Greetings and good morning brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series
where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years,
the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them
with you. This morning we seek to understand the perception of spiritual beauty.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Perception of Spiritual Beauty
"For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty?" Zachariah, Chapter 9, Verse 17.
Brothers and sisters, in today's broadcast, what is spiritual beauty, how do we perceive it, and how
is it related to truth and goodness?
Even though material beauty has some severe limitations in our attempts to use it for illustrative
purposes, nevertheless, we require a starting point for our grasp of spiritual beauty. Thus, we look to
the example of material beauty. This material concept varies from culture and within cultures because
its perceptions is dependent on depth of appreciation. When children are very young, their parents,
particularly their mothers, introduce them to concepts of beauty, remarking on what looks pretty to
them and what does not.
Based upon this foundation, the growing child goes on to construct a concept of beauty based upon
the concepts derived from their parents, as well as their interactions with their peers as they continue
to grow and develop. Now we can see the basis for the appreciation of beauty right away, for if the
parents have a insufficient concept of beauty, then the foundation for the child's concept will be
insufficient. And we know that as these concepts merge with the larger society, they become
modified. The appreciation of material beauty can range from almost no appreciation at all to the
heights of material beauty, reaching the border of spiritual beauty.
Some general characteristics of material beauty include a sense of order, which appeals to our
aesthetic sense. Disorder fills us with a unsatisfying perception. What about order is appealing? Order
displays a pattern. A pattern has repeating units within in it, and these are what gives us a sense of
order and appeals to our esthetic sense. We must keep in mind that at our core the appreciation of
beauty is an inherent capacity and ability given to us by our Creator. When we see order we perceive
pattern. When we have disorder, or chaos, no pattern is present. Things follow no order. There are
no repeating units.
Now we also know that when we have order, things in general move in harmony, and this harmony
creates a sense of well being in society, for the maximum of progress takes place when we have order
or when we are striving for harmony. So we see another factor in the appreciation of beauty is
harmony. Harmony is always composed of underlying parts. It is the unification of these parts that
produce harmony. We are all familiar with the harmony of music. When voices are separated and are
expressed without any order, than we have a mass of conflicting sounds which we find unpleasant to
the ear, but when these same voices are arranged and blended together by the individuals than we
have a sound that we recognize as beautiful and pleasurable. The unification of contrasts is beauty.
Still another factor that goes into the perception of beauty is the growth of appreciation. When we first
began to listen to classical music, unless we were reared with it as part of our development, we are
unlikely to find it appealing when compared to popular music, with its simple rhythms and paucity
of instruments. Popular music appeals more directly to the physical and sometimes emotional senses.
This type of music makes you want to move, and does not require the activation of the higher centers
of the intellect, where the true appreciation of music lies. This appreciation is based on the
recognition of the complex interaction of the sounds and the themes. When classical music is created,
the creator has a story--if you will--to tell, and the different instruments, and their interplay with one
another, blending in harmony, chasing each other appeal to our sense of beauty. And when fully
appreciated, classical music fills us with pleasure that we can recapture whenever we listen to it. Like
all objects of true beauty, the meaning continues to unfold in ever-enriching layers.
Now having laid the foundation for the appreciation of material beauty, we would make the quantum
leap to appreciating spiritual beauty. "The discernment of supreme beauty is the discovery and
integration of reality" “Discerning divine goodness in eternal truth, that is ultimate beauty.” Now we
must look at this statement and seek to discern the meaning of it. We know that the basic reality in
the universe is spiritual. Therefore the basic beauty in the universe is spiritual. So how do we discover
and integrate this reality? To discover the beauty of spiritual reality, which is the discovery of truth,
beauty and goodness, is to pursue the Father's will. The Father's will has promulgated the oneness of
the human soul with the divine spirit, which leads to the perception of spiritual beauty. These two
realities (the soul and divine spirit) are separated by the widest amount of contrast. This unification
of the soul of man with the spirit of God is the supreme unification of contrasts, supreme beauty. To
appreciate this beauty, we must appreciate the oneness of God, with its unification of infinite
When we discover the antipodal of self, the divine spirit, then have we discovered spiritual reality.
The only thing remaining to do is the integration of this reality within ourselves. And we do this by
the force of our decision to do the Father's will. By force we mean the degree of dedication and
consecration to doing the Father's will. When there exists no competing desire, no emotional longing,
no conflicts or barriers to doing the Father's will, when the mind and soul both desire to do the
Father's will, then has the decision to do the Father's will reached supreme levels. And when our
decision to do the Father's will reaches supreme levels, than have we become one with the Father, and
may behold the supreme beauty--the oneness of God and man.
This oneness of man and God is the truth of God, the observation of the relationship of the Father
with his sons. And this is a true relationship, and all truth is good, and all goodness is true. Truth and
goodness are related in eternal oneness. As we observe the relationships of the Father with his
children, we also discern his goodness in relationship to them. And this discernment of goodness in
the relationship of the Father with his sons is the discernment of divine beauty, even ultimate beauty:
that beauty that transcends time and space.
Spiritual beauty is one and the same as the unification of truth and goodness. This is the satisfying
reaction, the esthetic reaction, to the unification of truth and goodness, man in God and God in man
to both their mutual satisfaction. The creature worshiping the Creator and the Creator basking in the
love of his children. Spiritual beauty--once grasped--allows us to appreciate all beauty, even that
beauty of spiritual character that is displayed for all to see--Jesus, the one altogether lovely and
chiefest among ten thousand. "Behold the man." Let him who has an eye, see the beauty of truth, and
he who has an ear, hear the melodious chords of righteousness (goodness) as they are played on the
instrument of divine truth. And perhaps both the eye and the ear may be able to penetrate the absolute
beauty of divine love.
This concludes today's message on understanding the perception of spiritual beauty. We hope you find
something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.