Redefining Truth, Beauty, and Meaning
Articulating abstract ideas often results in a ‘broken-telephone’ effect whereby the intended meaning is warped at the end of its journey through the chain of transmission. If the vessels of communication operate on different frequencies, even concepts as seemingly universal as truth, beauty and meaning prove to be problematically amorphous.
Consider this dilemma, of a fictional emperor, one who has just conquered territories mired by contradictions in values, unequal standards of living and opportunistic violence. The emperor stands on the marble ruins of his predecessor’s palace and watches as the sun sinks into a scarred landscape, casting the reflection of the sunset on the marble so that it shimmers in a concoction of pink and blood. The scene brings a grim smile to the emperor, who decides then and there to build a new world of truth, beauty and meaning. He summons his two most trusted generals and orders them to restore the war-warped world in accordance with his chosen principles. The problem is that one general is ruthlessly methodological, thinking only in decimals, and the other a technocrat, forever mechanically innovating. Consequently, his two generals set out to apply their own interpretations of truth beauty and meaning, and the ultimate result is very different from what the emperor had in mind. The world is certainly improved, but it lacks cohesion, with certain territories excelling in infrastructural development, but lacking in culture, and others standing out as vibrant trade hubs, but suffering vast discrepancies in wealth.
The emperor recognizes his mistake, bringing in a master storyteller to help him redefine truth, beauty, and meaning for his generals. The essence of the message is pulled from the vaporous clouds of idealism and molded into something tangible. What that meaning is doesn’t matter, but the emperor succeeded. The Wisaal team doesn’t have an emperor, generals, or territory – it’s a family. But the Wisaal family has redefined truth, beauty and meaning… to offer holistic solutions for individuals, institutions, and the community. Truth: does the solution set something right? Beauty: is the solution elegant? Meaning: does it leave a legacy?
What does truth, beauty, and meaning mean to you?