is for kalon
I’ve been reading an essay by Peter Wallimann entitled To Kalon – The Call of Beauty. It’s the kind of thing I need to return to again and again and take in small doses that I can turn over in my mind and examine closely.
But the intro to the article is what I want to share:
“To grasp the principle of Beauty from a holistic perspective, the author undertook a journey within. The following text is to be understood not as a philosophical discourse, but much more as reflections of a mystical nature. The starting point is the surprising observation that the English term to call can be traced back to the Greek to kalon, which means nothing other than The Beautiful.
For Greek philosphers kalon, beauty, was not just a physical thing but there was a moral aspect to it as well. It’s this deeper piece that interests me, because I think it helps bring us past the surface-y superficial definitions of beauty that seem so much to drive our culture which is so obsessed with judging looks.
I have long study the work of Connie Kaplan, and in her book The Invisible Garment: 30 Spiritual Principles That Weave the Fabric of Human Life she defines beauty in the spiritual sense as :
“Beauty is the harmonic of nature. It is the way forms interweave themselves in order to create divine harmonious oneness. Beauty is the aesthetic of cosmic order.
“Moreover, Beauty is the life course on which humans move. When the Native American people talk about the Beauty Way, they refer to a path that is created by this natural harmonic. On the Beauty Way, sounds, visuals, and tactile experiences all interweave to become one multi-sensual melody – a way of walking in the world.”
That definition sums it up perfectly for me. And in fact I carry Beauty as one of the principles woven in my invisible garment. So I think about beauty a lot, and it’s one of the lenses through which I see the world.
She further says: “Beauty is the principle at work when the inner qualities of an object show outwardly. We cannot fully understand that which hides itself. We can only begin to understand and appreciate something when it lets light shine through it (or reflect off it) in order to extend itself outward.”
And that is the piece I love most. That is what drives me to look deeply and encourages me to both be as transparent as I can and encourage others to be as well.
This month I’ve been thinking lots about the task of befriending the mind, befriending the heart, and befriending the body, and Venus keeps showing up with all her associations with Beauty. I love this Greek stamp with Venus/Aphrodite:
And here’s the Venus card from the Moon Oracle deck:
How is beauty showing up in your world? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
I read your quote and I imagined following a path of sounds, visuals, and tactile experiences that I find the most attractive… and I love it! I think I will dedicate some time soon to do exactly that, follow the beauty around me.
This being Minnesota and the onset of winter, beauty is also deadly, the sere white purity of snow and frost.
How true indeed.