We have all felt the indispensable influence of nature’s magnificent beauty in one way or the other. The beauty that lay in the serenity of morning’s sunrise or the beauty from her glance that makes his heart stutter are just a few quick instances that come to mind. The nature of beauty is a provocative premise within Western philosophy and is—along with the nature of art—a fundamental topic that supplements the aesthetics of philosophy.
The nature that encompasses the stillness of true beauty is one that has often left me speechless, unless in the form of a childish catcall by way of passive harassment. That was the old me and in this spiritual awakening that I am in the midst of, I now understand that beauty is of the most moral values, along with goodness, truth, and justice. The ongoing debate amongst philosophers old and new, is whether or not beauty is subjective or objective? I believe that philosophy is left to what, you the individual, feel and believe. It is not my place to tell you what to feel. I am only writing this to pinpoint exactly what my heart is trying to say by putting my mind down on paper and allowing you the audience to decide.
It has always been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which would mean that beauty is subjective. This would mean that beauty is not objective and the attractiveness of things is not a feature of beauty but instead that of quality, which is whole other subject in itself. If beauty is entirely subjective—that is, if anyone holds to be or experiences beauty as beautiful—then the word has no meaning, or the word only exists perhaps to improve the individual’s attitude upon the world which surrounds him.
If beauty has zero connection to subjective response and is in fact objective, this in my opinion is where the senselessness lay with society. Imagine a world where no one saw the world as beautiful or ugly and perhaps the only way people witnessed bits and pixels of beauty were via scientific instruments. If this were to be the case, all things beautiful would still seem to be connected to a response in the form of subjectivity, and we would all still argue with one another, whether or not something is beautiful. One might experience beauty in something the other doesn’t and those two will disqualify the others experience as inaccurate, which will arouse puzzlement and more often than not, hostility. Such are the feelings of those that walk around with there face attached to their phone.
“Beauty is not quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty. One person may even perceive deformity, where another is sensible of beauty; and every individual ought to acquiesce in his own sentiment, without pretending to regulate those of others.”
-David Hume (ca. 1757)
What we—the individual—sees as beautiful, is a reflection of our personality and our individuality. Beauty is a direct connection to the source of us. There are things that are beautiful on the surface, and there is a depth to beauty, way beneath the surface of what one may see as ugly, the other sees as beauty. I believe this to the beauty of life, which is the ability to think and decide for ones self as what makes you happy. After all, one man gathers what another man spills. Beauty is art and therefore has its roots in the creative process.
The nature of beauty is at its basis philosophical mysticism, which is the idea that the truth is indefinable and can be apprehended only by nonrational means. This mysticism has been with us since the beginning of history. It is the core of Zen practice. The definition of beauty does not belong in the curriculum learned in the Faculty of Reason, because it cannot be defined purely in the objective sense. Beauty is not found in the form of a rigid definition, it is found in your heart. Beauty is the moment when you see her and your heart almost stops from the splendor in her smile, beauty is when you see or feel something for the first time and the fast paced world in which you live, slows to a crawl and all you can do is sit in the grass because it feels good and take it all in. Feel the love that is growing within you, it is awakening and it will be stronger than any hate you have ever suffered through. Beauty is life and life is beautiful.