The Essence of Beauty

I look at the intense green of the meadow that gently degrades towards the cobalt blue sea: a powerful contrast of colors. It is winter on the south coast of Cornwall and the color all around me sharper and more defined than anywhere else in southern Europe. It's like there's no intermediate hue. It is exactly that "sharp" nuance what keeps attracting hundreds of British and international artists to this coast where nature has intense and wild traits they try and catch through the brushstrokes.

Refreshed by the pungent, cold breeze my mind writes off the meaningless thoughts only keeping those that make sense or relate to what I see and perceive. One of nature's miracle, when you are deeply immerse in it, is the ability to bring you back to the origins and strengthen the genuine and deepest values of existence.

As I write, the captivating, vibrant notes and the harmony of colors make me wonder what exactly is beauty…  Is it an aesthetic affair, a symphony  of lines and shapes? Perhaps the ensemble of colors that sometimes make you hold your breath, or the dance of shadows captured on anything the sun lands on with its light?

I don't have the answer, and I keep pondering and thinking of beauty and its broadest meaning. I think at the beauty of numbers, the notorious Golden Ratio also known as divine proportion - 1,618 – present across the universe; my mind is drawn to the geometric forms of perfect architectures, the melody of a song, the harmony of a symphony that triggers a state of bliss and intense emotion. The beauty of a poem, the beauty of loving my child, my lover, the beauty of relationships between people, the beauty of a new project that improves life, society, our Planet, or even the beauty of a flavorsome dish.

I am beginning to think that beauty is an echo, it is a reflection of an inner state, partly mental but also spiritual.

If it is true that the world we see, is a reflection of who we are and in a certain way of our origin, then we see outside what we have inside. This is probably what has to be explored, questioned, understood in order to grab it elsewhere.

Without wanting to generalize, an indifferent, dull person confined in his own ego, will unlikely see the beauty in what surrounds him, if not for his own account. On the contrary, a sensitive, curious person, inclined to researching and questioning, is more minded to perceive beauty in the different shades of existence.

It is the eternal evolutionary challenge to move from being slaves to free beings, from the “me” to the “you”, the selfish to the big-hearted, from caring for one's own needs to the empathy with others.

I understand better and better that the perception of beauty is the consequence of a cultural openness and a state of inner wealth. 


Once upon a time, a Master walking with his devotees in a desert, spotted a dog's skull. The devotees were troubled at the sight of those remains; the Master said: "What a lucky dog this was, his teeth so white and healthy show how well he was looked after by the owner". The former only saw some remains, the second looked beyond and perceived the care transforming the whole sensorial experience.

Therefore, whatever the drive to search for beauty is, it is central to fuel it, for it is an indispensable value to give meaning and fully understand our existence.

There are many ways to grow and refine the sense of beauty: go to a museum to see the works of the great masters of art, visit archaeological sites to admire the great architectures of the past, visit new modern pavilions to understand the challenges and watch the transformation from old to contemporary, read a book that inspires you, go to a fashion show, talk to people of different cultures and faiths to learn the beauty of tolerance and diversion; explore the wonder of chemistry and physics to capture, beyond any law, that one Law that regulates the whole universe; study the beauty of the human body, the principles that regulate it and look at how cells react, meditate in silence to absorb that beauty words cannot express…

Or simply stand still watching Nature with its harmony, its colors, its wildness, absorbing its message of love. From the outside to the inside and from the inside out. Who could ever split the two?

By comprehending the meaning of Unity, we will defeat the pain of separation; we will return home to the center of ourselves where the only code to read is the beauty of simply be, whatever we are.

Dr Mariano Spiezia  




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