3 April, 2001

Beauty as Evidence of God

I'm not sure it's possible to convince someone God exists. I think it's a realization everyone must come to on their own. Arguing won't do it, logical reasoning won't do it. I don't know the figures on how many people world-wide are agnostics or atheists, but I have a feeling the percentages are small. I believe anyone who's ever taken some time for contemplative thought must believe in some sort of higher power.

We may disagree on the nature of God, on specific attributes, but most all of us (especially those taking the time to visit this site) believe God exists. What evidence do we have? Again, I think it's a personal issue, and varies from one individual to another. We've probably all had personal spiritual experiences, or witnesses that God exists. While these experiences may not be used as evidence in a court of law to prove God is real, to us, the experiences and feelings are real and cannot be denied.

Even if we've had several strong spiritual experience in the past, we're in constant need of renewal. We need to recharge our spiritual batteries. Reading an uplifting book, prayer, meditation, and serving others can all be ways to feel the spirit of God (and his love) in our lives. Another method that works for me, is taking the time to appreciate the many beautiful things in this world. Why was such a beautiful world created? Why are we endowed with the intellect and senses necessary to appreciate beauty? I argue it's to tune us in spiritually back to God.

Many religious thinkers bemoan man's physical nature. They recommend we deny our physical selves to approach God. I think we're here precisely because we need physical experiences for our spiritual development. By using our physical senses to appreciate the beauty around us, we become closer to God.

Each of us have different standards of beauty, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." There are also various places to find beauty. For some it may be music: classical, jazz, country or rock and roll, whatever type speaks to us. Maybe for you it's all types. From Antonio Vivaldi to Trisha Yearwood to Lenny Kravitz, all types of music can inspire.

Beauty can also be found in nature. There are so many scenic locations throughout the world, and you can experience them while driving, or hiking, camping or even fishing. My personal favorite is travelling on a motorcycle. I feel more a part of the surroundings, and it also satisfies my "need for speed". I've found beauty in the deserts, in the mountains, and near the ocean. Sunrises, sunsets, forests, rock formations, the stars at night, have all drawn me closer to God. On a recent family vacation to Arizona, while admiring the beauty of the mountains near Scottsdale, I was inspired to write the following meditation:

Open heart
open mind
loving heart
wise mind
touch the creator
feel the love
soak it up
send it out again
share with others
gods wonders.

I also like images of space. I'm awestruck by them, and have included many on this site. Most of these pictures have only been made available in the recent past, due to scientific and technological advances.

Works of art can also inspire. Even though art and architecture is man-made, good art definitely displays the inspiration of God. Take the time to go to a museum, or enjoy an art book. I've been fortunate to live in Europe and visit some of the museums there. I've also seen some architectural triumphs, from the Alhambra to Notre Dame, and every time I felt closer to God.

For me, (I'm a man, I admit it) the beauty of a woman can also be very inspiring. A beautiful smile, the sound of her voice, her warm eyes, soft hair, nicely curved body, all make me thank God for the beauty we see all around us. Fortunately, I'm married to a woman with all these features, and the most beautiful heart as well. I consider myself blessed.

I often feel closer to God in the presence of small children. I feel a vital energy force coming from them, and when I hold a child, I feel a little younger, and a little more innocent through them.

I could go on, but I think the point has been made.

As you can see, you can feel closer to God in a church, or outdoors, with others around, or alone. The most important thing is to take time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Take time to contemplate the meaning behind the beauty, absorb it, and slowly God will be revealed to you.

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