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What Is Beauty? Essay

884 words - 4 pages

"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 ...view middle of the document...

Pictures by the old masters show a knowledge of this; or rather an intuition, that transcends knowledge.

An artist once suggested to me that the triple elements of form were the Circle, Straight-line and the Undulating. I at once saw that it must be so; because they represent the spiritual tri-une, of Love, and Wisdom, and Beauty. Space evidently relates to Love, and time to Truth; for love is infinite and truth is eternal. The circle represents infinity, and the straight line eternity; the combination of both is a succession of curves--the line of beauty. This undulating line is, as it were, a map of the spiral; the spiral represented on a horizontal plane. None but the Omniscient can comprehend the full significance of the spiral; for it contains the universe--from the smallest pebble, to the throne of Jehovah. The ancients had glimpses of this, and therefore that line is so often found among the most sacred symbols in their temples. Forever revolving and ascending, it comes the circle, the straight line, and the curve. Are not these, like the three primal notes and colors, forms of Love, Wisdom, and Beauty, or Affection, Thought, and Energy? This eternal trinity creates and re-produces all things in its own image.

The perfect and constant harmony of Love and Truth constitutes the Divine Mind. The separation between them, with the power of occasional union, and glancing revelation, from within and without, of a final, perfect, and eternal marriage, constitutes human nature, with all its marvelous spiritual phenomena. Its hopes and its...

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