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The Way of Beauty:
Review by Karl Schlotterbeck, MA, CAS, LP
Over the course of the author’s life, he was exposed to the extremes of existence and came to see that “evil and beauty constituted the two extremes of the living universe, that is, reality.” Part of the beauty of his thinking is expressed in this sentence, “A single rule guides me: neglect nothing that is a part of life; never refrain from listening to others and thinking for oneself.”
There are many other ideas worthy of deep contemplation and have, for me, a Celtic feel (and reminds me of the work of the late John O’Donohue), such as “at first glance, the universe is populated only by a set of figures; in reality, it is populated by a set of presences.” He sees the universe as revealing itself as a gift, and from its beauty are drawn meaning and pleasure. He speaks of a sentient universe: “The universe thinks of us just as we think of us.”
He describes beauty as a state of being, and of becoming – not of “having” – and refers to the traditional Chinese perspective that beauty is part of the essence of a thing. He notes that it is from society’s devotion to consumption that beauty becomes a something one attempts to have rather than to be. Thus, he elevates beauty from a cosmetic and manipulated product and restores it to the nature of things aligned with their essence.
The author appears to have been inspired by nature and infused with wisdom of contemplation, and is able to convey that inspiration to the reader. Highly recommended.
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