The Absolute Beauty is the Divine Majesty endued with (the attributes of) power and bounty. Every beauty and perfection manifested in the theatre of the various grades of beings is a ray of His perfect beauty reflected therein. It is from these rays that exalted souls have received their impress of beauty and their quality of perfection.
Nothing makes a thing beautiful but the presence of participation of Beauty in whatever way or manner obtained...By Beauty all beautiful things become beautiful.
(Plato; Phaedo, 100E)
When one approaches the Wonderful one knows not whether art is Tao or Tao is art.
God is Beautiful and He loves beauty.
(Prophet Muhammad ﷺ)
Whenever, in the coarse of the daily hunt, the red hunter comes upon a scene that is strikingly beautiful or sublime - a black thundercloud with the rainbow's glowing arch above the mountain; a white waterfall in the heart of a green gorge; a vast prairie tinged with the blood-red sunset - he pauses for an instant in the attitude of worship.
Laotse has said: 'Thirty spokes are grouped around a hub of a wheel, and when they lose their individuality, we have a functioning cart. We knead clay into a vessel and when the clay loses its own existence we have a usable utensil. We make a hole in the wall to make windows and doors, and when the windows and doors lose their own existence, we have a house to live in'. And so when we view a stone cave or a blessed spot and see the vertically uprising peaks, horizontally-stretching mountain passes, those that go up and form a precipice, those that go down and form a river, those that are level and form a plateau, those that are inclined and form a hillside, those that stretch across and become bridges, and those that come together and become ravines, we realize that, however incomparably manifold they are in their greatness and mystery, this mystery and grandeur arises when the parts lose their individual existence. For when they lose their own existence, there are no passes, no precipices, no rivers and no plateaux, hillsides, bridges and ravines. But it is exactly in their non-existence that the special talent in our breast and the special vision below our eyebrows wander and float at ease, And since this special talent in our breast and this special vision below our eyebrows can wander and float at ease only when things are non-existent, why, then, must we insist on going to the stone cave and to the blessed spot?
'I am a tree; these flowers My offshoots are,
Let not these offshoots hide from thee the tree.'
What profit rosy cheeks, forms full of grace,
And ringlets clustering round a lovely face?
When Beauty Absolute beams all around.
Why linger finite beauties to embrace?
By Plato (Author), J. M. Cooper (Editor)
Outstanding translations by leading contemporary scholars--many commissioned especially for this volume--are presented here in the first single edition to include the entire surviving corpus of works attributed to Plato in antiquity. In his introductory essay, John Cooper explains the presentation of these works, discusses questions concerning the chronology of their composition, comments on the dialogue form in which Plato wrote, and offers guidance on approaching the reading and study of Plato's works. Also included are concise introductions by Cooper and Hutchinson to each translation, meticulous annotation designed to serve both scholar and general reader, and a comprehensive index. This handsome volume offers fine paper and a high-quality Smyth-sewn cloth binding in a sturdy, elegant edition.