Solomon Katz: BEAUTY — The Fragrance of God


Imagine you are walking along a street in town, or along a path through field or forest far from the ways of women and men, and you catch a scent in the air; there is a fragrance which is unexpected but strong, sweet, and delicious, (it could be lilac, honeysuckle or beach plum in bloom), and you wish to discover the scent, to find its source in the flower.

You follow in the direction of the fragrance as it becomes stronger, sweeter, more delicious still, searching through the interwoven greenery, sensing from the deepening scent yourself getting close. 

Finally you find the flower, (many bees may be humming there), you lift up a sprig and inhale deeply; the scent is sweet, intoxicating; your head swoons slightly with delight.

The world is the Fragrance of God.  The world wafts into space from its source in the divine.

Trusting the guidance that leads you, trace the fragrance of the world to its source; go in the direction where reality grows stronger, allowing yourself to become intoxicated as you go, as you inhale more of the deepening fragrance of reality, knowing that the fragrance always expresses the divine character of the source from which it emanates.

Let your own heart sing for you need no other song.
Yours is the beauty for which the sun rises.
Yours is the beauty the stars attend.
Yours is the beauty for which winter compromises,
the fields wave,
the waves rush,
and the rushes bend.
Yours is the beauty the worlds have come to celebrate.


~Excerpt from Beauty as a State of Being, by Solomon Katz. Reprinted with permission.


Head ShotA child of Holocaust survivors, Solomon Katz was fluent in the Jewish tradition and biblical Hebrew at an early age. His interest in meditation led him to Asia where he lived as a Buddhist monk in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. By the time he returned home and began doctoral studies, he had spent three years in periods of silent meditation retreat.  At Harvard University he earned concurrent graduate degrees in world religion and psychology. He trained and held a clinical faculty position in psychology at Harvard Medical School. He is the author of  “Beauty as a State of Being,” winner of several book awards, and the forthcoming “Where Time and Story End: Verses on Eternal Truth.”  He lives in Harvard, Massachusetts where he and his wife raised a family of four beautiful girls, many animals, and many fruit trees planted over the years at which he loves to gaze, often with the teachings of Ramana Maharshi in hand.

Excellence Reporter 2019 ©Solomon Katz

Categories: Beauty

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