mardi 17 février 2015

BEAUTY

BEAUTY )))))))))) by Ron McVan
"We must never deviate from a certain spirit of Beauty which is conformable to our race, to our education, and to our civilization." ........Sainte-Beuve
In the span of a human life there are a series of basic stages that we must all go through that are inevitable and all of these stages require certain tasks that every man and woman must perform to the best degree of their ability. Outside of our everyday living life, passions, pleasures and spirituality, we find that we are still searching for something, some ultimate something.... Even if you acquire a fortune of wealth, it does not satisfy the driving urge within you to seek out that seemingly ever elusive yet much needed element in your life. When we go to Nature we are about as close as we can get to finding that which we seek; call it perfection and beauty or the beauty of perfection, nothing displays it as well as Nature. When "we call the object beautiful," Kant says, "we believe ourselves to be speaking with a universal voice, and lay claim to the concurrence of every one, whereas no private sensation would be decisive except for the observer alone and his liking."
Nature reveals to us the stimulating joy of beauty in all of its divine splendor. Nature, we could say, is one vast laboratory for the creation of Beautiful forms, lines, colors, and sounds. In fact Nature does nothing else than create Beauty. It may be safe to say that the longing for Beauty is the profoundest hunger in mankind while upon this earth. Beauty is the something that we literally crave. Most everyone can remember some special moment in time, in an idyllic setting when they experienced a fantastic sunrise or sunset and how the very experience of it touched down deeply within and awakened something that would make that fleeting instant sublime and unforgettable, almost as if it were a divine spiritual experience. Made aware of his own weakness, man is dwarfed by Nature's magnificence, but at that very moment he is also elevated by realizing his ability to appreciate that which is so much greater than himself.
"The basis of true beauty, as of true virtue, as of true genius is---force. Spread over that force a ray of sunshine, elegance, and delicacy and there you have beauty."
...................Victor Cousin
The sensation we feel when we witness true perfect Beauty is almost indescribable, it can make the heart swell or even bring tears to your eyes as we feel when we hear the climatic overwhelming impact of a perfect symphony in a Symphonic concert hall. The aesthetic heart is greatly moved and inspired by Beauty. On the other hand there seems to be something in true beauty which the vulgar cannot admire. To admire Good, tends to unite us with the good; to admire the opposite of good tends to unite us with the opposite of good. People who admire ugly things are surely to be likewise in their soul. The notion of good is that which calms the desire, while the notion of the beautiful is that which calms the desire, by being seen or known. This according to Thomas Aquinas implies that "beauty adds to goodness a relation to the cognitive faculty; so that good means that which simply pleases the appetite, while the beautiful is something pleasant to apprehend." Plato and the Greeks already looked upon Truth and Goodness as mere phases of the beautiful, so that neither goodness nor truth had, for them, any value whatever apart from Beauty; and they saw that ugly goodness, and ugly truthfulness, were surely, social disasters.
The great artistic giants of antiquity be it a Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Phidias or a Homer; these men and others of their caliber were men of extraordinary genius in the field of art and strove with might and main always to create Beauty. They knew that the only way to do that is: to "Hold as it were, the mirror up to Nature." And in the doing, of which those of their personal characteristics----which in any way at all are useful to mankind----radiated unconsciously from them and flowed into their works, thus dignifying human nature, glorifying their own genius, and ultimately elevating their race and ethnic culture.
"Whenever the golden thread of pleasure enters that web of things which our intelligence is always busily spinning, it lends to the visible world that mysterious and subtle charm which we call beauty." ............George Santayana
Next to "What Is God"? an equally mysterious question of the age would be----"What Is Beauty"? Strange as it may appear to those who never pondered that question before, upon the proper answering of it, depends the character of our own future civilization. A profound phrase which has become familiar now too many, is that, "One can judge the intelligence of a civilization by the art that it produces". One look at what America accepts as valid master art these days clearly demonstrates the utter sickness and cultural befuddlement of our trash society. Those people, (human vermin) who do all in their power to replace Beauty with ugly, vulgar, nightmare monstrosities, in all fields of the arts....may they contract brain leprosy and be forever dipped head first into a freshly filled vat of undulating tubercular septic sludge!!!
