes of our actions.

Just a thought...

Anamaria said...

The Lack is our yearning for something more. For example, when we look at a beautiful thing, if we are alive at all, we don't say, "Great, I saw something beautiful, my need for beauty if fulfilled. Let's go home." Instead, we want to look at it forever, or we want something more beautiful. Perhaps we are content that day, but the next day we want something beautiful again. The Lack is that yearning. It also manifests itself in our yearning for love (we always want more. The idea of "enough love" is absurd) and in how we live.

The Lack does spur us to action, to go and try and fulfill this yearning. In terms of what philosophical category of cause is, I'm not sure. But I do think that once we identify the lack, we realize that a lot of our lives are explained. Why we are discontent when external circumstances indicate that we should be content, why when we are content we ache, etc., and then why we act a certain way.

Anamaria said...

oh, and are you chilean?