Beauty is Only Skin Deep

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"Beauty is only skin deep" goes the old expression which is also the title of a Temptations classic. But how to deal with the eternal allurement of the flesh and the way in which is gets confused with subcutaneous matters, especially with regard to the most elusive body part, the soul? Physical beauty can even be a troubling asset for those who possess it as they are prone to wonder, very much like people of great wealth, whether they are being loved because of something which is not an expression of their true inner being. What must be disconcerting to the person of either great physical beauty or wealth is the fact that once they lose either they will no longer be the cynosure they once were. And there are undoubtedly those who wished they had not been born with their endowments or possessed of good fortune, if their fate was ultimately to lose either or both. "Never to have lived is best," is the famous quote from Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus, which underscores the notion that in the face of tragedy and loss life doesn't see worth it. Why have life at your feet, if the carpet is eventually going to be pulled out from under you? And as for those who prospect for pleasure and beauty, what's the point of possessing a beautiful flower at the height of its bloom, if it's one day going to lose its pedals? You run after ephemera at your own peril. The only other thing is inhabit an alternate universe. If there can be secret markets in body parts, there is likely also a shadow world in which subliminal elements like consciousness and the soul are the valued items.

"The Birth of Venus" by Botticelli

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}