How can we define beauty? Beauty is a force in this world whether you know it or not. How do we define that which is not beautiful? What is the effect upon us when we see something as beautiful or not beautiful? The dictionary defines beauty as something that gives pleasure to our senses. To be considered beautiful a thing must have artistic value. A value that can be detected by everyone not just those who have knowledge about beauty. Something that is asymmetrical can not be regarded as beautiful.
What is art? Art is the recognition of beauty. Beauty expressed through art is a means of enriching the lives of humans. Beauty does give pleasure to the senses of humans. Beauty is a kind of perfection. But what is ultimate beauty? Nature will point the way to the answer. In Nature all forms are beautiful. Things that seem to be an accident or broken in time show their real beauty. No part of Nature is deficient in value.
In nature there are what we consider normal things. They are functioning the way we think they should. As long as there is no artificial interferences Nature will function in her own way with her own laws. Her structure is harmonious, orderly, perfect and beautiful. Beauty is the proper relationship of power. To the ancients beauty was a thing of itself, but they knew it might not have an existence without other things. Beauty is present in all things. It was the duty of all humans to discover beauty and release her from her bondage and give her the full recognition she deserves. In this deep dive of beauty we are not just interested in the beauties of form but also with the beauty of character. Wherever there is truth there is an atmosphere of beauty.
There are two types of beauty. An archetypal beauty. It is an internal beauty or what some may describe as a heavenly beauty. It is what constitutes beauty. This archetypal beauty exists forever in the divine consciousness, divine mind or Nature herself. It manifests through the works of Nature and her creations. There is also a relative beauty. Beauty that is appreciable by those who have attained certain levels or degrees. Relative beauty is that which is appreciable by us humans. Beauty we can see, sense, understand or know. This is why the female is the number one subject of art. As you will see she is both archetypal and physical beauty.
When I look at ancient art and structures from the Native Americans I revel in the beauty they put off. I also understand that these works of art have a time stamp. If they were recreated today they would not be as beautiful. This art came from a time that it was the fullest expression of their creativity. When I look at it I sense the archetypal beauty in it. This archetypal beauty was used to create all ancient art and structures around the world and we have lost it in todays culture. Today’s structures are a hollow copyism of what the ancients were able to achieve. There is no genius, merit and honesty in our works.
In the search for beauty we must understand that beauty is limited by the insight of all humans. We can recognize this by just looking at our fashions. The fashions of yesterday are way different from the fashions of today. The fashions of culture are way different from each other. Beauty has an outward life. It molds and models our behavior. Art however must be wonderfully honest or it is not art. Honesty is not realism. Realism today is an assumption or disillusion. It is the neurotic tendencies of ourselves. We see realism as humans who are inevitably and eternally sick. To represent this in art we must show how imperfect we are. In order to be realistic we must take the beauty out of things. As a result of this our modern art and structures depict the works of men not Nature.
You can not take the beauty out of a sunrise or sunset. You can’t take the beauty away from trees, flowers, streams, mountains and lakes, but we can take the beauty away from shops, stores, restaurants and cafes. It is very easy to take the beauty out of modern architecture. Today we try to take the most obvious limitations of humans and create artwork. It is the art of the deformed, depressed, trivial and broken. I see it as experimentations with so called artistic elements without any real insight. Our art is not a descendent of the great art of the ancients. This does not mean it can not grow, mature, ripen and unfold. This doesn’t mean there is no place in it for innovation, change and freedom of expression. Progress in art must result from the greatness in our spirit. That which does not have greatness in spirit can not have the dreams and experiences within itself to achieve progress. Lacking the inner archetypal capacity the artists falls to deceit. They can not supply the inner beauty or the divine consciousness.
The ancients pointed out that art covers not only architecture, music, gardens, paintings, poems and literature, but is the adornment of humans themselves. By doing this beauty is the medicine of the soul. In order for the soul to express beauty it must know beauty within itself. It must know the need for beauty and experience the discovery of the beautiful. Beauty has more of an emotional value than an intellectual value yet it can be rationalized. But if we go too far from a mental point of view we destroy the vibrational pattern which is associated with the great symmetry of creative art.
