To create is always to learn,
to begin over,
to begin at zero. — Matthew Fox
In John O’Donohue’s book The Invisible Embrace of Beauty, O’Donohue mentions St. Thomas Aquinas, who believed that beauty was the perfection of a thing. “To know a thing is to awaken to its depth, complexity and presence.” According to Aquinas, each thing secretly and profoundly desires to be known.
O’Donohue’s discussion links learning, creativity, and beauty together. My Ph.D. is solidly in the area of “learning,” yet beauty and creativity seem so central to the learning process. I can’t think of one term without the other. Being in nurturing, beautiful environments opens our hearts, and having an open heart is necessary for true learning. And when we learn, we move a step closer to wholeness, which gives birth to more beauty. (Now if we could just do something about ugly schools and corporations and city buildings and…)