Where beauty takes us

Beauty takes us beyond the visible to the height of consciousness, past the ordinary to the mystical, away from the expedient to the endlessly true.

~ Joan Chittister

Art is both the taking and giving of beauty

Art is both love and friendship, and understanding; the desire to give. It is not charity, which is the giving of things, it is more than kindness, which is the giving of self. It is both the taking and giving of beauty, the turning out to the light of the inner folds of awareness of the spirit.

~ Ansel Adams in a letter to Cedric Wright, 1937, as quoted in ART AS A WAY OF LIFE, ed. by Roderick MacIver

Why is the world so beautiful?

I chose botany because I wanted to learn about why asters and goldenrod looked so beautiful together... Why is the world so beautiful? It could so easily be otherwise: flowers could be ugly to us and still fulfill their own purpose. But they're not... Goldenrods and asters appear very similarly to bee eyes and human eyes. We both think they're beautiful. Their striking contrast when they grow together makes them the most attractive target in the whole meadow, a beacon for bees. Growing together, both receive more pollinator visits than they would if they were growing alone... That September pairing of purple and gold is lived reciprocity; its wisdom is that the beauty of one is illuminated by the radiance of the other... When I am in their presence, their beauty asks me for reciprocity, to be the complementary color, to make something beautiful in response.

~ from BRAIDING SWEETGRASS by Robin Wall Kimmerer

My heritage of a love of beauty

Guided by my heritage of a love of beauty and respect for strength, in search of my mother's garden, I found my own.

~ Alice Walker

An expression of your soul in beauty

To be able to love material things, to clothe them with tender grace, and yet not be attached to them, this is a great service. Providence expects that we should make this world our own, and not lie in it as though it were a rented tenement. We can only make it our own through some service, and that service is to lend it love and beauty from our soul. Your own experience shows you the difference between the beautiful, the tender, the hospitable, and the mechanically neat and monotonously useful. Gross utility kills beauty. We now have all over the world huge productions of things, huge organizations, huge administrations of empire–all obstructing the path of life. Civilization is waiting for a great consummation, for an expression of its soul in beauty. This must be your contribution to the world.

~ from A TAGORE READER ed. by Amiya Chakravarty, as reprinted in AN ALMANAC FOR THE SOUL by Marv and Nancy Hiles

Fugitive reflections of the eternal

Passing beauties are only the fugitive reflections of the eternal.

~ Eliphas Levi

Who can afford to live without beauty?

Who can afford to live without beauty? . . . If we get lost in dark despair, beauty takes us back to Center.

~ Piero Ferrucci

May 2012 (Vol. XXV, No. 5)

Greetings and Beautiful Blessings, dear friends! It is easy to find beauty everywhere we look as the earth bursts forth with new growth and lovely blooms. Beauty makes no demands on us at such times except that we open our eyes and look about us. But in other seasons of our lives, more may be required of us. It can be necessary to first find beauty within ourselves in order to perceive it without; and sometimes our search is not easy. We may feel at times that we are filled with darkness, that there could not be anything but ugliness inside us. But beauty is there, too, and we will find it as we turn our gaze deeply inward and silently ask that the beautiful light of the sacred fill us and radiate outward in all directions. Once we know it within, we will find it everywhere we look; for, as Nan Merrill once said, “Beauty and love cut through illusion.”

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The tiniest blade of grass speaks of God's beauty

God's beauty is expressed whenever we of earth so desire to seek for it. It shall not be difficult for us to behold beauty, when we behold the beauty of God within our own consciousness. . . . Beauty is everywhere to those who would behold it. When God reigns supreme in the consciousness of humankind, the tiniest blade of grass speaks of God's beauty.

~ by Frater Achad

To wonder at beauty

To wonder at beauty,
Stand guard over truth,
Look up to the noble,
Resolve on the good.
This leadeth us truly
To purpose in living,
To right in our doing,
To peace in our feeling,
To light in our thinking.
And teaches us trust,
In the working of God,
In all that there is,
In the width of the world,
In the depth of the soul.

~ by Rudolph Steiner
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