My daughter just took her last exam, completing her first year of college. The course was an intermediate level Logic class within the department of Philosophy. She tells me that she is so happy not to have to do any more proofs and sets, all those tasks to prove if something is true or not. But even more important, she told me that for all the tears, complaining, and worry associated with the wondering if she would ever be able to understand and pass this course, she thanked the very Philosophy professor who suggested she take it in the first place. His response was to tell her that she had a beautiful mind. Of course, for philosophers, Beauty of mind is where it is at. And yes, I agree. My daughter does have a beautiful mind.
Since it appears that I am on an education kick here to begin with, I might as well let the metaphor play out. The term, whole person has a big say in our collective conversations these days. The education systems, especially recruitment statements and ads: We teach to the whole child and promote excellence…yada, yada, yada.
Even health care has gotten on to this band wagon of the whole person. Their access point of Beauty is the body itself.
Potent memories from my childhood include exercises –somersaults, back rolls, cart wheels, jumping jacks, backbends and such– and memorizing, poems and prayers. Here’s an even better image: me standing on my head reciting the Preamble to the Constitution (my siblings and I can still recite this passage and others, although we are less confident about the standing on our heads part). My parents were into the whole person (body, heart, mind) even before it became a trendy in the lexicon. It was because of this evening routine, that our family was successful in school and athletics. Interestingly enough though, we all had specific areas where we excelled. Some of us were better athletes and some were more successful at the academics part.
Beauty offers an invitation. There is the hook of course, as in the Beautiful Mind of my daughter. My son who is an artist I think best represents Beauty of Soul. And my husband, well that’s easy. He has Beauty of Heart as he is first to offer support and a lending hand. But then there is the tug. I see the hook, and if it is good and secure, I suppose, and then the other realms of Beauty will easily follow.
My first image of this hook and follow came before I got out of bed this morning. It was a tug like you might make on a spider’s web. Once you tug, the other strands (other types of Beauty) will follow. And then my mind went to strain and possibly the collapse of the web. I ditched that image and came up with lanes of Beauty, much like a freeway, one lane for each type.
We move across lanes in driving, as we do with Beauty. Not only does my daughter have a Beautiful mind, she has a Beautiful heart. I will say the same for my son and husband. They too cross lanes. We all cross lanes in our approach to get some place, as with Beauty, with as much grace as possible.
The folks who play with consciousness say that when we reach pure consciousness the subject and object dissolve. At that point, a collapsed web, or a traffic jam for Beauty, as in Love may not even matter.