In the study of beauty humans are really searching for something that pleases them. If art is to be truly meaningful to the individual it must appreciate that which is worthy of being appreciated. Value that which is valuable. Once an individual experiences true beauty they like to be surrounded with it. They find instruction from the art. Todays art is propaganda. Propaganda is always an attack on privileged classes or groups. Todays art is socialistic or communistic propaganda. Propaganda is thrusting your own interpretations on Nature. They use art to oversell ideas of their own which may or may not be based in reality. Art with social conditioning is a form of advertising. It is the art of selling the ideas of the artist.
To the ancients this type of art was blasphemy. They did not use great things to achieve small ends. They thought we had no right to use art to exploit ideas. All art has to have meaning. Art without meaning is sterile. If art conveys nothing it can not even convey itself. If you look at some art and it means nothing to you then you turn away from it. We are are not interested in it. If it does not awaken something inside us, if it doesn’t inspire us, if it does not cause us to reminisce, if it does not let us escape from the monotony of our life we simply walk away from it. Art that is just there to support the artists is of no value to anyone. Art and structures that have survived are here because of their intangible importance with the structure of Nature.
Religious art is very popular because so many believe it. It is meaningful to its time. It tells the story of what the viewer believes. It has value to the viewer. Religious art survives with the religious mind. Todays art is less about telling something and more about what is in the mind of the artist. It is a portrait of the psychology of the artist. Does not matter if they are sick or well, corrupt or moral, have low values or high values, it is considered art. The great arts of Asia are a ministry. They provide the individual with a new dimension of insight. Not an intellectual insight, but an inward understanding or insight. It enriches the life of the viewer. This is the power of the symbol and simplicity. It reminds the individual of the great world they live in and what is meaningful to them.
With the invention of the camera many artist found other professions because they thought it was impossible to compete with the lens of the camera. Art is not a photographic reproduction of something. The great purpose of art is to release the beauty of things. Im not saying photos can not capture beauty, but no great artists painted something the exact way they saw it. They painted it with a certain discrimination added from their own insight. An artists painting trees will not paint them like the camera depicts them. They will remove certain things that are not necessary to the picture. Or they will move something a little to the right or left. They will change things to bring the picture into its meaning instead of its immediate form. This is what the hermetic axiom means when it states “art reflects nature”. Artist perfect it, releasing it and freeing it from its own confusion. Humans are surrounded by so much that they can appreciate very little of it. Art helps to center your attention. Art captures a silent feature and eliminates the rest, so that the person feels they have seen it all, but a large part of the picture is from the artists own consciousness. In this way they gain insight and pleasure from the artwork that they would never gain from a photo.
In the search for beauty we must realize that our ability to create beauty or recognize beauty comes from within us. Beauty is a movement, a force and a power which arises in the individual. It is the spirit of the person rising up and embracing its own likeness. It is truth within finding the truth in other things. Beauty is more than physical. It is spiritual proof of the presence of Natures laws. All her laws are beautiful, orderly and inevitable. Everywhere Nature imposes her laws upon everything. These laws we interpret as beauty. With her multiform crystal structures in everything. Nature creates beauty. When you create you can feel the power of Nature moving through you. It is the Goddess or God powers.
The artists is a creator. A creator using a mysterious power of interpretation. You are not creating something from nothing but taking what is and rearranging it into new patterns. So that art is a new presentation of what is internal. Art is discovering the beauty which may be concealed. Finding the unchanging nature of the infinite in things that seem to be always changing. Art is a mystical experience. It is an experience of light, color, melody, sound and harmony. An experience where the universe unfolds into indestructible beauty. So beautiful that the individual is almost unable to bear her presents. The search for truth is an experience of beauty.
The ancients were clear in their sense of spiritual meaning of beauty. They warned against the perversion of her principles. They warned against the corruption of her structure. They indicated that as beauty fails people fail. The loss of beauty foretold the end of civilization. When humans could no longer see beauty they would no longer be able to have cultures or civilizations. People who lost beauty within themselves were already dying and soon their physical visible structures would be lost.
One of the best ways to see if a civilization is rising or falling is through their oral beauty. Listen to their discussions. When their voices are raised in anger, condemnation or impatience you can sense the beauty has gone. Bitterness and hatred have taken over. You can see the horror of a world that has lost control of itself. I ask the reader if they see or hear any oral beauty today? When beauty is gone we see ourselves in the mirror and we hate what we see. Our bodies get sick from stress and pain. Our faces are not filled with graciousness and they are overtaken by lines of worrying. The loss of beauty from within us will communicate itself to our bodies, but what we don’t understand is it will communicate itself to our minds too. It will open us up to disease and sickness and will gradually take away values that should be cultivated. I ask the world where has their inner beauty gone?
