Beauty is in the Nameless Eye

These days I think of the folly of fun, as "we want to have our cake, and eat it too" (illusion). But what we get is, "you can pay me now or you can pay me later" (reality). Being a parent, I'd like my daughter to grow up paying attention to reality. We'll see how much she's able to do. But I regularly point out the tradeoffs in life. Even though we may get focused on a particular desire, and be oblivious to everything else, the tradeoffs are always there.


  • edited December 1969
    I'm writing this in response to a bike ride in the country a few days ago. I noticed that the things for which I knew no name - the [chref=1]nameless[/chref] - evoked the deepest sense of beauty. For me, the lack of [chref=32]names[/chref] helps impart a more profound sense of mystery (regardless of what the thing is). Once a 'thing' is labeled, it easily loses its mystery - its [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref]. Well, of course, it doesn't lose anything; rather, my awareness does.

    It is because [chref=41]the way conceals itself in being nameless[/chref] that we didn't name our two sons for a year after they were born. I suppose folks rush to name their kids mostly out of convention,... still, what a pity in my admittedly 'un-normal' view.

    Doesn't art, like the philosophical words I write (:oops:), murder the mystery? Murder? Ouch! Okay instead, let's just say extinguish, or at least obfuscate, the mystery. We have difficulty in letting mystery remain. As soon as we notice an unknown 'it', we name 'it' (be-hold 'it', define 'it', create 'it', form 'it', own 'it', etc.) and in this process 'know it'. In 'knowing it', we demystify 'it' and thereby block [chref=1]the gateway of the manifold secrets[/chref]. That's ironic, eh? Well, sure,... [chref=64]whoever does anything to it will ruin it; whoever lays hold of it will lose it.[/chref]

    The view that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' goes back to ancient Greece and to Buddha's teaching. Perhaps Alexander the Great brought it back with him from India. I imagine this idea is commonly interpreted similar our sense of taste, For example, 'delicious is in the taste of the chewer'. You like vanilla, I like chocolate.

    However, there is a mysterious side to this when I think of 'my mind as the beholder'. What I see 'out there' is simply a reflection of my mind's depth of perception. So I'd say, more than being in the eye of the beholder, beauty is truly in the nameless eye of the beholder. When [chref=16]I do my utmost to attain emptiness and hold firmly to stillness[/chref], my mind can let go of its [chref=43]words[/chref] and [chref=32]names[/chref]. Only then can I see beauty – [chref=16]impartial[/chref] and true. In the mystery of sameness, vanilla becomes chocolate becomes vanilla becomes...[chref=4]darkly visible, it only seems as if it were there[/chref].

    Well, I’ve murdered the mystery enough. Time to return and [chref=5]hold fast to the void[/chref],... for a while. Although the distinctions are fading, even in this. It is about time too!
  • edited December 1969
    Doesn't art, like the philosophical words I write (Embarassed), murder the mystery?

    I don't think art has the power to in any way minimize the mystery. Art is just our little way of celebrating the mystery, and maybe trying to possess it, make it "mine." I've heard you say that art is an attempt to break off nature into bite-sized pieces for easy digestion and that sounds true to me, but I think it's harmless. I like to do art and then let go of it; I don't like to belabor it and show it and use it as a reflection of who I am. I like to do it freely and then give it away and never see it again. I don't know why; it just feels clean.

    There is an artist in Murphy's I like...he paints stuff we think of as ugly, like junk yards and weeds and twisted old dead sticks and treats them with as much respect as he would traditionally beautiful things. I asked him if he were a Zen student and he knew nothing of Zen or Tao. Interesting.

    What you are saying goes beyond that....seeing with an eye with no names, by which I think you mean no judgement, no preconception, seeing with no self. What would that look like?
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