Jonathan Livingston Seagull

“They are saying in the Flock that if you are not the Son of the Great Gull Himself”, Fletcher told Jonathan one morning after Advanced Speed Practice, “then you are a thousand years ahead of your time.”
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood he thought. They call you devil or they call you god. “What do you think, Fletch? Are we ahead of our time?”
A long silence, “Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anyone who wanted to discover it; that’s got nothing to do with time. We’re ahead of the fashion, maybe. Ahead of the way that most gulls fly.”“That’s something,” Jonathan said, rolling to glide inverted for a while. “That’s not half as bad as being ahead of our time”.
Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The Seagull Speaks Creative Commons Copyright

Creative Commons License
Original work on The Seagull Speaks by Michael A Wride is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Gift of Beauty

"If we choose to journey on the path of truth, it then becomes a
sacred duty to walk hand in hand with beauty"
John O'Donohue
Divine Beauty - The Invisible Embrace

Each time I go to the beach recently, I am blessed with a gift. This morning, the rising sun, low in the east, made beautiful, soulful shades of swirling orange light in the clouds. And then, as I looked to the left, six geese rose out of the water, swooping elegantly up from the sea. In a perfect V formation, they curved across the sky towards the sun. Silent, serene and Beautiful. Working together, moving gracefully, in perfect harmony, for their common good. An un-stated love between them. Perfect acceptance and understanding. Perfect faith in their ability to fly, in their path through the sky.

And yesterday, I had gone to the beach to swim and started off with some exercises and some meditation, while sitting on the sand. The sunlight flickered through sparkling clouds, tinged with grey. There were hints of rainstorms and showers in the distance across the sea out in the bay. And then, the beginnings of a shower above Dalkey island to my left.

Then, slowly, imperceptibly at first, a hint of some colours in front of the blue sky. The beginnings of the left hand 'leg' of a rainbow! I continued to watch the rainbow form. Manifesting itself slowly in my reality. The left 'leg' steadily grew, reaching for the sky, to form the peak, the zenith, of its perfect arch. It reached it - Yes!

And then, it continued to fulfill its mission to become a fully-formed, bright, sparkling rainbow creating more and more of itself as its right 'leg' formed, a downward curve, at an angle out to sea. Perfection achieved, but only for a moment. As soon as it had formed itself fully, it began to become more translucent on the far left, fading out from view. Within 15 minutes or so the rainbow was gone, but I had witnessed its entire life on Earth! I was again, blessed by the gift of Beauty.

And it got me thinking....

When we accept the gift, the blessing, of Beauty in our lives we are lifted up by the light that enters our hearts. But, are such gifts always there, perhaps mostly un-noticed by us? Is there Beauty present in our surroundings now, but we, wrapped up in our illusions, don't see it? Is it simply a case of becoming more conscious, more cognisant of such events? Is such beauty "there" in our surroundings whether we notice it or not? Or, is our role in the manifestation of Beauty more important than we realise? 

When we begin to live from the heart, when our feelings of love fill our surroundings, when we transcend our egos and attain a new state of Being, when we follow the path of Truth, does the Universe respond to us in some way? Does it sense this heart-based consciousness that we carry and respond to it in kind, by returning the love, the joy and the Beauty we are feeling, directly back to us? By giving, do we receive?

Maybe God, knowing each of the infinite possibilities that extend in time and space from a given moment, also knows that each possibility has a different probability. And maybe, just maybe, it is the possibility with the most Beauty within it, rather than the one that is most probable, which actually appears as the gift for us to see and appreciate in all its glory.

Does the manifestation of Beauty in our lives follow from our state of Being? And, is this actually a circular progression? Does the manifested Beauty that we recognise, lead to a greater ability to attract Beauty to us, to enable more Beauty to become manifest in the World? Do we have the ability within us to be active participants in this manifestation of Beauty? Does our potential to continually bring ourselves back to a heart-based consciousness actually contribute towards the evolution of Beauty in the World?

But, even in the relative darkness in which humanity has existed, there has always been Beauty that individual souls have recognised. And at least the darkness has allowed us to appreciate Beauty when it appears, however transiently. Beauty has been recognised by its relationship to the darkness. But, what if Beauty is a fundamental feature of the Universe? An absolute Law beyond the relative, beyond duality?

If this is so, and Beauty is fundamental, then just think what the World will be like when the collective consciousness of humanity is a heart-based consciousness, continually enabling supreme Beauty to unfold in every moment. When Beauty will be appreciated for what it "is" and understood as something to be treasured and enjoyed - a true gift - requiring no comparison with anything else to know that it is, indeed, elemental, fundamental...Beautiful.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" they say, but maybe also "Beauty is unfolded by the heart of the beholder."

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