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Author: Shakti Maira
Pushpa Mittra Bhargava/Several Contributors
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9789352641673
The idea of beauty is a highly conflicted terrain. Does it only have to do with how things look? Is it really only skin deep? Is it merely prettiness? Is it entirely subjective? Does it serve a function? Why do the high priests of the arts and the arguably progressive socio-political thinkers of the day shun it?
Shakti Maira believes that the problem lies with the confused understanding of beauty and with beauty becoming superficially located: usually, literally on the skin. What would happen, he asks, if beauty were to become central to every aspect of our lives: environment, education, economics and governance.
Maira engages eighteen eminent thinkers - scientists, philosophers, artists, brain-mind experts, activists - in a series of conversations around the difficult, enthralling notion of beauty. What emerges is a deeper understanding of beauty and how it is the key to our world: a radical new way of evaluating problems and finding solutions, from the personal to the political, the individual to the universal.
"The commonality of the beauty experience across cultures is not a coincidence. It is intrinsic to nature and the function of the mind,'
== RUPERT SHELDRAKE
‘A concern for beauty would certainly make us better shapers of the world,'
== ROGER SCRUTON
'When "beauty" became a dirty word in the art world in the West. Maybe twenty years ago, it was very mistakenly thought that beauty meant "extra pretty", But I think beauty certainly goes much deeper than that.'
== ANJOLlE ELA MENON
'It seems to me that the experience of beauty may arise when the proportions and rhythms we perceive mirror our own bodily (and especially neural) proportions and rhythms very closely.'
== Fritjof Capra
‘'This intrinsic sense of beauty, the ability to go through an aesthetic experience, has given humans a strong evolutionary advantage.'
== Pushpa Mittra Bhargava
‘Any object, any creation, any work of art, any philosophy should be true, should be auspicious, and should be beautiful.'
== Karan Singh
'Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder is a superficial statement that objectifies beauty. It reduces beauty to just the way something looks.'
== Satish Kumar
'Where you see beauty depends on how you look.'
== Ruth Padel
'It is the human creative imagination which discovers and fabricates beauty.'
== Ashok Vajpeyi
'It is very important to be familiar with beauty, to know beauty. Anything unfamiliar would probably be exotic, not beautiful.'
== Geeta Chandran
'Human-made ugliness is the biggest concern of our society, particularly in India. Wherever the balance has gone wrong, ugliness has set in.'
== Muzaffar Ali
'I think it is easier to approach beauty through a denial of ugliness or rather an obliteration of ugliness. Ugliness has an important role to play not only in helping to define beauty but as a counterpoint, a
realization of what not to do.'
== Gautam Bhatia
'Neuroaesrhetics does not try to explain beauty but asks instead what the neural conditions are that make the experience of beauty possible.'
== Semir Zeki
'I think that when you settle your mind into its natural state and you cultivate an appreciation for its unfolding nature, the experience that arises is that it is beautiful.'
== Clifford Saron
'Let me tell you one extreme thing. We all have to die one day. If you are able to die smiling, that's beautiful.'
== Tai Situpa Rinpoche
'When I go into the field, I can make out what the state of ecological health is just by looking, and where there is beauty, I know things are well!’
== Vandana Shiva
'I am absolutely convinced that when people live in beautiful surroundings, they are more likely not just to be happier but also to be more attentive at work, less inclined to commit crimes, and so on.'
== Oliver Lerwin
‘'The term "slow beauty" raises the questions: What is the relationship between beauty and efficiency? Between beauty and speed? Between beauty and progress?'
== Keibo Oiwa
PART 1 SCIENTISTS
Pushpa Mittra Bhargava
PART 2 PHILOSOPHERS
PART 3 PRACTITIONERS: (A)
Anjolie Ela Menon
PART 4 PRATITIONERS: (B)
PART 5 BRAIN-MIND SCIENTISTS
Tai Situ Rinpoche
PART 6 SOCIAL ACTIVISTS
EPILOGUE: CONNECTING PATTERNS
A MEDITATION ON BEAUTY