“Almost any intense emotion may open our “inward eye” to the beauty of reality. Falling in love appears to do it for some people. The beauties of nature or the exhilaration of artistic creation does it for others. Probably any high experience may momentarily stretch our souls up on tiptoe, so that we catch a glimpse of that marvelous beauty which is always there, but which we are not often tall enough to perceive.” – Margaret Prescott Montague
It’s almost a shame that we do tend to notice the beauty and wonder of this world when we’re in our “high” states, when something has pushed us into a feeling or a condition that allows us to see clearly just how wonderful this world is. We tend to notice the marvelous things more easily when our senses have reached a certain level, and it’s not always easy to reach that kind of state on a conscious level–often it’s some outside influence that brings us there.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could reach that state on our own, whenever we wanted to? Wouldn’t it be even nicer if we could always be in such a state of mind that we always noticed the wonder and the beauty of our world and the things and people in it? What would our lives be like if our hearts and minds and eyes were open enough all the time to see clearly just how wonderful this world and our place in it are?
Well, it is possible to make life so. It does take quite a bit of work to get there, and most of us put most of our effort elsewhere, so we don’t end up making much progress in this area. But if we did work at opening our eyes and noticing the world, we would get better at it. If we did stop every now and then to remind ourselves of just how many beautiful things are around us all the time, we’d start to see them more regularly, without having to stop and remind ourselves.
It may be worth a try for you to stop now and then and remind yourself of what you could be seeing, and then actually looking around and trying to see the beauty even in the most normal of things. Everything takes practice and focus if we want to do something well, and this particular effort will definitely be worth whatever you put in to it.
Questions to consider:
When are you most likely to catch a glimpse of something wonderful?
Do you actually practice seeing the world, or do you just take your ability to do so for granted?
What kinds of benefits might you gain if you were able to see the world more clearly?
For further thought:
“Looking for and enjoying beauty is another way to nourish the soul. The universe is in the habit of making beauty. There are flowers and songs, snowflakes and smiles, acts of great courage, laughter between friends, a job well done, the smell of fresh-baked bread. Beauty is everywhere, ready to nourish the soul. It must only be seen to begin helping us.” – Matthew Fox