Further on Awakening Beauty

When someone asked Hazrat Inayat Khan about people who have no desire for beauty, his response, posted here, takes us to the very heart of spirituality.  He tells us the desire for beauty is innate in everyone, but not everyone is awake to it.  The questioner mentions a child, so perhaps it was a concerned parent or grandparent or an uncle or aunt hoping to find a way of ‘improving’ a youngster that appeared deficient.  But as is usually the case in such questions, the answer begins with a change in ourselves.

If we run away, as Hazrat Inayat says, from someone who is closed to beauty, we only confirm them in their state; we make things worse, not better. Our reaction will of course feel like a criticism, and most people do not wish to be corrected.  Therefore they will become defensive and develop justifications for their own point of view, and the possibility of change will be pushed far away.   In order to awaken someone to beauty, we must ourselves see the beauty in them–but beauty at the highest level, at the level of the soul, for that is the source of the beauty of every personality.  Our ‘work’, then, is to keep the door open and look at the beauty that stands above and behind the shortcomings.  In that way, there is the possibility that the person will themselves become more conscious of the beauty, and begin to reflect it.

What is more, if we give in to our initial impulse to flee the ‘unbeautiful’ person, we limit our own awareness of beauty.  We may think that we know what beauty is, but if we cannot see it in another, no matter how dense they appear on the surface, then we have not yet completed our own journey; we still have work to do.


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