The mathematical rules of the universe are visible to men in the form of beauty. (John Michel)
Esthetics and Ethics share a lot of letters, but further not too much, I have learned. My latest conversation with the psychiatrist brought up an issue I wrote about before: the act of placing beauty over morals.
What exactly is beauty? When do we call something beautiful, and why? I think it is subjective for one, but on the other hand I believe that all actions and objects possess a certain esthetic value. The best way to describe it would be as “resonance” with something bigger I think, something more general and less fleeting than our universe and everything in it. Maybe it’s just me who feels this resonance, I don’t know. The stronger the resonance, the more beautiful we perceive something.
I feel the resonance in many things. I can feel it in art, in murder (if you want my opinion on what constitutes a beautiful murder, feel free to read it here), in a symmetrical face, in a fierce barrister’s defense, in social interactions or a broken vase. There is resonance in many things, and with it comes beauty. At least, to me. I feel inclined to point out these are just my own analyses of the subject and I don’t tend to generalize.
To me, it is more important that what I do is Beautiful, than that it is Right. What is right is only determined by surroundings. What is beautiful answers to a higher law. I like to think that the beauty that resonates in our world is the only thing that won’t perish together with the rest of the universe. It is mathematical, it doesn’t need a tangible form to exist. It doesn’t need anything or anyone to exist, not even the universe. To quote the mathematician Janos Bolyai: “I have created a new universe from nothing.”
I am afraid of few normal things, yet terrified of a lot unusual things instead. The transience, the fleeting importance of everything and anything in perspective to the universe fills makes me melancholic, and fills narcissistic me with fear of being forgotten. A futile fear of the unavoidable, I know that much. I surround myself with beauty, cold and ruthless beauty rather than the socially acceptable brand, because the resonance makes me forget my own insignificance for a moment.
Can we, as human beings, place Esthetics over Ethics? If we do I think we are deluding ourselves. But it’s like some kind of drug, sweet oblivion, a way of temporarily forgetting our limited human nature. So forgive me if I do.