Seeking Beauty will take some effort to comprehend but it is very important. When you have become an autonomous Ronin, constantly improving your performance in all areas, then what is it all for, what is the Meaning of Life?
You may have picked up some of our answer when you watched The Last Samurai. Think back and you will see how important beauty and harmony were to the lives of that village.
In Western Science they say that, “The universe is the joint product of the observer and the observed.” In Eastern philosophies they say, “The knower, the knowing, and known are one.” So from this vantage, what is beauty? Can you see that what you have thought was a nice arrangement is really a deep part of yourself?
Beauty is not the backdrop for a selfie. And when you are experiencing beauty, you are experiencing Meaning.
So far, in all your conversations, and in the various philosophy courses you have taken, you have searched for the meaning of life in some type of subject/predicate format. This is because you belong to the Cult of Reason [Chapter 7]. Life and its meaning is beyond this, and Beauty and its experience are your direct link to it.
Now I want to take another run at it with a different movie, one of the best ever made. Blade Runner. Each time you watch it, you will find new questions to ponder.
In a dystopian future synthetic humans known as “replicants” are bio-engineered to work on off-world colonies. They have super human abilities but much shorter life spans. And shouldn’t develop emotional responses. But a group, realizing their impending mortality, and seeking a way to extend their shortened lifespan have escaped to Earth, and a burned-out cop, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a blade runner, is tasked with hunting them down. And he finds them. But it is his final confrontation with their leader Roy, and his last words that are germain to Meaning and Beauty.
Watch the clip below.
You want to have these sights. And having them is not just a matter of taking banal selfies in exotic settings, rather it is in being able to see the beauty in something as mundane as how a table is set, with the various wine glasses partially full, and the lights flicker, while her hands dance about like two white doves mating. It could be a grouping of trees on your daily drive, and it can be the landscaping by some small house. This is all there for you to create with your desire.
Seek beauty and store these memories so that when it is your time to die, you can relish them all as if you were alone in some vast phantasmagorical art museum, whose works of art were your life’s perceptions. And as you wander alone through that vast collection of experiences and treasures, how can you help but be?
Our exercise for Seeking Beauty is to each day take one picture with your iPhone, and imagine that…
Still may Time hold some golden space
Where I’ll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face,
And count, and touch, and turn them o’er,
So that when your heart beats its last, whether on a battlefield or in a hospice, there is a time warp, and you enter that phantasmagorical art museum we mentioned earlier. And here all your iPhotos are rendered perfect, some are as large as a two story wall, others are 8×10, and if you photographed an object, say a jewelry box or a suit of armor, it is there on a pedestal. And if you took a shot of an aquarium, it too is there, the gardens and forest you recorded are behind crystal clear windows that are sixteen feet by twenty-four feet and when you stand in front of that window, you will again smell the scent that went with that moment, and hear the sounds as well. If you were there with a loved one, you will almost hear them, you will feel them for a moment, before you move on to the next exhibit.