In this world we need the awareness of beauty. It is everywhere, as Confucius said, but in order to experience it we have to be receptive for it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/beauty-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder.html). So it is a relationship, like Love and Quality (See Robert Pirsich: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). Said differently: Beauty is not a quality of some object, but an inner state.In Dutch Freemasonry the road to Beauty goes through Wisdom and Power (strength). So one way to reach Beauty is to develop ones own wisdom and personal power. Than can be done through self investigation, because wisdom and power is always present in us. Sometimes however it is blocked or underdeveloped. We have to find out what is setting our power and wisdom back, so that we can deal with our setbacks.
Because Beauty is an inner state it is an interesting question if there can be Beauty without an object. I think this is possible. Imagine for example you are in Nature, in a place where is absolute silence. Then it may happen that this silence overwhelms your mind. There is nothing left, no observer, no thinker, even no nature anymore. Then the mind is in a state of complete being alone. That silence is Beauty. It can also be reached in other moments, for instance after total surrender in making love, in deep meditation, while getting lost in a beautiful picture or very moving music. In the end then the object vanishes, like Nature in the first example. Nothing is left. *)
Having said that, the above examples show that external reality (Nature, paintings, a partner, music) can help to reach that state. Focussing with full attention on these external object is a second road to beauty, besides the road of self discovery I mentioned above.
One thing that triggers the experience of Beauty in me is when I am witnessing craftsmanship: a combination of excellent skill sand personal involvement. I can experience that with a musician, choir or orchestra, or with actors, with a carpenter or any profession.
Beauty as far as I am concerned is manifested love, as Plato already saw. Actually, it is the easiest way to reach Love. So let’s go for it: I need it, you need it, we all need it. It will make the world a better place.
*) Example inspired by J. Krishnamurti, Freedom of the known.
Disclaimer: I apologize for mistakes in my English. Blogs are cursory – not stuff for correction by a native speaker.
Antwoord aan The roads to beauty.