Human beings are undeniably artistic and creative beings. We are all to varying degrees attracted to beauty in nature and art. Also, as sexual beings, we feel somehow that a beautiful mate is an important advantage in the race to procreate. I suppose having beautiful children makes us feel more powerful or accomplished. Yet I also speculate that physical beauty serves many purposes. Beauty can be used to charm, corrupt, and manipulate, and is often far from an angelic reflection. In fact, the most deformed and least beautiful beings may be the most spiritually evolved of all. So why do most of aspire to beauty?
I believe the answer to that question is the quest and desire for love. We all wish to love and be loved, and beauty is the ultimate currency of love in a materialistic world. Spiritually speaking, we are all lovable because our nature and essence is love, no matter what shape or form our bodies take on.
This morning, I was searching for information about the anima /animus relative to the soul images we carry in our subconcious minds, which balance our conscious personality or persona. Jungians suggest that men’s inner feminine – the aspect of self that men need to maintain an equilibrium of energy and to prevent an excess of masculine energy, competition or aggression. The anima is often projected onto beautiful women. If a man has not integrated his inner feminine and is not deeply familiar and comfortable with the feminine aspects of his own personality and subconscious (spirit mind), then it is likely that he will project his anima onto women he meets. The projection is just a prompting from the subconscious mind that is attempting to provoke recognition in the conscious mind. It usually takes a lot of mistakes before awareness surfaces. The subconscious or spirit mind is the eternal and sum total of our self. Within this self is contained all of our knowledge and access to areas that we are not able to access in a logical or conscious manner. Hypnosis is one way to access the subconscious mind. Dreams, meditation, and art are other methods. Here is the link to the web page I was reading prior to writing this part of this post: http://mythsdreamssymbols.com/animaanimus.html
Beauty is the reflection of a sense of external order and harmony that is originally found within each of us. When we see someone or something that reminds us of that internal design evoking a form of perfect balance and oneness, we can call this beauty. The perception of beauty, like love, brings a sense of inner peace and unity. Perhaps we could say that as artists, we strive to create either an understanding of the world, or of ourselves, and that the actual structure of an artwork may strive towards harmony or a state that satisfies our aesthetic yearnings. Not all artists seek this type of harmony or beauty. Personally, I feel closer to truth than beauty in a classical sense. In life, however, there is always a tension between opposites, so beauty would be possible only in the presence of its absence or ugliness, as light is only possible because of the existence of darkness. There is excitement in tension, and from this duality comes all life and creativity.
I have read that in the spiritual dimension, there is no linear time, and that we are not limited to a specific location or appearance. Creativity in this sphere would be very different. If we can choose various body types, in the realm of spirit, which is said to be characterized by unconditional love, there would be no qualification as a specific body type or face be considered beautiful or ugly. Judgment and love are not terribly compatible. And we all do aspire to be loved and hopefully to be loving. Yet inner beauty is not a very convincing argument in our Earthly social environment, when the physical body does not follow. Each culture has its own canons of beauty, and the variations can be staggering.
In conclusion, I would say that the attraction of beauty is a form of homesickness. We all crave a feeling of unity and harmony in ourselves, and when we feel that we are disconnected, depressed, needy, we seek out something or someone to make us feel complete. In fact, the true remedy might be something akin to Jung’s “individuation”. This is a process of integrating information from our total self, so that all of the opposing forces in ourself might be brought into balance. It is impossible (I think!) to accomplish this complex process in one lifetime – to become totally aware of our true self. Everything in its beauty and complexity are already present in each of us, but to become consciously aware of each and every element in ourselves and bring them into an active equilibrium – to become awake- is a highly ambitious, yet desirable end. And so we are drawn to unity – the perfection which is inherently contained in each and every person who has ever lived. We all contain beauty, and yet we doubt it and seek it outside of ourselves. The world is but a mirror of our own soul.