The coincidence of loving and being loved

unity-rhiannon-marhiFellow Californian Rhiannon Marhi combines captivating colors and themes that settle the heart down and help it find its center where all is gift – where one experiences oneself most fundamentally as graciously gifted. It’s popular (and correct, I think) to argue that beauty describes a more fundamental, more primal mode of knowing than language. That’s why ‘ineffable’ doesn’t imply ‘irrational’ or ‘meaningless’. When I find a great quote, I think of what it would look like if it were painted. Nicholas of Cusa’s quote here speaks of self-knowledge as coincident with knowledge of being loved by God. I thought that quote sounds like Marhi’s painting appears.

“The likeness which seems to be created by me is the Truth which creates me, so that in this way, at least, I apprehend how closely I ought to be bound to You, since, in You, being loved coincides with loving. For if in You who are my likeness I ought to love myself, then I am exceedingly bound to do so when I see that You love me as Your creature and image.” (Nicholas of Cusa, 1401-1464 CE)

2 comments on “The coincidence of loving and being loved

  1. Matthew Hryniewicz says:

    Lately I’ve begun to think that beauty offers a kind of answer to what I refer to as the wordless questions we ask with our heart. A sort of ineffable reply to our ineffable longings, provided to us by a God who is (you guessed it) ineffable. It feels strange to type it, but I think that this unspeakable language is our best avenue for expressing cataphatic knowledge. We speak with our very being, not merely with our intellect and voice.

    For me art is a sort of language, and every painter is a theologian, every poet a philosopher, and every composer a metaphysician.

    I’m not 100% sure that this all makes intelligible sense, but I feel very deeply that there’s truth to be found down this road.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. malcolmsnotes says:

    Great post Tom. Very moving. Hope you’re doing well my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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