Beauty, Soul and Source
Beauty awakens the soul to act
– Dante Alighieri-
A few weeks ago, I went to a concert in a church with my family. It was a concerto of Albinoni, Divertimento of Mozart and a bit of Mendelssohn. I realised that I hadn’t listened to live classical music in months. But more than that, while I was sitting on the bench, between my two children, I realised that I hadn’t felt so peaceful and moved within in a very long time. It was like a beautiful oil massage to my soul. The beauty of the Albinoni concerto touched me the most. This was actually one of the first classical pieces I fell in love with as a young teenager and that I used to listen to again and again on my walkman in bed, once my mother had put the lights off.
While I was listening to the music, I suddenly became aware of the time that had passed since those adolescent nights, now looking at my son who is the same age I was all those years ago. My heart filled with nostalgia but more than that, with a sense of gratefulness to have experienced such pleasure then and now. More than the memories, my heart was beating to the joy I was feeling at that very moment, listening to the music and it was as though I was not hearing or seeing the beauty of the music anymore, but I was feeling it within. This feeling was close to the one I feel for a fraction of a second when I meditate. But there, in the church, time did not exist any longer and I was becoming one with the Whole. Later, I began to realise that in most instances, the sense of beauty creates the feeling of joy deep within me.
I now recall that a similar feeling occurs when I read poetry or when I enter a sacred space which reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on. The same feeling arrises again when I look into the eyes of my children or when I breathe in a beautiful landscape. Hence, I realised that I have been this close to the feeling of oneness my whole life, at many occasions but was never really conscious of it. And when I become conscious of it, the intensity of this feeling grows, like it did during the concert in the church. What would happen, if we became conscious of many more things in our daily life, even those things which do not resonate as « beautiful » or « joyful »? When have you felt something similar to this? And would you relate this experience to a sense of beauty or of joy? Is there a real difference?