“All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves” Eli Siegel
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?
If Eli Siegel is correct, then I can distinguish fundamental beauty from fleeting or superficial beauty by answering this question for myself: is this >whatever< making one of opposites? Or by answering this secondary question Is this >whatever< making one of opposites within myself?
1) Beauty can be identified through a result, which is a unification of opposites. This is like how a breeze in the distance can be identified through leaf-movement. We may not be able to feel the wind, but we know it’s there because of what it does. We may not “know” if something is beautiful, but if it results in the coming together of dichotomous ideas, then it’s beauty. An image of the yin-yang comes to mind.
2) This is a way of identifying beauty beyond appearance, or beyond the superficial. I watched the 2017 Beauty and the Beast today. Who knew that Disney could fit so perfectly into a consciousness Journey. The Beast is ugly, yet his tenderness, generosity, and care (opposites of “ugly”), transform his outer ugliness: the opposites are united into a recognition by Belle of his “beauty”. (Or, if you want this in terms of today’s questions, she saw through the superficiality, or the illusion, to see the Beast’s fundamental beauty.)
1) If beauty is a unification of opposites, why do I still not find Gaston beautiful? Gaston is the character in Beauty and the Beast who says, “You are the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen!”…while looking at himself in the mirror. Gaston is the character who ties up Belle’s father and leaves him for the wolves. Gaston is the character who shoots the Beast several times. He is cruel, arrogant, prideful, and very handsome (just ask him). If the Beast has outer ugliness and inner beauty, and Gaston has outer beauty and inner ugliness, why are Both not examples of “Beauty”, as Eli Siegel defines it: Opposites are united in each of these, yet…. (imho) Gaston is still ugly.
2) How many people are aware of unification of opposites within themselves, much less… anywhere? Seriously? In other words: in order for someone to be able to recognize beauty (the wind in the distance), they must be able to see (or sense) the unification of opposites (beauty). Currently we live in a time of binaries, dichotomies, opposites. We are, I believe, moving out of this as a race, as a unified consciousness; however, people still see primarily difference, not Oneness. We still talk about pendulums swinging, we still go after light and reject darkness, we still judge people by the color of their skin (and the scale of light-to-dark). I don’t think Siegel is necessarily wrong. I think, perhaps he is a visionary, and uniting opposites is an ideal, toward which people can move.
How does one move toward this ideal? by asking questions like: What is the nature of illusion? What is the nature of dis-illusion? How does one get through illusion?
Then the next step is practicing: seeing illusion as opposites, or, by seeing opposites as illusion. Once you begin to believe that “All is One” or “Oneness is all there is” or “Love Unites All”, or “One Love”, then the only way to live that belief, to be True to that Truth, is to see it, experience it, and deny anything that is not Oneness. If you believe in Oneness, then everyone is equal, everyone is beautiful, everyone is here in Love, just as you are, just as I am. Know Oneness, Beauty, and Love.