Sir Roger Scruton: Beauty speaks to us | ArchitecturalRevival / Twitter

One more from Architectural Revival – and from the late great Sir Roger Scruton:

Screenshot_2020-02-29 (2) ArchitecturalRevival ( Arch_Revival_) Twitter

The Poetry of England | The Imaginative Conservative

No photo description available.

Source: The Poetry of England ~ The Imaginative Conservative

“The real tragedy of England’s passing… is not that the England we love is a figment of the imagination, but that it is real, in the sense that Platonic forms are real. This real England is present in Old English and Middle English; in Chaucer and Chesterton; in Shakespeare, Austen, and Dickens. The England to be found in these places is more real than it is in present-day Birmingham or Leicester, which are only English in a superficial and fading sense. Nor does the England to be found in these places depend on our ability to see it.

“If England continues to sink into the primeval soup of ‘post-Christian’ barbarism, it is possible that nobody will read Shakespeare a century from now. They will not want to read it and will probably be unable to read it even if they wanted to. Yet the goodness, truth, and beauty to be found in Shakespeare, Chaucer, et al will not be in the least diminished by the inability of future generations to see it. A tree does not cease to exist because a blind man cannot see it. England will not cease to exist because the ‘post-English’ barbarians residing in England fail to understand that which is beyond their ken.”

True indeed! Yet what a loss it would be to the world, if the real England, the true England, the “Olde England,” were to retreat utterly and forever into the Mists of Avalon, into the realm of Platonic forms, into the Mind of God, and into the memory of poets and mystics and musers like me, to exist no more in the world of men…

Anthony Esolen: Mater Decoris | The Catholic Thing

Parents’ Joy by Kirill Vikentievich Lemokh (a.k.a. Carl Johann Lemoch), c. 1890 [Kaluga Art Museum, Kaluga, Russia]
Anthony Esolen: The Church has been the mother of beauty. Is that one more reason why she is so hated in our time?

Source: Mater Decoris | The Catholic Thing

“Shift your attention from the morally upright to the beautiful. Is it beautiful for a woman to rejoice over having murdered her children? Is it beautiful for someone to mutilate her body, to attempt a bad impersonation of a man, and to fail? Is it beautiful for a child to be born in an alley full of garbage, broken glass, and rats, when there was no need for that at all – to be born, I mean, in a chaos outside of wedlock and the home? Is it beautiful to foul the innocence of that child, as we do regularly in our schools? Is confusion beautiful?”

Another offering from the wisdom of the inestimable Professor Anthony Esolen, in which he gives us another way to look at the issues of our time – and a reminder of the close, indeed interconnected, relationship between the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

An excellent essay, from an admirably thoughtful, passionate, and erudite thinker. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

 

“Normies” and rebels

Just one more, and then I promise I will recede back into my self-imposed Lenten sabbatical, at least for a while…!

This came across my news-feed just this morning:

Normie vs Rebel

Nowadays, this is all too sadly true.

Too many young women today are destroying their natural beauty with tattoos and piercings, scrawling all over the masterpiece God made them to be, and dressing to be provocative or shocking rather than in ways that exemplify an objective standard of beauty, such as that expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas:

“Beauty, as St. Thomas says, is objective and has four attributes: truth, goodness, oneness and symmetry.  Beauty, when comprised of these qualities, directs us to God…

Truth can be seen in clothing [and, I would add, other forms of adornment] that identifies the wearer as a man or woman, his status and occupation, even his character and family. Goodness is in the quality of materials and fine workmanship, and in the modesty that respects the natural virtues. Oneness is in the completeness of the ensemble and the way it matches in an ordered way. Symmetry is the proportion, consistency and uniformity that comprise it.

See the images above and to the right, and below, for classic examples! Examples of the alternative are all too easy to find, and need not be dwelt upon.

“This can be applied to everything: music and architecture, furnishings in the home, work and crafts, words and manners, meals and dinner tables, beautiful prayers and good reading. Local traditions sustain cultural beauty in holidays, ceremonies and ways of being that began long ago when people turned to God and received a flow of grace to generations. This realization makes us love and keep alive tradition. Beauty is expressed in many cultures and is diverse since God’s creation is immense. However, beauty cannot go against the natural order.”

Traditionalism, the revolt against the excesses of the modern (and postmodern) age, is indeed the new counterculture. Be counter-cultural! Be a rebel! Vive la révolution nuvelle et ancienne! Ce qui est vieux est nouveau.