"The insane art critic, who scribbles incoherent nonsense for his fellow-sufferers, is simply to be pitied and treated as an honest imbecile and not to be punished as a rouge. If he sees hidden meanings in mystically blurred and scarcely recognizable objects, the misfortune, and not the fault, is his, and for what to us may be abominable, ignoble, or laughable he may have some subtle sympathy or affection."
...................F.W. Ruckstull
All the highest creative art epochs in history were ushered in by some great wave of national high collective intelligence among the people and those people were able to appreciate true beauty for what it is, and bent on expressing it through their culture as best as mankind is capable. The pinnacle of Beauty achieved by the ancient Greeks pound for pound would be hard to surpass. The Greeks arrived at the only true occultism----in their ideal of Beauty. It has been said that "Perfect Beauty is like pure water, it has no particular flavor." Thus in the sculptures on the Parthenon, the personality of the sculptor is effaced, so much so, that they are less the work of a single artist than the creations of art itself because the sculptor Phidias, (considered the greatest sculptor of all times) instead of animating them with his own particular soul, passed through them the breath of the Universal Soul. It was Michael Angelo who stated: "That which has been executed with any other intention than to satisfy the eternal laws of Beauty, cannot hope to have any value in the future." In this same line of thought on the subject of Beauty, Goethe further had this to say: "Beauty is at once the ultimate and highest aim of art!" In our Western mythology there are known to be nymph-like fairy spirits known as The Undines. There are various particular groups of Undines. Some inhabit waterfalls, where they can be seen in the spray; others are indigenous to swiftly moving rivers; some have their habitat in dripping, oozing fens of marshes; while others dwell in clear mountain lakes. Ancient poets have said that the songs of the Undines were heard in the West Wind and that their lives were consecrated to the beautifying of the material earth.
Beauty is the greatest of human forces! Men are constantly on the lookout for beauty especially when it comes to women. Men see beautiful drop-dead gorgeous women out in the world all the time, and yet, in the back of their mind they are still waiting to someday see that ultimate woman of totally unsurpassable beauty equivalent to a Helen of Troy, that radiates in goddess-like perfection above all women upon the earth. When a man or a woman are in absolute perfect proportion in all areas of their being it is stunning if not absolutely mesmerizing to the observer. As Plato stated long ago: "The observer of beauty is amazed when he sees anyone having a godlike face or form, which is the expression of divine beauty; and at first a shudder runs through him, and again the old awe steals over him." Plato goes on to say: "When the soul bathes herself in the waters of beauty, her constraint is loosened, and she is refreshed, and has no more pangs and pains. This state of the soul enraptured by beauty is by men called love."
Plotinus, holding that beauty of every kind comes from a "form" or "reason", as well as that "which is in the soul" to its source in the "eternal intelligence." This "intelligible beauty" lies outside the range of desire even as it is beyond the reach of sense-perception. Only the admiration or the adoration of love is proper to it. The ladder of love in Plato's Symposium describes an ascent from lower to higher forms of beauty. "He who has been instructed thus far in the things of love," Diotima tells Socrates, "and who has learned to see beauty in due order and succession, when he comes toward the end will suddenly perceive a nature of wondrous beauty.... beauty absolute, separate, simple, and everlasting, which without diminution and without increase, or any change, is imparted to the ever-growing and perishing beauties of all other things. He who from these, ascending under the influence of true love begins to perceive that beauty is not far from the end."
"The rarest thing in all the world is Beauty----real beauty, in all that word implies---- and he who achieves beauty, need not concern himself about originality or personality." ..................... (architect) Cass Gilbert
LIGHT: is the equilibrium of Shadow and Lucidity.
MOVEMENT : is the equilibrium of Inertia and Activity.
AUTHORITY: is the equilibrium of Liberty and Power.
WISDOM: is the equilibrium in the Thoughts, which are the scintillations and rays of the Intellect.
VIRTUE: is the equilibrium in the Affections: Beauty is harmonious proportion in Forms. The beautiful lives are the accurate ones, and the magnificence’s of Nature are an algebra of graces and splendors. Everything just is beautiful; everything beautiful ought to be just.
