You're probably going to read the ugliest post on "Beauty" this week. Proceed ahead at your own risk!
Okay, now you have been warned. So now let me freely express my opinion and thoughts on this week's question:
What is Beauty?
I may not be able to write a long post. So let me tell you at the outset that
the ugliest of all is the most beautiful of all.
Well, this statement can be interpreted in many ways. But the thing I want to convey is the truth and illusion of duality.
Beauty (or whatever you perceive as beauty) is a construct of our language and is perceived against ugliness. Both beauty and ugliness are unreal and merely an illusion of our perception.
You can't perceive beauty without perceiving ugly. Beauty can't be defined without defining ugly. In fact, beauty can not exist without ugliness. If you don't recognize anything as ugly, you can't recognize the beauty. Therefore, beauty & ugly are faces of the same coin. Without the other, none of these can exist.
Thus "beauty" and "ugly" both co-exist. So you can't appreciate one while ignoring the other. The foundation on which "beauty" stands is "ugly". If you discard the ugliness, you also discard the beauty. If beauty is the effect, ugliness is its cause and vice-versa.
This implies that the recognition of beauty creates ugliness. If we don't identify beauty, ugliness also disappears. The discriminating mind perceives something as beautiful, and the rest as ugly. This discrimination happens when one is incapable of looking at this existence in its entirety. It's not about taking a non-partisan approach but when we take a non-dualistic approach, the dichotomy of beauty and ugliness is instantly transcended into something which is beyond beauty and ugly.
When you can't appreciate the Whole, you develop a partial vision of discriminating things as beautiful and ugly. Both of these perceptions are the product of your mind. Hence, we say, these are very subjective. Of course, they are subjective.
You may have heard the story of a fishwife who went to meet her childhood friend who was a florist, after several years. For her welcome, her friend decorated her bed with the most beautiful and aromatic flowers she had. But at night, the host noticed that fishwife was unable to get any sleep on that bed. She asked her if she is comfy. The fishwife hesitantly requested her to bring her basket and then she put it on her bed. That basket was full of dead and rotten fishes which was smelling profusely. But as soon as she got it, she went into a deep sleep. The sweet aroma of those beautiful flowers were not appealing to her. The only thing she was comfortable was with the (beautiful?) smell of fishes as she was used to living that life.
Similarly, once I met a person while travelling in train. His work involved a lot of travel. Throughout the month, most of the nights he used to spend travelling in train. So when he had to stay at any peaceful lodging, he will play a recorded sound of train to get his sleep. "
Who categorized peace & tranquility to mean beauty? For him, the chaos of train was the most peaceful of all!
Most people in my society perceive birth as beautiful and term death as ugly. Births and birthdays are celebrated with great excitement & fervour whereas deaths are mourned in gloom & tears. But if you see in the entirety, one can not exist without the other. Both births and deaths are equally beautiful!
All of the existence is!
A couple of months back, I was suffering from the deadly pandemic. Not a day passed without the news of deaths in our immediate social circle and family. So everyone was very scared (to say the least). The death scenes were so palpable and obvious, it filled the air with utter fear and panic was all over. I didn't realize that initially. But when my illness began to get out of control and Ayurvedic medicines weren't giving any relief to me, my father insisted me to move to the hospital.
I calmly replied to him that I'd rather die at home than in an ICU. He was like, "But why untimely death... how can we let it happen!" I told him that the beauty of death is in its untimeliness. There has never been a certain time for it!
Well, the beauty is, I'm still alive and writing my first post after that 😊
Beauty is in being alive, beauty is also in dying. Beauty is everywhere.
But "seeing" that beauty goes beyond the mental perception of beauty and ugliness. Let's see the way things are. We need to transcend beyond beauty and ugliness as it is perceived; and realize the real beauty of this entire existence - the eternal beauty!
May you find some beauty in this post! 😉
Have a beautiful time!