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What Is Beauty?

  • Date Submitted: 03/14/2014 05:10 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.3 
  • Words: 868
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"Then had I all sorts of strange thoughts, which would hardly have agreed with sense. It was as if the secret of Creation lay on my tongue; how God, by the power of his voice, had called every thing forth, and how music repeats in each breast this eternal will of LOVE and WISDOM."--Bettine.
The two creative principles of the universe are LOVE and WISDOM. Their union, and perfect proportion, constitutes BEAUTY.

In common modes of speech, this word is, obviously enough, applied to mere forms of Love and Truth, in which the perfect proportion is at once felt, rather than seen, and we instinctively call it harmony. But I am now striving to define the abstract and universal Idea; and this I believe to be a harmonious proportion of the two great Creative Principles.

From a healthy union of Affection and Thought flows Energy. When we do love to do that which we perceive it right to do, we cannot otherwise than embody it in earnest action. This is moral beauty.

When truth is perceived through the transparent medium of affection for it, it embodies itself in intellectual beauty, and the productions of such states are spontaneously and universally acknowledged as beautiful. Hence, genius ever works with unconsciousness, and is a mystery in itself. The harmony is so complete, that thought does not attempt to analyze affection, or affection to question thought. Being one, they are unconscious of each other's presence. The spiritual life then flows in freely, and men call it divine mania, inspiration, intuition, genius.

Beauty of recitation is the adaptation of the tone to the word spoken. The word is obviously an embodiment of thought,, and tone, of affection. There is the same subtle union, and mysterious significance, in the expression and the proportions of a statue.

Musicians say there are three primal notes, without which music cannot be; and there are three primal colors, without a due proportion of which painting wants harmony. Pictures by the old...

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