Matt Perryman

Beautiful objects are the only real truth

By Matt Perryman

What’s beautiful? Where is it?

Can you point at a thing and say truthfully, “This is beautiful”?

Our intellectual culture today won’t hear it.

Beauty is just feelings and opinions. No different than preferring chocolate to vanilla. There’s no difference between Beethoven’s fifth and this week’s trash rap hit. Shakespeare and the barely literate plays I wrote at age 11, it’s all the same. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is relative.

I say unto you: nonsense.

Here’s a mindflip for you.

You can’t know beauty.

But beauty holds more truth than any mathematical equation.

When I say that I know something — I know that snow is white — I’m making a claim about an object independent of my thinking.

There’s snow, and it is in fact white.

Beauty doesn’t work like that. You can’t know beauty by bringing it under a universal concept.

Beauty has to do with our relationships to beautiful objects. Yours, mine, and all of us.

But beauty isn’t true because we use concepts to describe it.

Beauty doesn’t have to be knowledge in order to be true. Knowing isn’t the only way we understand and experience reality.

There’s a difference between seeing that a rose is red, and coming to believe that the rose is red by a visual perception.

Seeing isn’t knowing.

Experiencing isn’t knowing.

Beauty in nature and in art is all about experiencing.

If you try to think your way to beauty, to make it nice and tidy to fit your intellect, of course you’ll fail.

Beauty is about experience, about responses to beautiful things. It has nothing to do with some nerd’s over-thinking.

Matt Perryman 

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