Icons, Steve Jobs, and the Noetic Aspect of Human Understanding

Iconagrapher Lynette Hull talks in the video below of the Icon as a means of knowing that is direct and not filtered through the rational. She speaks of the noetic aspect of human understanding that is experienced via what the Eastern Churches call human nous coupled with beauty (which consists of integrity and fusion of the spiritual with the material). She then talks about how Steve Jobs tapped into this non-rational human experience of knowing by developing the icons now used in graphic user interfaces of modern computers. She called Jobs’ use of the icon as a “great step backward.” He understood the ancient human way of knowing something deeply via symbol (icons) which are layer with many truths, realities and possibilities, and he moved away from a rationalistic approach of the DOS command lines that Bill Gates had developed in his system.

This whole thing about icons, and her comments about it, leave some food for thought, I think, about the nature of a deacon’s evangelistic activity. We are to be “Icons of Jesus the Servant.” Perhaps our presentation of the Gospel, and of Jesus the Servant, is best accomplished by truly becoming icons in the true sense of the word. Perhaps we are to be men upon whom people gaze and understand something of God that cannot be expressed in human thought alone. Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it?

Fascinating stuff….. Take a peek at the video and let me know what you think!


About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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