Tradition is the new counterculture - revolt against the modern world


Note: the young woman pictured above may be the lovely and talented Marilena – looks a lot like her, but I’m not sure it actually is. At any rate, be sure to click through to the linked video to see an example of how a young woman can be flirty and irresistible, without being degenerate in the process!

Glories of the West: What we’re fighting for

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. Never hurts to remember why we fight.

The Catholic Lady: Desiring Beauty

Source: The Catholic Lady: Desiring Beauty

https://anglophilicanglican.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/8eade-frankwestonbenson.jpg
 Beautiful clothing encourages us to contemplate God in the beauty and order of the universe.
Painting by Frank Weston Benson.

Wow! Sometimes I run across something that is, if not exactly and completely new to me, at least allows me to look at things in a new and exciting way. This is such a post! The Catholic Lady writes,

“Beauty, as St. Thomas says, is objective and has four attributes: truth, goodness, oneness and symmetry.  Beauty, when comprised of these qualities, directs us to God.”

This I had missed – I am not a Thomistic scholar, though, so there’s probably a lot in The Angelic Doctor’s writings that I’ve missed. It makes perfect sense, though, as St. Thomas Aquinas’s thought tends to. Reminds me of the Three Transcendentals – Goodness, Truth, and Beauty – which are all attributes of the “Ultimate Transcendental,” namely, God! At any rate, she goes on to ask,

“But what is the style of Christian civilization?

And answers:

“The style at the heights of Christian civilization is undeniably beautiful and uplifting to the spirit. It directs the soul to God rather then confining it to superficial worldly indulgence.”

Yes – that is one of the chief virtues of the great cathedrals, Gregorian chant, and other exemplars of classical Christian art: they lift the thoughts, the attention, the heart, and through them, the spirit, to the contemplation of heavenly things. But I hadn’t thought of applying the same reasoning to clothing styles – yet it makes so much sense:

“Beautiful clothing encourages us to contemplate God in the beauty and order of the universe. It represent the supernatural virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. These virtues combined with the desire in our souls to do good and avoid evil, govern Christian society and also form the basis of beautiful design. Beauty is literally graceful because it comes into our lives through the infusion of Supernatural virtue.”

“Beauty is literally grace-full” (emphasis added) – again, wow! True beauty is graceful, because it is full of God’s grace. And then she goes on to apply those Thomistic qualities to it – again, taking it to a level I had not contemplated, previously:

Truth can be seen in clothing that identifies the wearer as a man or woman, his status and occupation, even his character and family. Goodness is in the quality materials and fine workmanship, and in the modesty that respects the natural virtues. Oneness is in the completeness of the ensemble and the way it matches in an ordered way. Symmetry is the proportion, consistency and uniformity that comprise it.

“This can be applied to everything: music and architecture, furnishings in the home, work and crafts, words and manners, meals and dinner tables, beautiful prayers and good reading. Local traditions sustain cultural beauty in holidays, ceremonies and ways of being that began long ago when people turned to God and received a flow of grace to generations. This realization makes us love and keep alive tradition. Beauty is expressed in many cultures and is diverse since God’s creation is immense. However, beauty cannot go against the natural order.”

Indeed. Something which does, may (perhaps) be clever, or interesting, or thought-provoking, or challenging (or disturbing!), or something along those lines. But not beautiful.

“Beauty lifts the spirit above what is purely functional to the realm of spiritual satisfaction in our quest for the Supernatural.  How can we not constantly marvel at and reach for the heights of beauty to fill up our minds and souls with the contemplation of God?”

How can we not, indeed? Yet, like the modern taste-buds, that are so used to “hyper-palatable” foods laden with salt, sugar, MSG, etc., that they have to be re-trained to appreciate healthful foods and natural flavors, so our aesthetic sensibilities are often numbed almost to the point of becoming insensate by the images of modern media, both entertainment and advertising, with which they are constantly bombarded.

But this is encouraging. It’s worth being reminded that beauty is not, necessarily or entirely, “in the eye of the beholder”; that just as there are objective standards of truth and morality, there are also objective standards of beauty.

And once again, we see the Three Transcendentals – Truth, Goodness, and Beauty – inserting themselves into the conversation! That connection was not planned, not by me. But very apt, nonetheless! A moment of synchronicity… or, perhaps, of Divine Providence.

And with that, I shall close these musings, for the night!