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Buddhist Idea of Beauty

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By knighto
Words 410
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As the main tenet of Buddhism is "suffering", "impermanence" and "no soul", many have the misconception that it has a pessimistic outlook and is devoid of any kind of aesthetic appreciation. Although this may at first appear to be very convincing, they are in fact far from the truth and are no more than mistaken generalizations. The primary aesthetic concept at the heart of Buddhist culture is the aspiration of leading a holy life. In Buddhism, beauty is not for beauty's sake. It has been viewed as an incentive for those who aspire to the holy life. The Buddhist concept of aesthetic is a beauty of things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. The cultivation of the right attitude to aesthetic is very important. A beautiful object itself is not goodness or rightness per se. Buddhism advocates aesthetic experience to a higher mode of living; it should be instrumental for moral development. Thus it is the distortion of perception that has to be rid of by perceiving objects as impermanent, unsatisfactory, repulsive and non-substantial. The world is full of beauty in a very spiritual and an abstract sense, but it is the man himself who defiles and destroys that beauty by trying to possess it. Thus Buddha's advice is to get detached from the apparent beauty of the external world that pleases the physical eyes, and to cultivate non-attachment to them, which would result in man himself realizing the beauty within his own mind. This is the moral or spiritual and inward beauty. Hence, Buddhism denounces sensualism and appreciates natural beauty. In order to fulfill one’s purpose, or in order for an object to fulfill its purpose, one must be non-dual in nature; he/she/it must achieve non-duality. Non-duality comes from both essence and being, along with everything else. The Buddhist and Western ideals for beauty differ greatly. Where as a Western artist thinks and plans on making a painting that is beyond beautiful and focuses on creating it “forcefully”, our Eastern counterparts create things without thinking; they just “do” and it comes naturally to them, for making art is a part of their daily life in order to survive. They don’t need to think about making it, the art they create is part of a routine in their lives that they have been able to “polish” after making certain art pieces hundreds of times. They are in a free state of mind.…...

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