Beauty, the beast and the beholder

Beauty, the beast and the beholder

Far be it for li’l ol’ me to sound like a Khalil Gibran or a Deepak Chopra – heaven knows I am not nearly as insightful and visionary as they are. Yet, many moons ago, I thought I was very profound (as I sometimes even now erroneously still seem to think I am) when I wrote one of my many student theatre productions.

I wrote a tagline for an HIV/Aids awareness programme we ran at the then Peninsula Technikon, now CPUT, that read: “A rose minus one petal is still a thing of beauty; it is merely a question of perspective…”

Fast forward: to Thursday last…I was sitting in my neighbour’s lounge with a few other neighbours after a trustees’ meeting. And, lo and behold, the question of beauty and perceptions came up and I quoted this line. The person I spoke to is a very beautiful woman who mostly hides her beauty as though it were a curse. I had been witnessing this from a distance and didn’t comment on it until that moment, as I felt perhaps the time was right; the elements had come together…

For, on that same day, I received an e-mail from my dear friend and physiotherapist who is the only person “allowed” to send me chain mails, as hers are always inspirational in the true sense of the word (well I guess the word “inspirational” also is a question of perspective), but she knows me well enough and knows what kind of “philosophies” I am inclined towards.

Her e-mail (of which I will share an edited version below) was about (drum roll please)…the rose! It speaks of love and the need to spread it. So, here it is…think on this, and I quote:

“There is an innocence inside us that is so pure and untouched, like the core of a rose that is just beginning to bloom. We feel that innocence and purity deeply protected by the portions of us that we had to close off, like a doorway to a sacred room. This doorway, and the room it protected, needed to be locked and even hidden from a world that was harsh and filled with fear.

Now we are beginning to feel that innocence and purity, and we want to open the door and allow that essence to fill our body and flow out into the world. However, we don’t know if we can protect that innocence and purity once it is set loose into a reality that does not yet fully love.

If we open this door, will the remaining darkness rush in and extinguish the light? If we open this door, will the purity and love be lost in the shield we have created to protect it?

If we incorporate these qualities of purity and innocence into our body, will it become lost in the remaining fear and protectiveness?

Yes, we fear that all of these things will happen. But, if we base our decision on this fear, have we chosen fear over purity and innocence? How do we protect that which is virgin to this harsh world? Must we wait until the world is not quite as discordant and more harmonious?

There are so many questions, but we ask them from our mind. We need to ask our heart. We need to ask this embryo of purity expanding in our High Heart what we should do…the roses that bloom when the atmosphere is not perfect suffer the harshness of a reality not yet ready for their gift. However, some brave ones must ‘test the waters’ to see if it is safe for the others to bloom, as well.

The simple rose does not know fear. The rose is still a bud, but it is soon to open.

The transition of our consciousness is much like the opening of a rose. For many eons we, the members of Earth, have placed our consciousness on the outside of the rose. The core of the rose was a mystery to us.

And so we began the long journey to the centre of the rose, the centre of ourselves…

We became safe deep within ourselves. We were no longer alone there.

As we looked around us, we could see that there were still roses that appeared to be independent from us.

However, when we placed our attention upon them, they lovingly and willingly opened their heart to us, as we did to them. There were no secrets; there was no fear; there was only unity and love. We were home!”

And, as clichéd as I might come off, we can, and should, still dream of; even work towards some kind of Utopia…shouldn’t we?