I’ve always intuitively known beauty is really really important. But aesthetics professor Elaine Scarry has helped clarify for me why it is important:
None of us are the center of the world, but each of us can get into the mistake of believing that we are the center of our own world. Beauty relieves us of this. It not only puts us on the sidelines, but makes us acutely happy to be there on the sidelines. Becoming capable of experiencing bliss in one’s own lateralness may not be itself a state of justice, but it certainly prepares us for doing such work in the world.”
Beauty is important not only because it nurtures and soothes us, but also because when we experience beauty, it moves our ego to the sidelines. And not only does our ego get moved to the sidelines, but we can even experience bliss in that experience of hanging out there.
With all of the scary news out there in the world– with all the of the uncertainty and anxiety that gets pumped through our news channels, social media feeds, and radios, we are well aware of the need to engage in some kind of justice work. But I don’t think paying attention to beauty wherever you find it often gets considered as preparation for such work. But perhaps it is.
I look forward to worshiping with you all this Sunday: Where Words Cannot —
Music takes us to emotional and spiritual depths that words cannot. This Sunday, we welcome the trio of Jorge Torrez, Amanda Jane Ross and Tanya Harris for a special music Sunday, inviting their music to stir, provoke, and move us towards Beauty. Worship leaders: Rev. Darcy, Haruko DeArth, and Jorge Torrez.