Unite for God

“All shapelessness whose kind admits of pattern and form, as long as it remains outside of reason and idea, is ugly by that very isolation from the Divine-Thought. …

“But where the Ideal-Form has entered, it has grouped and coordinated what from a diversity of parts was to become a unity: it has rallied confusion into co-operation: it has made the sum one harmonious coherence: for the Idea is a unity and what it molds must come to unity as far as multiplicity may. And on what has been compacted to unity, Beauty enthrones itself, giving itself to the parts as to the sum: when it lights on some natural unity, a thing of like parts, then it gives itself to that whole. … This, then, is how the material thing becomes beautiful—by communicating in the thought that flows from the Divine.” ~Plotinus

CastleA puddle of wet clay is of little importance, and is certainly not a thing of beauty in itself, but when you take that wet clay and make bricks, the bricks, being organized, united, on a somewhat primitive level, are more beautiful, though perhaps not yet really beautiful. Take those bricks and unite them with other materials and build a great castle and now they are beautiful because the united whole is a thing of beauty.

SpongeTube2

Diver with tube sponge

A sponge is considered the most primitive type of multi-celled animals. It has no specialized cells of any kind: no nerves, no blood, no stomach. Every cell of a sponge is the same. A sponge is actually more a colony of single-celled animals than a true multi-celled animal, yet in some ways it behaves as a multi-celled animal. You can move a tiny tube sponge into an area full of barrel sponges, yet it will still grow into a tube sponge. Even though each cell is theoretically an individual animal, they act much as parts of a larger one. And while individual sponge cells would not be considered a thing of beauty, when they group together by the millions to form what we call a sponge, they can be very beautiful. Continue reading “Unite for God”

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What is Beautiful?

“Beauty addresses itself chiefly to sight; but there is a beauty for the hearing too, as in certain combinations of words and in all kinds of music, for melodies and cadences are beautiful; and minds that lift themselves above the realm of sense to a higher order are aware of beauty in the conduct of life, in actions, in character, in the pursuits of the intellect; and there is the beauty of the virtues. What loftier beauty there may be, yet, our argument will bring to light.

“What than is it that gives comeliness to material forms and draws the ear to the sweetness perceived in sounds, and what is the secret of the beauty there is in all that derives from the Soul? …

Almost everyone declares that the symmetry of parts towards each other and towards a whole, with, besides, a certain charm of color, constitutes the beauty recognized by the eye, that in visible things, as indeed in all else, universally, he beautiful thing is essentially symmetrical, patterned.” ~Plotinus

Rose1When you mention beauty, people naturally thing of visual beauty—that which seems attractive to the eye. But beauty can also be in other forms: beautiful music, beautiful poetry, even beautiful scents.

Plotinus comes to the conclusion that beautyPrettyBoy is a matter of symmetry. The attractive young man in the photo seems to fit that description. He has a handsome face that certainly seems to go well with his muscular and symmetrical body. A guy with a muscular body, but an ugly face would not be as attractive. Likewise, a guy with a handsome face, but a very out-of-shape body would not be attractive. The rose also seems to agree with the symmetry idea. If it was distorted, with some short petals and some much longer ones, it would not be attractive. But a stick-man is also symmetrical, yet not really beautiful. A stack of bricks can be symmetrical, yet not really beautiful. And the Castlefamous castle of Neuschwanstein is considered beautiful by most of us, yet the design is not symmetrical. Continue reading “What is Beautiful?”

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