In reality, subjective certitude cannot be secured, not because the world is nothing but the aleatory play of opaque signifiers, but because subjective certitude is an irreparably defective model of knowledge; it cannot correspond to or “adequate” a world that is gratuity rather than ground, poetry rather than necessity, rhetoric rather than dialectic. Every act of knowledge is, simultaneously, an act of faith (to draw on Hamann’s delightful subversion of Hume); we trust in the world, and so know it, only by entrusting ourselves to what is more than ourselves; our primordial act of faith meets a covenant that has already been made with us, before we could seek it, in the giving of the light. No one can shut his eyes to that splendor, or seal his ears against that music, except as a perverse display of will; then, naturally, knowledge can be recovered again only as an exertion of that same will. But one then has not merely lost the world momentarily, so as to receive it anew as “truth.” One has lost the world and its truth altogether, and replaced them with a phantom summoned up out of one’s need for a world conformable to the dimensions of one’s own power to establish meaning—a world that is nothing but the ceaseless repetition of otherwise meaningless instantiations of that power.
David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite, pp. 138-139. (via bluedollar)