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My Quest for Beauty

My Quest for Beauty

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Published by Paul Schumann
Rollo May was an existential psychologist and a philosopher. In My Quest for Beauty, May wrote, "Poincare, the great contemporary mathematician, sounds like Plato when he asks the question of how new mathematical discoveries are made. Then he answers,
'The useful combinations are precisely the most beautiful, I mean those best able to charm this special sensibility that all mathematicians know...But only certain ones are harmonious, consequently, at once useful and beautiful.'
Writing about Shiller, May comments, "...we best let him speak for himself.
'Beauty alone confers happiness on all, and under its influence every being forgets that he is limited.'
Shiller hastens to add that this forgetting is temporary, however, for the sense of limitations is crucial to our creating beauty. We actually create beauty out of the endeavor to come to terms with the paradox on the one hand of freedom and on the other of destiny. Our limits come from both nature and spirit, finite and infinite, objective and subjective."
Rollo May was an existential psychologist and a philosopher. In My Quest for Beauty, May wrote, "Poincare, the great contemporary mathematician, sounds like Plato when he asks the question of how new mathematical discoveries are made. Then he answers,
'The useful combinations are precisely the most beautiful, I mean those best able to charm this special sensibility that all mathematicians know...But only certain ones are harmonious, consequently, at once useful and beautiful.'
Writing about Shiller, May comments, "...we best let him speak for himself.
'Beauty alone confers happiness on all, and under its influence every being forgets that he is limited.'
Shiller hastens to add that this forgetting is temporary, however, for the sense of limitations is crucial to our creating beauty. We actually create beauty out of the endeavor to come to terms with the paradox on the one hand of freedom and on the other of destiny. Our limits come from both nature and spirit, finite and infinite, objective and subjective."

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Published by: Paul Schumann on May 20, 2011
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My Quest for Beauty
Paul SchumannRollo May
1
was an existential psychologist and a philosopher.
In My Quest for Beauty 
,
May wrote
,
 "Poincare
,
the great contemporary mathematician
,
sounds like Plato when he asks the question of hownew mathematical discoveries are made. Then he answers
,
 
'The useful combinations are precisely the most beautiful, I mean those best able to charm thisspecial sensibility that all mathematicians know...But only certain ones are harmonious,consequently, at once useful and beautiful.' 
W
riting about Shiller
,
May comments
,
"...we best let him speak for himself.
'Beauty alone confers happiness on all, and under its influence every being forgets that he islimited.' 
Shiller hastens to add that this forgetting is temporary
,
however
,
for the sense of limitations is crucial toour creating beauty.
W
e actually create beauty out of the endeavor to come to terms with the paradoxon the one hand of freedom and on the other of destiny. Our limits come from both nature and spirit
,
 finite and infinite
,
objective and subjective."May agrees with Shiller that beauty is born in play. "Play is the one activity where the fusion of innervision and objective facts is achieved. Out of this comes the living form which is beauty. This living formis vital
,
alive
,
dynamic; and at the same time it gives serenity and repose..."May remarks
,
"Artists wrestle with fate in the endeavor to make objective their inner subjective vision."And
,
in order to do that people must be psychologically healthy. Beauty is a result of creativity that isdriven by the engine of paradox
,
the duality of opposites (finite/infinite
,
life/death
,
yin/yang
,
right/leftbrain). "Death is the mother of beauty"
,
wrote
W
allace Stevens."Thus creativity brings together what Freud summed up as the two purposes of life: to love and to work.(Otto) Rank was only going further than Freud by pointing out that both of these
,
love and work
,
areaspects of creativity."May later writes
,
"Let us explore the human mind as it engages in the creative act. The capacity tocreate - which we all have
,
although to varying degrees - is essentially the ability to find form in chaos
,
tocreate form where there is only formlessness. This is what leads to beauty
,
for beauty is that form.
1
Rollo May was an American existential psychologist. He authored the influential book
L
ove and Will 
during 1969.He is often associated with both humanistic psychology and existentialist philosophy. May was a close friend of thetheologian Paul Tillich. His works include
L
ove and Will 
and
The Courage to Create
,
the latter title honoring Tillich's
The Courage to Be
.
W
ikipedia 
 
2
 Paul Schumann
,
 paschumann
200
9@gmail.com
,
 http://insights-foresight.blogspot.com Beauty reveals a form in the universe - the harmony of the spheres
,
as Kepler called it. It is a form whichis present in the circling of the planets. It is a form which is felt in the curves and balance of our ownbodies. And it is present especially in the way we see the world
,
for we form and reform the world in thevery act of perceiving it. The imagination to do this is one of the elements that make us human beings."But what is form? "Form is a pattern
,
an image and an order given to what would otherwise simply bechaos. Form is the nonmaterial structure of our lives
,
on the basis of which we live and on which webase our own particular character." Henry Miller wrote of creative people that they want "to make of the chaos about them an order that is their own."In another seeming paradox
,
May points out that "the form dictates the content."
W
e select a form"because the content can best be formed out of the chaos" and put into "whatever form seems to fit.""Form"
,
he continues
,
"is nonmaterial
,
and has its existence only as things are related to other things."
W
riting about Pythagoras
,
he explains
,
"he held that the fundamental element (of the universe) was nosubstance at all
,
but was really the form in which everything in nature is related to everything else."At a personal level
,
our own quest for beauty through our creativity gives us grace. May writes
,
 "Creativity gives us grace in the sense that it is balm for our anxiety and a relief from our alienation. It isgrace by virtue of its power to reconcile us to our deepest selves
,
to lead us to our own depths whereprimary and secondary functions are unified. Here the right brain and the left brain work together isseeing the wholeness of the world."Chaos is essential for creativity and thus beauty. Too much order will stifle creativity. The role of theartist changes depending upon the environment. If too much chaos exists
,
the artist creates new order.If too much order exists
,
the role of the artist is to create chaos.If you have any doubt about beauty being a serious objective of any undertaking
,
listen to what RolloMay has to say. "Beauty is the experience that gives us a sense of joy and a sense of peacesimultaneously. Other happenings give us joy and afterwards a peace
,
but in beauty these are the sameexperience. Beauty is serene and at the same time exhilarating; it increases one's sense of being alive.Beauty gives us not only a feeling of wonder; it imparts to us at the same moment timelessness
,
arepose - which why we speak of beauty as being eternal.Beauty is the mystery which enchants us. Like all higher experiences of being human
,
beauty is dynamic;its sense of repose
,
paradoxically
,
is never dead
,
and if it seems to be dead
,
it is no longer beauty."Innovation commons
,
as well as other open
,
collaborative systems
,
are by their very nature chaoticsystems. The goal is to find the order in the chaos through the individual and collective creativity of itsmembers. This will happen if their is a shared vision
,
will and significance in the group. The balance of order and chaos is extremely important
,
as well as the timing of that balance
,
which should change frommore chaotic to more ordered over time
,
or else the effort will not be productive. The group has tocollectively and individually be on a quest for beauty
,
in addition to functionality
,
in order to avoidbuilding a termite mound.

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