John Keats wrote,
“‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty—’ that is all it is that
Ye know on earth and all ye need to know.”
So what is truth? Beauty. What is beauty? Truth. But how does one truly define either?
Let us take the topic of beauty and go from there. Several problems arise from the start: does there exist a universal beauty—a person, thing or idea that appeals to each and every person on this earth? Along with this comes the question of whether beauty is purely aesthetic—that is, it is a concept applicable to things one can touch, feel, hear, taste, or smell. Does this universal beauty exist in another realm, such as an appealing idea or theory? For sake of argument, say there exists this universal beauty. Are we to assume that all organisms can perceive this beauty? Can a fish, for example, or a mushroom, not only perceive but also appreciate and value the same beauty that a person can? How different is beauty to a lion than it is to a man? This is all assuming, of course, that beauty is something more than an aesthetic concept (for if it isn’t we have to conclude that all organisms not capable of perceiving aesthetic sensations are to have beauty, and thus truth, allude them forever).
But perhaps beauty is something else—perhaps we have been defining it incorrectly as an aesthetic appeal, or, more broadly, as a sensation. What if beauty is the absence of a sensation? Though possibly this seems rather far-fetched, it does make sense. Take, for example, the reaction of beauty that one may feel when viewing a sunset. Does that feeling result directly from the presence of the sunset, or does it result from the removal of a stimulus—a feeling, memory, or worry—that occurs due to the sunset? The sunset is just an example, mind you. It does not, as I stated, have to be related to an aesthetic appeal.
However, if this is so—that beauty is the absence of a stimulus rather than the presence of one—we run into a new issue. Beauty is then the unawareness of something—this unawareness is also known as ignorance. Therefore, using this train of ideas, we can assume that beauty can be considered ignorance, thus defining beauty as neither an object/person nor an idea, but a state of mind. And here falls in the old proverb, most fittingly: “ignorance is bliss.”
Following the logic from these connections we get this as a conclusion: Truth is beauty, beauty is ignorance, ignorance is bliss. Therefore, truth is bliss. Keep in mind, as always, that this all depends on the acceptance of the idea that beauty is accomplished via the absence of a stimulus (that occurs, most of the time, from the presence of another stimulus or idea).
Conclusion: truth is happiness.
Put a ribbon on it.