Schopenhauer, Arthur - The World as Will and Idea - Beauty
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The World as Will and Idea – Arthur Schopenhauer
In calling a thing beautiful, we thereby assert that it is an object of our aesthetic contemplation, and this implies two things. On the one hand, it means that the sight of the thing makes us objective, that is to say, that in contemplating it we are no longer conscious of ourselves as individuals, but as pure will-less subjects of knowledge; and on the other hand it means that we recognise in the object, not the particular thing, but an Idea; and this can happen only in so far as our contemplation of it is not subordinated to the principle of sufficient reason [learning], does not trace the relation of the object to anything outside it but rests in the object itself.
That even the most insignificant things admit of pure objective and will-less contemplation, and thus prove that they are beautiful, is shown by the Dutch pictures of still life … But one thing is more beautiful than another in that it facilitates this pure objective contemplation and meets it half-way; if it even compels it, then we call it very beautiful