Friday, January 29, 2016

The importance of beauty in philosophy and religion

“Striking physical beauty remains a social currency,” said Adrienne Bell. “Beauty is never plentiful,” said Allen Stein. “Beauty is good in all things,” said Trollope. But most importantly, beauty escapes mere ideas about beauty.

I think the best connection between beauty and philosophy relates to classical definitions of beauty as being balanced, proportioned, orderly---although great beauty does often seem to have one or two singular imperfections.

Beauty leads philosophy when the object leads the definition or idea of the object. Truth and goodness then tend to follow as being balanced, proportioned, orderly.

The artist Harvey Dunn said the first step is to feel your subject, then the idea, and last the composition. I would say that experiencing the object itself should come first, which the idea must at least conform to---is this not the way good science also proceeds? Is the general value or default state of evolution balance, proportion, and order?

Aesthetes, ascetics, militant feminists, and post-modernists who disparage beauty by trying to make it look relative and narrow can this way be defined as unbalanced and pushing ugliness, which is contrary to the whole history of life.

Think of how in arcane mysticism God is depicted or considered as a monstrous male/female androgynous creature for the purpose of conforming to a mystic idea God. That is what comes from letting religion and philosophy run way from universally beautiful real objects.

Material life evolves to supermaterial Godhood, which I think we can justly assume is a beautiful object, or objects, and not a mere idea or formula---and not even merely the inward symbolic experience of God, which can be retained but transformed in the outward path of real evolution toward Godhood.

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