Saturday, November 17, 2007

Beauty isn't the Hand of God. It's much more exciting than that.

Just heard someone on a Studio 360 podcast describe jellyfish as thin layers of cells illuminated from within, and thought, "The world is too beautiful to have no Creator."


I'd just finished mining three recent issues of National Geographic for collage-worthy images, and was still reeling from the page-upon-page assault of obscenely and absurdly beautiful images of our world this magazine unfailingly provides.

Found I had to force myself to finish that glory-of-the-Creator's-hand sentence even though it was only a thought. Felt the drama of each word as if, though mental and private--not carved in stone and borne upon my back as I walked the streets, say--once complete, the sentence would doom me to a small and religious existence.

Happily, as I set these words in the the somewhat more forgiving stone of cyberspace and your eyes and your opinions, I've begun to unpack the idea a bit and have hit upon a far more palatable rational consequence of the overwhelming beauty in the world:

If it is not the hand of a benevolent creator that makes my eyes and brain sing out "Jackpot!" like the hymn of some drunken angel when I see antlers, deltas, jellyfish, sunsets, runners' legs and the like, then that can only mean that from the random fact of the Big Bang (That's still all we're working with origin-wise: God or Boom, right?) we lucked the fuck out and were born onto a stage so too our liking.

Ramifications of this line of thinking and other things to consider as I walk blissfully down the avenue of this hypothesis:
  • Perhaps (generous, I know) not every human experiences the beauty of the world as viscerally as I do despite our common Big Bang ancestry.

  • What is the neuroscience behind beauty and perception?

  • If, like every other thing that's happened since the Big Bang, perceivable beauty exists due to the will of nothing and has continued because it works to keep this Earth party going, then there is a purpose for the world being so appealing, an evolutionary purpose for joy and bliss. Awesome!

1 comment:

Don said...

Visiting your website is intoxicating! Your preoccupation with and sense of beauty is absolutely contagious. I find myself thinking about beauty in terms of "necessity" on a par with forces that turn the material world--e.g, spin the planets, etc.

Don