Posted in CAT'S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL COMMENTS, ETHICS AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFESTYLE

A Definition of Beauty

Today, I want to do something a little different.   I want to bring someone else into the Spiritual Comment.  I am not the only spiritual teacher out there and I certainly don’t say I am the most learned.  One of my favourite spiritual teachers is the late Khalil Gibran and I wanted to share with  you a passage from his book ‘The Prophet Collection’.  If you are not familiar with this book, it is the story of a prophet who is preparing to leave the town of Orphalese.  Now this town will be mentioned in the extract, so just be aware of this.

But first –

In today’s society, we are bombarded with images of perceived perfect beauty. Just yesterday, I saw a news story about a Lass in the UK who has won a competition for having the most scientifically  measured beauty in Great Britain.

So I got to thinking, what is beauty and why is it that some people can look beautiful on the outside and yet when they speak, they become ugly, while others do not possess obvious good looks, yet when they speak, they light up the room with beauty.

I think Khalil Gibran sums it up beautifully in this extract….

“And a poet said, ‘Speak to us of Beauty.’

And he answered:

‘Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?

And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

Image thanks to neiu.edu

The aggrieved and the injured say, ‘Beauty is kind and gentle.  Like a young mother, half-shy of her own glory, she walks among us.’

And the passionate say, ‘Nay, beauty is a thing of might and dread.  Like the tempest she shakes the Earth beneath us and the sky above us’

The tired and the weary say, ‘Beauty is of soft whisperings. She speaks in our spirit.  Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that quivers in fear of the shadow.’

But the restless say, ‘We have heard her shouting among the mountains, and with her cries came the sound of hoofs and the beating of wings and the roaring of lions.’

At night the watchmen of the city say, ‘Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the East.’

And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, ‘We have seen her leaning over the Earth from the windows of the sunset.’

In winter say the snow-bound, ‘She shall come with the spring leaping upon the hills.’

And in the summer heat the reapers say, ‘We have seen her dancing with the autumn leaves, and we saw a drift of snow in her hair’

All these things have you said of beauty,

Yet in truth you spoke not of her, but of needs unsatisfied.

And beauty is not a need, but and ecstasy.  It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretching forth,

But rather a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted.  It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,

But rather an image you see though you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.

It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,

But rather a garden forever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.

People of Orphalese, beauty is life, when life unveils her holy face.

But YOU are LIFE and YOU are the VEIL.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.

But YOU are ETERNITY and YOU are the MIRROR.

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Posted in CAT'S LIFE, CAT'S WEEKLY SPIRITUAL COMMENTS, ETHICS AND THE SPIRITUAL LIFESTYLE

The Artisans Have It!

 

Image thanks to virtualtourist.com

Do you ever visit or live in a town with a big artisan population?  I love going to these towns. Just recently, my family and I went up to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland to celebrate my mother’s birthday . We ate some cheese at a boutique cheese factory and enjoyed the views to the ocean from the veranda of the old Mapleton Pub.

The thing that strikes me about artisans is the love they put into their work.  I think it would be a rare artisan who is not in love with their craft.  As we all know, love is so very important in daily life, the expression of love into objects always translates into beauty.  Mother Earth gives us this all the time, with the simplest gifts of flowers and birds, butterflies and beetles.  But humans are also capable of creating love in beauty.

Artisans can teach us so much about working with love. The appreciation for the time they put into their work is unavoidable.  Take a stained glass lamp for example.  The artisan will have stained the glass and sketched a plan, they would have soldered it all together and wired it up.  Time, and love and thought goes into every piece.

How many of you find that this same process goes into your job?  Most of us hate our work and we are only there because it pays the bills.  But what if we were to change our view for just a moment?  What if we were bored out of our brains with our job, but we were to make doing the job a game?  What if we disliked our colleagues, but we were good at our job; couldn’t we play nice and feel the freedom of not being caught up in the office politics?  By putting a little love into our working lives, we too could be like the artisans and find the quality in our work.  You always have a choice and it is your choice to stay in a job that is creating a negative issue in your life.  It is simple to say, ‘no more, I am looking for a new job’. Or, ‘I am going to find out how to learn more, to get into another industry or to climb the corporate ladder’… Or ‘I am going to feel the heart in this job, so I can at least enjoy it while I am here’.

We all have to work, even those who stay at home have to work.  No one gets out of it.  For some of my day I do paid work and for some of my day, I do home duties.  This is because I have kids.  I have to be there for them.  It means I have two jobs.  I am rarely off my feet watching the TV.  Sometimes I hate cooking again or doing the washing again.  But I have chosen to put as much love into the mundane tasks in my day, as the tasks I enjoy.  I love my job, so I put allot of love into that.  I love my family so I put allot of love into the jobs that support them.

Learn from the artisans, work like you love it and love will reward you with beauty. Whatever beauty,  is for you.  Make choices about your work, that suit you and be brave enough to change your attitude to your work.  So as you can begin to love it, until it ends.

I’ll finish this spiritual comment with a quote from my ‘inspirational messages of love cards’

‘Before enlightenment – feed people and wash dishes, after enlightenment – feed people and wash dishes.

The mundane does not have to be dreary, if you put a little love into it.