Today's lesson is on beauty. Beauty is much needed by beings of imperfect creation and yet its true nature is subject to considerable misunderstanding. Therefore I shall offer a simple definition of beauty. Beauty is that creation of Father which heightens the awareness of all who behold of true spiritual meaning.
When you, for example, behold beauty, your Thought Adjuster is made aware of your perception because beauty is a creation of Father and, as with all things, imbued with Father's qualities. Awareness of beauty sends a direct meaning and signal to your Thought Adjuster which is in turn transmitted to Paradise, as are all Thought Adjuster signals, for recording and sometimes direction, guidance, answer. Does this mean that animals do not perceive beauty? Yes, that is correct. And indeed those mortals with indwelling Adjusters who turn away from Father's works will have little, if any, understanding of true beauty and, instead, substitute self-created definitions of beauty. These, of course, will be easily seen through by the spiritually uplifted and aware, such as yourselves.
Behold beauty and you are closer to God. Behold beauty and you gain wisdom. Behold beauty and you possess a bit more truth. Behold beauty and you share Father's love. Behold beauty, and you step forward in your spiritual growth. Behold beauty and become yourself beautiful, as was Jesus and Melchizedek and his visitation to this planet. Behold beauty and you will recognize it immediately upon representation and always will know it as different and special and not like anything of mortal creation.
Does this mean that beauty should be worshipped? Worship is not quite the right action to undertake for God's qualities. It is God that you will worship, should worship, are invited to worship. God's qualities are for you to emulate, to hold close, to share, to revere. Truth, beauty, goodness and love are qualities of Father that all are His gifts to you, and each in its own stead contributes to your spiritual nourishment. Enjoy Father's gifts, they will enrich your lives immensely. Share them with your neighbor. It has been said that there is nothing of Father's creation that is not beautiful. You may wish to ponder this a bit. It is essentially true.
And, of course, it is the answer to the developing adolescent who is tempted to ridicule his neighbor as ugly. And yet, you may say, but are there not ugly acts? Yes, there are choices that freewill creatures are permitted to make which can lead to adverse outcomes, sometimes quite unpleasant. This is ugly.
The one who makes a freewill choice to reject the Adjuster's promptings and turn away from Father may be perceived by the spiritual self as unpleasant to gaze upon or ugly, and yet, even this one is beloved by Father.
Should you only retain what you believe is beautiful, and expel destroy - the remainder? This is a decision reserved for the Ancients of Days alone and not for us. However, in participating in the difficult work of uplifting a world that has fallen into darkness and chaos, necessary social adjustments must be made, and recognition of that which is less godlike is certainly helpful in this regard.
It is difficult for me to comment further on this line. But your Urantia book offers further guidance, if you wish it. Lucifer stated that man was too weak to live in a world in which beauty was marred. Do you think that is true? I do not believe so, either. When new arrivals come to the mansion world, there is often the comment that the beauty there is overwhelming, spectacular, awe-inspiring, comforting, loving, peaceful, truth containing, inspirational, worship-inducing. This is true, all true, and yet this is but an early step in your long journey. You are right to believe that the heaven of your ancestor's stories is a beautiful and wonderful place, and yet when Light and Life arrive on Urantia, the same will be true here, even more than is presently the case.
My friends, beauty abounds on this little planet. It is all about you. There for your enjoyment and comfort. You have only to extend your perceptions and try them. That is the end of our lesson today.
Q: Thank you, Rayson. I've learned more about beauty today than I did reading the Urantia book. I think, however, that which I knew about beauty is consistent with your lesson. For example, I've always thought of beauty as being harmony, that is, harmony of colors or harmony of notes of music, or lives lived in harmony. If you would comment on the relationship between beauty and harmony, I would appreciate it.
A: Yes, that is an excellent question. All which is in accord with Father and Father's qualities is, of course, harmonious in the cosmic sense. You know that that applies to truth, do you not? (Yes.) And love? (Yes.) And goodness? (Yes.)
