Discourse on Inner Beauty
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.” – Roald Dahl
Seeker: Kindly elaborate on the quote.
Maladkar: Physical beauty of a person will fade one day, but a beautiful mind will always be immortal. A person is truly beautiful by way of thoughts and not by way of body. A physical make over can make an ugly duckling into a swan but how can you do mental make over. It is not completely possible to cover up your mind. Roger Scruton so aptly said, “Beauty is vanishing from our world because we live as though it did not matter.” We have actually forgotten that beauty matters, especially mental beauty. A person is truly beautiful when s/he is beautiful, both from inside and outside. Yet we do not give importance as much to the mind as we do to the body. We have lost the art of caring for our mind. We are so lost in a materialistic world, that the world beyond physical is invisible to us. We have become arrogant, high-handed individuals and have forgotten the original inner beauty of the mind that we are born with. As our experiences shape us, so do we behave with the outside world, forgetting our innate nature that we are born with. We allow the world to color us, we allow the world to place a mask on us. I am reminded of the Icarus Complex in which a person becomes highly ambitious and tends to forget his basic nature. Such a person is sure to face doom. There is an interesting story behind this complex. It is a story of Icarus who was gifted wings by his father Daedalus. Daedalus made his son’s wings from feathers and wax but warned him that he should not fly too near the sea or too near the sun. Flying near the sea will dampen his wings and flying near the sun will melt his wings. But Icarus ignored his father’s warning and forgot that he should not fly too close to the sun. Naturally, the wings melted and he tumbled into the sea. What the story teaches us, first of all is ‘not to fly close to the sun’. ‘Sun’ can represent an ‘authority’ in our day to day life. An ambitious person tends to be as much close to the authority as possible. So one should learn to keep good reasonable distance from a person of authority and not take him for granted. That way we can be saved from being burnt out. Being overtly ambitious can be self damaging and self destructing. Secondly the story points out that any arrogant behavior is harmful to a person. In that arrogance we forget to listen to wise counsel given by others and then that can bring about doom. We lose our humbleness, the humility needed to listen to others advice. We feel we are the supreme of all that we survey. Here lies the importance of a beautiful mind, for when the mind is beautiful then naturally a person will listen to others. He will not be arrogant and he will maintain respect for all around him. Jalaluddin Rumi so rightly said, “Do you know what you are ? You are a manuscript of a divine letter / You are a mirror reflecting a noble face / This universe is not outside of you / Look inside yourself, everything that you want, you are already that.” So as a divine entity how can you stoop so low that you become arrogant. You are ultimately answerable to the Universal Consciousness. Never be like Icarus and burn your wings. Let your inner beauty shine through in all that you do. Then you will never be an ugly person but always be beautiful as you spread the fragrance of your being for welfare of others.