Naw Ruz marks the end of the Fast and the beginning of a new year in the Baha’i calendar. Naw-Ruz is a celebration of a “spiritual springtime” that symbolizes both individual renewal and mankind’s revitalization.
Hello and welcome to the Baha’i Blogcast with me your host, Rainn Wilson.
In this series of podcasts I interview members of the Baha’i Faith and friends from all over the world about their hearts, and minds, and souls, their spiritual journeys, what they’re interested in, and what makes them tick.
In this episode, I’m at my home in Los Angeles with my uncle, Rhett Diessner, a Professor of Psychology who has a special interest in aesthetics and beauty. We talk about moral reasoning, materialism, and how he became a Baha’i. We discuss the psychology of beauty, how there’s no love without beauty, and that love holds the whole universe together. Rhett tells me how humans are all intimately linked, and how beauty will literally help save the world. I hope you enjoy the conversation!
To find out more about some of the things we covered in this episode, check out the following links:
Rhett quotes from the book ‘The Seven Valleys’ by Baha’u’llah: “…see every face with the beauty of a friend…”. You can read ‘The Seven Valleys’ here, and learn more about it here: An Introduction to The Seven Valleys
Naysan is passionate about using the arts and media to explore the teachings of the Baha’i Faith. Back in 2011, Naysan started up the Baha’i Blog project, channeling his experiences in both media and technology companies to help create a hub for Baha’i-inspired content online.
Here’s an elegant definition that has recently come my way: “Beauty is anything the perception of which makes the observer feel more alive.” (source unremembered, though I know I got it from an episode of Jeff Salzman’s Daily Evolver podcast series). This works for me on a personal level as any one of the myriad examples of beauty that I can think of has this effect on me, while examples of ugliness, conversely, have the opposite effect. And I’d say that the feeling most clearly associated with beauty is that of joy, which, according to emotional intelligence expert Vivian Dittmar in her book The Power of Feelings, is the feeling we have when there is no gap between what we want and what is (i.e. when we are fully accepting of life as it is, and grateful for it). I also think this definition ties in nicely with Diessner’s reference to beauty as the supreme motivator and as well as with the phrase “the Blessed Beauty” to refer to the Manifestation of God–God being the source of all life. Does this resonate with anyone?
Keith Taylor (July 7, 2020 at 10:42 PM)