I have been pondering about this question, what is beauty. There are many opinions out there, probably more than many. What would define this complex, yet very personal word, beauty?
One definition that has been going around for quite some time is: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This would allude to the paradigm that each person defines what is beautiful within themselves. If you were to run this out all the way it would be like saying that freedom is being able to do whatever the heck you want no matter what anyone else has to say about it. Somehow, I know that freedom means something way more wonderful than anarchy. I believe that beauty also is much more wonderful than anyone’s opinion about the object in question.
In ancient times, design and artwork evolved into templated patterns of what was culturally popular, very much like styles and genres of today. If you look at each culture, such as the Egyptian, or Greek, you can identify characteristic modes that make them unique.
Egyptian Wall Art
They are both beautiful however, and to some, one more so that the other in opinion. In their day, artists would study form, and apply it to what would function, with the most pleasing results. Greek temples were refined over hundreds of years into what we now call classic architecture.
Greek Orthodox Temple
The human eye does not perceive straight lines in perspective and depths of large buildings. The Greek architects learned to distort long lines into slightly concave shapes, which enhanced the human perception of straightness. Columns were also formulated into
strict orders of measurement, based on what would not only function but also be elegant and pleasing to behold. This system is called “entasis”.
Parthenon Replica in Nashville, Tenessee
Pyramids also evolved from early attempts of trial and error, to the refined shape that has stood the test of eons of time.
Great Pyramid of Cheops
Basically, beauty flows from function. If there is no function, the reality of its appeal becomes whimsical. When God created the earth and all of its fullness, He breathed His beauty in everything from what its purpose was in design. If you look at a tree, you will notice that its trunk is big enough to support its branches, and the branches, the twigs and leaves, then add snow and high winds, and you have the functional design paradigm of that organism. Each part is just the right size to function for its purpose, no bigger or smaller. When this functional design balance comes together, it not only exists, but is beautiful. It is that way because God created it to function with a purpose.
Everything God created has a purpose, and within each creature, there is beauty infused from God, by His amazing design.
When God created humanity, he gave us an ability to create our own beauty. God gave us minds and hearts that could visualize and construct beautiful works of art and architecture. This is why we love beauty, we endeavor to bring it through our very nature. In its purest form this is what we call worship to the one who is beautiful. We bring our most fervent offering, because God is so worthy of our very best, living surrender and supplication.
We know also about darkness and its prince. He of course is a very sorry figure indeed. We should have no sympathy for him, however. Satan can not create beauty. He has been thrust out of God’s presence to dwell on the earth and below. He is the prince of the power of the air, and his objective is to mar whatever God loves, with vindictiveness. Satan can only twist and deform what God has created, to distract and tempt as many as he possibly can. His objective is to cause people to focus on the creature, and worship that, instead of the creator who lives forever enthroned in heaven. Satan’s hook is to cause addiction and enslavement to desires surrounding his distorted and perverted objects of enticement. The enemy of our soul seeks to wow us with his deformed image of beauty. The world projects its image in ever magnified and amplified attempts to ensnare our hearts. The usual manner of distortion elevates what is lovely into something hyper, it causes and encourages lust and self gratification as opposed to worship and adoration of our Heavenly Father. We also know that this deviated worship is called sin, and it leaves us empty and leads us into death.
Of everything that God created on the earth, His final and masterpiece stroke of all was the beauty He gave to Eve. The woman is truly the most beautiful form in all of the universe. I speak as a man when I say this, but I think that when God presented Eve to Adam, he must have said….. Wo….man! that’s what I like! In that moment, there was this pure and delicious sinless appreciation for what God had done. I’m sure that Adam was so thankful to God and worshipped Him for having Eve as a companion. The most wonderful truth about Eve’s beauty is that the outside pales to what lies within. Only through the smile and brightness of the eyes does it really show. The way it looks on the outside is wonderful, yes, but only because of the inside. I can’t even begin to describe how perfect God displayed his design of beauty through woman.
The enemy has taken the form of the feminine and twisted it into something quite alarming. I’m sorry to say that any warm blooded man would find it very hard to avoid the enemy’s strategy to bring this twisted form of beauty before their eyes. We have the Holy Spirit warring along with us to keep our hearts directed toward God. The awful truth is that women are hurt even more by this elevation of twisted beauty. Instead of the emphasis of beauty from within, the world focuses on the external. The image of this picture is enhanced to a form that very few can emulate. Great pressure is applied for conformation to the image. Many torture themselves to approach the demand on the external “idol” of beauty.
Enough of what darkness does! God wants us to display His beauty to a lost world which is consumed with idolatry. God is beauty. When we have His heart, our attitude will reflect that beauty. When we operate and function as God has created us, it is beautiful. This is in deed our very call to worship! To give ourselves as living sacrifices. There are so many unique callings and gifts in everyone. The way that each unique expression emerges is truly beautiful, when it is offered to God, for His pleasure and joy. Our true act of worship is how we live each minute and manifest a heavenly attitude toward whatever comes our way!
I try to do this in what I do. I must say that I try, and sometimes fail quite miserably. The ones that know this are the one’s that love me the most. They also know that I’m trying, and they give me room to be a jerk sometimes. It is amazing to have people who love you! It is more amazing to have a Father in heaven that cares eternally and unwaveringly for you. We are such blessed people, who have been connected to God through Jesus Christ. It is not by our goodness, but by His mercy that we even have this position of being God’s children, wow, that’s deep.
Our heart for Moriah Guitarworks is to bring whatever beauty we can to the world for God’s attention and credit. The forms that flow from our workbench have been drenched in love and adoration for Him who is beautiful. We are doing it for Him, it is our pleasure to do so. I would say and hope also that many will benefit from our effort. Very much like I benefit from the offerings in song by many gifted musicians, or painters brushing color onto canvas. It makes me want to reach up to heaven and thank God for being so wonderful, to be part of this amazing universe that He created for us to enjoy Him. So, when someone asks me what beauty is, I’ll say it is to behold Him.