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Aesthetics: Natural Beauty

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posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 07:43 AM

You know the feeling. When taking a calm and collected look at nature, one begins to feel a certain kind of peace within. The words are hard to describe, but there is a profound sense of understanding and connection one feels to what they are seeing. All the troubles that usually occupy the mind are thrown into the abyss as feelings of warmth and fascination fill the core of your body. You feel at home.

Aesthetics is a branch of Philosophy that is rarely explored in this forum, and I thought it would be interesting to delve into it using a topic we can all relate to – Natural Beauty. So, what is Natural Beauty? I would define it as the atmospherically appealing display of any organic construction present in the open environment. Of course, this is a subjective definition and others are free to form their own.

Nevertheless, it seems that when it comes to admiring and appreciating Natural Beauty, every observer can take something positive out of the experience. There is a metaphysical quality to perceiving the visual stimuli that meets your eyes, and this is what I am interested in exploring.

Some important questions to consider:

* What is your definition of natural beauty?
* What sensations do you experience when witnessing cute animals, vibrant plants and attractive landscapes?
* What segment(s) of your view triggers this sensation? Is it parts or the whole?
* What are the metaphysical implications of your experience?
* What is the "quality" consistent in all the occurrences of natural beauty?

Some quotes on nature and beauty:

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.” ― Aristotle

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ― Albert Einstein

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.” ― Sylvia Plath

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” ― John Lubbock

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” ― Gary Snyder

* * * * * *

Further reading:
* Aesthetics - Wikipedia
* Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
* Stanford Encyclopedia
* Quotes about nature

edit on 9/11/2012 by Dark Ghost because: altered title, formatting

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 08:01 AM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

The pictures are lovely!

I don't have the word to describe "natural beauty" or to relate the feelings that viewing things of nature inspire in me. What I can say is that when I am deep in the woods surrounded by nature in all of it's forms I feel more at peace within my soul than anywhere modern technology can offer me.

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 08:35 AM
reply to post by Dark Ghost
great reminders of the universal beauty we miss wearing our critical minds.inner beauty and outer dissolve in to the one they always are.

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 08:52 AM
What makes those pictures (and others) interesting to me are chaos, contrast and colour.

When I was designing my house, I took great care in the selection of stone for my fireplace, because that's what I wanted -- since it's a focus point for my main living space, I wanted those three variables respected, because, to me, it's not only aesthetically pleasing, it also never becomes boring -- no matter how often I look at those stones, I feel like I'm always discovering some new nuance in them.

Nice thread, thanks!

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 08:57 AM
Nature is very beautiful. It brings us home. Nature jumps out and shouts 'see me', drawing the attention out of the mind and slapping us into presence.
The feeling is delightful because you have forgotten everything that does not exist (no before, no next - just this) and are seeing directly what is real. You have disappeared and all there is is the mind blowing appearance. A wow moment.
And then the mind starts telling you all about it, it tries to frame it and compare it. It is like seeing a beautiful waterfall and taking a bucket to it so you can take the beautiful waterfall home with you.
Seeing without words, experiencing without concept is delightful.

Direct conscious contact with what is present is the way to peace. Nature is good at getting the attention to stop here with what is here.
edit on 9-11-2012 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 02:37 PM
Natural beauty rarely involves humans for me, often it's a scenic place unspoilt by mankind.

And the pictures you post are very nice but only the last one holds beauty in a visual sense if you think about it.

Pic 1: Run from the pyroclastic flow! (although the power could be called beautiful)
Pic 2: I'm going to be dinner aren't I? (at least I had a purpose)
Pic 3: I'm going to be flattened like the founder of "ELO" was by that rolling hay bale! (Great band)
Pic 4: I'm dessert aren't I? (Lets hope I help keep her cubs alive)
Pic 5: Aaaah, pretty flutterbye! (The beauty of metamorphosis)

Yup, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is often dualistic to us apes.

Your questions and my answers:
1: Natural beauty is just that, something to inspire that is not messed with.....natural.
2: I often feel a sadness for the rarity of beauty but an energy from what it offers, however big or small.
3: My view is sometimes like a camera of the mind taking a snapshot of something secret that will be with me forever.
4: The metaphysical implications are a deep down wish to slap the human race and say "LOOK! THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT WE WANT FOR OURSELVES"!
5: The quality is the purity.....naturally.

Thanks for the thread, I like reflecting on things that matter. s & f
edit on 9/11/2012 by nerbot because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

when i was a child, i used to lay in the fields and look up to the sky and i felt rocked by the earth. when i was young, warm wind used to drive me wild, i could nearly fly; and then, a bit later, i became one with the flow and ebb of the waves, laying there where the ocean meets the beach, the prickling pebbles and sands enhanced the energy of the rushing blood in my body, warmed by the sun. sparkling reflections still trance me to imagined worlds.

it spins me out of a worldwide state of worry. worrying for the state of our hearts, suffocated by the state of blind carelessness; of anticipating worse wars, homelessness, desperation, famine, loneliness, people being cruel and getting cold. etc etc……

then, when i see the beauty and harmony in nature, i feel an intense sense of wonder and fascination that i have not felt in a very long time - or only for brief moments.

this is how it could be. not just in contrast to chaos that serves us; in contrast to saturn return. but how it could be after sorting things out……… for good………… even on a personal level, ………perhaps……. if i turn and become like a child………again………. i’ll be in paradise, heaven on earth, the kingdom of heaven !!

thank you, dear Dark Ghost, this is a good idea, i will look into aesthetics as a branch of philosophy !

edit on 9-11-2012 by applecore because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 07:11 PM
I thought we were talking about natural beauties as in human beings. I can't stand today's society, beauty is in the layers of make up, hair-dye, and expensive clothes you wear. So many kids seem to be bullied to death, and I see more in them than the kids that bully them.

Sorry, not really off topic but the universe certainly is a beautiful place. We need a wake up call, we can not create beauty, merely mimic it. No invention of man will ever compare to the wonders of the universe.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

Thanks for the cool thread Ghost, this is a subject I've always found intriguing and, as an artist, is always close to heart.

I first got interested in the philosophy of beauty after reading an awesome book that I think you would like - A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin, where the protagonist is a student of aesthetics that gets interrupted by WW1.



posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 03:55 PM
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...
- Lord Byron

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

It can be very pretty, sometimes. But it's expensive. Lots of death and extinction.

A picture of Marylin Monroe says it all to me. Or any pretty lady. They're like a beautiful picture of nature, but underneath you detect all of the 'other woman' and the cycle of evolution.

Sometimes beauty requires a careful and patient eye to see it. Maybe all beauty does.

Most importantly, beauty is attraction but it's not truth anymore than anything else.

Truth is everything, including the ugly and all of the past and future and all that this universe can be.
edit on 10-11-2012 by jonnywhite because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 04:27 PM
reply to post by Dark Ghost

There can be beauty found in total destruction. In exploring the dark side of things. There can be beauty in awareness after the worst of experiences.

Great art often explores that which is affirming yet disturbing.

Beauty can be the ultimate paradox.

posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 05:16 PM
Thank you for the post. Among all the crap we deal with everyday and read here it's nice to stop and look at the beautiful things right in front of us s&f

posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 12:48 PM
there is no such thing as aesthetic beauty,,,,,,,,,,, its in the eye of the beholder ^^

and as always ones mans trash is another mans treasure.

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