By Shilpa C Nangali

One of my friends used to tell that when a woman isn’t beautiful, people tell her. “You have lovely eyes; you have lovely hair…etc 😉 however, I feel that all of us are like stained glass windows: we sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, and then our true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within. Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

Recently, I read several philosophers’ views on beauty and collection of a few quotes on it. I gathered all that and together with my thoughts, I wrote this small article on “beauty” !

A person is only beautiful, when their own beauty, is reflecting on to others. Isn’t it? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.

Kahlil Gibran says: “There is nothing ugly; I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, — light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful. The ever-present phenomenon ceases to exist for our senses. It was a city dweller, or a prisoner, or a blind man suddenly given his sight, who first noted natural beauty.”

Beauty is not real. Beauty only exists in perception. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. You cannot perceive beauty but with a serene mind.

In those simple moments of childhood, our hearts were alive, and we saw the poignant beauty of life in nature vividly with wonder and appreciation.And, why is that now people think beauty is merely an “external appearance”?

When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. For me, beauty is an experience, nothing else. It is not a fixed pattern or an arrangement of features. It is something felt, a glow or a communicated sense of fineness. What ails us is that our sense of beauty is so bruised and blunted, we miss all the best. Beauty is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.

I know the world is filled with troubles and many injustices. But reality is as beautiful as it is ugly. I think it is just as important to sing about beautiful mornings as it is to talk about slums. It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach children to honor nature’s gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever. Keep your faith in all beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone.

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.

Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful. Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar. If eyes were made for seeing, then beauty is it’s own excuse for being.

Science will never be able to reduce the value of a sunset to arithmetic. Nor can it reduce friendship to formula. Laughter and love, pain and loneliness, the challenge of beauty and truth: these will always surpass the scientific mastery of nature.

Then we shall rise and view ourselves with clearer eyes in that calm region where no night can hide us from each other’s sight. The truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is. We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure…but why is that now we are destroying the beauty of our mother nature? It is like a person with an axe, who sits on the branch of a tree and cuts the branch on which he is sitting! And now I feel that we are not just cutting the branches of our mother nature, but trying to harm the roots itself!
This is foolishness, isn’t it?

How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. Man makes holy what he believes, as he makes beautiful what he loves. The real sin against life is to abuse and destroy beauty, even one’s own—even more, one’s own, for that has been put in our care and we are responsible for its well-being. Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadows ceases to be enjoyed as light. The beauty that addresses itself to the eyes is only the spell of the moment; the eye of the body is not always that of the soul.

I want to dedicate these lines by Shakespeare to an intimate friend of mine, who is always beautiful, her beauty transcends with time 🙂

“To me, fair friend, you never can be old
For as you were when first your eye I eyed, Such seems your beauty still.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

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