Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that concerns itself with the principle of beauty and artistic taste. The quintessential Japanese aesthetic is known as wabi-sabi: “Beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” When the Japanese break something like a vase, they repair the crack by filling it in with gold. They believe something is more beautiful when it is damaged and has imperfections.
I focus a lot on the mystery of death to open up the deepest of meaning for our lives on planet earth. In fact, I just published a book entitled “Vibrantly Mortal” that deals with just that issue. A podcast on that dynamic is in the works.
Death allows us to be electrified by the beauty in the world, and see with our damaged and mortal bodies how beautiful we and our broken world truly are. Here are some ways to fill your mortal lives with gold:
-See imperfections as a chance to grow and not as character flaws.
-Realize that the longer you live, the more wisdom (hopefully) you’ll gain. This can be passed on to younger, mortal, lives and so on and on it goes.
-Allow others the privilege of ministering to you. You are worth something precisely because of your mortal nature and are deserving of care.
-Don’t “should” on yourself. This only creates guilt and regret and won’t go very far in making your vessel as beautiful as it can be.
Adam Gopnik, an American author and essayist, gave reverence to our mortal nature and imperfections as a necessary counterpoint to the exuberance of spring, harmonizing the completeness of the world and helping us better appreciate its beauty — “Without winter”, he argued, “we would be playing life with no flats or sharps, on a piano with no black keys.”