by Nahid Angha, Ph.D.
In the world of nature, the forms and images of beauty surround us. We experience beauty in the delicate petals of flowers, we see it in the distant passing of clouds and we hear it in the songs of birds. Likewise, in the work of humans we see beauty in the brushstrokes of a painter, in the notes of a composer, in the graceful steps of a dancer and in the words of a poet. Behind both the natural and human manifestations of beauty lies the same essence that expresses our being, while transcending both the human individual and the particular in nature in the multiplicity of its expressions. As observers, we who experience these images and expressions of beauty must also possess the essence of beauty within ourselves for only through inner essence of beauty is it possible to recognize the beautiful.
Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 2
In truth, beauty is born with us. We have been created in the figure and form of beauty. We possess the essence of beauty just as the flower possesses its essence, revealed in its brilliant blossoms and their intoxicating fragrance. Such beauty is taken and nourished even from the heart of dust. You may not perceive the beauty in dust that nourishes the flower but it is there and recognized by the roots of the flower that nourish it and transfer it to the seed of the plant. The essence of beauty is imparted into the images of beauty, just as invisible sound waves travel into space in accordance with the laws of physics so that any susceptible receiver, according to the level of its capacity, can receive. The essence of beauty is crystallized and expressed in figures and forms and colors and melodies that are suited to the perceptive sense and understanding of humanity.