Skip to main content

Top Post

Here comes and goes another full moon

This blog post has been left in draft since mid-July, the month of the Buck or Thunder Moon, which was also a Supermoon. One of those opportunities to keep quiet and let the view take over, or publish a couple of good photographs. For anyone interested in a minute timeline of lunar appearances, there's always  Moontimes.app

Beauty within, beauty without


"Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite" is a wonderful book by Robert Kurzban and the site where you can read a bit about it has a great URL too: https://www.hypocrisybook.com.

It is all about evolution and the mind that has different compartments, creating this apparently terrible habit of noticing inconsistencies in all but ourselves.

As our mind is a kind of cabinet with many drawers and some of them are full of junk and others of exquisite art objects, things can look a bit incongruous.

Our inner balance depends on ignoring the co-existence of junk and art and happily thinking of the whole cabinet as a solid piece of furniture.  This is of course a bit of a simplistic review of the book and the theory behind it, but it serves the purpose of my own theory: that physical beauty is our greatest source of hypocrisy.


If there is a drawer that very few people dare to open, let alone examine its contents, that is the drawer of our looks. The real physical appearance, not the glossed-over one, either through fantasising or as a result of dishonest compliments.

Some people look good and a few really good. The vast majority have mediocre looks, for lack of a less harsh word. That's fine, nature does not condone exceptionalism and mankind has survived so far  within normal limits of attractiveness.


Nevertheless, as soon as the topic of physical beauty comes up, in a public debate or in the conversation between a man and a woman, a weird thing happens. Outward beauty elicits a moral high ground reaction, and inner beauty is readily invoked as the real stuff.

It's not the looks that count, it's the character, the soul or some other intangible quality. It's all skin deep, we need to see beyond appearances and so on.

No, we do not. We'd be better off if we admitted that physical beauty, a result of successful gene pairing, good food in infancy and not too much sun, is liable to wake up envy.
That's normal too. Is there anyone who would honestly refuse to be touched by a magic wand if that would make them really beautiful? Hypocrites would probably say no.

Beauty within is different from beauty without, but the two do not clash. The former should not be viewed as the rightful recipient of admiration, while excellent physical attributes would somehow be indecent and undesirable.

There is room for everyone under the sun, they say. There must be then room for all kinds of beauty in an individual human being. Somehow, as we notice when we are not too infatuated with ourselves or devoured by envy, the sum of it all stays the same throughout our life.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Time -out for kids? How about time- in?

Prequel (as they say in the movie industry): a few days after publishing this post, I came across an advertisement   that contained the very idea I had written about. Actually the very phrase, 'time-in'. Synchronicity is very real. Glad to find out others think the same. The missing toy Child has a tantrum. Child starts screaming. Parent has no idea why and prosecutorial interrogation does not work.  "Why are you shouting? Why are you not listening? Why?" Most adults don't have any trouble explaining why they are moody, irritable or simply unpleasant. "I'm stressed" is the generic label for a variety of deeper feelings and emotions, as well as pure biological reasons, such as lack of sleep. Are grown-ups being told to have a time-out when they behave like their children? God forbid, they're grown-ups. Kids are not basketball players. Time-out, shouted by the coach and meant to break a free fall in players' tactics and successive mistakes, is

We are all window dressers now

 It used to be the Sunday morning rush, tidying up the front-room, sweeping, dusting, plumping up cushions. Guests would arrive soon and we had to present them with an acceptable environment, avoid post-visit gossip. It is every day now, having guests coming into the digital front rooms of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all the others. Eyes are greedy and attention flickers between the best-looking vase in the house filled up with fresh flowers, always fresh, and a small unidentifiable shiny object. Glass of wine or cup of coffee, a couple of books, immaculate surroundings, good lighting provided by a smartphone's camera.  Does it matter that this camera is equipped with something called High Dynamic Range (HDR)? Oh well, it does. Unruly pixels and impossible contrasts are tamed into a picture that looks good, forever. Is this Feng shui in tidbits?  Faced with the impossibility of clearing the mess in every nook and cranny of life, we may find comfort in posting beautiful photos.

Why are cats so popular? It's envy, guys

  Question of the day: how come cats are so popular on every social media platform?   Answer of the day: popularity is just disguised envy. Cat owners, more acutely, and the rest less affected, due to lower exposure, all wish they were like cats. Free, independent, vaguely domesticated. Doing what they please, when they feel like it, and unflinching when confronted with an obstacle. All of the above has been already said, written and read many times. I claim discovering the feeling behind general fascination with cats.  Envy, that is. Without going all biblical about it, let us agree envy is one constant layer of human composition. This one ingredient is lurking behind an adoring gaze: if only we could be like cats.