When we think of beautiful women a name that will forever stand out in the pages of history was Helen of Troy, the woman with the face that launched a thousand ships. Such a paragon of beauty was she that the two mighty nations of Greece and Troy were willing to completely annihilate each other over her. Even the beauty of the much later in history, Cleopatra, could in no way ever measure up to that goddess-like divine perfection of Helen. The value of beauty---and specifically of Helen's beauty---was analyzed, publicly, by some of the greatest thinkers and rhetoricians in classical Greece. In the book, "Helen of Troy" by the author and scholar, Bettany Hughes, she states: "Helen's pallor was deemed an important part of her desirability. Having white skin was certainly a mark of supreme beauty when Homer composed his epics, and most likely in the Late Bronze Age too. Goddesses were frequently described as 'white-armed' and 'pale-faced'. Mycenaean fresco fragments of high-born women always show them with chalky limbs and faces. Some of the most exquisite and highly valued anthropomorphic artifacts from the Mycenaean world, male and female, are carved out of ivory. Traces of white-lead in a number of Athenian tombs housing female skeletons show that a thousand years on, in the 3rd century BC, women blanched their skin in pursuit of physical perfection. In the West, whiteness came to have its own currency---little surprise that the most beautiful women in the world was always imagined to be perfectly pale."
".....for beauty she (Helen) possessed in the highest degree, and beauty Is of all things the most venerated, the most precious and the most divine. And it is easy to determine its power; for while many things do not have any attributes of courage, wisdom, or justice will be seen to be more highly valued than any one of these attributes, yet of those things which lack beauty we shall find not one that is beloved." ..................Isocrates
Pythagoras taught that even diseases could be healed through the eye; that is, by exposing to the sight, various patterns and colors. Such figures awakened or stimulated moods and thus changed the bodily chemistry. The emotion of beauty purifies the whole corporeal fabric and thereby cures diseases which have been stimulated into manifestation through asymmetry. Pythagoras believed that the contemplation of deformity stimulates deformity, and the only remedy is to superimpose a beautiful proportion over the crooked thought form and thus nullify its forces. Optical medicine was much cultivated by the philosophers. It consisted in the practice of the contemplation of beauty and filling the soul with the substance of its delight---harmony, order, and symmetry. While the bodily senses may perceive by reflection of bodies upon their sensitized surfaces, the soul assuredly goes forth through the sense organs to mingle with the objects of its desire, namely, the qualities for which visible bodies are but outer garments.
In "An Essay on the Beautiful" Plotinus describes the refining effect of beauty upon the unfolding consciousness of man: "Beauty is essential to the natural enfoldment of the human soul. The Mysteries held that man, in part at least, was the product of his environment. Therefore they considered it imperative that every person surrounded by objects which would evoke the highest and noblest sentiments. They proved that it was possible to produce beauty in life by surrounding life with beauty. They discovered that symmetrical bodies were built by souls continuously in the presence of symmetrical bodies; that noble thoughts were produced by minds surrounded by examples of mental nobility. Conversely, if a man were forced to look upon an ignoble or asymmetrical structure it would arouse within him a sense of ignobility which would provoke him to commit ignoble deeds. If an ill-proportioned building were erected in the midst of a city there would be ill-proportioned children born in that community; and men and woman, gazing upon the asymmetrical structure, would live inharmonious lives. Thoughtful men of antiquity realized that their great philosophers were the natural products of the aesthetic ideals of architecture, music, and art established as the standards of the cultural systems of the time." The writings of Plotinus and so many other profound thinkers through the course of our history have made it overwhelmingly clear that a "Great Nation", a strong and vibrantly intelligent nation, must always hold beauty as its highest ideal. Deformity is unnatural, for, the sum of all things being good, it is natural that all things should partake of the Good and be arranged in combinations that are harmonious. Harmony is the manifesting expression of the Will of the eternal Good. Beauty is one of the greatest gifts of God that we humans are graced with the ability to appreciate, or, as in the words of George Santayana, "Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable: what it is or what it means can never be said."
"Beauty therefore seems to be the clearest manifestation of perfection, and
the best evidence of its possibility. If perfection is, as it should be, the ultimate justification of being, we may understand the ground of the moral dignity of beauty. Beauty is a pledge of the possible conformity between the soul and nature, and consequently a ground of faith in supremacy of the good."
.....................George Santayana
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