366. Beauty First

A mostly very normal work-day and family-day, but something occurred to me that was perhaps not normal?

For years I’ve been trying to optimize methods to put less junk into my mind by habit, from negative thoughts to superfluous Internet-read-stuff, and I thought what if there was a Really Simple Method to do this?

If trained and made a habit, that is – like all methods need to be in order to work.

But here it is: What if it was possible to filter every thought or decision to focus on something by asking  first – “Is this a beautiful thought?”

There is something deeply resonant in the word “beauty” that affects me, and – I believe – most of us, although we would probably be hard pressed to come up with similar definitions.

John O’Donohue has tried:

The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion and in ourselves. No-one would desire not to be beautiful. When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming. Some of our most wonderful memories are of beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the Beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul.

― from the book Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

But even he can only say how “beauty” feels, not what it is. It is truly mysterious and yet, I believe, well-known for all of us. Somehow …

And also a filter.

I mean, would I feel that it was “beautiful” – if I really dared ask that question – to spend an hour surfing Facebook for random buzz?

I’m not saying I should stop and go to an online Rembrandt-gallery instead, but what if I tried to call up a number of my friends to talk to them in person or … just took a walk to breathe in the clear winter-air?

So: Beauty can be used as a question – “is this beautiful to do or think”? – in order to gain more of a beautiful experience. It just has to be made a habit to ask that question. And that is, as always, the hard part.