How do I distinguish fundamental beauty from fleeting, or superficial, beauty? What is the nature of illusion? What is the nature of dis-illusion? How does one get through illusion?
I thought of (yet) another really good reason for this study of beauty. So far, my reasons have been simple: I don’t understand it, I don’t know what it is, etc. I’ve applied this to both the material-aesthetic aspect of beauty, and the more transcendental aspect of “imperceptible” beauty. So far so good.
Today, I have seen something new. Or, rather, I have seen a concept that I have applied elsewhere, and I now see that concept in a new light, and can now apply it to beauty.
That concept is: undoing, also known as un-learning or un-raveling.
When applied to beauty what does this mean? It means that I need to release all I think I know, become an empty vessel, blank slate, or an erased hard-drive, and allow new ideas to become imprinted in my mind-emotions-body-Soul.
However, I must ensure the “new ideas” that are replacing the erased ideas must be more true (or, I could say…more beautiful) than the ones I am replacing. Otherwise, why bother?
This relates directly to today’s questions: a) Ideas of fundamental beauty are more true than ideas of superficial beauty. b) Illusions of beauty are precisely what need to be undone. c) Dis-illusion is the process by which illusion is undone. d) One gets through illusion by doing this very thing that I am currently doing: examining, questioning, delving, listening, deciding.
All of these seem to me to get at the question: what do you value? or what do you esteem?
When we value Innocence, the Good, the True, we will find beauty in things that reflect these values. (And now, I am going to have to revisit the Henry David Thoreau quote from day 5). When we value pain, guilt, suffering, or misery, we will find beauty in things that reflect those values.
Yet, as we move from valuing pain, guilt, suffering, or misery and move into valuing the True and the Good, we will see that those things were merely an illusion, and there is a Higher Beauty in the True and the Good, than there is in pain, guilt, and suffering.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what are you beholding? And can you evolve?