“Knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or not, we always seek Beauty. In fact, we might say that we don’t even seek God – that we actually, secretly, seek Beauty, because it is the most perceptible, experientially available communion with God.”
Every joy – however fleeting, however intense – one way or another, is an expression of Ananda. When we speak of these fundamental qualities of the Absolute [Truth, Auspiciousness, Beauty], the quality of Beauty is the only one available to perception. It is the only tangible aspect of the Self that can be experienced amidst daily life, and this is what makes it so formidable and accessible at the same time. It is available throughout and permeates all of creation. This is why we crave beauty, in whatever way.
But what is Beauty? Beauty is an indispensable aspect of the Absolute, as our Awareness. It’s the substratum. Beauty here is that which is an expression of the experience of Ananda. Ananda and Beauty are synonymous in this respect. The true experience of Beauty is a spontaneous but powerful wave which takes over the sense of separate identity, even if temporarily. Beauty is open to all the senses, and is beyond the experience of the senses.
There is the beauty of a child’s face, of a young woman, of an old man, of a tree, of anything that our eye gets captivated by. We experience beauty when there is a direct cognition of the essence of who we are, being reflected back to us through the form that we behold. Artists and poets know this intuitively, even if they will not necessarily be able to explain this. This experience of beauty is not limited to visual form. We can speak of the beauty of a touch, the sense perception. We can speak of the beauty of a sound, the beauty of a fragrance, the beauty of a taste. And from there on, it gets subtler and subtler, as we perceive the beauty of a feeling, or the beauty of a thought.
If we are attentive enough, we can experience directly, very palpably, the beauty of a movement, the beauty of stillness, where everything subsides. In fact, there is no such thing as an experience of nothing, because if nothingness is experienced attentively enough, it is Beauty in its most still and quiescent of ways.
There is beauty in every aspect of the way we are made, if only we pay close enough attention. There is beauty in that which goes unnoticed – like the beauty in the simple act of breathing, in the simple act of walking, in the simple act of sitting. There is beauty in beholding the world with eyes open. There is beauty in beholding the world with eyes closed. All this is steeped in beauty, and conceived in beauty. It is all made for the sake of that experience of beauty. Therefore, knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or not, we always seek Beauty. In fact, we might even say that we don’t even seek God – that we actually, secretly, seek Beauty, because it is the most perceptible, experientially available communion with God. There’s no way to know God so intimately, other than through the experience of Beauty—and intuitively we know it. Therefore, we are always driven to it, and we are driven by it. Because Beauty is the Supreme Form of the Goddess. It is the Shakti Herself in Her full magnificence. And that magnificence is for the sake of Shiva’s enjoyment.
Whenever we experience beauty, our awareness rejoices. Beauty is the most healing and wholesome experience. Nothing is superior to the experience of beauty, and recognizing that truth makes us worshippers of Beauty. When we worship Beauty, inadvertently, at the heart, we worship the most intimate part of ourselves. It is a very comforting, very reassuring understanding, and is equally profound. We crave communion with the Divine, and it is in the experience of beauty that we find the most direct communion with the Divine. This is the path of aesthetic rapture. This is known as camatkāra. It is the perpetual sense of wonder. It is the delight that rises spontaneously from the void of the heart, from the core of our being, whenever and wherever we behold beauty in any of its forms. Therefore, seek Beauty, and you will find God.
Fortunately, the experience of beauty does not require any preparation. It doesn’t require any practice—it is direct, immediate, spontaneous and open to all. It is literally the realization that God is here and now, as my eyes, as my ears, as my hands. In every sense perception, there is this union, and this union is here for the sake of the experience of that beauty. All cultures that understood this on any of its levels made it into a leitmotif of their ideals. And it is now, more than ever, that we crave the authentic experience of beauty. Because although beauty is available through any experience, if only the windows of our perception are clear enough, the experience of beauty is often supplanted with the trivial, superficial appeasement of what simply pretends but doesn’t deliver. And so we walk around craving it. Even after the most sumptuous meal, we leave the table with a sense of utter dissatisfaction. This is the way we are living today. This is what our culture, our fragmented culture, has become. Therefore, there is less and less propensity to recognize beauty as it is. Great attempts are made to force that experience. Our culture of entertainment is an attempt to compensate for our lack of attention, for the impurity of our perception.
And yet, even amidst these times, the real experience of beauty is always there, open to all, if only we can tune ourselves to that present moment, whatever that moment is. With that attuning we will not fail to experience beauty as a true union of form and content.
Camatkara: The Hidden Path of Tantra – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDkQxpv1hEc
~Igor Kufayev, artist, Advaita Tantra teacher and founder of the Flowing Wakefulness Fellowship, for over a decade Igor Kufayev has been serving as a conduit of transmission for awakening towards the new era of heart-centered consciousness. Speaking from direct realization of Oneness, he inspires and initiates the recognition of the fullest potential present in human birth. Igor’s involvement with sacred traditions expresses itself as non-intellectual, heart-based illumination. Though his teaching methods are rooted in Kashmir Shaiva Tantras, he maintains that tradition is not a set of esoteric doctrines, but a vibrant field of creative intelligence enlivened in the hearts of those who go through this transformative process firsthand. Having gone through the furnace of alchemical transmutation, Igor emphasizes the neurophysiological nature of Self-realization, seeing the process as progressive untangling of the dynamic force, which gives rise to Gnosis. With a team of companions, Igor is working on creating centers for spiritual regeneration as facilities for research in consciousness and creative self-expression, with bases in Europe and California. He travels extensively offering gatherings and retreats worldwide. Igor, his partner, Amrita Ma Devi, and their two children reside in Mallorca, Spain. www.IgorKufayev.com
Excellence Reporter 2019 ©Igor Kufayev