Monday, 27 September 2010

This Ugly, Beautiful World

Among the many abstract, virtually meaningless words people like to throw around without any real consideration as to what they're saying, we find words such as 'love', but also 'beauty'. What is beauty, really? When we say that something or someone is 'beautiful', what is it that we are saying? Can we really say that something makes 'something' beautiful, or should we say that particular processes, accumulations of previous input into our squishy brains causes us to express a particular preference for certain types of input, be it visual, auditory or a mixture? Since nature couldn't care less about 'beauty', my vote is definitely on the latter.

This all means that to consider something beautiful one has to link positive impressions to certain combinations or expressions of shapes, colours, sounds and such. Something is considered to be 'ugly' when it has virtually only negative impressions linked with it. In other words, it's totally, absolutely relative and will differ per culture and individual. Yet, it is important.

When I first started to withdraw into myself when I was about five years old, it largely disabled my emotional side, preventing it from developing itself and causing the parts which had developed to more or less wither away. This gave me a chance to experience the world during the following fifteen years without any interference from my emotional side, which essentially is what gives us our sense of 'beauty'.

All I saw back then was what could be improved, where things were adequate or lacking, what made sense in a logical way or what didn't. I didn't 'enjoy' anything, as I could only classify things into more and less perfect representations of something, including people. I saw the world without this filter people have of 'beauty' and 'ugliness'. I'm not sure I liked it.

Then, only about six years ago I got out of this withdrawal, began to develop my emotional side, noticed that I could actually enjoy simple things like sitting in the garden with the birds singing their songs around me with the smells of summer clearly present. That's also when a lot of negative experiences began to happen.

You say 'love', I think 'suffering'. You say 'beautiful' and I think 'sadness' and 'death'. Through my experiences I have learned to always expect things to end up hurting physically, emotionally or both. The only place in this world I think is still beautiful is this place of innocence deep inside our minds, the place where we concern ourselves with learning about the secrets of the universe, and where we can enjoy small things such as a cup of tea on a summer's day, or just admire the innocence others have put into for example a Hello Kitty plushie. There's just such a lack of bias, of pain, of human corruption in these things that it's so very sad that we can not experience it more often.

Yesterday I thought that the world had turned really ugly all of a sudden. Having one's experiences that day feeling discordant and somehow wrong. Feeling unwelcome and out of place. Longing for people to recognize and acknowledge one's accomplishments, yet not finding it. Everything felt grey, cold and unforgiving.

Cycling home after my time at the pool, I couldn't stop thinking about how cold and ugly the world around me was. Everything about it felt wrong. Arriving home and getting off my bike I could barely stand on my legs from the mental assault. I spent most of the afternoon recuperating in bed; sleeping, reading, crying, contemplating suicide. All because the ugly in this world sometimes really overwhelms the beautiful part.

I'd like to see this beautiful side of the world some day.


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