What is Beauty?


We seem to let society and the media define beauty for us.  What often comes to mind are people from magazine covers, or film and fashion celebrities.  But these are shallow definitions.  Notions of beauty are also influenced by our personal connections – so for example we find members of our family beautiful, especially the children.  And when it comes to objects, like clothes, shoes, buildings, cars, and even art, definitions of beauty become quite fickle as opinions vary like the wind.  Then there are psychological studies on beauty, which tend to hone in on principles of proportion and symmetry in faces, or objects.  Sometimes the Golden Mean principle is cited, in defining beauty.  These things may dig a little deeper into our psyche but we are still operating at the level of the mind.  Most people define beauty by their conditioning.

What is true beauty?  For one who has a little bit of space between themselves and their egoic notions, beauty seems to have its roots in how well it flows.  It’s easiest to see this in nature.  Most everyone agrees that nature is beautiful.  This is because nature flows, there is no resistance to life.  Nature is life.  There is a natural resonance that we have with nature, and so we find it naturally beautiful.  We can look at the plant and animal world – beautiful because the design is perfect for what is needed.  Consider insects, which many people would not necessarily define as beautiful, but just see how much activity they perform in relation to their caloric intake.  There is no friction in their design, in that sense they are beautiful.  Or we can look at the solar system – beautiful because the geometry is in perfect balance.

Deeper beauty seems to point to that which is perfectly made, and operating in minimum friction within its environment, or we can say it is in flow.  This applies generously to everything in nature but we can now begin to see it applied to objects we make too, like architecture or machines or furniture.  Yes, but what about ourselves?  What makes a person beautiful?

Well, we can see that there is an air of lightness and beauty to one who is in flow with life.  They carry themselves joyfully and there is no resistance to whatever arises.  Life is seamless, harmonious and spontaneous and we would all agree that they lead a beautiful life.

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  It is also said that if you have the right kind of eyes, everything is beautiful.  For one who lives joyfully, everyone is beautiful.  No matter what their body shape, facial features, or personal inclinations, everyone is a beautiful expression of the divine.  When one is depressed, nothing looks beautiful – not the runway model, and not the A-list celebrity.  Beneath our self-identifications, we are simply life energy.  As just that, we naturally see everything else in existence as perfect and beautiful.  The less we identify with our conditioning, the more beautiful everything becomes.


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