I look around and try to see any beautiful expressions of an enlightened soul. Expressions of deep nobility. I look for signs of wisdom. I look for humans not physically beautiful, but ones whose eyes have great lights of insight and great wonder of understanding. I have never known a human like this who was not physically beautiful. The inner life shining through not only reveals the beauty of the soul, but it fulfills the outer life. It helps to have a richer life and a happier life.
Anything that arises in the inner life that causes asymmetry within us is not good. Any emotion or attitude that is not beautiful is harmful. You can not justify having these emotions. You might try but you are lying to yourself. It is like trying to justify bad art. Bad art is bad art no mater how, when or where it was created. A bad temperament or disposition is a tragedy no matter how much you can justify it. To make a beautiful world you must make what is within you beautiful first. This will lead you to an advance and enlightened relationship with the world.
That brings me to Magic. I like to say that Magic is the working of the Goddess through humans. It is the magic and mystery of enlightenment. It is the alchemy of transmutation which is accomplished through what I like to call a magical life. Magic has been completely rejected and neglected for over two thousand years. We seldom hear any reference to the magical life. We know there are great individuals and scholars, but most do not have their own life under control and are political fanatics. These people have become educated but not wise. They became brilliant but not good. They became skillful but not happy. If they had any wisdom they have locked it away fearing they might lose it, so they never use it. It is never the basis of their daily conduct.
Magic today has become a watered down psychology. Individuals think psychology will have a good paying profession waiting for them. Magic is seen as a kind of headache. A mental luxury for those who know how it works. It is no longer regarded as a living force even by those who teach it. The beginning and end of Magic is to roll up your sleeves and use it. People who know the secrets of Magic do not want others to know it. The ancients were convinced that all Magic was perfected by the magical life. It is the life of wisdom. No matter how brilliant one becomes or how much one is able to remember or how conversed one becomes with systems they have only a shallow grasp of things. Unless you can some how transmute knowledge into insight and understanding within your own consciousness.
Make Magic your journey. Use Magic as your guide to conduct. Apply it continuously to the problems that pop up in your own life. I ask my people why they would study great people like Plato, Aristotle, Da Vinci, Bruno, or Galileo and then go and ask someone for help when problems occur. They don’t understand how these great people used Magic as an instrument. Most who get into Magic see it as something nice to know. Magic to them is like fine clothing. It is nothing more than a status symbol. If they could toss the right words around then they would be seen as important. Why not transmute the magical power of wisdom into your daily life? As wisdom increases the individual increases. With every new discovery there is new richness in character. It will help you over come doubt.
Doubt is a weakness of humans. Humans are uncertain of their own behavior and less certain of the behavior of others. We live in a world of uncertainty. Uncertainty builds inadequate knowledge. It is the duty of Magic to dispel humans doubt. Mostly doubt concerning Providence herself. If humans could see that they lived universe that was just, if they could rationally demonstrate it to themselves, if they could see it for themselves, then in a strange way one could end their uncertainty. They could relax and no longer struggle against misfortune. They would become wise. They can use knowledge as a living value in their daily lives. Magic shows us our true world and that this world is a natural marvel of beauty and truth. By discovering this world we gain a confidence with the wisdom of Providence.
By attaining this level you become certain. You understand humans criticize and condemn. You understand how humans can become confused or deceived by it. You accept things as they are and realize the inevitability of the existing conditions of humans. You move through relationships with them fully understanding how this world is. You know this world is a place to learn not a place of gratification. With Magic you are able to reach out for truth. This is when you begin the experience of a Magical life. You become unmoved by the turmoil of passing occasions. With this inner peace you have the full availably of all your mental and physical abilities. Having no false opinions you will not deceive yourself. Having no false ambitions you will not be deceived by others. Expecting no more than you are due you will have no false hopes. The willingness to accept your responsibilities you will have no false fears. As the Bhagavad Gita states, “Unmoved in pain and pleasure you will be fitted for immortality.”Magic brings you into a relationship with the Goddess who is anchored in truth, fact and reality.
