How it is that everything can be so beautiful

Beauty is “an invitation to further experiences, a way that things invite us in… to explore, interpret… (not to be regarded as an instantaneously apprehensible feature)… Beautiful things don’t stand aloof but direct our attention and our desire to everything else we must learn or acquire in order to understand and possess, and they quicken the sense of life, giving it a new shape and direction.”

~Alexander Nehamas in Only a Promise of Beauty

Interestingly, this explains why we may not be engaged by technically perfect, theoretically appealing things that we see as unchanging and/or unable to connect with us.

Alas, our longing to be drawn into the elusive and mysterious may separate us from the experience of deep beauty if:

~ We are un-interested in and non-desirous of things we believe are familiar, simple, or ours — things we “get” or “have.”

~ We try to be aloof or “hard to get” because we believe that will make us desirable.

Luckily, we grow in insight. We come to find out that no one, nothing, no place, and no time can be fully known or possessed — nor can it not affect us — and so it’s all beautiful. Every thing, always, everywhere, and forever.


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