Mathematicians have a peculiar test for the truth of a mathematical formula. According to them, a formula cannot be true if it is not beautiful. A mathematical formula that is correct has a certain elegance about it. When you write it on the board, it presents itself well balanced, clean, even pure. The observer recognizes a certain beauty in the way the formula is written. That formula has a better chance of being true than a formula that is clumsy or ugly when it is written on the board.
Since I read that several years ago, I’ve held that understanding in the back of my head. Here is what I have discovered: more times than not, what is beautiful is indeed true. Certainly I am not talking about our world’s superficial definition of beauty. Beauty is indeed more than skin deep. But a life that is lived beautifully is a life that is true. Nature, in its elegance, is beautiful and therefore, one of the truest things I know. The love a mother has for her child, the love of a newly engaged couple, the determined care of an artist—all these are beautiful and all these are true.
So, I guess, one of my unspoken goals in life is to live a beautiful life. I think if I can do that I can live a life that is also true. I think one of the reasons God made it this way is because a beautiful life is attractive and will cause people to come around and ask you about your life, and give you a chance to share the center of all beauty—Jesus Christ Himself.
I think the mathematicians are right. I think beauty is indeed truth, and I think it is through beauty that God shows Himself to us.
- What have you noticed in your world that is beautiful?
- What have you noticed in your world that is true?
- Are the two the same?
- What would it take for your life to be beautiful, and therefore true?