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Thursday 1st January 2015 @ 11:26 am / Personal

What does it mean to be ‘real?’

That question lies at the heart of my personal two fold challenge this coming year.

Two out of the last three years, I have completed photography challenges on Facebook. They have been fun for me. And they help me remember people and places I have had the honour of interacting with.

I forget too easily.

And so, part one of the two fold challenge, is yet another year of photographs. One a day.

This time, the hashtag is #TruthBeautyGoodness

For most of the last two thousand years, Truth, Beauty and Goodness have been used to help humanity describe the quest for what is real.

Really real.

Before the scientific revolution of the last few hundred years (which, I am in no way disparaging, except as a final arbiter for what is ‘real’ and what is not), Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Locke and many other philosophers used these ‘transcendentals’ to help the discussion of reality.

What it means ‘to be.’

I am not a philosopher, and I am not a scholar. So my limited understanding, un–nuanced and culturally limited, is all about desire. A desire to be open to truth wherever it may be found, a desire to recognise beauty in all it’s wild forms, and a desire to experience and deliver goodness, whatever shape it may be. These elements often ‘transcend’ black and white categories of definition, and their best, edge us beyond ourselves.

Somewhere unspoken.

Somewhere mysterious.

Somewhere Sacred.


How did these transcendentals – truth, beauty and goodness – help to define and refine what it means ‘to be?’


They worked together –

If it was true, it was beautiful and good.

If it was good, it was true and beautiful.

If it was beautiful, it was good and true.


And so, reality takes us beyond ourselves, into the things that are transcendent.

And in the dance of the three, of what is transcendent, you find what is real.

Really real.


And so every day of the next year I will be taking a photograph of something that strikes me as ‘truth’, ‘beauty’ or ‘good.’ Even now I can sense that some representations will leave some people thinking, ‘that’s not true!’ Or, ‘that is NOT beautiful.’


And at that moment – there is movement.

Movement to look again, to let art speak, to be open to something ‘other than’ … to move to a new place of appreciation, understanding, compassion, grace.


But that might not happen.

Honestly, I don’t know.


All I do know at the start of another year, is that keeping my eyes open for #TruthBeautyGoodness around me, will move me to new spaces of gratitude, and just maybe, will increase my understanding of what is real. Really real.


Oh, the second thing in the two fold challenge?

A blog a week.

This is the first.






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