Is beauty in the eye of the beholder, is it universal, or is beauty only skin deep? The answer depends on perspective and mental approach.
In our materialistic society, our definition of beauty has been distorted by the media. As an example we have the worship of celebrity and, certainly in the realm of women, beauty as defined by the ‘industry’ is a prime requirement. ‘Beautiful’ people are paraded and lauded on our tv screens, in magazines and newspapers.
The paparazzi hound the stars probing into every aspect of their targets lives, the more sordid, the better. Occasionally they capture a photo of a ‘beautiful’ star walking down to the local supermarket in the early morning for a pint of milk and a loaf of bread, and what do we often find? Someone who could be the girl next door; unremarkable, plain and forgettable. The images that are foisted upon us give a false sense of beauty, the ideal of perfectionism. Unreal, and yet beguiling.
The masses then aspire to the same standards. Clever marketing promises whimsical wonders through the use of their products, relating beauty to a fictional lifestyle, or one at least reserved for the few. And so the punters enter into the delusion, embarking on a mad quest for physical improvement, striving for the elusive perfect body and spending, in the USA, more on cosmetics than the space program. Until some reach the final frontier; plastic surgery. Not content with the body that creation gave them; no, they can do better.
Ego is the source of this fixation, the pathetic belief that age and death can be ignored, delayed or withheld, that nature can be improved upon, that greater beauty will make them happier, though often the opposite is true as they grow and realise the shallowness of their action. The great ego cannot be demeaned by the thought of something better than itself and holds on to a subjective view of beauty based on conditioning, the victims don’t even realise they have been brainwashed. They have neglected the beauty of the mind.
For those who begin to overcome the ego, judgement becomes more objective, they compare, evaluate and feel their own way towards appreciation of beauty. It still depends on thought and bias, for what is this appreciation based upon? Perhaps more refined, it is still governed by predefined concepts epitomised by art. But classical perception of beauty pays attention not only to the exterior, but also the inner light. It understands that nothing is intrinsically beautiful unless there is some soul to it, whether a person, a work of art, or a piece of music.
Beyond the subjective, ego based view, and the objective vision lies something greater, transcending thought itself. To be held in the natural, childlike wonder of beauty all around, in every person, every living thing and all of nature. To look beyond the exterior and to see what is eternal, the connectedness of all, the macrocosm and the microcosm all entwined in the beauty of creation. To observe a spider for example, ugly to some, and take joy in the marvel of its existence, it’s ability to weave intricate, glorious webs, to know that like us it is blessed with life, the same life force as ours, that it’s life will end as will ours, that we are no different in so many respects; we are connected.
In true reality, elevated beyond our thinking, analysing minds, free from false precepts, that is where we find true beauty. When we find true beauty we also find true love, universal, unconditional. The trinity of love, beauty and truth. If we hold the trinity within us, there is peace. Through this simple premise we can understand the state of senseless war prevalent in much of the world. Egos run rife, judging by false standards, not understanding beauty, lacking truth and hence not knowing true love.
Without the trinity there can be no peace.
It begins with beauty.