People have different conceptions of beauty just as they have different ideas about love. Some people love a beautiful face and body, while others consider love to be a deeper appreciation of more etheric qualities. Some people equate physical stimuli with love, while others consider mental and spiritual qualities to be a truer expression.
Often, those who believe love is primarily physical also believe that beauty is as well. Those who believe that love is spiritual, believe that beauty is also.
The difference between these types of people is often clear, but not always. We use the same terminology to describe the same types of experiences, but our understandings of those words may differ.
“I love you.”
“I love you too … wait, what are you doing?”
“I thought you said you loved me!?”
“I do! But I don’t feel like it!”
“Fine, then. I hate your mother.”
A simple example, but exemplary of two different thought processes. When in the throes of relationship and bound to another of a different understanding, it is often hard to pinpoint why the relationship isn’t working out. But there are always telltale signs:
1. Conversation is often banal. There is little in-depth discussion of more cerebral matters.
2. The relationship is externally-oriented. A lot of time is spent out, doing things with friends, there is very little “couple time”.
3. Close friends are often of a similar nature. People of similar natures tend to remain bonded for longer periods of time than those of dissimilar nature.
4. An inordinate emphasis upon collecting material things. Clothes, jewelry, cars, electronics and other symbols of status are very important.
5. There is an “unexplained” coldness that separates you. No matter how new or old the relationship, there is a part of the other person that is distinctly unapproachable and distant. No amount of conversation can broach the subject and anger or further distancing may be the result of any attempt to do so.
While it is quite possible for people of different, foundational orientations to continue to evolve into love relationship, the attempt is always fraught with difficulty and drama. When the conscious effort to compromise and move forward together is agreed upon by both partners, anything is possible.
Because it is possible does not mean it is probable. Unless the partner whose orientation is relatively surface in nature is aware and respectful of the difference, boredom and separation is inevitable. There are implicit lessons for both people in such relationships. Growth opportunities abound.
They say beauty is only skin-deep, another example of surface thinking. Since life itself is beautiful, the skin of the world is appearance, as the multitudinous expression of Divinity manifest in all of its infinite potentialities. The love of beauty is the love of appearance, which is the love of creation and the world.
But there is more…deeper, broader, encompassing the processes underlying physical creation. Thought, words, actions that support and become the creative process exemplify this implicit understanding of the nature of beauty and love.
We are all, therefore, equally bound to the experience as we are to each other, no matter our perceived level of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Surface-oriented or deep thinking, we experience this world together and therefore grow together, teaching each other and being taught in turn.
Whether you see the forest or merely the trees, there are benefits and advantages to both ways of seeing.
These disparate ways of perceiving the world affect everything, from our politics to our cultures. The ability to see the interconnections between environmental stimuli, to find synthetic connections, to holistically perceive the tenuous threads that tie all of beauty and love in chaotic, scintillating splendor, is a blessing of the spirit.
A blessing to be cherished in humility and gratitude. To be used with benevolence and charity in service to beauty, love and the human family.