What I wish to discuss today is beauty and the cultivation of the feminine. In the West today, we don’t see much beauty. Our buildings are ugly, our fashions are dowdy and drab, our language is littered with mindless profanity and the popular culture presented to us is shallow and corrosive. Beauty, truth and goodness are in short supply.
It is important that any civilized society pursues these ideals. Beauty, truth and goodness are what Plato called the Transcendentals and are related to our ability to think wish/imagine and feel. Traditionally, these concepts have been represented by the arts (beauty), science (truth) and religion (goodness). However, all three overlap and are intertwined. I want to talk about beauty in particular and why it is important to cultivate, especially for women.
Beauty, expressed via the arts, represents the realm of the imagination. The imagination is the bridge to the world of Spirit, the Divine realms. Controlling this aspect of a culture is like being in command of a prominent toll bridge or road. It is an important strategic asset. Beauty and art are the bridge between Spirit and Logic. We can receive divine inspiration and guidance through engagement with Spirit, such as via prayer or meditation. Such inspiration often expresses itself through art (the Renaissance period alone is testament to this) and concepts and ideas which flow from this wellspring may be evolved via logic. Leonardo da Vinci was a master of all three of these processes – he shows what we are capable of when we are fully autonomous and understanding of all three realms.
Over the past century, with the advent of modernism and post-modernism, we’ve seen an active rejection of beauty by the prevailing Globalist culture and the triumph of dull homogeneity as expressed through art and architecture (nothing means anything). We have lost the value of beauty and its uniqueness, and our culture – in all its forms – has grown increasingly ugly and nihilistic as a result.
The Ancients put a great deal of emphasis on Beauty. It was considered to be important because they believed it fostered a sense of feeling in the individual . It is easy to argue that the lack of beauty we see in the West today has served to deaden the senses – and this has been done deliberately. The implications of the lack of Beauty demonstrate why art and culture are barometers of the surrounding politics and why controlling them is always an important goal. Is part of the reason we have become so inert in the West, so apathetic about the collapse of our culture, because our souls are deadened of feeling? Do we feel less now than we did, say, 100 years ago?
Beauty, as defined by Pythagoras, was predicated upon sacred geometry and the concepts of proportion, harmony and order/rhythm.Beauty was predictable, it was not random or chaotic. It followed a pattern or rhythm (or as Aristotle put it order, symmetry and definiteness). Obviously, these patterns and rhythms varied a great deal but a rhythm nonetheless. Being built upon the concepts of sacred geometry such as the Golden Ratio (Phi) means they reflected the order of the cosmos. We see these mathematical concepts expressed through great architecture, art and pieces of music. Beauty was an expression of the harmony of nature and the wider universe. This expression of nature also includes us as humans. I think this is an important thing to consider for those of us wishing to reclaim beauty. Indeed, such great classical works show how the Transcendentals are a circle of expression, Logic influences and religion, which influences art. Such great works represent the essence of life.
In my next post, I’ll talk more about beauty and how we can can reclaim it as women.