What is beauty?
We find things beautiful and aesthetic because at the deepest level, we have evolved to experience that which is life promoting and life enhancing as attractive and desirable. Beauty is nature's yardstick for survival.
An amoeba finds a dirty puddle as attractive, because in that environment it is safe and has lots of nutrients it can use to live and replicate itself. Humans typically don't find dirty, putrid puddles as beautiful and attractive (unless they are young boys looking for a mess to play in :). Instead, we find clear fresh pools, ponds and running, babbling streams as attractive and aesthetic.
The reason for this is that as an organism we need fresh water to survive. Dirty stagnant puddles full of amoeba and other pathogens are not good for our health and survival. Over millions of years of evolution any complex organism that accidentally evolved the desire and attraction for dirty water, would have died sooner than those that found clean, clear water as attractive. The sense of beauty and attraction to crystal clear pools would have come to dominate the population as those who enjoyed this trait managed to live longer, prosper and replicate their genes.
I know I'm simplifying things somewhat here... and there's a deep point to what I'm sharing. Our sense of beauty, aesthetics and it's expression in art and life, are pointers to that which is life enhancing. Art connects us with wellness, life, resilience and thriving.
The heart and gut mind, attraction and values
Listen to the deep wisdom of your heart and gut brains. They'll speak to you of love, attraction and deeply felt values. In Japan, there is an ancient tradition, still practiced today at the highest levels of management and society, called 'Haragei'. This translates roughly to 'stomach art' and its essence involves learning to tune into and trust the wisdom of the gut. It's also known as 'the unspoken way' because the gut does NOT communicate with words. The heart and gut communicate through hunches, feelings, tastes, desires, symbols and dreams -- through art, beauty and aesthetics. With haragei the practitioner listens to the silence, to the gaps between words, to what is not said, to the shapes, pathways and patterns of behaviour and the world.
So learn to listen to and deeply bond with your ancient heart and gut brains. They provide an evolved wisdom that you can learn to connect with and tune into. And a powerful pathway to them is via your sense of beauty and art.
Look for the spirit of beauty rather than surface beauty
Seek beauty not in ephemeral fashions and fleeting trends, but in the deeper more enduring beauty of nature and timeless art.
Inspire yourself by surrounding yourself with wonderful works of art. Create your own art. Add value to life by gathering and creating beauty. Support those who bring beauty into our world.
Beauty is natures signpost to adding value to your life. Use it to enhance your life and the lives of those you love.
with life enhancing wishes from the heart
The Unspoken Way
The key to success in Japan is a thorough understanding of the workings of "haragei" - an idea affecting language, social interaction, and business dealings in particular. This volume examines the idea of "haragei"