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The Beauty of Language

One of the most fundamental characteristics of human nature is a soul’s desire to explore reality and search for meaning in the universe – the mind longs to understand.  Language is the medium by which we can think about and describe our understandings of reality.  Over some previous posts, elements of the language of science were discussed, desirable features to help express meaning.  But this is not the only language.  Poetry expresses meanings, relationships, and underlying truths of reality with a different kind of precision and clarity that science can’t.  The language of religion, too, though not always keeping with the same type of unambiguity that science has, nonetheless is rational and consistent, albeit a different kind.  It arouses noble sentiments, empowers and inspires the reader, and reaches the deepest roots of human motivation through its appeal to a human being’s innate attraction to beauty.

Knowing that words, thought, and actions are all linked, what types of thoughts and actions can the languages of poetry and religion develop within someone?

The human being’s ceaseless search for meaning and truth is borne of an attraction to beauty.  Contentment comes from discovering beauty within the existence of a thing, a concept, a relationship, an experience, a melody, an action.  Is not part of the drive of science or philosophy the beauty – the order, symmetry, subtlety, simplicity – reflected in descriptions of reality?

Beauty, like all concepts, can be interpreted within a framework.  Consider a materialistic interpretation of reality.  Our innate attraction to beauty would have to come from the evolutionary process – certain characteristics increasing fitness and thus creating attractive impulses.  As language developed, these impulses created the concept of beauty.  This interpretation reduces beauty to a source of pleasure – whether manifest as crude physical or as sophisticated intellectual; as a stimulus for action; as a collective culture of excitement and thrill.  Regardless of its form, it is controlled by ego and unable to transcend this limited earthy existence.

Under the assumption that the human soul exists and that it lasts beyond this brief association with a body, then attraction to beauty becomes a main force that governs the journey and evolution of the soul towards perfection – the beauty of perfection.  The pleasures and experiences of this type of beauty can be used as indicators of spiritual progress.

In this context, how can we view the concepts of love, knowledge, unity, justice?

2 replies on “The Beauty of Language”

Duality is self perpetuating
Would nothingness be more fulfilling
Than fluctuations of right and wrong
Good and evil
Where ever there is light
There has been darkness
But why is darkness
Only an absence of light
The night does not dispel the light
But the rising of a new dawn
Does signify the end of a long cold night
As surely as love is an absence of hate
Ignorance is an absence of knowledge
Some rise far above
Some sink down below
Some just loose steam
And give in
To the inevitable
Coming of the end

Relax

All paths lead to death

Thanks for this contribution Scott! I normally would want to ask you to explain what this means…but perhaps this post is getting at the idea that poetry expresses meaning in a way that an explanation can’t; and as a science-minded person myself, I becoming more comfortable with that. So instead, I’ll ask you: what did you find beautiful about this poem?

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