What Is the Criterion of Beauty?


5266

Studies have shown that beautiful people, those seen as being attractive, are more successful, so can beauty also be empirical? What is the criterion of beauty, and is the appearance of outer beauty always just a reflection of the inner?

“The outer beauty comes from a different source than the inner. The outer beauty comes from your father and mother: their bodies create your body. But the inner beauty comes from your own growth of consciousness that you are carrying from many lives.

“In your individuality both are joined, the physical heritage from your father and mother and the spiritual heritage of your own past lives, its consciousness, its bliss, its joy.

“So it is not absolutely necessary that the outer will be a reflection of the inner, nor will vice versa be true, that the inner will correspond with the outer.

“But sometimes it happens that your inner beauty is so much, your inner light is so much that it starts radiating from your outer body. Your outer body may not be beautiful, but the light that comes from your sources, your innermost sources of eternal life, will make even a body which is not beautiful in the ordinary sense appear beautiful, radiant.

“But vice versa it is never true. Your outer beauty is only skin-deep. It cannot affect your inner beauty. On the contrary the outer beauty becomes a hindrance in search of the inner: you become too identified with the outer. Who is going to look for the inner sources? Most often it happens that the people who are outwardly very beautiful, are inwardly very ugly. Their outer beauty becomes a cover-up to hide themselves behind, and it is experienced by millions of people every day. You fall in love with a woman or a man, because you can see only the outer. And just within a few days you start discovering his inner state; it doesn’t correspond to his outer beauty. On the contrary it is very ugly.

“For example, Alexander the Great had a very beautiful body but he killed millions of people, just to fulfill his ego that he is the world conqueror. He met one man, Diogenes, when he was on his way to India, who lived naked, the only man in Greece who did, unique in a way. His beauty was tremendous, not just the outer, but the inner radiance was so much and so dazzling that even Alexander had to stop his armies when he was close by in a forest near a river. He stopped the armies and went to see Diogenes alone; alone, because he did not want anybody to know that there exists a man who is far more beautiful than Alexander himself.

“It was early morning and Diogenes was taking a sunbath, naked on the riverbank. Alexander could not believe that a beggar…. He had nothing, no possessions – even Buddha used to have a begging bowl, but that too Diogenes had thrown away. He was absolutely without any possessions, exactly as he was born, naked.

“Alexander could not believe his eyes. He had never seen such a beautiful personality and he could see that this beauty was not just on the outer side. Something infiltrated from the inner; a subtle radiation, a subtle aura surrounded him. All around him there was a fragrance, a silence.

“If the inner becomes beautiful – which is in your hands – the outer will have to mold itself according to the inner. The outer is not essential, it will have to reflect the inner in some way.

“But the converse is not true at all. You can have plastic surgery, you can have a beautiful face, beautiful eyes, a beautiful nose; you can change your skin; you can change your shape. That is not going to change your being. Inside you will still remain greedy, full of lust, violence, anger, rage, jealousy, with a tremendous will to power. All these things the plastic surgeon can do nothing about.

“For that you will need a different kind of surgery. It is happening here: you are on the table. As you become more and more meditative, peaceful, a deep at-onement with existence happens. You fall into the rhythm of the universe. The universe also has its own heartbeat. Your heartbeat, once it starts in rhythm with the universal heartbeat, will have transformed your being from that ugly stage of animality, into authentic humanity.

“And even the human is not the end. You can go on searching deeper and there is a place where you transcend humanity and something of the divine enters in you. Once the divine is there, it is almost like a light in a dark house. The windows will start showing the light; even the cracks in the wall or the roof or the doors will start showing the inner light.

“The inner is tremendously powerful, the outer is very weak. The inner is eternal, the outer is very temporary. How many years do you remain young? And as youth fades away you start feeling that you are becoming ugly, unless your inner being is also growing with your age. Then even in your old age you will have a beauty that the youth may feel jealous of.”

Osho, Sat Chit Anand, Talk #27