The theory of Beauty III (Ananda K. Coomaraswamy)


 
We have seen that the world of Beauty, like the Absolute, cannot be known objectively. Can we then reach this world by rejecting objects, by a deliberate purification of art from all associations? We have already seen, however, that the mere intention to create beauty is not sufficient: there must exist an object of devotion. Without a point of departure there can be no flight and no attainment: here also "one does not attain to perfection by mere renunciation". We can no more achieve Beauty than we can find release by turning our backs on the world: we cannot find our way by a mere denial of things, but only in learning to see those things as they really are, infinite or beautiful. The artist reveals this beauty wherever the mind attaches itself: and the mind attaches itself, not directly to the Absolute, but to objecs of choice.
 
Thus we return to the earth. If we supposed we should find the object of search elsewhere, we were mistaken. The two worlds, of spirit and matter, Purusha and Prakriti, are one: and this is as clear to the artist as it is to the lover or the philosopher. Those Philistines to whom it is not so apparent, we should speak of as materialists or as nihilists – exclusive monists, to whom the report of the senses is either all in all, or nothing at all. The theory of rasa set forth according to Vishvanatha and other aesteticians, belongs to totalistic monism; it marches with the Vedanta. In a country like India, where thought is typically consistent with itself, this is no more than we had the right to expect.                        
                  Ananda K. Coomarawamy – The Dance of Shiva
 
(mañana en español)

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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