Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson claims in his essay “Self-Reliance” that great people and geniuses were ordinary people who had their doubts. We should, therefore, rely on ourselves and maintain our beliefs, even if it makes us feel alone.
Each of us carries an element of beauty inside. Therefore, we start our search on the inside, and then we check what corresponds with our element of beauty on the outside. The need to commune with beauty is as strong, as the need to breathe. It feeds on contact with art, music and literature.
And there is It – something that cannot be named, and the expression of which gives a wonderful sense to a work of art. Czesław Miłosz tried to name It in his poem (Polish title „To”). Something that we want to express through creativity, but still disappears somewhere, even though it lurks beneath the surface of expression.
There were different concepts of beauty depending on the era. Władysław Tatarkiewicz includes “inducing a feeling of beauty” among the peculiarities of art. It is the aesthetic experience that makes the recipient and his experience of beauty gain importance.
Besides, there were also disputes as to whether beauty is inherent in an object itself (objective beauty), or whether it acquires such a status in the eyes of the recipient (subjective beauty) . We have different tastes. How boring a universal beauty would be? Where would originality go?
I know we do need beauty. In its presence, it is impossible not to behave beautifully. We soak it like a sponge. It can mean something completely different to everyone. It is then worth looking for your own concept and trust yourself. Additionally, if we trust the law of attraction, we will attract beauty with beauty.
1 Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Dzieje sześciu pojęć [w:] Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Wybór pism estetycznych, Kraków 2004, p. 55.
2 https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/beauty/, website checked on 07/18/2021 at 17:00.