We have had many great schools of thought. Some brilliant, some difficult to refute, and some not so brilliant. They all lack the ability to console the human heart. They are all idealisms full of fear and hope. None of them have the substance to solve the needs of your day. Schools of thought today, including Universities, science and religion, are sterile and make no contribution to the advancement of society or the preservation of human values. They have bitter and limited perspectives that undermine human principals and only want to advance their greed. Anything that does not do good does harm. That which does not give something to the human mind takes away from it. They betray the young by destroying their inner world. They want to make them good little servants rather than to advance culture. There is no beauty in disillusion.
Beauty is the transforming power of enlightened wisdom. It is the rich warm quality of friendliness. A true witch or wizard is the friend of truth. They want to have a deep relationship with the principals of Magic. Friends are kindly people interested more in the good of their friends than the good of themselves. The true witch or wizard is interested in sharing their insights rather than just winning an argument or establishing themselves as some sort of authority or intellectual. In the eastern philosophy they talk about a teacher student relationship. How some instructors have decided to come back and help others overcome the illusions of this world. They become the teacher or enlightener. Problem is that these teachers are strengthening the illusion of their own importance. They believe they are a savior and the world needs saving. It’s a hopeless spiritual arrogance. They enjoy that they can influence other lives.
In Magic you must understand you are serving something greater than yourself. It is meant to share and communicate a condition of natural existence. If we can overcome our own self gratifications then we can become instructors of others. If you can not overcome your own imperfections then you have ulterior motives. In the Magical life each step has to be taken with patience for balance and insight to be truly wise. Doing this you will recognize the development of your own character.
In ancient times true Magic is a dedication to the Goddess. It matured with time. Whether or not the individual understood their decision is hard to say. But they lived in an age where this decision was valuable. It was a decision made by the most respected and admired people of their time. They had to dedicate their life to the Goddess. Once they made the decision their life belonged to truth rather than their own nature. They realized they lived in order to grow. That growth unfolds the divine within them. This guided them. They became a truth seeker and servant. Truth is the most precious thing in the world. More valuable than any opinion. More valuable than any belief. Superior to wealth or any worldly cause. Their allegiance to truth came before anything else. They dropped all attention to inferior causes or destructive situations. The only way to live for truth is to become indifferent. They did not care whether they were recognized or rewarded in any way. They were seeking the greatest treasure in this world so they gave the greatness of themselves.
In Magic you will transcend the common processes of the mind. The mind is a wonderful servant but a heartless task man. It is the duty of the mind to transcend itself. To do this you get both sides of the mind to work together. This creates a ladder. At the top of this ladder is where reason becomes inadequate. Here you discover the meaninglessness of your own speculations. You see just how infantile the mind is and how unimportant your doubts and beliefs really are. You understand that knowing the universe is not done on the outside but done from within. You start to understand the simplicity of the universe. It may have infinite manifestations but its substance is simple.
We humans are extremely complex. Yet within each of us is something that makes us alive. Some little spark. We know nothing about this spark. We know it can stand tremendous stress because it has a will to survive. Yet is can go out in an instant like the flame of a candle for no reason. It is very simple yet it sustains upon itself and within itself all the functions of the human body. Getting to know this spark is knowing the infinite. It’s like a relationship between two lovers. Magic tries to get you the experience of this wisdom that is beyond.
We must out grow our mind. You can use your mind until you discover for yourself the futility of your own mind. Until then you will never get over your insufferable arrogance. There comes a time when you become exhausted of its own ineffectiveness, all its speculations, strategies, conspiracies and false knowledge fails. The individual who has mastered all the arts and sciences of the world sits with helpless tears beside the bed of a dying loved one unable to do anything for them. Life has to have another answer. An answer of the immediate availability of pure life, pure reality and pure truth. This is the origin. You will see the pretensions of others and yourself. You will see the truth of your own wisdom and ignorance and take your true place in the pattern of the infinite.
Magic will show you how beautiful the Goddess Providence is. For she is the divine beauty. Not much is known about her because knowing her would give you power they don’t want you to have. The patriarch religions say Providence is the power of God. Providence is Nature herself. The power of Nature. Get to know Providence and she will introduce you to Aphrodite. Aphrodite is the Goddess of Physical beauty. Providence is the ultimate beauty. Get to know her and you will know what beauty is. You must know inner beauty to see outer beauty.