Photo by Lisa Z. Lindahl
Clamshells in the sky


I wish I could say that this notion of Beauty as an applied philosophy and daily practice was my brainchild.  I can’t.  True Beauty as the central tenet of a society is not new, just ancient and mostly forgotten now.   I am ringing the bell. What The Way of Beauty as I put it forth is doing is remembering and urging action.  Saying — no screaming — that True Beauty must be reclaimed now.  And you and I can do it ourselves, so easily really.

It will save us, and our earth.  True Beauty is what keeps the universe in sync.  In harmony.  In balance.  Expanding.

True Beauty is the raison d’être of the Universe.

I am not exaggerating.  It is our prejudices and preconceived notions of what “beauty” can be, can mean, might be capable of that make us scoff at the notion of True Beauty as a power.  As the reason our Universe exists and continues to expand.   When I first was struck with this notion it was one part intuition and 3 parts instinctual certainty.  But I thought I might be a little mad.  Courting hubris.  So one day I told Brian Swimme (author and cosmologist) that I believed that True Beauty was the raison d’être of the Universe.  His response?  “Well, of course!”  as if I were stating something obvious to all.

I was heartened.

As I said above, other civilizations have embraced True Beauty as their society’s guiding principle.  The Navajo (or Dine as they refer to themselves) come to mind.  I love that the Dine might measure a man’s worth to their community by the number and quality of songs that he contributed to it. Their culture of Hozho valued beauty, harmony, balance and health.

And there were the Greeks, of course.  Our sense of aesthetics come from their incredible research and works. But we’ve gotten stuck there.  As a civilization the West has been merely replicating and doing versions of that which has come before.  We have adopted the Greco-Roman standards of beauty and not dared move on.  True Beauty is not static.  It is always changing, surprising, refreshing.   Think of dawns, sunsets, laughter, the sound of rain on a roof, sunlight ‘prism-ing’ through a raindrop on a leaf; crystals growing in the earth; that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment after completing a challenging task; sunlight interacting with plants, almost anywhere. The lively twinkle in someone’s eye. A sweet voice raised loudly in song.  No two of any of the above ever the same; all of True Beauty.

If I were a scientist as well as an artist I could give you all the “proofs” and “evidences” that support the claims regarding the importance and integral nature of True Beauty.  But I am not.  One of my fav fantasies is to pull together a panel of folks from different disciplines to articulate, from their area of expertise, their understanding of True Beauty’s nature and importance.  I’d have a physicist, a mathematician a couple of visual artists, a couple of writers, a philosopher or two, and of course, a theologian of sorts.  What fun!

In the end what we would do is create a proper “white paper,” serviceable for the general public, publications and today’s “influencers” to state with an impressive degree of well-rounded authority what the Navajo already knew:  What we call Beauty (true Beauty and not cheap “glamour”) is the raison d’être of our Universe.    My fantasy white paper would stir the social marketing gurus to do for the Glamour vs. True Beauty confusion and our western civ’s value system what was done to tobacco and the smoking habit:  change the general population’s understanding and values around the issue.  Raise awareness about True, Deep Beauty — and banish mere glamour back to the magician’s realm.

Tuning into True Beauty and nurturing it in our everyday lives through these Beauty Practices will raise the vibration of not only (you/me) the practitioner, but of the earth itself and all the creatures upon it.  At this bleak point in our species’ history what could possibly be more important?  More joyful? Easier?  It needn’t be stressful and difficult to help tip the balance back to the light.

Turn off the TV news and experience your geranium growing.

photo by Lisa Z. Lindahl
…or watch the California wildflowers blaze forth…

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