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Beauty, Vulnerability & Transformation of Heart | Physically Spiritual 115

This episode of Physically Spiritual concludes the series, The Macronutrients of the Soul, by exploring beauty and how our defenselessness against beauty opens the door for beauty to save the world.

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0:30 Beauty Will Save the World

3:15 Scientific Evidence of the Effect of Beauty

6:00 Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder?

10:00 The Beauty of Creation

15:15 The Beauty of Persons

21:15 Beauty in Art

29:00 Finding the Whimsical Shoot of Beauty


Macronutrients of the Soul Series

Goodness, Evil & the Gift of Delight -

“Dostoyevsky once let drop an enigmatic remark: “Beauty will save the world.” What is this? For a long time it seemed to me simply a phrase. How could this be possible? When in the bloodthirsty process of history did beauty ever save anyone, and from what? Granted, it ennobled, it elevated—but whom did it ever save? There is, however, a particular feature in the very essence of beauty—a characteristic trait of art itself: The persuasiveness of a true work of art is completely irrefutable; it prevails even over a resisting heart.” Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture, 1970. -

Studies Quoted About the Effects of Beauty

Chanda, M. L., & Levitin, D. J. (2013). “The Neurochemistry of Music”. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17(4), 179-193. -

Berman, M. G., Jonides, J., & Kaplan, S. (2008). “The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature”. Psychological Science, 19(12), 1207-1212. -

Roe, J. J., & Aspinall, P. A. (2010). “The Restorative Benefits of Walking in Urban and Rural Settings in Adults with Good and Poor Mental Health”. Health & Place, 17(1), 103-113.

Hartig, T., Mitchell, R., de Vries, S., & Frumkin, H. (2014). “Nature and Health”. Annual Review of Public Health, 35, 207-228. -

“beauty includes three conditions, "integrity" or "perfection," since those things which are impaired are by the very fact ugly; due "proportion" or "harmony"; and lastly, "brightness" or "clarity," whence things are called beautiful which have a bright color.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I.39.8 -

“For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author, by analogy, is seen.” Wisdom 13: 5 -

“The beauty of the universe: The order and harmony of the created world results from the diversity of beings and from the relationships which exist among them. Man discovers them progressively as the laws of nature. They call forth the admiration of scholars. The beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator and ought to inspire the respect and submission of man's intellect and will.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 341. -

“All creatures bear a certain resemblance to God, most especially man, created in the image and likeness of God. The manifold perfections of creatures - their truth, their goodness, their beauty all reflect the infinite perfection of God. Consequently we can name God by taking his creatures' perfections as our starting point, "for from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator". Catechism of the Catholic Church, 41. -

“Your adornment should not be an external one: braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or dressing in fine clothes, but rather the hidden character of the heart, expressed in the imperishable beauty of a gentle and calm disposition, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3: 3-4 -

"The beauty of the images moves me to contemplation, as a meadow delights the eyes and subtly infuses the soul with the glory of God." Similarly, the contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration so that the mystery celebrated is imprinted in the heart's memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1162. -

“So perhaps the old trinity of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty is not simply the decorous and antiquated formula it seemed to us at the time of our self confident materialistic youth. If the tops of these three trees do converge, as thinkers used to claim, and if the all too obvious and the overly straight sprouts of Truth and Goodness have been crushed, cut down, or not permitted to grow, then perhaps the whimsical, unpredictable, and ever surprising shoots of Beauty will force their way through and soar up to that very spot, thereby fulfilling the task of all three And then no slip of the tongue but a prophecy would be contained in Dostoyevsky’s words: “Beauty will save the world.” For it was given to him to see many things; he had astonishing flashes of insight.” Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture, 1970. -

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