“How do you define beauty?” my friend asked.
“I don’t. I experience it”, I answered.
That still is the best I can say – I don’t define beauty, I experience it. Nevertheless, I see her question as gently asking “tell me more about beauty”.
Beauty emerges from the womb of awareness. Beauty is a seeing. When it happens, it brings with it a sense of expanse. ‘Vani Murarka’ blurs away somewhat and unseen I penetrate the ‘thing’ being seen as beautiful and drink in the beauty a bit. A certain oneness occurs, a feeling of having been nourished.
“I love you.”
Love is a verb in this sentence. This means that love involves some action. What action does love involve? Seeing beauty. To love someone or something is to perceive beauty in that person / thing. Seeing beauty is to perceive the very being of that thing / person, and by that seeing we are expanded.
What have I loved in the purest way in my life so far?
Whenever I have loved the sky, I have never wanted anything from it. I did not ask it to acknowledge my love for it. Nor did I want to make it my own. I have simply been enamored by it. I have wanted to be immersed in it and by that wanting itself, felt expanded.
I have loved some people deeply too. There are times when I perceive the person I love deeply to be existing in every atom of this universe. At those times the same thing occurs, I am enamored by their beauty, by their very being. The result is, I feel expanded and grateful for being able to perceive that way.
To see someone somewhere (say 19 Park Street for example) requires us to go there (to 19 Park Street) – either physically, or by technological means such as the television, or simply by our mind. When I have seen the person I have loved in every particle of the universe, that seeing has taken *me* to every particle of the universe – and by that I have been blessed.
Beauty is a blessing. It is a blessing that exists everywhere, every moment, available to us to partake of. When we are not feeling expansive, our mind is focused on something where we do not perceive beauty – but right beside that something, beauty is sitting quietly, ever present to be seen.
So here we are on Facebook, reading posts about cow slaughter, or protection, or Donald Trump or Modi or whatever else that disturbs us – and right beside that post, in that post, beauty is sitting quietly waiting to be seen.
For the screen on which we read is beautiful – lit by its numerous tiny bulbs hidden inside and all its wonderful technology and science, every aspect of which is *so* grand, which powers the screen and the whole internet. Be enamored by the screen – the material it is made of, the manner in which text and images are transmitted to it for display, the collective human action present past (and future), and every atom and every zero and one that dances together to make it all happen. Sublime.
And beauty exists in the text that we read. Every letter is beautiful. See one letter carefully. Its shape is beautiful. Its typography is beautiful. That letter encapsulates a sound – that is so fascinating. Each word of the post you read, *whichever* post, is beautiful. They may have been strung together to convey a thought of hate, but each of those words can be used to convey a thought of love too. What we choose to receive, the thought of hate or the seeing of beauty, is our choice.
Pause a second. See a letter. This last one – “e”. Look at its shape – e. The way it loops around and then points us to the next letter. Feel that movement and its sound – ee. See the word it was in – one, or shape. Each word so fascinating and wondrous –
Ponder a second on the meaning of those words, “one”, “shape” – each has the capability to take us to a wide open place in our mind. I just happened to pick these two words at random. They came my way as I was writing. Any word that we may pick up holds within itself a wide open expanse, if we enter it.
Within letters and words the stream of humanity itself is hidden – all our forefathers, known unknown. For how does language evolve and emerge? These letters and words just got made, naturally over time, organically, by the power of a great natural collective mind. No law was passed, “one” shall mean this, and it shall be pronounced thus, for which these letters that hold these sounds will be used. No law was passed. It evolved under the skilled chisel of a grand collective mind that flows across time. This same grand, wondrous, sublime mind has been gifted to each one of us too.
And these words created by this grand mind empower me to reach out to you. These words empower you to receive my thoughts. And in this moment, we are one.
What did I do here? I saw the beauty of the screen on which I see what I type. I saw the beauty of the letters and words I use. Pause a second and see anything, there is beauty sitting quietly in there.
What is beauty, but a seeing.
What is beauty, but a receiving.