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Beauty: The Invisible Embrace Paperback – March 1, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
/Beauty/ is a hard book to classify - it's not a philosophy book, it's not a religion book, it just... is. It's like hopping on a tourist bus and cruising down the road of the beautiful, with John O'Donohue pointing out the sights along the way. "To your left, you will see the beauty of light dancing across the sky at twilight. And to your right, the misty beams of sun's fading glory illuminating every crevice and boulder on the mountainside..." You're not outright told what beauty is, per se. You are simply guided through the process of understanding beauty as not merely a characteristic, but as a force. O'Donohue illuminates what beauty *does* and where you might find it.
This is a magical, wonderful book. It is written in a relaxed and almost lyrical style - as a book on the beautiful should be. True beauty cannot be described by the mere words of men, but John O'Donohue does an admirable job of opening us up to "the eternal grace and generosity of beauty's presence." That, in a nutshell, is what this book is all about.
"Beauty" outlines another encounter with the divine. The majesty of beauty is its gracious wholesomeness. The Beautiful unifies feeling, thought, and dream. The book "endeavors to mirror this one-ment." This acquaintance coaxes the soul to the land of wonder where the journey becomes a bright path between source and horizon, awakening and surrender.
O'Donohue begins "Beauty" with the the call of beauty; where it dwells; its music; its color; and the joy of its shapes. He then explores imagination (beauty's entrance), attraction (the eros of beauty), and the beauty of the flaw. He concludes with beauty's relationship to death and God.
"When we lose sight of beauty our struggle becomes tired and functional. When we expect and engage the Beautiful, a new fluency is set free within us and between us. The heart becomes rekindled and our lives brighten with unexpected courage."
The "cry of our times" is to awaken beauty as we feel most alive in the presence of beauty for it meets the needs of our soul. And once awakened, there is a great sense of homecoming as beauty is God. Love of the beautiful is a secret and sacred passion of all as it is embedded in our search for God.Read more ›
The ideas in here are deeply Neo-Platonic and will be easily recognised by anyone who has read Plotinus (in a way this book unfolds the ideas in his work 'On Beauty) however they are also deeply tinged with O'Donahue's Celtic appreciation for the beauty of nature. It is perhaps not surprising Ireland has produced many great thinkers and poets who refreshingly don't see the world as a horrible place infected by sin, but rather a beautiful reflection of God's glory. The greatest Celtic philosopher, Eriugena, called the universe 'God's theophany.'
Indeed this book treats our world and our life as a theophany of divine beauty, to be celebrated at every moment despite its pain, vulnerability, and tragedy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At first I had a hard time getting into the book but was really impressed as I read further and began to feel the meaning of some of the essays. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Oma L Rose
I had heard the author speak eloquently in an interview on Public Broadcasting; the book was not available in our library system, so I bought it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by K. Aranas