<span lang='en'>Considering the contention that modern artists were involved in a search for truth. And why they didn’t find it!</span>

Considering the contention that modern artists were involved in a search for truth. And why they didn’t find it!

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The question being is there place to learn that there has been a progression in the history of Art in Western Culture that can be seen as a process of stripping away of false doctrines and dogmas, driven by a “human desire for truth”, a human spirit which cannot accept interminable submission to the reign of falsehood and will search always for way to express itself in a truer sense. This explanation gives light to the novel idea that also amongst the Nations there is a search for and progression towards for truth, paralleling the process of the Redemption in which the full truth of the Kingdom of Holiness will be revealed (speedily in our days) from underneath “the darkness that covers the earth”, that is, the Galus of Yisrael, the Rule of the Nations. Thus this is certainly a novel idea, that there is likewise a desire for truth amongst the Nations.

This question begins for me from the fact the idiom which is the result of the above mentioned historical artistic progression seems to me without doubt to be an apt and able tool for the expression of true Torah principles. Namely, the idiom of artistic expression that in general falls under the heading of  Abstract Expression in its various forms initially and principally the product of  the artists of the so-called “New York School” in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Their achievements can be seen as crowning this process of stripping away falsehood (which can be seen as beginning in the period of “the Renaissance”, which roughly parallels the time of the Arizal and what is noted in holy sefarim as being the beginning of the period of the revelation of the “Light of Mashiach”, a subject which need be understood correctly and is not within the scope of what I can write here.) Yet in simplicity the parallel is seen, that if such a “quest for truth” among the Nations exists it is coincident and thus likely related to the general historical reality of the approaching of the revelation of truth in the world with the Redemption.

[The existence of the above mentioned idiom and its usefulness and centrality to my artistic creation in the pursuit of expressing values of truth-Torah is not a question for me, rather the seemingly unusual fact of the “discovery” of this idiom as the outcome of historical cultural progression within the Nations. The nature of this idiom itself is subject of a great amount of my personal exploration over the last ten years, in the creation of artworks and in my attempts to elucidate their meaning and significance in writing. This will not at all be discussed here. Here I will focus in short on a single point (which in past writings I have also sought to elucidate)–on the side that there is indeed a search for truth by the Modern Artists, if so what is the reason for their failure to cross the bridge to the side of truth and admit the supremacy of the Holy Torah? The light that this casts upon what can be considered nonetheless their positive achievements and contributions I will leave for the reader to decide for himself, and perhaps for another essay.]

The problem is that in the question is already the difficulty. For implied in “the search for truth” is that the truth is not known.  (Equally it could be understood:“search for that which is hidden.” And this second kind of search is proper.) But the secular person starts in his search with an assumption that all is clear yet I am out to discover something new, which was not yet known. As in science or technology. Want to discover how to get to the moon, something which has never been known. Set out to discover the way. The way that is hitherto unknown.

Thus the secular person wants to search out the truth. This is philosophy. I will use logic to discover the truth*.

This is the stumbling block and the reason as to why they never discover the truth.

For the truth is known:בראשית ברא א-קים וגו’.

And the truth is evident in all His works. Even though it is often hidden, even very hidden. One must recognize the truth in his heart. This is emunah. With emunah one can discover the truth that is hidden.

The main point is to start from the knowledge that the truth is already known. It was revealed to Moshe, given to Yehoshua, etc., it is with us today. Nevertheless, as the truth is hidden, one must start with emunah. For the power to deny the truth was also given to man. Thus the secular one starts by denying the truth, and then proceeds to proclaim that he is searching for it.

[As far as the artistic School mentioned above, however, it is likely difficult to find among them even a few who would state that their intention in their work was for the sake of finding and expressing truth. And the discussion above only concerns one who claims that his intention is for the sake of truth.]

Yet, in a merciful outlook, there is great mercy on all those who have been taught from the youngest age to deny the truth. (Whether to deny it completely or to be taught false beliefs). For what is a poor child to do in a world where everyone is shouting at him constantly that the truth is not?

For such a person; he needs to search out the truth. For him too, it is already known, yet deep in his being.


(*The truth cannot be discerned by philosophy, for philosophy is bound to human logic, and truth is above human intelligence. And although human intelligence can (and must!) recognize that truth is above its domain, nevertheless this is all that it can recognize, since it is above its domain! Thus philosophy starts and finishes with one statement: there is G-d!)