Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dazzling Mind

     Cultivating a sense of proportion (p. 39)

     For some people, a primary goal in life is to enjoy treasures such as beauty, goodness, harmony and wisdom. These qualities have balance and symmetry and show little or no trace of excess. If they are tainted by extremes or become disproportionate, they acquire opposite characteristics; for example, when distorted, beauty turns to ugliness goodness evil, harmony to disharmony and wisdom to folly. Cultivating a fine sense of proportion in our thoughts and deeds is key to attaining a dazzling mind.  

     I had the good fortune of appreciating one of the most marvelous sculptures ever designed,  Rodino's (1840-1917) sculpture called 'The Kiss' is an artistic marvel. It exemplifies in perfect form the principle of balance and proportion. An elegant symmetry is seen in the natural contours of the bodies of the lovers. The man's sexual passion is shown in the tension of his right hand. The loving embrace of the woman matches his passion. With amazing skill, rodin used light and shadwow to display the masculine and feminne features of the lovers. While the mans body appears rough, the woman's body is soft, crating an impression of realism. By sculpturing elegant balances in the muscles and sinews, Rodin wa able to make the lovers in stone appear "more real than real". the poet Ranier Mria Rilke (1875-1926) considered the sculpture such a masterpiece that the delight of the lovers' kiss is expressed all over their bodies. she said it is like "a sun that rises and its light is everywhere."

Marvel at the symmetry of the human body (p. 42-44)     

     Natural beauty exists in the human body. It has bilateral symmetry, with the two sides of the body being alike. These natural body contours and proportions have been a source for much artistic expression. They have also bee reduced to mathematical values often equated with the ratio Phi.

     The faces of men and women expressed in idealized sculptures show features that are well arranged. Though ordinary human bodies cannot  match the exquisite beauty of the Greek mythological figures Venus and Adonis we can still accept our own physical appearance. The use of symmetry and proportion illustrating beauty is a universal occurrence, found in all world cultures.

Treasure Wisdom (p. 45)

     The sayings of these sages gives us much food for thought. While this entire book pertains to wisdom in a general way, here we shall discuss the quality of wisdom specifically.

     To some degree we all seek wisdom. No one is born "wise", and no person is wise all the time. Wisdom is acquired, and it teaches us to take a balanced view of life. We often realize that some of our actions ay not bring us happiness, yet we do them anyway.

     Samuel Taylor Coleridge asserted that wisdom lies in possessing "common sense to an uncommon degree." Francis Bacon wrote that wisdom lies "in making more opportunities than one finds." Thomas Kempis claimed "Wisdom comes through suffering."  Henry David Thoreau wrote that the chief characteristics of wisdom is not to do desperate things, and William James asserted that the art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

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