The Use of Beauty

Nothing can be wholly beautiful, Rudyard Kipling wrote, that is not useful. I think Kipling was wrong. Pure beauty is quite separate from usefulness. Beauty, like truth, is a rare quality. It is almost unique. Its only purpose is to affect your emotions and in doing so it may change your philosophy and your life. Beauty does this almost without you realising that it is doing this. Whether this is useful or not I cannot say. And beauty, like truth and rarity, is enclosed in a cycle of death and rebirth, from cinders to form and back again, never ending. Treasure its shade, when you see it.

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