Chapter Two

The Tao Te Ching, Chapter Two, says:

“If everyone understands the beautiful as beauty, it is ugly.”

I was not particularly thinking about the concept of beauty, less so am I to venture to talk about aesthetics. I am not thinking of absolute beauty as well, as in those grand scheme of things like “Truth”, “God”, etc. (or maybe it is related somehow). I am just thinking of what is beautiful in the general way, the way we usually use it in our day to day life.

What prompted me to think about this was what I mentioned in my previous entry on “Initial D” where I said I do not know exactly what made me love the movie.

Is the following not a usual scenario any guy would have experienced at some point in their life?

Boyfriend: I love you

Girlfriend: What is it about me that you love?

Boyfriend: Errmmmm…. I dunno, but I just love you

Girlfriend: How can you not know what you love about me and say you love me?

Boyfriend (now got the hint): Hmmm…. I love your beautiful eyes, they shine like the stars. I love your cute little nose. I particularly love your little mouth, that small curl at the end of your lips, and your cute rabbit tooth.

Girlfriend: I love you too.

Boyfriend: *quiet*


You see, the boyfriend will think that he just told a lie. Not that he lied about those features, but he really does not know what particularly he loves about the girl. Sometimes, when we dissect something into its parts, each part can be really “ugly” by normal standards but when put together, add in the character and personality, everything seem to match perfectly!

The opposite is also true. Even more true and more sad. We see some people always trying to fix a particular aspect of themselves in the hope that if all the parts are beautiful, the whole will be beautiful. Unfortunately, it does not work like that.

So, really, it is quite hard to point out exactly what is beautiful about something. Deep and intellectual analysis is merely a poor way to try to understand and explain it. When we encounter great beauty, the best thing to do is to admire it in a certain silence.

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