So, too, with beauty, and yet it need not be a specific assortment of colors or sounds or spatial configurations even, instead it is the spiritual quality of the artist that imbues an object with its beauty. That is why it is so true that no creations of Father are anything but beautiful and indeed harmonious.
Does that answer?
Q: Yes. I do have a follow-up question. Would you comment on why it is that some people think that things are beautiful which others think are very unbeautiful? For instance, art, the drawing art and even in music. Do we see different qualities in it, or just what is the explanation for different tastes in art or music?
A: Do you know of any time that Jesus commented on the lack of beauty on anything on Urantia?
S: Well, I know that He was very unhappy with the conduct of the leaders of the church, the spiritual leaders, that is, but specifically in terms of beauty, no.
R: Perhaps the differing value in terms of beauty assigned by differing human observers is best explained in terms of selective perception, that is, what observer A sees is filtered through certain expectations that he has, while observer B has different expectations, yet if seen through the eyes of Father or Jesus or a Urantia mortal from the time of light and life, it is unlikely that there would be perception of ugliness, particularly in terms of material structures. I understand that there are different tastes among individuals and that what is pleasing to the senses of one may not necessarily be pleasing to the other, yet there is no place in the definition of beauty for physical pleasure, so perhaps this is part of the misunderstanding.
S: For instance a noise that is considered caterwauling by some can be enjoyed by cats.
R: Yes or by an avant guard musician
S: Or artist
R: Or tone deaf neighbor.
S: Yes, I think I understand.
R: The idea of beauty as that which is physically pleasurable is not a spiritual definition. This is more in keeping with catering to animal drives. Again, I refer back to the example presented in our last lesson about the teenage boy who would call the neighboring woman ugly, assuming that his adjective was chosen on the basis of a lack of sexual arousal afforded by the woman's countenance. I would say that such a definition of beauty and non-beauty is not in keeping with spiritual qualities or their lack.
Does that help?
Q: It helps. Is there's a distinction between physical beauty and spiritual beauty. I know technically what the answer is, but I would like for you to comment on it.
A: Physical beauty and spiritual beauty can be the same when perceived by the one who is spiritually attuned with Father and, in the case of Urantia mortals the indwelling Adjuster, I mean spiritually attuned in the sense of a high level of development close to fusion, not mere contact.
However, failing that, there will always be some discrepancy on the part of the observer between what is understood as spiritual beauty and what is understood as physical beauty. This is not meant to be a criticism, but merely a marker of one's growth and progress. You certainly would not be expected to understand complicated mathematical principles before you had mastered addition and subtraction. So too with the complexities of spiritual principles and qualities.
The animal is attracted by, and sees beauty in, that which satisfies animal drives: a comfortable place to sleep in satisfies the drive for rest, a tasty morsel to chew upon satisfies the drive to eat, a sturdy genetic product of the opposite sex satisfies the need to mate, and all three examples are representations of beauty to the animal mind. But do you truly believe that a soft mattress leads you closer to Father?
A: Not always. I would say no.
R: Of course, you need to sleep, but you understand my point.
S: Yes, I understand your point.
Q: Then, if I understand your lesson, if the object seen, the sound heard, the scent perceived arouses a sense of gratitude to Father and appreciation of His creation, then that is beauty in a more spiritual sense and not just in a physical sense?
A: Yes. All of you present have been increasingly awakening to the promptings of your Thought Adjusters over the last interval of time, and even though it is difficult for you and the perception most fragile and delicate, with great effort you can at this stage see that spiritual beauty. I urge you to work at this. You will find your work rewarding. Are there other questions?
S: It's a beautiful lesson, and it's inspiring to look at it more clearly, the meaning of beauty from a spiritual standpoint, and I'm sure it's well worth working at, perceiving it more often. (12/26/93) See Also: WORK ex rel BEAUTY (01/02/94)
© 11:11 Progress Group.
"Michael est toujours au Volant."
(Michael is always at the Steering Wheel.)