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Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

por John O'Donohue

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355471,534 (4.07)5
The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. When we experience the Beautiful, there is a wonderful sense of homecoming; we feel fully alive. Our lives become illuminated, and behind the shudder of appearances we come to glimpse the sure form of things.On Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue invites us to remember and to awaken the Beautiful; it is always secretly there, awaiting but our attention and reverence in order to come alive.Beauty is the true priestess of individuation. But our times are dominated by anxiety and by what is vulgar, coarse, and artificial. Were Beauty to awaken in the fields of politics, religion, planning, discourse, and seeing, our world would heal, and fresh wells of hope would refresh us. Kathleen Raine, the English poet says: "Strangest of all is the ease with which the vision is lost, consciousness contracts, we forget over and over again, until recollection is stirred by some icon of that beauty. Then we remember and wonder why we ever forgot."… (mais)
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Charming reflection on Beauty in our lives.

I heard a reference to this in a NYTimes editorial and requested the book - and discovered this lecture from O'Donohue on Audible - so I gave it a listen (it's not very long) and found it a good reflection - as noted elsewhere, " O'Donohue reveals how beauty's invisible embraceinvites us toward new heights of passion and creativity even in these uncertain timesof global conflict and crisis. " (Now, I need to find the print book, waiting for me at the library). ( )
  mrklingon | Apr 22, 2019 |


A beautiful book written by a beautiful man, John O'Donohue’s Beauty is filled with such inspiring words I found it difficult, almost inappropriate, to read even a chapter straight through since many lines invite us to reread and linger with their fragrance for days. Here are several such lines coupled with my brief comments, taken from two of my favorite chapters – The Call to Beauty and The Music of Beauty:

"Indeed, the subtle touches of beauty are what enable most people to survive. Yet beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it. Everywhere there is tenderness, care, and kindness, there is beauty."--------- During this past year I have been reading ancient Greek philosophy. Turns out, one of those Greek philosophers I especially enjoy is Epicurus, one big reason, Epicurus was famous for his kindness, caring and sensitivity, encouraging us to transform our life itself into a work of beauty.

"Yet beauty's visitation affects us and invites us into its rhythm, it calls us to feel, think and act beautifully in the world: to create and live a life that awakens the Beautiful." ---------- I have been involved in the creative arts for many years but I have come to realize our greatest creation is to become ourselves a being radiating beauty.

"Even, and perhaps especially, in the bleakest times, we can still discover and awaken beauty; these are precisely the times when we need it most. Nowhere else can we find the joy that beauty brings. Joy is not simply the fruit of circumstances; we can choose to be joyous independent of what is happening around us." --------- How true! John O'Donohue invites us to raise our own inner vibration and experience the inner joy of simply being alive, especially needed when we are facing our biggest challenges.

"If our style of looking becomes beautiful, then beauty will become visible and shine forth for us. We will be surprised to discover beauty in unexpected places where the ungraceful eye would never linger. The graced eye can glimpse beauty anywhere, for beauty does not reserve itself for special elite moments or instances; it does not wait for perfection but is present already secretly in everything. When we beautify our gaze, the grace of hidden beauty becomes our joy and our sanctuary." ---------- Thank you, John. `Beautify our gaze' - the experience of beauty is an inner transformation not a change of scenery.

"To behold beauty dignifies your life; it heals you and calls you out beyond the smallness of our own self-limitation to experience new horizons. To experience beauty is to have your life enlarged." --------- Again, thank you, John. There is a rightness and clarity when we see beauty in the world and become fuller and more attuned to not only the outside world by also to ourselves.

"Beauty is not to be captured or controlled for there is something intrinsically elusive in its nature. More like a visitation than a solid fact, beauty invests the aura of a person or infuses a landscape with an unexpected intimacy that satisfies our longing." ---------- Intimate, mysterious and, on occasions blissful and ecstatic, an experience quite beyond any words.

"To the human ear, however, music echoes the deepest grandeur and the most sublime intimacy of the soul." ---------I find this true to my own experience. Music hits me at a much deeper level than the other arts. It is like an internal dance with my nervous system.

"In contrast to most other forms of art, music alters your experience of time. To enter a piece of music, or to have the music enfold you, is to depart for a while from regulated time. Music creates a rhythm that beats out its own time-shape." --------- Music has a deep connection to Eros and love, expressing an energy short-circuiting reason, an energy that is transporting, absorbing, sensuous, kinetic, and involves our whole person, body and soul.

