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What is beauty?

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posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 12:10 PM
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beauty is your beauty




posted on Sep, 20 2011 @ 10:59 PM
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reply to post by Open2Truth
 


I believe you are pointing out a key distinction – the definition of "truth" as defined by our culture (a left-brain construct of beliefs about our shared environment) which is certainly dependent on the individual. I believe that Keats was speaking of a much deeper Truth.

That does not seem logical. We are often told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and common experience suggests that it is at least partially true. Hence, beauty means different things to different people. If beauty, as Keats says, is truth, and truth beauty, then truth, also, must mean different things to different people.

Either that, or there is an absolute standard of beauty, but one most people do not recognize. In which case the statement ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ is false. Either that, or Keats was talking out of a hole in his head (as was often the case with that earnest young man).

You have raised an interesting contradiction. Can you, or anyone else, resolve it?



posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I don't see it as a contradiction - and since you asked I will try to briefly explain my perspective.

I believe that perceiving something as "beautiful" is certainly dependent on many factors of individuality , i.e. personal preferences, prior experiences, beliefs, etc. Something is seen as beautiful if it resonates with us at this level. However, I feel this is just the surface experience of beauty.

At deeper levels, the experience of beauty is recognizing the divine energy we share with another form. Many spiritual teachers have pointed to this experience in both ancient and modern times.

I find it interesting that science has found that certain specific traits appear to be “hard wired” for us to perceive as beautiful - examples include facial symmetry, expressions of the golden ratio, and fractal patterns in nature. I believe that this is a signpost of a deeper experience of beauty underlying our more conscious perceptions.

So I believe that both “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and “beauty is Truth, and Truth beauty” are not mutually exclusive, but different layers of a larger whole.



posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 02:11 PM
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Beauty, to me, is that which resonates with the true essence of ones Soul. That which one sees as beauty is a reflection of the true self and by paying attention to that which one finds beauty in, one begins to understand themselves in a new and wondrous light. It is said that there are 3 aspects of self ie:
    who one thinks they are.
    What others see one to be.
    Who one really is.

Beauty shows us who we really are without prejudice and gives us the ability to see truth within ourselves.



posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 03:56 PM
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There is mind, body, and spirit.

Spirit is love.

Beauty is what happens when the mind observes spirit in a body.

Beauty is the visual communication of spirit to spirit through bodies



posted on Sep, 21 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by rom12345
Beauty always presents natural harmonic proportions
Dissonant proportions are the opposite.


That doesn't make any sense. Dissonance can certainly be beautiful. (Western) Musical theory, for instance, as it relates to consonance and dissonance, is based on the harmonic series found in nature, but I'm not sure how that somehow defines what "beauty" is.

I think music without any dissonant notes whatsoever is sterile, predictable, and boring. In my opinion.

Many other cultures have music that sounds absolutely horrid/random/chaotic to our conditioned Western ears, yet a given population may actually enjoy that kind of music. Are their opinions any less valid? Who's to say that a musical system based on the harmonic series is superior to all other musical systems?



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:06 AM
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reply to post by AlphaZero
 


That doesn't make any sense. Dissonance can certainly be beautiful. (Western) Musical theory, for instance, as it relates to consonance and dissonance, is based on the harmonic series found in nature, but I'm not sure how that somehow defines what "beauty" is.

Exactly. And then we have the additional complication that, since the Baroque period, Western ears have grown used to hearing musical intervals that are not based exactly on the harmonic series but on a compromise called the equal-temperament scale, in which many notes are actually slightly flat or sharp – strictly speaking, out of tune. And now the rest of the world has got used to hearing those same intervals rather than perfect harmonic ones.

I think our friend Open2Truth is trying to have it both ways – arguing that beauty is both absolute and in the eye of the beholder. Obviously, that won’t wash.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 12:32 AM
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Beauty is anything your eyes lay upon. Just gotta look hard sometimes. Without vision, beauty would become a different animal.

