Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Thursday, May 3, 2012
What is beauty?
Just a couple of days ago I went on a hike up in the Mission Trails area of San Diego. The hills and trails are an amazing place to see the natural world, get some exercise, and really appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. It’s a wonder how easily people, myself included, can block out the simplistic splendor the world has to offer. In the fast paced consumerism world we live in, it isn’t sexy or profitable to advertise the beauty in things that don't easily translate into profit. Apropos to this idea is the very word beauty. I’ve often found my mind going directly to an image of a gorgeous woman when I hear the word beauty, and it’s not surprising when we consider every American is bombarded with pictures, movies, advertisments, and such constantly telling us that is the accepted form of beauty. Now there’s nothing wrong with thinking of women as a form of beauty. I for one am completely anamored with women, however, as Confucius has told us, beauty exists everywhere. We just need to open our eyes to it.
Does Everything really have beauty?
If you think about it, saying everything has beauty might seem suspect. Garbage heaps and sewage plants aren’t the most attractive places to be or to visually admire. Some might argue that abandoned buildings are not very attractive either. However, if you examine each without the accepted negative connotations associated with them, what do you see then? Nothing exists in a vacuum, but opening yourself up to a new perspective might lead you to a new appreciation for something you once thought had no beauty at all. Certainly you may find that some things are much easier to identify as beautiful as opposed to others. That’s natural.
Creating a new beauty
Now for the hard part. Take a moment and set aside all you know about beauty, all you expect and want from beauty, all you have been conditioned to believe is beautiful. Just try to silence the expectations and just appreciate a subject for what it is. Contemplate the value of the object before you solely on its merits. Practice with several different things and see if it jars your way of thinking. Really look, let yourself feel.
Now, what do you see?
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