Truth and beauty have symmetry. And life was designed, I think, to have or be based on symmetry. (1) Recently I “got” that both truth and beauty stir us at a level well below awareness and I saw in that moment that truth was beauty and beauty was truth.
This may have been the most profound philosophical realization I’ve ever had, though not the most profound spiritual.
The most profound spiritual realization was that I am God (as you are as well). That happened when I became aware of both light and love in the same moment. The seeing of both light and love simultaneously catapulted me into … well, perhaps now we’d say another dimension. At the time I regarded it as a transformational experience.
That realization brought with it a profound sense of completion and wellbeing.
But this realization that truth is beauty and beauty is truth linked whole areas of knowledge together and brought with it a profound satisfaction.
I’m not talking about the sociological theory that “beauty is goodness.” That’s more of a conclusion we reach which I think is more related to sexual thoughts and satisfactions than it is to a deeper law of life.
We look at a beautiful woman and relate to her as if she were a good woman too. You see this in movies where a beautiful woman enters the room and people bow before her.
People often attribute goodness to powerful people as well, and wealthy people. Most of the time, doing so arises out of self-serving motivations. I’m not referring to that kind of conclusion (beauty is good) here.
You remember that Plotinus asked us:
“Let him who can arise, withdraw into himself, forego all that is known by the eyes, turn aside forever from the bodily beauty that was once his joy. He must not hanker after the graceful shapes that appear in bodies, but know them for copies, for traceries, for shadows, and hasten away towards that which they bespeak.” (2)
He’s referring to what gives rise to the sociological theory and he’s asking us to leave that behind.
Both truth and beauty, I think, reveal or point to the same divine symmetry that exists in all natural or divine creations of life and is recognized more by the soul than by the mind or the body. There’s a stirring of the soul, I contend, that occurs when one either hears the truth or sees beauty. The evidence of that stirring is the experience of bliss.
I remember sitting once for hours in front of a “cartoon” or drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of a mother and child in a well-known British art gallery. I was mesmerized and at the time I didn’t know why.
I can’t find the cartoon on the Internet, but I’ve reproduced a picture of a detail of the finished work at the head of this article.
There was something about the lines in that drawing which was both beautiful and true. True to a divine archetype, it seemed, and beautiful in its faithfulness to that archetype. I was so deeply stirred I could not get up.
At that moment, if you had said to me that truth was beauty and beauty truth, I would have known intuitively what you were talking about.
There’s a stirring of what I consider to be our Higher Self that occurs when one stands in the presence of a master artist whose lines are both true and beautiful.
Our ability to connect different realms such as truth and beauty, I think, will be stirred as we mount the staircase to unity. I certainly am having more and more glimpses these days that incorporate this realization of profound truths and I’m almost certain I’m not alone and that this process will continue and increase in the future for all of us.
(1) Interestingly Archangel Michael in a personal reading told me of a past life in which I worked extensively with divine geometry and symmetry (not like I remember a moment of it!).
(2) Plotinus in Elmer O’Brien, ed., The Essential Plotinus. Representative Treatises from the Enneads. Toronto: New American Library, 1964, 40. Quoted in “The Path of Awareness: Answering the Question, ‘Who am I?’” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/2013/08/the-path-of-awareness-answering-the-question-who-am-i/.