I recently read a friends Facebook status declaring that they would start posting about the small beautiful things in their life. The idea I suppose is that perhaps if we all looked for more beauty in the world then the world would, to us, effectively become a more beautiful place.
I have in ages past considered this desire by many to always see the *good* and the *beautiful*, to be a big pile of new age clap trap. After all the world is not always beautiful, nature is not always beautiful and people most certainly aren’t always beautiful in either body or deed. I felt that this opinion of mine was even further validated because what one finds beautiful another may find abhorrent. In essence beauty is so strongly in the eye of the beholder how can the world be full of beautiful things that satisfy every perception.
Something drove me however, to contemplate and try to re-evaluate this opinion, dare I say it to find the beauty in this viewpoint so I started exploring it and came across possibly one of the earliest written forms of this belief.
“Remember how in that communion only, beholding beauty with the eye of the mind, he will be enabled to bring forth, not images of beauty, but realities (for he has hold not of an image but of a reality), and bringing forth and nourishing true virtue to become the friend of God and be immortal, if mortal man may.”
In my opinion Plato here is actually saying, look if you contemplate and embrace things that you perceive to be beautiful, you will be able to create a subjectively beautiful reality and in doing so you will achieve true excellence (the word virtue in Ancient Greek is actually arete which is more akin to the word excellence). By finding those beautiful things, you will further your physical and spiritual well being and in turn achieve your true purpose, your own specific union with the divine and a state of Henosis.
Something so many of us are striving to achieve. Wow would you look at that, this whole idea of beautiful things isn’t New Age at all, its very very Old Age and something I rather approve of. Well fancy that!