They say ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ yet, …is it really?

Does this cliché hold any valuable meaning or is it simply something people like to say to resolve disagreements or disputes in a peaceful manner?


Personal preference is not enough to define beauty

Obviously, there is such a thing as personal preference, and there is place for individual likes and dislikes. This is true not only among us humans, but this can be seen when observing nature; animals and even plans, express preferences.

Personal preference is that which allows love to be shared between 2 people; one finds another particularly attractive, usually on one or more levels, and that personal preference, if mutually felt by two individuals can creates a relationship, a bond of unique connection. There is no doubt about all that, it is very clear and simple.

The trickiness comes when we move from personal feelings to conceptual ideals.

Not everything that touches us is beautiful

In this day and age, people commonly look at images, such as paintings, sculptures or photographs, which are not particularly appealing, and yet, argue “these are beautiful”.

While some such images, for examples photos depicting human suffering, or sculptures that express nature’s abuse by greed and industrial destruction, these and others work can and most likely, will move us. They touch us. If we are open and sensitive such bold images will affect us, arise strong emotions within us and may even shake us.


Although the feeling that such images provoke can be genuine, they are most often unpleasant feeling. And yet, one may choose to look at such images and even portray these in their house or work-space. Perhaps it is done as a reminder, maybe to motivate or to even just to help one feel alive.

Never the less, whatever reason may be and whatever emotions may rise, still the term ‘beauty’ most likely is altogether not relevant.

Beauty vs Emptinesss

Furthermore, as side from such stirring expressions that may show misery or even death and hatred, there is another kind of expression that is popularly considered beautiful, while in fact is solely an expression of emptiness, dullness and even simple ugliness.

Such common modern kind of “art” is self-obsessed with human alienation, with social urban isolations and sense of meaninglessness. Invoking the endless discussion on hollowness and cold state of separation modern humans face and the isolation we live in.

This separation from nature and from a sense of community, is an utterly familiar subject and has already been discussed beyond exhaustion. This been our human reality for centuries now. It is almost the sole concept depicted and discussed, even before the technological fixation of recent times. And it counties to be, by far, the most populate theme in so called “artwork” today.

Such creative expression may hold some therapeutic value to both its maker and others. It may be a safe form of emotional release and it can encourage motivated discussion. It can, perhaps, assist to understand better human needs and conflicts. It can even help one learn to connect and nurture our very basic feelings, desires and goals. Yet, such expression almost always bare absolutely no connection to ‘beauty’.

Beauty is of a pure, and even divine, essence. It is not simply something that we find interesting, or stirring. It is beyond the basic classification of “nice” and “not-nice” or “I like” / “I don’t like” which most things fall under. It is the elite goal that carries within it the muse of magic and upliftment. For real ‘beauty’ celestially floats above our mandarin boring human dullness and conflicts. It is eternally, our highest, and most noble, core inspiration.


Artistic idealism

For some reason in our modern day times, we enjoy to call the ugly, beautiful. To claim that boredom can be interesting and to insist there is no such thing as good or bad.

Provoking and challenging solid terms in hope that this will be an expanding experience and will somehow lead us to a more truthful perception of reality

Like a religious person lying or doing a sinful act on purpose, to see if their Heavenly God himself will come down from the sky to scold them. We try to break social conventions, but we do so only within our social conventions. We ask questions, but only look for and accept answers that suit us. Pretending to be open minded, but that too, within the limited that is agreed upon the collective mind.

Fortunately, beauty is untouched by our beliefs or disbeliefs. It doesn’t change not submits to please us or fit into our ticks and mental games. It is doesn’t not become more when we love it or less if we argue against it. It is as it is, just and only beautiful.

(c) 2010 Meditative Art School, Mochita Har-Lev      Web Development: