Good Morning!An Occasion for Unselfing: Iris Murdoch on Imperfection as Integral to Goodness and
How the Beauty of Nature and Art Leavens Our Most Unselfish Impulses :
To recognize that there are infinitely many kinds of beautiful lives is to step outside the self, beyond its
particular conceptions of beauty — which includes, of course, moral beauty. Murdoch defines what we commonly
call beauty as “an occasion for unselfing
” — an occasion most readily experienced in our communion with nature
and our contemplation of art.
Art by Margaret C. Cook from a rare 1913 edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
With an eye to the legacy of the Romantics, who married nature and art in their model of happiness and transcendence,
History, God, Lucifer, Ideas of power, freedom, purpose, reward, even judgment are irrelevant. Mystics of all kinds
have usually known this and have attempted by extremities of language to portray the nakedness and aloneness of Good,
its absolute for-nothingness
. The unbearable lightness of being...
We seek the naked truth : “The self, the place where we live, is a place of illusion. Goodness is connected with the
attempt to see the unself… to pierce the veil of selfish consciousness and join the world as it really is.” - Irish Murdoch : https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/10/21/iris-murdoch-unselfing/
dr. π (pi)