Image by Dene Miles
“Beauty feeds the soul, wakens it, and brings it to life as nothing else can. Beauty is a deep-seated reaction to some meaningful and stunning presentation of life. It stops you and gives you an instant promise of pleasure. But if you have no soul, you won’t even see the beautiful in the thick layers of your practicality and in the density of your own ego. All your senses and your full imagination have to be alert when beauty makes its appearance. If you miss it, it is like going without food.” — Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul
“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” — Antonio Gramsci
“We speak of the masculine and the feminine but they are the wrong labels. It is really more a matter of poetry versus intellectualization. — Victoria Erickson
Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and packages. Beauty is in nature, art, as well as behaviors and thoughts. I always have an eye out for beauty. I always appreciate someone pointing out a beauty I hadn’t noticed. And as Mr. Moore says, it feeds the soul.
Beauty is always given to us, but it’s up to us to notice, to stop and bask in it. You can create beauty yourself, out of your own means, whether your means are luxurious or meager. Beauty is like water. You can’t live without it.
The world is undeniably suffering from a surfeit of ugliness. The cunning human mind is very talented at creating ugly environments, which furthers the ugliness-juggernaut we all must contend with. Growing up deprived of beauty is a kind of starvation of the soul.
As Thomas Moore says, practicality and bottomline thinking strip our world of beauty and its pleasures. It’s unnecessary, superfluous, according to this point of view. It doesn’t fatten the bank account.
I am fortunate to live with someone who grew up with modest means but who learned to fashion beauty out of anything that came to hand. She was encouraged to develop this talent by parents who saw her genius and appreciated it.
Thoughts, ideas, reflections and reactions often carry an immaterial thread of beauty. We need to live as much as possible inside this paradigm, but I’m not saying we should shut out ugliness and unpleasantness. If you are open to beauty you are open to ugliness as well. You see the world. You react to it. We can’t just focus on beauty alone and shut out everything else. That’s not how sensitivity works.
In the spacious mind, everything enters.
There is a bridge between art, spirituality and philosophy for me in this approach to living. I think that we are often injured by an increasingly ugly society we grow up in and that to heal ourselves we need beauty of all kinds.
We need the beauty of love, the beauty of nature, the beauty of art and the beauty of ideas. Finding those beauties will go a long way to righting our little ship and if enough of us find our way, the world will find its way.
- Anima Fire is my publication