The following reflection is from Jonathan Councell, attendee at this year’s Summer Institute retreat.
Truth cannot be known, discovered, or communicated.
I cannot understate how frightening the above statement is, or how debilitating it is to my soul. On all of our souls. Whether or not we will admit it–whether or not I admit it–this encultured presupposition haunts us. Behind all of our pretense and show of strength–like Aeneas–we “Burdened and sick at heart…feign hope in [our] look and inwardly contained [our] anguish.”
So I turn my eyes back upon day two of the CiRCE summer institute at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC. I entered a setting in which I was known for being a truth-lover, a reader of great books, a lover of Christ. This instant recognition, this discovery of oneness, this realization of kinship, this affirmation of being, was a gift and balm to my soul. This wayfaring group of adults–not wanderers–took this community of sense, of language, of belief, of loves, and dwelt upon the Aeneid. We sat, well fed and watered, in a millennia-old pasture of immense value, under the sound guidance of a very wonderfully sheep-like moderator–and, unlike the world of lost and hungry animals from which we all came, we spoke of truth, discovered it, and communicated it one to another. Oh, and there are mountains.
“Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together…”
“Come apart, and rest awhile.”