AFRICAN SECULAR BEAUTY
African Secular Beauty’s ingredients scope starts just below the Sublime, extends through the Metaphysical, and embraces all of the Physical. The process began with Very Ancient African Priest-astronomers formulating concepts of Spiritual Beauty out of Cosmic Order and the Laws of Nature mathematically structured. From this were inferred Laws of “Being”. This was based upon the pervasion of the Cosmos with Unconditional Love and its fashioning of the Natural, Truth, and Reality. None of these had anything Beautiful to which they could be compared. Thus, since they symbolized attributes of the one Universal High Spiritual God, they thereby represented the ultimate in Spiritual Beauty. Essences extracted from the Laws of Nature and Laws of Being were validated by taking what was Known in the “See-able” World as a guide for what was in the Unknown of the “Un-See-able” World. Their mathematically derived Laws of Nature were foundations for African Sages’ Philosophical enquiry. Its ingredients were synthesized into fundamental Goodness, Justice, Virtue, and Harmonious Qualities–Products of a Sublime Beauty nature. Resultant Ma’at Principles served as philosophical skeletons for building African Tradition’s civilization (Social and Technological development) and culture (Intellectual and Spiritual development)–all into harmonious correspondences.
Originally, bathing in the Sublime Beauty—equated to a “Circumstantial High Culture”–were “refined” Ancient Africans—so called by being able to identify and appreciate Beauty in operatic Arias (elaborate solo parts); to discuss differences in Cantatas/Oratorio, and Operas; and to frequent live theater, Fine Arts galleries, and Musical Recitals. Yet, such people–a relatively small elite group who were mostly rich and highly educated–were patrons of high culture more or less as a way of life. Their Class Beauty emerged from and also generated elegant simplicity; fine design; and a flowing harmony that created soothing forms and pleasurable atmospheres, not subject to deteriorating over time. But experiencing Metaphysical Beauty has been more universal among Africans. This, starting with Primitive Africans, is about Spirituality being integrated into their daily lives. Hence, their rhythms from Dance, Music, Story-telling, Art, or the Performing Arts interweaved the Physical, Metaphysical (away from the physical), and the Spiritual Realm’s infinite Eternal Energy all intimately impacted each. The resultant approach to Sublime realms was/is the experience of Beauty—in the sense of being entrancing as a Mystery which engenders “Awe.” For example, Dancing for Primitive Africans symbolized the rhythmic, patterned movements designed to roll out the embroidered tapestries of life itself–poetic patterns painted with Dance Images about the Unseen realms. Many forms of African Story-Telling have had as a theme the illuminating of Beauty. An example is in those Folktales dealing with a female goddess so beautiful that she shines even in Darkness. In Spirituality, Beauty is those pre-birth Emotions which impart loving kindness, Compassion, tenderness, and mercy. It continues to be experienced by some in today’s Black Church. The essence Effects of African Art leads to the recognition and appreciation of the way Rhythm manifests itself as Beauty in each creature and creation, including oneself. On Physical planes, in daily living, Ancient Africans expressed Beauty in a more personal way. An example was their Mascara practice of shadowing their eyes, eye brows, and eyelashes with paint for the purpose of Beauty. This came from happenings at a site on the Nile, near Giza, where fine limestone quarried at Masara was used for mortuary and other royal building projects. The limestone from this sitre was popular as a facing for tombs because of its lustrous Beauty.
Beauty (Harmony) gives a perfected State of Being to wherever it is because ones senses–sights, smells, taste, touch, and sounds–react to real phenomena by removing limitations and boundary constraints on ones cultivated aesthetic taste. The degree of such Selfhood elevation towards loftiness is directly proportional to the degree of that person’s “Pure Heart” +“Pure” Feelings + the intensity and duration of the stimulus. Merely cultivating and expressing the keen experience of ones sense of Beauty expands Consciousness, shifting its lower plane of seeing things as separate, into a higher plane of awareness in which the keynote is Oneness, or at least Unity. Whatever is extracted out of this elevated plane of existence produces the Beauty experience of “Right” and Harmony. jabaileymd.com