Sunday, November 08, 2015


 Learn to see the beauty that surrounds you in a new and imaginative way, and allow it to teach you a new way of being in the world.

All the things we need so desperately to retrieve, so often turn out to be the things so many write off as being naive. So people continue to neglect things like love, and beauty, and mind boggling generosity, and actually being peace and creating peace themselves, and instead continue to follow ways of thinking and doing that never have the ability to change them, help others to change, and in turn, change the world in some positive way.

I love the opening to John O'Donohue's book BEAUTY...The Invisible Embrace.

"These times are riven with anxiety and uncertainty, given the current global crisis. In the hearts of people some natural ease has been broken. It is astounding how this has reached deep into the heart. Our trust in the future has lost its innocence. We know now that anything can happen, from one minute to the next. The traditional structures of shelter are shaking, their foundations revealed to be no longer stone but sand. We are suddenly thrown back on ourselves. Politics, religion, economics and the situation of family and community, all have become abruptly unsure. At first, it sounds completely naive to suggest that now might be the time to invoke and awaken beauty. Yet this is exactly the claim that this book explores. Why? Because there is nowhere else to turn and we are desperate; furthermore, it is because we have so disastrously neglected the Beautiful that we now find ourselves in such terrible crisis.

 In a sense, all the contemporary crisis can be reduced to a crisis about the nature of beauty. This perspective offers us new possibilities. In parched terrains new wells are to be discovered. When we address difficulty in terms of the call of beauty, new invitations come alive. Perhaps, for the first time, we gain a clear view of how much ugliness we endure and allow. The media generate relentless images of mediocrity and ugliness in talk-shows, tapestries of smothered language and frenetic gratification. The media are becoming the global mirror and these shows tend to enshrine the ugly as the normal standard. Beauty is mostly forgotten and made to seem naive and romantic. The blindness of property development creates rooms, buildings and suburbs which lack grace and mystery. Socially, this influences the atmosphere in the workplace, the schoolroom, the boardroom and the community. It also results in such degradation of the environment that we are turning more and more of our beautiful earth into a wasteland. Much of the stress and emptiness that haunts us can be traced back to our lack of attention to beauty. Internally, the mind becomes course and dull if it remains unvisited by images and thoughts which hold the radiance of beauty."

I no longer just see a Great Blue Heron anymore when I see a Great Blue Heron. I see more. And that holds true with everything I now see.

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