Peter Mayer tagged posts

Editing the Buddha: (Musical) Notes on the Beautiful and Holy

It’s a hard life we lead, no one able to stand apart from or rise above the suffering that snags us—or at least snips at our heels—in one way or other at every turn. That said, beauty exists, too, as valid and true and eternal as the suffering we endure. So at the considerable risk of editing the Buddha, I am proposing a little add-on to the First Noble Truth—“Life is suffering”—that would go something like: “Life is suffering—and beauty.” (Indeed, we can even put the two together in noting that many people suffer intensely for beauty. Another name for these people: “artists.”)

True, the capacity to appreciate beauty can be suppressed or waylaid when one is in the throes of intense physical pain or depression, but the beautiful things of the world, their sense of sacramentality we discussed here several weeks ago, also act as a balm, a healing agent, a gateway to the holy...

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