I love beauty.
I love truth.
I love fortitude.
I love virtue.
I love temperance.
I love the desire for all of us to be true.
To our – self.
To the wider community.
We wish to be.
It seems nobody is ever turned off by beauty. Beauty, is by definition, engaging, appealing, delightful. A lot of times, people can talk about beauty with passion but sometimes, without much clarity.
Beauty and the experience of beauty can be so personal and selfish that the act of talking about them, sometimes actually ruins them.
The search for beauty is intrinsic to our nature.
In my search for beauty, I am not alone. I think we all are searching for beauty. It is part of our purpose, our purpose in life. And since it is everyone’s individual responsibility to fulfill his/her purpose, beauty, then it is also each and everyone’s moral responsibility.
What is beauty?
It could be said to be ‘the science of sensuous knowledge’. I like to look at it as the pursuit of a more beautiful life.
And how do we do this?
How do we make our lives more beautiful? We have to simply strive towards living morally.
It is as simple and as difficult as that!
Yes, holy shit indeed. Living morally? How the fu*k do we do that?! I mean, ‘live morally’, it seems like in today’s world, lying and amoral behavior is part of the way people do things. And here I am saying that part of the prerequisites to living lives that are more beautiful, we need to be morally up-right.
Shit, that sounds and feels difficult. And, the truth is, yes it is.
As I see it, the building blocks of living morally has foundations in the appreciation of something, in many cases – the appreciation of beauty. You see, when we see something we like (like something/someone that is beautiful), we get positive emotional responses (like desire, hope) which attract us toward that thing.
This appreciation of beauty via the senses then trigger our passions. Hence the connection between beauty and passion. So, the very experience of beauty (in all it’s forms) involves the perception of spiritual good and spiritual truth.
In other words, it is through beauty that we are able to trigger/fire physical reactions to spiritual reality. As creatures of both physical and spiritual dualities, we certainly have physical reactions to spiritual beauty when we feel it.
Think of a time when you heard a beautiful song and your spine tingled. I do all the time, when a particular song/tune/frequency resonates with me. With my frequency. I feel it.
This deep feeling inside is a reaction, a reaction of passion – a passionate reaction in other words. It is part and parcel of the whole experience of beauty. You can also hear many songs and not feel anything. This does not give you the full appreciation of beauty, matter of fact, I’ll go as far as saying you’re not appreciating beauty.
You’re not appreciating truth. You’re not appreciating the aestheticness of the particular beauty (in whatever medium/form it is in) that is being fed into you via your senses.
The thing is, I feel that if you’re not having an aesthetic experience, you’re certainly not feeling something. If it does not resonate with your heart. You are simply not appreciating beauty.
So, it follows that the beholding of beauty can and does (if permitted to), direct our passions, which in turn, provide powerful motivators for action toward spiritual goodness and truth.
At this point, as you can deduce, we all have a moral obligation to pursue beauty. As St. Paul writes towards the end of his letter to the Philippians –
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil. 4:8).
So, if someone were to ask me,
“So, why do you want to search for beauty … why do you want to experience the beautiful?”
I guess my answer would be along the lines of, “Because its’ beautiful, fool!”
I don’t need to explain my answer or justify any further.
I have a word I have for this – “Kaka!”. It means exactly that – that is just the way it is and no further explanation is needed, as I am not obligate to give you one. They (my kids) hate the word.
However, the main reason for my search for beauty is because in the search, you find truth. Your truth. You see, there is a lot of evidence around us and provided by great thinkers that have come before us. Beauty, draws a person toward immaterial truth and goodness.
Beauty, you see, motivates virtue. Motivates one to lead a virtuous life.
Searching for beauty is a continuous search for a virtuous life. Perceiving spiritual truth and goodness in the appreciation of beauty inspires a passion for truth and goodness themselves.
Truth, goodness and beauty are all intrinsically equivalent – each is coextensive with the others. Like each leg of a 3-legged stool is dependent on each other to stay upright.
As John Keats wrote many years ago in his poem Öde to Urn”, I think –
“Beauty is truth and truth, beauty. That is all there is on earth and ye need to know.”
I would have to agree with him.
Continue your search for beauty … for your truth.
In that search, you will find that you will live a more beautiful life. One of virtue.
For virtue, itself is, virtue.
Being virtuous is reflected in a man’s conduct or actions and can be said to be his spiritual beauty.
As John Paul II put it, “All men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.”
So our goal here is simple: to tap into the synergy of energy, the mutual reinforcement , of goodness and beauty, morality an aesthetics. We have to all try to pursue beauty because that is a critical part of living well … of living a good life.
Keep searching. I know I will be.
Until next time … cheers and ahoy!!!
The Old Viking Pirate …. & thoughts of beauty in all its forms & the meaning to a meaningful & beautiful life.