“And for all I can tell, the only difference is that what many see we call a real thing, and what only one sees we call a dream. But things that many see may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are shown only to one may be spears and water-spouts of truth from the very depth of truth.”
― C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

… when an image is presented as a work of art, the way people look at it is affected by a whole series of learnt assumptions about art. Assumptions concerning Beauty, Truth, Genius, Civilisation, Form, Status, Taste, etc.

Many of these assumptions no longer accord with the world as it is…Out of true with the present, these assumptions obscure the past. They mystify rather than clarify. The past is never there waiting to be discovered, to be recognised for exactly what it is.

History always constitutes the relation between a present and its past. Consequently fear of the present leads to mystification of the past.

The past is not for living in; it is a well of conciousness from which we draw in order to act.

Cultural mystification of the past entails a double loss. Works of art are made unnecessarily remote. And the past offers us fewer conclusions to complete in action.

When we ‘see’ a landscape, we situate ourselves in it. if we ‘saw’ the art of the past, we would situate ourselves in history.

When we are prevented from seeing it, we are being deprived of the history which belongs to us. Who benefits from this deprivation?

In the end, the art of the past is being mystified because a privileged minority is striving to invent a history which can retrospectively justify the role of the ruling classes, and such a justification can no longer make sense in modern terms.

And so, inevitably, it mystifies.

Ways of Seeing by John Berger
“The way we are with each other is the truest test of our faith. How I treat a brother or sister from day to day, how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike, how I deal with normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day may be a better indication of my reverence for life than the anti-abortion sticker on the bumper of my car. We are not pro-life simply because we are warding off death. We are pro-life to the extent that we are men and women for others—all others. To the extent that no human flesh is a stranger to us. To the extent that we can touch the hand of another in love. To the extent that for us there are no “others.””
The Ragamuffin Gospel
Brennan Manning
Audiobook: 4:07:00 (via digitalpreacher)

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.