ON BEAUTY

Beauty will save the world
- Fjodor Dostsovjeskij
Raw beauty shaped by the hands of Ragnhild Wik.

Raw beauty shaped by the hands of Ragnhild Wik.

I find beauty often to be hidden in the unexpected. 

I find beauty often to be hidden in the unexpected. 

Beauty can be recognized as an immediate sense of pleasure by the perception of something. 

Beauty can be recognized as an immediate sense of pleasure by the perception of something. 

THE POWER OF BEAUTY

I have often felt a sense of shame for my own enchantment on what I find beautiful. Wondered why it's so important for me to surround myself with things I find beautiful, or why I'm disturbed by the opposite. Is it not a quite superficial trait to care about such?

It is quite obvious though, that I am not the only one being seduced by beauty. Todays society are floating in ads about how we can become more beautiful, what to buy to get a more beautiful home, cottage, garden, face, body, whatever. Everything can be spared for money, and the market forces seem to have taken over the term completely (it is quite possible this is also the origin of my shame).

On the other hand, philosophers have been fascinated enough to immerse themselves in the subject, and science has attempted to provide an objective assessment basis on the theme, while religions have elevated it to something spiritual. Beauty speaks to our feelings rather than our reason, and when thinking thoroughly about it,  I believe it is closely related to the essence of being human.

Pope John Paul II has written about it  in his open letter, on "The Saving Power of Beauty";

"Too often, though, the beauty that is thrust upon us is illusory and deceitful, superficial and blinding, leaving the onlooker dazed; instead of bringing him out of himself and opening him up to horizons of true freedom as it draws him aloft, it imprisons him within himself and further enslaves him, depriving him of hope and joy….

Authentic beauty, however, unlocks the yearning of the human heart, the profound desire to know, to love, to go towards the Other, to reach for the Beyond. If we acknowledge that beauty touches us intimately, that it wounds us, that it opens our eyes, then we rediscover the joy of seeing, of being able to grasp the profound meaning of our existence."  
 

A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING 

By further reflection it is obvious that it does not have to be superficial, on the contrary, it could be deeply fundamental, and as Pope John Paul II writes,  even liberating.

Plato thought everything in our world is based on an ideal world of ideas. The good idea = beauty, kindness and truth. * In that way, beauty becomes inextricably linked to wisdom (the true) and to ethics (the good). Can something that does not take into account ethics or wisdom thus be beautiful?

By expanding the perspective of beauty, to also reflect what is good and true, gives a deeper and more true experience of beauty, and I would say that it will give a much richer experience on beauty. 

Our longing for beauty is a strong force. Can we use the power to promote true beauty, it will become a strong and positive force for creating a better world.

Fjodor Dostsovsky once wrote; “Man can live without science, he can live without bread, but without beauty he could no longer live, because there would no longer be anything to do to the world. The whole secret is here, the whole of history is here”

I believe there is no better way of saying it. 


Sources:

https://isammeverden.cappelendamm.no/tekst.html?tid=1746420&sek=1150600Svendsen, Lars Fr. H. og Simo Säätelä, Det sanne, det gode og det skjønne. En innføring i filosofi, Oslo 2007.Tollefsen, Torstein, Henrik Syse og Rune Fritz Nicolaisen, Tenkere og ideer, Oslo 1998.

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/beauty-will-save-the-world-from-the-mouth-of-an-idiot-to-the-pen-of-a-pope

http://w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/it.html