On Beauty

Recently I’ve been thinking about beauty again. In school I hear philosophers attempt to define it, often relegating it to a certain realm of aesthetics. So… it seems that there is a fairly definable debate occurring that is seeking to pin beauty down. One might even describe it as the struggle between Gaston and the Beast.

Per my usual … I find myself opting for a more stirred opinion, perhaps a third party of sorts. While reading the thesis of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance I kept finding myself drifting from the vantage of the rhetoric toward that of casuality.

Well … wow, I just realized how off putting the above must read. So here goes …

I read and watched a bunch of books, articles, and films lately that all seemed, to me, to get back to a central theme of beauty and of our vantage points in looking at the world around us. Some of these works explicitly referenced the term beauty, most did not. Still, the more I delved into these few works, the more I came to find a validation of sorts for the way in which I already viewed the world.

Often, and even as recent as this past Friday out bowling with friends, I have had people point blank tell me that I am a cynic. Now, I find this whole topic utterly fascinating and altogether comical because I believe myself to be an optimist. Which is why when I happened upon a brief commentary in this weekend’s FT I just had to smile. In this commentary, a lady who is cast as an optimist delivers a titilating account of her radio run in with a cynic. He was so unlike the classic cynic, in her opinion, that she finally couldn’t find any other way to express herself than to ask “what kind of strange cynic are you?!?” … and what prompted her question was his sheer optimism and happy nature.

I’m sure I’ve lost most out there, but the point to the bit there is that more often than ever seen before today’s cynics are actually rather optimistic … one might even go so far as to call them optimists. How odd.

As for beauty … I’m sure most skipped over the inherent nature a love of beauty plays in the formation of an optimist. I’ll step around that aspect to approach beauty from another side. That being my personal experience. I have always been known for a perplexing outlook on beauty, on that I find attractive and appealing … and I am not speaking strictly of women. I am speaking of what objects, relationships, etc. I find beautiful … many that my friends simply can’t comprehend. To me, there is a beauty in every one of us who is true to our nature … and of course these natures change.

I’ll have to add to this later as I know I only scratched the surface.

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