Reason and Beauty !
Posted on 4/20/2019
I remember someone saying (long back) to me - ’Tum nahin samjhoge, tumhe kabhi pyar nahin ho sakta. Pyar mein logic our math nahin lagta.’
I was discussing things related to feelings, love, equations, and universe etc..
I was trying to explain something which I don't entirely remember, but the point that was made to me was - 'Love is not to be reasoned.' Logicians can not be good lovers. If you try to reason it, it will somehow vanish! The beauty of it will be lost. So, You should not try to reason or understand it. I disagreed but let it go without much argument, maybe because I too somewhat agreed.
But later, I wrote a long message to explain that it is not that simple… feelings, love, and many more only partially explainable things do not stop to make sense if we try to understand it. Instead, it starts making more sense. If you can see through it, it will make you more compassionate, a better lover. Truths can not contradict beauty, beauty can not contradict truth ! Never. Our understanding can be incomplete in its own way but contradictory to each other? Never. If you appreciate art and also understand it correctly - that can never make your appreciation or feelings any lesser. On the contrary, you will appreciate it more. It will add just one more dimension to your understanding and, more importantly, without costing anything. (Even if you do not understand it completely) Maybe you can never understand such things completely because real beautiful things are probably so multifaceted that they are beyond what a single mind can comprehend). I agree that they are not meant to be understood ...but just understanding a little more makes you better at it, Including love. Reason and love are not contradictory. You love more when you know better by reason (or by any other means). Years later, while reading the book 'Why Buddhism is true.' I read something amazingly similar, and I couldn't have agreed more.
...At some point I looked up at the horizon and saw that the sun had set. All that was left was its pink and purple residue, framed austerely by barren winter trees. I was already in a mildly morose state, having been mulling some personal issue or other, and now I felt a distinct wave of melancholy, as I sometimes do upon seeing a winter twilight. Then—this being a retreat and me having spent much of each day observing my feelings—I immediately, almost reflexively, examined the melancholy. And right away the feeling was drained of force. It didn't immediately disappear, but it now seemed like nothing more than physical waves, neither good nor bad, moving slowly through my body. With the melancholy neutralized, the horizon took on a different aspect: it was stunningly beautiful. It had gone from being a reflection of sadness to being a source of delight, even awe. This beauty—and all the other beauty I've appreciated more deeply as a result of meditative practice—is something I don't really understand. I mean, if meditation can give you a kind of distance from your feelings and lessen their hold on you, shouldn't it in principle do that equally for good and bad feelings? Shouldn't you wind up feeling more or less neutral—which is to say, feeling more or less nothing? Yet the way it seems to work is that some feelings actually get accentuated—first and foremost the sensation of beauty.
... I'm tempted to invoke John Keats's famous verse, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty." Maybe when you see the world more clearly, more truthfully, you enjoy not only a measure of liberation but also a more direct and continuous perception of the world's actual beauty.
... There's a lot to dislike about the world we're born into. It's a world in which, as the Buddha noted, our natural way of seeing, and of being, leads us to suffer and to inflict suffering on others. And it's a world that, as we now know, was bound to be that way, given that life on this planet was created by natural selection. Still, it may also be a world in which metaphysical truth, moral truth, and happiness can align, and a world that, as you start to realize that alignment, appears more and more beautiful. If so, this hidden order—an order that seems to lie at a level deeper than natural selection itself —is something to marvel at.