Blog 1

I find beauty to be a necessity for happiness. There have already been multiple studies that have looked at how color affects our moods and emotions. Color psychology is used by marketers to elicit a certain reaction to a product or location. Even music can elicit a reaction. Color and music are just a part of beauty. The studies that have been completed are just looking at the basic forms of beauty. If they can make such an effect on our moods, how much more does beauty in itself affect us? Beauty has more of an effect on us than we consciously recognize.

Beauty isn’t just a painting or sculpture that we may consciously look at. It can be the environment that we are in, whether we are in a man-made structure or in nature enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. Beauty can stimulate our emotions. It can calm us, reliefs anxiety and can bring a sense of joy to any person. Dietrich von Hildebrand went with a deeper explanation of how beauty affects us in his book entitled, Beauty in the Light of the Redemption. He described beauty as a spiritual nourishment; that it “nourishes souls of even the simplest man and woman”.

I agree with Dietrich von Hildebrand in this respect. Beauty, whether you are consciously or subconsciously experiencing it, can touch your soul. It can bring about many emotions of joy and gladness. I find that when I’m faced with beauty that I awe struck. I go through a series of emotions as I take in it in. If I contemplate on it long enough, I get pulled into it. I feel like it brings me closer to the One who created the beauty. It is like I’m seeing God through the beauty in front of me. through sacred images, we can get a glimpse at the life of Christ and can envision what Christ has done for us. I am humbled by this. I know that my struggles and the cross I carry is nothing compared to what my Lord went through for all of us. To know that it took such love for God to give us his only son, when we are unworthy is humbling. I know that I used the word humble multiple times. I find it hard to put how something makes me feel into words. I struggle to properly describe it. I feel that love and that happiness. This is why I feel that beauty is essential for our happiness.

4 thoughts on “Blog 1

  1. What if the beauty in front of you nurtures your soul in a way where you want to experience it in an environment of interior awareness? There is certainly a psychological connection that initially occurs in the relationship between the essence of beauty, the essence of God, and your personal perception of both, but perhaps if the mind analyzes the nature of a particular beauty too much, it could get in the way of having a true engagement with beauty by causing a disconnect with the inner process of intuitive knowing. I like how you brought up the “emotion of joy” as a result of your connection with beauty and how you get pulled into that beauty. The question becomes, is it possible to be pulled into God’s beauty without conscious thought? Thank you for your nice thoughts.

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  2. Von Hildebrand says “…the real bearer of beauty is something incorporeal that we connect intellectually with the visible and audible by means of analogies…” (pg. 17) To sense beauty we must be formed to understand the analogy that we see in the material world. When we do this we take in the beauty and it becomes part of us.

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  3. Stephanie, your connection between beauty and “being awestruck” made me think of how beauty is sometimes described as “the glory of the Lord.” Authentic encounters with God through the beautiful can be blindingly brilliant, and yet I think that the brightness of that flash is sometimes just what we need to clarify our vision. Hence in your reflection you talk about “being closer to the One who created the beauty,” or “seeing God” through it. I appreciate this insight.

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  4. Like Matt mentioned, when you wrote that beauty causes you to be awestruck and pulled in closer to the One who created the beauty you’ve encountered, it reminds me of the beauty of the Second power that von Hildebrand talks about. He says that beauty “opens up our hearts, inviting us to transcendence and leading us to conspectu Dei, before the face of God” (p. 85).

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