Most weeks I go for a swim, followed by 10 minutes in the steam room then afterwards vegetarian breakfast at my favourite local cafe, Henry’s. There I read the Daily Mail, one of two newspapers owner Faruq has for his customers.
Good sports coverage, the occasional article of which I approve, the usual right-wing tub thumping but mostly, as with all newspapers, doom, gloom and ugliness.
Many years ago I used to read Positive News, an excellent newspaper which is still going. The Big Issue does so much good work. I would recommend both of these yet I am less inclined to them these days because both have bought into the climate change scam. So have many of my friends but I treat them no differently regardless.
If you want natural beauty, come to Malvern. The hills are world-famous. Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are all beautiful counties; not for nothing are all three known for the quality of their fruits and vegetables. If you want man-made beauty visit the cathedrals of the same counties. They are magnificent. I could list dozens of places which would make your heart sing but it is easier and quicker for you to visit tourist information sites.
However unless you are Swampy (remember him?) most of us spend time inside offices and factories and our homes. If we are abundant (everyone is capable of this, I hope to do justice to the subject in forthcoming posts) then those homes may contain beautiful works of art and furniture. Those of us who have pets may describe them as beautiful.
Are you a people watcher? Go on, admit you sometimes find it puzzling to see an apparent mismatch between couples. What do I mean? Surely it is obvious. One half of the relationship has “let themselves go” and the other hasn’t. In these days of the utterly ludicrous “woke” culture we can no longer comment on a person’s physical attractiveness. No one’s worth can ever be defined by how they look. No one should be treated differently because of how they “turned out” at birth or became impaired through a disease or an accident. To do so is anathema to me.
However in relationships how people appear is important. No amount of pan-sexuality, screaming diversity zealots or “fat is beautiful” advocates will ever change that. There are huge swathes of popular culture (fashion, dating, talent shows, music to name just a few) where wokeness has had no impact whatsoever. Nor will it. Love this (Ricky Gervais).
And despite where this article appears to be going it makes my heart sing to see apparently mismatched people deeply in love with each other. And that I make a judgement about other people should have no negative consequences for them. Almost all of the time it boils down to a mental observation. My recent reading of spiritual literature suggests making judgements is harmful for the one making the judgement. Poetic justice.
Whether you like it or not much of what is defined as beautiful is a social construct. Travel the world, look back into history and you will find the celebration of beauty is not universally the same. My last post on this subject, Inside I Am Beautiful, focused on the beauty we all possess inside.
I can sum what I’m trying to say here very simply. We need beauty. We need it like the air we breathe. And it doesn’t matter what the manufactured consensus is, it matters that however you personally define beauty forms a large part of your life.
I despair for those who are denied it. I’m convinced environments (I know) of concrete and steel, desolation and punctuated by ugliness are severely harmful to health and motivation. Simply because it is such an important thing for me I have lost count of the number of references to intimacy in my writings. Of course one can be intimate with the natural world, intimate with a higher power and intimate with a book. I can’t be bothered to specifically define intimacy, surely everyone reading this knows when they have it.
Intimacy is a relationship with a thing or person of beauty. That relationship may be informed by how the thing or person of beauty looks, feels, sounds or relates. Or tastes or smells.
Time spent being intimate with beauty is surely the basis of life. Again my recent spiritual reading suggests we are here on the earth plane to be joyful and playful. Who does not have their spirits raised when they see animals at play, children at play, anyone at play? You don’t need to read spiritual books to know this.
A lapsed fascination for me was Joseph Campbell’s mantra “follow your bliss.” Following your bliss will make you joyful.
Whilst I don’t need to say it, I’m going to anyway. Few things in this life are more beautiful than sharing in or being partly responsible for another’s joy.
Maybe I’m well on the way to describing the nemesis (love that word for some reason) of a life of quiet desperation. Beauty, intimacy, play, bliss, joy. Love fuels all these of course and when we are not energised what could be better than peace?
If life gives you love, joy and peace then I would suggest you are more than well on your way to heaven on earth. And the last piece of spiritual wisdom I wish to comment upon is the claim that we have to be complete within ourselves. That we can “self partner” our way along the rocky road.
Well my friends, dear readers, not for me. I’ve made this clear many times. My soul’s evolution accelerates when in conversation with someone I find beautiful. Intimate conversation is more than possible, indeed it may proliferate, with friends. There are aspects of intimacy (no, sigh, I don’t mean sexual) one cannot have with friends. There are aspects of intimacy one cannot have with oneself.
I didn’t come “down here” to make this journey alone. Sorry Eleanor your life isn’t for me.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it is also in the eye of the person who is beholden.
Love and blessings to you all, Jack Stewart, Thursday, 09 January 2020, a day of great significance.