Within us is the soul of the whole, the wise silence, the universal beauty, the eternal One.
Look at something which you have seen which is actually marvelously beautiful: a statue, a poem, a lily in the pond, or a well-kept lawn. And when you see such a piece of beauty - no, no, when you see such, not piece - when you see such beauty what takes place?
At that moment, the very majesty of a mountain makes you forget yourself. Right? Have you ever been in that position? When you have seen that you don’t exist, only that grandeur exists. But a few seconds later or a minute later the whole cycle begins, the confusion, the chatter.
So beauty is where you are not. Have you understood this? Do you understand, sir? Oh, what a crowd! The tragedy of it. Truth is where you are not. Beauty, love is where you are not. Because we are not capable to look at this extraordinary thing called truth.
~ J. Krishnamurti from a talk in Bombay, January 31st 1982.
Thanks to The Beauty We Love and J. Krishnamurti Online.
“More often than not, we feel so enmeshed in the life we have that the prospect of change appears remote or impossible. Thus, we continue on the tracks that we have laid down for ourselves, We are unable to think in new ways and we gradually teach ourselves to forget the other horizons. We unlearn desire. Quietly, over time, we succumb to the dependable script of the expected life and become masters of the middle way. We avoid extremes and after a while we no longer even notice the pathways off to the side and no longer sense the danger and disturbance that could be experienced “out there.” We learn to fit our chosen world with alarming precision and regularity. Often it takes a huge crisis or trauma to crack the dead shell that has grown ever more solid around us. Painful as that can be, it does resurrect the longing of the neglected soul. It makes a clearance. Again we can see the horizons and feel their attraction. Though we may wince with vulnerability as we taste the exhilaration of freedom, we feel alive!”
—John O’Donohue from The Invisible Embrace Beauty
This is amazing. Thank you, The Beauty We Love.
Being is desirable because it is identical with Beauty, and Beauty is loved because it is Being. We ourselves possess Beauty when we are true to our own being; ugliness is in going over to another order; knowing ourselves, we are beautiful; in self-ignorance, we are ugly.
As we grow old, the beauty steals inward.
Author and painter, Agnes Martin wrote “When I think of art, I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye, it is in the mind.” She devoted her life to living by inspiration. By contrast she described the life as the intellect as living “by comparisons, calculations, schemes, concepts, ideas – is all a structure of pride in which there is not beauty or happiness – no life. The intellectual is in fact death.”
The current issue of PARABOLA asks: What is beauty?
Is it possible that beauty can contain an energy that creates a little shock, a moment of hesitation, a soft space in which we remark aloud, “Wow.” Can it crack us wide open through a song, a poem, or a person that stretches our perceived notions, fixed ideas and limitations? Can it remind us to be more present to the unfolding of the mystery of life, both in and around us as author Don DeLillo describes in his book “Underworld:” Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.” Maybe beauty encourages us to embrace our lives more fully, through all of its savage beauty, and to not take anything that is given for granted?
Author and spiritual seeker, William Segal once wrote: “Both the advantage and the privilege of an artist is that he is forced to look. To see. People rarely see the beauty and the greatness around them. They live their lives in half sleep.” What if we approach the living of our lives as an art?
Explore the mystery of beauty with us in the Winter 2010/2011 issue by subscribing here or by finding the new issue in the marketplace.
From the PARABOLA Newsletter: “A Wordless Shock,” November 5, 2010.
Painting: Agnes Martin (American, born Canada. 1912-2004) The Tree. 1964. Oil and pencil on canvas, 6 x 6′ (182.8 x 182.8 cm). Larry Aldrich Foundation Fund. © 2010 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Of the genesis of her paintings, Martin said: “When I first made a grid I happened to be thinking of the innocence of trees and then this grid came into my mind and I thought it represented innocence, and I still do, and so I painted it and then I was satisfied. I thought, this is my vision.”
Martin rendered fine vertical lines and lightly shaded horizontal bands in oil and pencil, softening the geometric grid, which in this case seems to expand beyond the confines of the canvas. For Martin the grid evoked not a human measure but an ethereal one—the boundless order or transcendent reality associated with Eastern philosophies.
–from The MoMA Collection
Painting: Agnes Martin (American, born Canada. 1912-2004) The Tree. 1964. Oil and pencil on canvas, 6 x 6’ (182.8 x 182.8 cm).
To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things—earth, stone and water,
Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars—
The blood-shot beauty of human nature, its thoughts, frenzies and passions,
And unhuman nature its towering reality—
For man’s half dream; man, you might say, is nature dreaming, but rock
And water and sky are constant—to feel
Greatly, and understand greatly, and express greatly, the natural
Beauty, is the sole business of poetry.
The rest’s diversion: those holy or noble sentiments, the intricate ideas,
The love, lust, longing: reasons, but not the reason.
Courtesy of Five Branch Tree.
“Do you have a sense of beauty in your life, or is it mediocre, meaningless, an everlasting struggle from morning until night? What is beauty? It isn’t a sensual question, nor a sexual question. It is a very serious question because without beauty in your heart, you cannot flower in goodness. Have you ever looked at a mountain or the blue sea without chattering, without making noise, really paying attention to the blue sea, the beauty of the water, the beauty of light on a sheet of water? When you see the extraordinary beauty of the earth, its rivers, lakes, mountains, what actually takes place? What takes place when you look at something which is actually marvelously beautiful: a statue, a poem, a lily in the pond, or a well-kept lawn? At that moment, the very majesty of a mountain makes you forget yourself. Have you ever been in that position?
If you have, you have seen that then you don’t exist, only that grandeur exists. But a few seconds later or a minute later, the whole cycle begins, the confusion, the chatter. So beauty is, where you are not. It is a tragedy if you don’t see this. Truth is, where you are not. Beauty is, love is, where you are not. We are not capable of looking at this extraordinary thing called truth.”
—Jiddu Krishnamurti, “Bombay 4th Public Talk,” January 31, 1982