In the eye of the beholder?
That’s what some people think. I believe that beauty is universal. A powerful attractor, like the north to a compass, or daylight to a flower.
Beauty is not a social agreement; it is a natural phenomenon, a quality that we can sense around us, through shapes, sound, colour, or even a moment of no-thing. Beauty follows certain proportions, which can be found in ancient islamic mosaics or today’s fractal computer simulations. Throughout the centuries humans have searched, and expressed their wonder for the dynamics of continuous creation. Scientists, philosophers, artists and spiritual leaders in cultures all around the world have recognized and replicated the geometry of nature. Looking for Truth, they often found Beauty.
We all know the experience of beauty. Seeing, hearing, touching beauty gives a sense of deep joy. Some would even call this transcendence, or a notion of connection and universal understanding. In any case, being surrounded by beauty – and acting out of beauty – makes us feel alive, open, connected.
Beauty can be expressed by anything. Tangible or intangible, thing or relationship. Our economy is a system of mind or matter, products and services, transactions and the underlying relations. Within this system, beauty can be anywhere, just as ugliness. It is in both the outcome and the process of everything we do.
If a process of production isn’t beautiful, the outcome will never be. It may carry the qualities of carelessness, violence or exploitation. On the other hand, if a product is produced with care, time, attention and respect, it will carry the quality of beauty.
A beautiful economy is a values system that recognises the need for health and integrity, and uses harmony and healthy relationship as a compass for every single step of development.
See also: The Art of Economy