"There is a profound sense in which music opens a secret door in time and reaches in to the eternal. This is the authority and grace of music; it evokes or creates an atmosphere where presence awakens to its eternal depth."---------- I never tire of reading these words over and over again. ( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |

A beautiful book written by a beautiful man, John O'Donohue’s “Beauty” is filled with such inspiring words I found it difficult, almost inappropriate, to read even a chapter straight through since many lines invite us to reread and linger with their fragrance for days. Here are several such lines coupled with my brief comments, taken from two of my favorite chapters – “The Call to Beauty” and “The Music of Beauty”:

"Indeed, the subtle touches of beauty are what enable most people to survive. Yet beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it. Everywhere there is tenderness, care, and kindness, there is beauty."--------- During this past year I have been reading ancient Greek philosophy. Turns out, one of those Greek philosophers I especially enjoy is Epicurus, one big reason, Epicurus was famous for his kindness, caring and sensitivity, encouraging us to transform our life itself into a work of beauty.

"Yet beauty's visitation affects us and invites us into its rhythm, it calls us to feel, think and act beautifully in the world: to create and live a life that awakens the Beautiful." ---------- I have been involved in the creative arts for many years but I have come to realize our greatest creation is to become ourselves a being radiating beauty.

"Even, and perhaps especially, in the bleakest times, we can still discover and awaken beauty; these are precisely the times when we need it most. Nowhere else can we find the joy that beauty brings. Joy is not simply the fruit of circumstances; we can choose to be joyous independent of what is happening around us." --------- How true! John O'Donohue invites us to raise our own inner vibration and experience the inner joy of simply being alive, especially needed when we are facing our biggest challenges.

"If our style of looking becomes beautiful, then beauty will become visible and shine forth for us. We will be surprised to discover beauty in unexpected places where the ungraceful eye would never linger. The graced eye can glimpse beauty anywhere, for beauty does not reserve itself for special elite moments or instances; it does not wait for perfection but is present already secretly in everything. When we beautify our gaze, the grace of hidden beauty becomes our joy and our sanctuary." ---------- Thank you, John. `Beautify our gaze' - the experience of beauty is an inner transformation not a change of scenery.

"To behold beauty dignifies your life; it heals you and calls you out beyond the smallness of our own self-limitation to experience new horizons. To experience beauty is to have your life enlarged." --------- Again, thank you, John. There is a rightness and clarity when we see beauty in the world and become fuller and more attuned to not only the outside world by also to ourselves.

"Beauty is not to be captured or controlled for there is something intrinsically elusive in its nature. More like a visitation than a solid fact, beauty invests the aura of a person or infuses a landscape with an unexpected intimacy that satisfies our longing." ---------- Intimate, mysterious and, on occasions blissful and ecstatic, an experience quite beyond any words.

"To the human ear, however, music echoes the deepest grandeur and the most sublime intimacy of the soul." ---------I find this true to my own experience. Music hits me at a much deeper level than the other arts. It is like an internal dance with my nervous system.

"In contrast to most other forms of art, music alters your experience of time. To enter a piece of music, or to have the music enfold you, is to depart for a while from regulated time. Music creates a rhythm that beats out its own time-shape." --------- Music has a deep connection to Eros and love, expressing an energy short-circuiting reason, an energy that is transporting, absorbing, sensuous, kinetic, and involves our whole person, body and soul.

"There is a profound sense in which music opens a secret door in time and reaches in to the eternal. This is the authority and grace of music; it evokes or creates an atmosphere where presence awakens to its eternal depth."---------- I never tire of reading these words over and over again.

( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
The Celtic Imagination had a profound sense of how a blessing could awaken and evoke the deepest potential of a situation. The Celts understood that all beginning risks the unknown; a blessing was intended to be a shelter of light around the pilgrim and the place. A blessing brightens the road; the heart is no longer completely vulnerable to the dark. The journey can lead anywhere ...* John O'Donohue

( )
  FHC | Jun 13, 2013 |
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The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. When we experience the Beautiful, there is a wonderful sense of homecoming; we feel fully alive. Our lives become illuminated, and behind the shudder of appearances we come to glimpse the sure form of things.On Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue invites us to remember and to awaken the Beautiful; it is always secretly there, awaiting but our attention and reverence in order to come alive.Beauty is the true priestess of individuation. But our times are dominated by anxiety and by what is vulgar, coarse, and artificial. Were Beauty to awaken in the fields of politics, religion, planning, discourse, and seeing, our world would heal, and fresh wells of hope would refresh us. Kathleen Raine, the English poet says: "Strangest of all is the ease with which the vision is lost, consciousness contracts, we forget over and over again, until recollection is stirred by some icon of that beauty. Then we remember and wonder why we ever forgot."

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