I’m obsessed with beautiful things. I’m currently listening to my “inspiring” playlist on itunes. I own a butterfly store. I collect beautiful images for my screensaver and I have beautiful sculptures, feathers, shells, and various forms of art all over my office. I even think the saber tooth tiger skull I have in my office is beautiful! My gorgeous wife painted a picture with the following quote on it that she got from a church meeting:
The nearer we come to God, the more our spirits are touched by refined and beautiful things.
Perhaps he was just working Edgar Allan Poe: Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
Something about this rings true to me. Whether the god you believe in is nature itself, the perfection of your soul, the Christian god, or a plethora of gods, the quote expresses a true principle. Whether you are old or young, rich or poor, educated or intellectually impoverished, it doesn’t make a difference – the more peace we find in our lives, the more god we find, the more we enjoy beauty. Ignoring philosophical criticisms of “self evident truths” and Soren Kierkegaardian radical subjectivity, few things seem more self evident than this one – just ask anyone who spends time in the mountains or in nature and (unless they are scared of the outdoors and open places) they will tell you it is so.
The image is from Daniel Peckham.
The quote is from Douglas L. Callister.