Where can we find beauty? Beauty is captured in the idea to restore what has been hollowed out, emptied by the ugliness that is also a part of this mortal experience. Beauty is also a marriage of the intellectual and moral virtue. Beauty fights off barbarism, and with so much conflict, crime and debauchery around us we are in dire need of a revolution in beauty!
Beauty is multidimensional and can be experienced through many of our senses. It brings a spiritual sense of gravity. Rhythm produces a sort of musical beauty in poetry. Unity in multiplicity, autonomy and freedom are the natural state of the universe which is also a form of beauty. Springtime and its colors open our eyes to beauty. Beauty can be found in every virtuous activity we observe or undertake.
As I pondered the atrocities and war crimes being committed in the Ukraine I came upon this beautiful chorus of chanting performed acapella by 15,000 people in a stadium in Latvia. Their chanting allowed them to synchronize with others in a unity of voice and harmony that produces great peace and comfort and remarkable beauty. The title of this post comes from Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. If you are hoping for an example of where beauty and virtue intersect to bow the soul, look no further than the smiles of the participants in the video below. I hope you will enjoy the brief clip of patriotic culture in Latvia.
This originated at the 1950 Latvian Song Festival during the Soviet-era occupation. It provided song, story, legend, and lore intended to take a downtrodden people to a place of refuge. What could the occupiers do to prevent or stop it? Beauty and the fine arts provide refuge, rescue and redemption for our souls. The arts help heal a life, a culture and society that are sick and at the brink of devastation. Music irrigates the deserts and provides an oasis for healing our souls.
One of my greatest discoveries with beauty was listening to Roger Scruton who said,
“Through beauty we shape the world as a home. In doing so we both amplify our joys and find consolation for our sorrows. Art and music shine a light of meaning on ordinary life. Through them we can confront the things that trouble us and find peace and consolation in their presence. The capacity of beauty to redeem our sufferings is one reason beauty can be seen as a substitute for religion. However, the sacred and the beautiful stand side by side. Two doors that open to a single space, and in that space we find our home.”Scruton, Roger (28 Nov 2009). Why Beauty Matters (Documentary).
I continue finding personal beauty with music which speaks to my soul. I leave you with what is one of the greatest musical creations of beauty I have ever heard.
Where have you recently found beauty?