Thank God I have my sight, ears, touch, smell and taste. Beauty is not defined by anything but the observer.



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 03:01 AM
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i find Humans beautiful (really, not in the cliché way). Thoughts, Dreams, Ingenuity, Language, Romance, Loving, Caring, Sharing and everything else human... yet, i also see the cesspool and what some of us have become.
It becomes hard to write about beauty because there are so many bastardized versions and cheap ripoffs. When writing about true beauty (or what you find to be true beauty) it usually just sounds like some more BS (thanks to Hollywood, the fakers and charlatins). i find beauty to be transcendent.

Elvis Costello once explained how he came to write the song, "All This Useless Beauty", after watching a middle aged couple at an art gallery...

"All This Useless Beauty"

"It's at times such as this she'd be tempted to spit
If she wasn't so ladylike
She imagines how she might have lived
back when legends and history collide
So she looks to her prince finding since
he's so charmingly slumped at her side
Those days are recalled on the gallery wall
And she's waiting for passion or humour to strike

What shall we do, what shall we do with all this useless beauty?
All this useless beauty

Good Friday arrived, the sky darkened on time
'Til he almost began to negotiate
She held his head like a baby and said 'It's okay if you cry'
Now he wants her to dress as if you couldn't guess
He desires to impress his associates
But it's part ugly beast and Hellenic deceased
So she finds that the mixture is hard to deny

She won't practice the looks from the great tragic books
That were later disgraced to face celluloid
It won't even make sense but you can bet
If she isn't a sweetheart or plaything or pet
The film turns her into an unveiled threat

Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise
And our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts
They still think they're the gods of antiquity
If something you missed didn't even exist
It was just an ideal -- is it such a surprise?"

by - Elvis Costello


And the following is an excerpt from Thoreau's essay, "Awaken Thyself"

... "We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts. Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour" ... H.D. Thoreau

i find writers like Elvis and Thoreau beautiful.

edit on 22-9-2011 by trika3000 because: mistakes



posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 01:27 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by AlphaZero
 


That doesn't make any sense. Dissonance can certainly be beautiful. (Western) Musical theory, for instance, as it relates to consonance and dissonance, is based on the harmonic series found in nature, but I'm not sure how that somehow defines what "beauty" is.

Exactly. And then we have the additional complication that, since the Baroque period, Western ears have grown used to hearing musical intervals that are not based exactly on the harmonic series but on a compromise called the equal-temperament scale, in which many notes are actually slightly flat or sharp – strictly speaking, out of tune. And now the rest of the world has got used to hearing those same intervals rather than perfect harmonic ones.

I think our friend Open2Truth is trying to have it both ways – arguing that beauty is both absolute and in the eye of the beholder. Obviously, that won’t wash.


Well, since you mentioned me specifically in your last post, I thought it would be appropriate for me to respond. But after reading it, I see you were responding to Alpha zero, who was responding to a specific comment from rom12345 - which was a specific discussion about dissonance and whether it could be perceived as beautiful. This is a distinction/perception that I did not discuss.

So I am left with only being able to respond to your comment that I am trying to have it both ways. A fair observation. I am reminded of the parable of the acorns. You are probably familiar with it. Most of the acorns knew the exact parameters of their world - they are acorns, after all! Small nuts, with hard exterior shells. One nutty acorn sees more, and eventually becomes an oak. Which acorn was right? Both. Which was wrong? Neither.

Lets take this parable to our specific discussion of beauty perception. One acorn focuses on the beauty of his companion's shells and the forest floor around him, and this is indeed part of being an acorn. The other looks at other acorns and also sees beauty in their shared existence as the seeds of mighty oaks.

