The philosophy of beauty
The subject has baffled scholars and philosophers since times immemorial. But what, after all, is beauty? Asks M. M. Manckano.
Here I intend to explore the beauty of beauty. It is actually a rehash of my own tailpiece: an experience of love, truth and beauty, and it may help a traveller to identify with his own experiences of human practice and predicament. The end of this tale is indeed the beginning of this voyage, which, though, starts at the first sight, but may take one's whole life or so many lives to consummate the article. I am on this way inspired by 'one' who bears name but can be called by many names, or nameless, too.
The knowledge resulted by this experience is, therefore, dropped in black and white to commemorate that 'name' with my own for the moments past and the moments to come in our life; and for the lovely ones who want to share such moments for eternal ecstasy in their lives. Since, beauty takes on everyone, it is important that we ask what beauty is. Is it a fact or not?
The theme is being debated from times past by scholars and philosophers. It is a fact that the influences of beauty can be seen everywhere in nature and in human life. It is prevailing in nature. The theme of aesthetics in science and philosophy speaks of the intensity and the perennial existence of beauty, as eternal as truth or goodness. Nothing in life can be thought of without the aesthetic impulse and the presence of pristine influence in life. All in all, beauty is present in and prevails as a third dimension of reality. If truth has any form beauty is realisation of that form; if goodness is any act or endeavour, beauty is the ideal and object of that endeavour. Beauty is thus the omnipotent verity which is free, frank and always fair in its manifestations.
J. B Keats' verse describes beauty verily: Beauty is truth, truth is beauty, - that is all you know and all ye need to know!
Philosophers' attempt to define beauty, its aspects and attitudes have most often failed to provide the reader even with the bare concept of beauty, not to say, of the grasp or the world-view thereof.
Since beauty is against any conceptualization and it’s not an idea, therefore, no philosophical enquiry in beauty's field would yield any conclusion. Though philosophers describe it as a domain of their discourse, they do not, however, make claim to give an overview of it as their cup of tea only.
Kant, in his theory of beauty assumes that beauty has four aspects: its freedom from concept, its objectivity, the disinterest of spectator and its obligatory-ness, is, indeed, a sincere attempt to make aesthetics knowledgeable. But he brings mist of thought into the beholders eye of beauty as thought alone cannot hold even the shadow of beauty in its rational frame. Other philosophical cognitions and qualifiers like order, unity, proportionality, symmetry, harmony, etc. do only describe physicality and technicality its effects within the boundaries of linguistics. All the same, the philosophical enquiry fails to define beauty's beauty - the truth. One cannot describe beauty in philosophical language, but can transmute beauty's beauty through poetry medium and melody only.
Beauty and its lover both see each other with jealousy and vanity, each consuming the other, and simultaneously, sustaining each other to keep and continue the rhythm and metre of life going on. Since beauty expresses itself, represents itself, and itself is its own form, therefore, needs no exoteric agency to protect or project its own cause. Certainly, as a Lover holds the Beloved's eye, so beauty speaks beauty's tongue, both in forms of silence and speech. Beauty has its own ethics and behoves not any regulations of time and tide, knows no age and stage, confess no region or religion; it is independent, absolute and eternal in its manifestations. It is always stranger and stranger to all; love alone discovers it and gives it company. Personifying the attributes of beauty, R. W. Emerson in his song narrates:
Thou ultimate stranger,
Thou latest and first
All that's good and great with thee
Stands in deep conspiracy
Dread power, but dear ! if God therefore,
Unmake me quite or give thyself to me.
The pleasure of beauty is to strike the spectator [Lover] and then hold the lovely beholder in her lap of communion and start the journey with the intimate communication with the Lover. Beauty is rich per se; and, that it is neither thirsty, nor asking, nor leading, nor behind; it is neither of the east, nor of the west. In smile it is empyrean, and humble it is in style. Khalil Gibran sings his variety of songs:
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy,
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand streched forth,
But rather a heart enflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not an image you would see, nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you would see though,
You close your eyes and a song you would hear though,
You would shut your ears.
And, further he speaks, "Beauty is life" and adds a very beautiful and pithy aspect of Her which I will try to elaborate in the following lines, while his verse continues as
But you are life and you are the veil,
Beauty is eternity gazing itself in a mirror,
But you are the eternity and you are the mirror.
The mirror holds what it beholds and reflects honesty and truth and with humility obliterates itself into nothingness while existing at the same time. It speaks in spectators own tongue and itself remains silent. Thus, beauty's comparison with mirror is, in toto, apt and illuminating on the nature of the triplet-sisters spoken of above. A Hadith signifies this truth where the Prophet says :
Allah-u-jameelun, wa ya habb-ul-jamall.
[Allah is beautiful, and He loves Beauty]. Therefore one must confide that beauty is truth and truth beauty.
Beauty is the form and existence of love, while love is attribute and essence of the former. There are four moments in the development of beauty's beauty during its journey of soul to its origin. It is difficult to distinguish and demarcate, per se, one moment from the other, as between these moments, there is running a tenuous string of interconnectivity that even the artistic eye of the mirror cannot seek or catch it. The journey of Beauty and Love has no end and the mystery remains beyond the reach of human expression and understanding. Maulana Rumi finding the same fault comes to my rescue and consoles me by the symphony of his song:
In the orchard and rose garden
I long to see your face
In the taste of sweetness
I long to kiss your lips
In the shadow of passion
I long for your love
I want to escape the prison of my ego
And lose myself in the mountains and deserts.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Apr 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Apr 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Apr 2010 00:00:00 IST
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