What Is Beauty?
How can I describe beauty? Let me first say that the concept of beauty can be confusing, especially when I call it an energy. People spend their whole lives focused on attaining it without ever realizing how to truly experience it. Too often, the acquisition of ‘beautiful’ things is mistaken for true beauty. Yet because beauty is an energy, it enlivens you. It is something you experience, you live, that you are, whether or not you have physical beauty. To know what beauty is, then, we first need to examine some basic truths about it.
The truth about beauty
Beauty has two core truths. The first core truth is that beauty is an energy just as love is. The second core truth is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This second truth, although it has become cliché, is recognized in many languages and cultures around the world.
In other words, when you perceive a beautifully colored maple tree in the fall, with its leaves in shades of golds and reds, you may recognize it as beautiful. That beauty exists whether or not you are looking at it. The colors are there, the shapes, the fluttering in the breeze. However, they do not necessarily fit the definition of beauty in and of themselves.
Beauty, as it is defined in the dictionary, is that which pleases the senses or the mind. This is an accurate definition of beauty as far as it goes. But it doesn’t address why some people appreciate the maple and others do not. When you actually see the maple as beautiful, you are inevitably experiencing it. However, to experience beauty fully, you must perceive it as pleasing in your mind and you must appreciate it. It is the appreciation that engages the energy of beauty for you.
A beautiful landscape, a beautiful sunset, the beauty of a tender expression in your lover’s eyes, those things exist, but they come alive as beauty only when they are perceived and experienced. Without you seeing, hearing, feeling or experiencing beauty in some way, beauty is nothing more than the light and vibration of its own pure energy. This is a different view of beauty than is sometimes talked about or thought of.
Beauty is very much a human experience. Also, some others, such as the beings of the faerie world or of other solar systems appreciate beauty, but it is most notably a characteristic of the human way of experiencing life.
The components of beauty are there, all around, all the time in many shapes, sounds and experiences. It’s your appreciation of something that brings beauty alive. Like the vibration of love; the potential of beauty is everywhere all the time. One person might see a retired naval vessel and see the beauty and majesty of what it once was, while another might find it a sign of abandonment and waste.
The understanding of beauty from person to person can be quite dissimilar. You will see, hear or feel beauty differently from any other person. This is why it is valuable for each person to define for him or herself what is beautiful to them.
There is the concept of beauty, which is how you may think about it, but also how society thinks about and treats it.
Do the different ways people experience beauty negate each other’s appreciation of beauty? No, it’s just that there are many different paths to appreciating beauty.
The question could be asked, without someone perceiving it would there be no beauty?
I view it from a different perspective. It isn’t that there’s no such thing as beauty. All the elements of beauty are there: the vibration, the color, the form, the shape, the energy. However, each person’s brain is different and will shape and perceive beauty in his or her own way.
You may be familiar with the painter Jackson Pollock’s work. Many people love his art, which has droplets of paint splashed across large canvases. They perceive great beauty in this. Whereas others see no beauty in it at all, finding it difficult to even understand how it could be seen as beautiful.
Now, so far we’ve mostly spoken of beauty as something that is viewed visually. But what about music or sound? People who love opera go into rapturous ecstasy while listening to an aria. People who love hip-hop love the rhythm of the rap. Others love the sound of the waves on the shore.
And what about feelings or the sense of touch? Who doesn’t sense the beauty of touch and feelings in the embrace of new lovers, the tenderness of caring for a dear one who is ill, or when a mother takes her newborn into her arms for the first time?
When you understand that how you perceive beauty is not the same as everyone else, this leads to greater generosity of spirit about each other’s ways of being.
It is certainly possible for a being who is not embodied to experience the vibrations of beauty. For on the other side, you don’t have a body and are limited to simply experiencing the energy. Yet when you add the eyes and ears, the heart, the body, these perceptions add a whole new dimension.
A major reason you choose to become embodied is to appreciate and experience the beauty of life. The beauty of the sea, an expression in your loved one’s eyes, or the beat of music that you can feel in your body. Any of these may have great meaning for you. But an unembodied being can’t sense the beat or feel it vibrating as you are able to in your body. There is something very precious and special about being able to feel this vibration. Beauty is a core component of life. And being alive on the earth in a body is your best opportunity to experience beauty.
Typically when you first come into embodiment as a baby, you appreciate beauty. We draw attention to when families with tiny babies attend a music concert or other type of family event with music. Even babies well under a year old can be attentive, not fussing in the middle of the afternoon, which is normally their nap time. These babies are perceiving the beauty of the event…and not just the beauty of the music. They also feel the appreciation of the older children and adults who are listening. They feel the energy of the musicians who have given their whole lives to the music. They are completely engaged in the beauty of the event.
When you were growing up you may have lost sight of the vastness of love that is available to you. So, too, you may have lost sight of the vastness of beauty. When this happens, your view of beauty becomes narrowed down. You may hear or see or feel beautiful things and yet are unconscious of them. When you lose your connection and stop appreciating beauty, your life becomes narrower. The vibration that elevates you into the ‘more’ of yourself becomes lessened, or dampened.
In practical terms, beauty is a part of the human path. You made the choice, in becoming embodied, to experience it. To experience beauty is a practical outcome, for in doing so you are fulfilling your choice to be here.
Any time you appreciate something beautiful it expands your inner beauty. It expands your spiritual connection between you and the Source. This connection, when made, is expanding to your whole experience of life. The truth is that beauty is one of the paths to God.
Let me let you in on a little secret. When you experience and appreciate beauty, allow it to lodge just a moment longer in your body.
When you do this you expand your Self, magnify your energy, and escalate your connection with Spirit. In practical terms, you are being healthy, happy and whole in the presence of the One.
This blog content was excerpted from Chapter 9 of the forthcoming book, Embracing Love and Beauty: The Goddess Venus Speaks.