Beauty and Perception –Journey of Beauty 02.10.05

Guiding Thought

What do I perceive? What do I perceive as beautiful? What is beauty to me? How do I perceive beauty? How do people’s perceptions differ? How are they similar? What do perceptions say about people as individuals, as human beings, or as spiritual beings? Can I change how I perceive beauty?

Reflection / Contemplation

What is perception but a lens through which I/we navigate and categorize experience?
Synchronicity is at play for me here. I am in the midst of listening to a workshop recording by a sound healer who lives in the region here in the northwest.  This set of cd’s is on loan from a friend. We both admire the work of this person. My friend likes him for the sound experience he offers. Me? I like the sound experience too, but what I really, really like is his commentary and the writing he offers to provide context and the science behind his work.
Two things are at play here. One is that what commentary was on the disc this morning had to do with perception: inner and outer experiences of such and how repeated uses of our senses get mapped in the brain, whether it is through visual, kinesthetic, or auditory pathways, etc. I just eat this all up. On my walk this morning, my friend and I were wondering where Beauty gets mapped in the brain, given the multiple ways we can experience it.
Neuroscientists have mapped neural pathways of meditators. I’d like to see a Beauty experiment. I just may have to ask my daughter who is in college if her university, which offers a degree in Neuroscience, engages is such explorations.
Secondly, I am reminded how unique we all are and what motivates us is equally unique. This very much applies to Beauty. What is beautiful to me is not necessarily the same for others: case in point, my fixation with pottery and my cup collection. I can wax on about the form, color, hand feel, the turning of the foot and rim, etc., not to mention my appreciation when it comes to selecting which cup will use for my morning coffee.
To my husband, a cup is a cup. He is more utilitarian in that regard. And then there is my son whose musical interests are solidly classical and operatic. He doesn’t get my interest in chanting and toning. Each of us has our own tastes and sense of what is beautiful.
As I write, I am coming to a realization that we get hooked somehow, some experience lights us up. We want more…Beauty. A pathway is established.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis







Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

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Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

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