The sense of the beautiful
“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In the centuries since Goethe penned this sound advice, it has become infinitely easier to do the things he suggests. In fact, one can do all of them in a short session at the computer. The problem we face today is sorting through all the wholesome and unwholesome distractions that threaten to derail our attention to the beautiful. Besides which, though the computer is definitely the most convenient way to enjoy great works, it can never replace the joy of physically strolling through a gallery, sitting in the audience at an orchestra or theater performance, or relaxing with a book of poetry in bed or in an outdoor setting.
In an age where people are given to neglecting the health of the body, it’s not surprising that nourishment of the mind and soul also languish. Just as our stomach sends us unmistakable messages that tell us when it’s time to eat, so the agitation and conflict we often feel tell us that we need to take time to feed our minds and our souls. I hope you will make time, today and every day, to heed your sense of the beautiful calling you to a higher awareness.