Specific to your comment, yes, I do see it both ways. As far as it "not washing" I will just say to each his own washing. It clearly doesn't wash for you, but it does so beautifully for me.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 07:39 AM
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why does it matter what beauty is. beauty has a definition what you find beautiful differs from person to person. that being said this question is moot even if this discussion.leads to an agreedment of what beauty is other people would beg to differ. from reading all.the.posts the question should have been what does. eauty mean to you. as many are taking the opportunity to share what is beautiful to them and in the process trying to show how deep.they are in the process.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 08:46 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Hi there
"Can you, or anyone else, resolve it?"

surely I can

Its simple, and however often "the beauty is in the eye"... first its in "the eyes"...the most often in the blue/ green eyes of tall, rather slender, most times- brighthaired - european-looking women


You can call me racist as much as you like but (even if every race has its beauties) the white women of the dscription I put just above, are the most admired, not only by the WASP ("hite cheauvinists "etc etc
) but by most males/females of the other races...

And by the way its true that there is something like "the Golden Proportions"...
not convinced? look on the miss world competitions or the top model lists...



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by ZenOnKwalsky
 


however often "the beauty is in the eye"... first its in "the eyes"...the most often in the blue/ green eyes of tall, rather slender, most times- brighthaired - european-looking women

The sexiest girls I’ve met have been complete mongrels. I go for the polyethnic look. Mind you, I’m a mongrel myself.



You can call me racist as much as you like

Thanks. Maybe I will. Let’s see how it goes.


not convinced? look on the miss world competitions or the top model lists...

You find beauty contest winners beautiful? Seriously?

There was a time when I attended the odd beauty pageant. This would be because one of the clients of the ad agency I worked for was a sponsor of the event, and I would be there to see that the promotional side of the sponsorship went well. When you represent a sponsor you can be a big noise at a beauty pageant – if you want to.

Well.

If you want to remain a romantic about women, never, ever mingle backstage with the girls at the final of a beauty pageant. And if you want to believe that feminine beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you had better stay away from them altogether, for it’s never the prettiest or the most charming or the sexiest girls who win, it’s the girls who conform to the consumer-culture stereotype of beauty, the one that’s been determined through a million polls and focus groups; women who have the proportions and the symmetry and the skin and the bones that match the consumer-culture template, who tick all the boxes of what some market-research pundits have decided is the prevailing national standard (or even – delusion, like stupidity, knows no bounds – international standard) of female beauty, and contrive nevertheless to be ugly and repellent as any Gorgon. You see the same thing in television presenters, low-grade film stars and (why spare our blushes?) the world of consumer porn.

No, O Prince of Pallid Pulchritude, there is no universal feminine ideal. How do I know? A couple of decades in the international advertising industry, mostly in Asia, that’s how – much of it spent looking at photos of potential models and going ‘no, too Indian.’ ‘Nope, too Chinese.’ ‘Won’t do, looks European.’

One place white models work, no question: the Middle Eastern market, mostly the Gulf. Don’t ask me why.

And there is, of course – I must concede – Hollywood, which does tend to export a certain venerable Caucassiance.


edit on 23/9/11 by Astyanax because: for the O's.



posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by AlphaZero
 


That doesn't make any sense. Dissonance can certainly be beautiful. (Western) Musical theory, for instance, as it relates to consonance and dissonance, is based on the harmonic series found in nature, but I'm not sure how that somehow defines what "beauty" is.

Exactly. And then we have the additional complication that, since the Baroque period, Western ears have grown used to hearing musical intervals that are not based exactly on the harmonic series but on a compromise called the equal-temperament scale, in which many notes are actually slightly flat or sharp – strictly speaking, out of tune. And now the rest of the world has got used to hearing those same intervals rather than perfect harmonic ones.

I think our friend Open2Truth is trying to have it both ways – arguing that beauty is both absolute and in the eye of the beholder. Obviously, that won’t wash.


Yep. Basically, our enjoyment of music has a lot to do with conditioning. Hence, the concept of beauty being in the "eye of the beholder."

I've never seen a convincing argument for "aesthetic objectivism" -- that is, the "inherent superiority" of certain artistic values over others -- and I don't think I'll see one anytime soon, considering that this topic has been debated since the beginnings of philosophy and art.
edit on 23-9-2011 by AlphaZero because: (no reason given)



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