"To be religious is to be sensitive to reality. Your total being - body, mind and heart - is sensitive to beauty and to ugliness, to the donkey tied to the post, to the poverty and filth in this town, to laughter and tears, to everyting about you.
From this sensitivity for the whole of existence, springs goodness, love; and without this sensitivity there is no beauty, though you may have talent, be very well dressed, ride an expensive car and be scrupulously clean...there is an immediate response to that which is lovely and also that which is ugly, the response of pleasure or pain, and we put that feeling into words saying: "this is beautiful" or "that is ugly".
But what matters is not the pleasure or the pain; rather it is to be in communion with everything, to be sensitive both to the ugly and the beautiful.
...To understand what beauty is, is to have that sense of goodness which comes when the mind and heart are in communion with any hindrance so that one feels completely at ease ---surely this has a great significance in life; and until we know this response to beauty our lives will be very shallow. One may be surrounded by a great beauty, by mountains and field and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all, one might just as well be dead"
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