‘Neubrandenburg’ (part) – Caspar David Friedrich, 1816 – WikiArt
How can we account for the beauty of the world? Because in spite of everything that is happening within and without, and afflicts us, leaves us distressed, the world bears at its core an intrinsic perfection. It’s not difficult to see. You only have to stand back, to release the grip, be less involved. To look afresh at the blue sky above your head. To see that a blue sky is an extraordinary thing. As is a tree, and the song of the wind in its foliage. As is a cloud, and the sudden tapping of the millions of drops that come to wet the land. As is any human endeavour, and the skill it takes to play a symphony of Beethoven. As is a chair, a blanket, a paper bin, anything that exists. Existence is a baffling thing. It is the core of the matter — that anything exists — and to understand it is to crack the nature of reality. What is the secret hidden behind any appearance? How can a form acquire beauty, a movement express harmony, a shape provoke love? And more interesting even, how is beauty made ugliness, harmony turned into disorder, love transformed into enmity, perfection changed into chaos? What are the workings behind it all?
I think this is simple: we separated from it. We quit an intimate relationship. In consequence, we have hurt our beloved. Disharmony is our creation. Ugliness is our own making. The world was never that. And we never were a failure. We made it all up. We made objects exist of their own accord, and got lost in the thousand things. Separation is our invention, and an ugly one if you ask me. The world was our lover, and by separating, we made it into a stranger. The world was a creation of love, but we looked at it with defiance and enmity. The world was crafted in beauty, but we judged it from a distance and made our beloved ugly; something to be frightened of. We thought the world was the produce of hazard, random evolution, when it was woven in god’s presence, which is nothing but oneness — our lover’s embrace — made obvious, apparent, absolute. Oneness makes everything, every appearance, disappear within Itself. No thing remains but that presence which is the fabric of everything. Out of the many which we have created, we are realised as one.
How did we miss it? How were we rendered so blind to the exquisiteness of the world, when a single glance on it all, a single awareness of the nature of our being, would notify us of its sacred making, and the way we are intrinsically part of it? Mind you, we are not even a part, but we are being it totally, being truly only being. It never was about judging something to be ugly or beautiful — that it would sometimes be one and sometimes the other; that beauty or harmony would depend on being at the right place, at the right time, with the right angle. No. Beauty is intrinsic to a human’s being, anywhere, and anyhow. Beauty is our very own being— its clothes or garment as it were. So god or being, is not a matter of arguing, conceptualising with pros and cons. It’s about first hand feeling, or seeing. For it is all in plain view — God’s hands on it all. We can acquire this vision right away, feel it in the very bones of God’s being, which is our being. This is how we can account for the beauty of the world.
It’s not that we haven’t been warned. Signs have been placed everywhere, overwhelmingly, in every village church or temple, in every sanctuary of peace, in every sacred book or pilgrimage road. Reality blinks at us in every possible way. It attempts to seduce us everywhere and all the time. It makes itself visible through multiple clues, and in every possible object or appearance. How does life show us its religiosity? It does it simply through beauty, love, happiness, freedom, peace, understanding. These are the temples of god — all its representations. All its attempts at redirecting us. God is the only thing in this world that cannot be apprehended objectively; that cannot be analysed, conceptualised, or proven; that cannot die, appear or disappear, or even change, be moulded or fabricated. These are only functions that exist for objects or appearances. God is therefore present in all circumstances. It cannot be not here. Therefore it is not to be run after, or searched for. It is to be felt, seen, admired. This is how and where from the world acquires its beauty. God is unsubstantial but can be felt or known as substance. And the world is the way god acquires Its apparent substance.
Text by Alain Joly
Painting by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840)
– Caspar David Friedrich (Wikipedia)
– Other ‘Reveries’ from the blog…
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