Finding Community in the Beautiful?
As with the Good and the True, authenticity is also involved in the realization of Beauty. Beauty nurtures the seemingly disparate parts of oneself by recognizing their interdependence and connectedness. This is Beauty’s love component that expresses as self compassion. Material that was once unconscious and disowned becomes conscious. The nature of one’s ego self becomes more complete, more unified, and therefor more authentic. The Beautiful is then more recognizable both interior wise and exterior wise.
Beauty is the goal of the Good and the True. Whereas the Good is the valuing of what is authentic and the True is the verifying of the authentic, Beauty is one’s authentic and True Self. Beauty ultimately rests in the simplicity of the awareness, “I am”, where all the inconsistencies and inauthentic elements of one’s consciousness are dissolved.
But like the Good and the True, realizing the Beautiful is impeded by distractions, cheap thrills, and misguided desires. However, there is one major difference between the perspective of the Beautiful in contrast to the perspectives of the 2nd person Good and the 3rd person True. The Beautiful is the domain of the 1st person perspective, of the will, the executive organizer of our reality, the perspective that navigates us through life.
Most importantly, this is the perspective where trust is decided. Trust is the currency of all encounters and relationships. There is a continuous negotiation of trust between one’s own interior perspective and one’s 2nd and 3rd person encounters, be it a person or group of people, an animal, nature in general, a neighborhood, an organization, a business, a corporation, or a government.
Some encounters and relationships are trust currency rich and others are trust currency poor. But we pay for every encounter and relationship with some degree of trust, some degree of opening to the other person or group, of letting down our guard, of self revelation and willingness to listen, and with some degree of suspending judgment.
We are drawn to trust by our need for communion with others. We look for ourselves in others. We look for self validation from others. Beauty’s function of balancing and harmonizing self’s disparate, neglected, and disowned parts is all for the sake of answering the one question, “Who am I?” Beauty seeks the real thing, the one true thing that is oneself.
So in regard to community, the Beautiful presents questions like:
2) What balance and harmony will we bring to the world working in concert with one another?
To answer these questions and the ones concerning the Good and the True in regard to building truly sustainable communities, we must come to the collective realization that the Good, the True, and the Beautiful exist within each of us as driving forces toward self knowledge. We must also collectively recognize that these forces are countered by the force of Ignorance which is the source of all impediments to living out the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. The question to be answered is, “How do we materialize such collective knowledge?”
The answer lies in addressing the ignorance that occupies our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person perspectives on the world. The reductionist approach that societies have followed since the beginning days of the scientific method is to address these perspectives largely as independent spheres of the mind. Such an approach has been structured into all of our institutions, because the mind is reductionist in nature and taken to be the sum total of our interior consciousness.
It makes more sense to consider consciousness as the home of the mind. In this model the mind occupies the rooms of consciousness which are the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person perspectives, and maintains a very fluid focus which moves in and out of these rooms whose windows give it a unique view from each room.
Individually, we all tend to favor a particular room, a specific set of windows by which to view the world and assess our relationship to it. Any collection of individuals, whether it be a church group, a government, or a corporation bring a variety of these individual biases to the these organizing structures, and their conflicting perspectives play out in the politics of the structure.
Each perspective has a function as described above in the three ideals of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful which is integral to seeing the whole picture.
In order to bring forth our collective knowledge of the Good the True and the Beautiful, we must fully explore the relationships that tie them together as well as the impediments to those relationships, which as noted above are grounded in the force of Ignorance.
The intent of this website is to provide a forum for such an exploration.