Sunday, January 13, 2008

John O'Donohue: 1954-2008

The Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue died on January 3 at the age of 53. "Beautify your gaze and the world of beauty comes to greet you," was one of the central messages of his lyrical work. It interests me that he gave motivational talks to corporations.

"The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion and in ourselves. No-one would desire not to be beautiful. When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming ...

"It has become the habit of our times to mistake glamour for beauty. This concern is expressed trenchantly by Robert C Morgan: ‘Beauty is not glamour. Most of what the media ... the fashion world ... Hollywood ... the art world has to offer is glamour. Glamour, like the art world itself, is a highly fickle and commercially driven enterprise that contributes to ... the ‘humdrum'. It appears and disappears ... No one ever catches up to glamour.’

"In contrast, the Beautiful offers us an invitation to order, coherence and unity. When these needs are met, the soul feels at home in the world."


From Divine Beauty (2003) by John O'Donohue, Transworld

For more on O'Donohue and his books click here

5 comments:

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

His writings remind me of a modern day Ruskin...RIP

Duralex said...

Same difference between beauty and glamour as between erotism and pornography. Which side do you think you are on, Arcati ? :-)

Madame Arcati said...

I'm all on sides.

Kaz Maslanka said...

Dear Madam,
One may also make the comparison of beauty to glamour being the same as tropical astrology to sidereal astrology. (Or better yet verus astrology)

Thanks for the brilliant Morgan quote.

Kaz

Madame Arcati said...

Thank you Kaz - Verus is finer and more accurate. So, yes, to that extent ...

Nice to hear from you.