Wisdom, Beauty and Truth

“Every moment instructs, and every object; for wisdom is infused into every form.” – Emerson, Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical, comp. by Charles Noel Douglas. New York: Halcyon House, 1917; Bartleby.com, 2012.

A friend of mine recently asked me: “Can a tree be wise?” It was a sweet, seemingly simple question to answer, but it really got me thinking about the nature of life and its infinitely variable forms. I’ve come to the initial conclusion, based on an assumption, that if life is the radiant evidence of the body (truth) of love, then yes, there is wisdom in all things, including trees.

Truth is the matrix – composed of principles, purposes, designs and control – into which the light of love is poured. When love is met by truth, wisdom and its material cousin beauty emanate from above down and within outward. When love is met by something other than truth, foolishness and ugliness are breathed into life. Love is the only power, but its birth into life is wholly dependent on the nature of the intervening matrix.

The reason why nature is so beautiful, even in its darkest corners and oddest phenomena, is that nature does not possess free will and therefore cannot manipulate truth as do human beings. To the degree that man has remained cognizant of the reality of truth, his expression is wise, fitting, beautiful and generative. Wherever he has bent the truth to suit his purposes, however, darkness, sordidness, tribulation and imperfection prevail.

Is it correct to call a tree “wise?” The answer is clearly yes, without a doubt. And if I am not mistaken, we have yet much to learn from them.

8 thoughts on “Wisdom, Beauty and Truth

  1. Joshua

    Their consistent stillness while maintaining flexibility is something I adore.
    More specifically, when I review, in the shade of the eve, the events of the past days failures to remain so, in the heat of it all. Being tossed about by the currents that move, is no fun, and especially when in review, as unavoidable as it seemed in the moment, it was.
    Faith, tried tested and true, firmly based upon what has been called the “Rock of Reality” or truth, is easily found when sought, even at the most emotionally challenging of times.
    Our minds have a way of reverting to the self-preservation state if we are not careful, and really, that’s not ok. Its that state, with which, we all wish to be done.
    With still an abundance of trees to be found, leaves little to no excuse in the moment to lack a starting point, and if there are no trees, what of a rock?


  2. Colin

    There are so many ways we can refine our expression of truth. The process would continue even if we were able to have the perfect configuration of the “matrix” for a certain moment. The wonderful thing about it, however, is that there is no shortage of lessons on how we can continue that refining process. I’m sure there are innumerable lessons we can learn even from a tree.


  3. Isabelle

    At the end of each day, we should take an honest look to see if we’ve tried to bend the truth for our own needs. If so, our lives will quickly unravel as to work outside of the principles, purpose, design and control that you mentioned, creates chaos. Thank you for this reminder of the beauty of living without guile.


  4. Steve V

    When love is met by truth wisdom and beauty emanate is a magnificent realization. I am urged to consider this and to apply it in all my living knowing and learning the more of what this awareness brings.


  5. David R

    Wisdom and beauty pour forth constantly from the various forms of nature, including our own bodies. It is truly remarkable that this truth is apparently so thoroughly hidden from the mind of man as it searches vainly for elusive answers to his painful plight. Your post today unveils the beautiful and immutable processes that infuse all living things.


  6. Joy

    I love your description of the intervening matrix Gregg, this is where I need to make adjustments when I miss the mark, and find myself caught in foolish endeavours. Your words are received with much thankfulness.


  7. Lady Leo

    I think nature is an excellent example of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. As the heart is intent on being available for its place in the matrix of truth that you’ve described, we realize that what is most beautiful is the fulfillment of love’s power whatever the result seems. I guess this is why we are advised to withhold judgement. The momentary result does not have to be beautiful to man but to God.


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