Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with creating a manifesto reflecting wonders, curiosities, and delights currently captivating me – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
K is for…
kalology – the study of beauty, and the ways in which beauty influences society.
While kalology is generally understood to pertain to physical beauty, likely deriving its focus from the time when ancient Greeks were trying to codify the ideal form based on the golden ratio, I’m going to broaden the meaning considerably and talk about beauty more generally.
Beauty is important to me. I always feel a little bit strange when I say that, because I wonder if I’ll be misunderstood. I’m concerned people will think I’m saying physical appearances are important to me. But that’s not what I mean at all.
Beauty is something I’ve been studying from a spiritual perspective for years, particularly through the work of Connie Kaplan, author of The Invisible Garment. I love this opening definition she offers:
“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.”
It is my belief that we are all beautiful, and that indeed the world is overwhelmingly beautiful for those with eyes to see.
I believe we give a gift to the things in our life by seeing them – that it is our eyes witnessing them that creates some kind of magic that allows them to shine even more brightly because we are consciously receiving the gift they are giving by their very being. Each one of us has a part in making the world a more and more beautiful place, and that’s what I mean when I say beauty is important to me. A world that’s filled with harmony and loving-kindness; appreciation and celebration; equality and goodwill.
There’s always so much we can learn from the natural world, and I think especially about beauty. We humans are always complicating things, and in doing so, distorting alignment. You can’t argue with the is-ness of a tree, or a flower, or a cat, or a bee. They are what they are, and they aren’t trying to bend themselves into being something different, something less or something more, in order to conform or be noticed, or any of the myriad of reasons humans pretzel themselves out of themselves.
I particularly like this admonishment from Rob Brezsny:
“If you want people to know who you really are and savor you for your unique beauty, you must be honest with those people. You must also develop enough skill to express your core truths with.”
I think that perhaps is the entire point of our journey here – to develop enough skill to express our core truths. It’s an endlessly evolving process as we refine and gain clarity, releasing all that isn’t us, so we are perfectly aligned with who we truly are.
It is my belief that we all need to be ourselves full out. I would put that call out to everyone: Be You to Full. Beautiful.
I am dedicated to kalology and opening my heart to both see and appreciate all the beauty that surrounds me; and inviting myself to share all my beauty as well.
I like the idea of treating my beautiful life as the container through which to explore fully the beautiful things I’m surrounded by. I invite you, through this blog, to come peek into my life, and I’d love if you’d share something you find beautiful and let me peek into your life as well.