29. The Sense of Beauty

We ought then to train and practise our sense of beauty, not selfishly and luxuriously, but so that when the dark hour comes it may help us to realise that all is not lost, may alleviate our pain by giving us the knowledge that the darkness is the interruption, but that the joy is permanent and deep and certain.

 

   — Benson, Joyous Gard, The Sense of Beauty

 

¦ train and practice our sense of beauty

 

It is my hope that the cycle of days in the Joyous Gard Program™ helps to often restore the power of beauty for the health of your soul. My hope is for you to build and maintain the habit of feeding your soul and enlivening your spirit. And in order to successfully lay down such a habit, I think it helps to be reminded, even swayed, by voices that draw attention to the subtle winds of beauty which are always around.

 

If again the sense of beauty is so frail a thing that it is at the mercy of all intruding and jarring elements, it is also one of the most patient and persistent of quiet forces. Like the darting fly which we scare from us, it returns again and again to settle on the spot which it has chosen.

 

The health of your soul and the life of your spirit

 

These are the things that are so important to your happiness. But they are often threatened by the preponderance of the noise that clouds your view. You must be strong and determined in your effort to recognize the force of beauty. Here’s what Benson says, warning of a frail sense of beauty:

 

Many people, and those not the least thoughtful and intelligent, find by experience that it is almost the first thing to disappear in moments of stress and pressure. Physical pain, grief, pre-occupation, business, anxiety, all seem to have the power of quenching it instantaneously, until one is apt to feel that it is a thing of infinite delicacy and tenderness, and can only co-exist with a tranquillity which it is hard in life to secure.

 

Day 29 Guide

 

Joyous Gard is the space in your being where beauty finds a home, a place where beauty releases its energy for the benefit of your spirit. Think today of training your soul to recognize the presence of beauty. Discipline yourself to search for something beautiful every day.

 

© 2005, Levi Hill

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