November 14     

Today's quotation:

All things are perceived in the light of charity, and hence under the aspect of beauty:  for beauty is simply Reality seen with the eyes of love.

Evelyn Underhill

Today's Meditation:

Can we change our perception of the world simply by changing our hearts?  Can we really see the world as much more beautiful and much more interesting and much more fascinating simply by looking at it with love in our hearts rather than judgment, scorn, or criticism?  There's a lot to be said for having a critical eye, but does that perspective help us to see just how amazing our world is and just how beautiful it is?  Generally not.  But when we look with the eyes of love, we see what's lovable, and what's most in need of love.

Our perception is a huge part of what makes the world the way it is.  I'm reminded of the story of the man who had an axe stolen from him, and he was sure that a neighbor boy had taken it.  Every time he saw that boy, he saw a thief, until the day that he found his axe in his tool shed, misplaced.  From that moment on, when he saw the boy, he saw only a little boy.

It's a wonderful story that helps us to keep in mind that our own thoughts and perspective shade the world that we see.  They act as a kind of filter that makes us see things only in the ways that we're willing and able to see them.  A beautiful sunset on a day when we feel good is beautiful indeed; a beautiful sunset on a day when a loved one has died doesn't hold nearly the same splendor (unless we connect it with the loved one, of course).  And our perspective is strongly affected by love-- by the willingness and ability to see things through the lens of love.

I want to do my best to see the world through love, though I often see it through the eyes of fear or tension or regret or even stress.  These negative feelings keep me from seeing the beauty and wonder of the world, and that's a shame.  My goal is to keep these feelings from affecting the ways I see things, and though I often don't accomplish that goal, it's definitely a worthy goal to keep shooting for.

Questions to consider:

How do you see the world around you?  What contributes to the way you see things?

What would the world look like if we always were to see it through the eyes of love?

How many people do you know who actually do see the world through the eyes of love consistently?

For further thought:

Even the common articles made for daily use become endowed with beauty when they are loved.

Soetsu Yanagi

more thoughts and ideas on beauty



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