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8 Nov 2010

Beauty as Power

Looking at beauty as power is important in understanding and appreciating intuitive approaches because it dramatically expands the influences and solutions we see. However, as I mentioned in the A Blue Heron Instructs on Patience, we tend to be prejudiced toward action; therefore, we will often overlook beauty as power because it’s not an active force. Thus, it helps if we initially think of beauty as attractive because the verb “attract” implies some kind of active force.

For example, suppose we saw a metal ball rolling on a level table toward a wall. We might initially think that there was something about the ball that caused movement. However, suppose later we find out that a powerful magnet was implanted in the wall. Now, we begin to see the wall as the active force.

Another problem we tend to have is that we look at beauty very superficially, as something physically feminine. However, beauty can exist in anything, including intangible things. For instance, consider the movie A Beautiful Mind; also consider the attraction of beautiful ideas, prices, cars, paintings, formulae, advertisements, parks, scenery, etc. Anything that attracts us has some level of beauty in it; even power is beautiful to many.

So, if a car dealer stocks his showroom with a car that he knows is likely to attract us enough to buy it, who is really applying the active force: the buyer or the dealer? Similarly, when the Indians attracted General George Custer into the trap on Battle of Little Big Horn because he thought he had a beautiful opportunity to defeat them, who was playing the active force: Custer who rushed in or the Indians who created the attractive situation?

Series NavigationBeauty as Power (Pt 2): Attraction vs. Beauty >>

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