Saturday, September 26, 2015


The Japanese have a unique way of viewing the world that is reflected in their attitude toward art, nature, philosophy, and design. It is an aesthetic based partly on eastern concepts, holistic in vitality, yet counters the western desire for a singular, static ideal that resists change. 

Wabi-Sabi represents a totality of thinking to the observer that honors the transient nature of beauty, one that is devolving, intuitive, and ambiguous. It is a celebration of change and impermanence, meaning if something elicits a slight sadness, serenity, and spiritual longing then it is said to be Wabi-Sabi.

It is a view not at all common to the western eye where perfection is lauded as an "ideal" that lasts forever, singular, unchanged perfection the priority . The striving towards this perfection which retains a permanency is quite the opposite from a philosophy which recognizes that there is beauty in impermanence, that natural, expected change reflects the true nature of beauty. It is the imperfections that are natural to inherent beauty. The weathering, aging, and gradual wear and tear have their own dispassionate perfection.

Someone said that Wabi-Sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging the simple realities which exist, that nothing is perfect, nothing lasts, and nothing is finished. In the Buddist tradition, Wabi-Sabi is a positive characteristic, one that frees you from the material and transports you to a simpler, more authentic view of the world, where expectations are elevated and fluidity is the norm.

See Also:

The Failure of Wisdom
The Worlds Unspoken
Living Like Water
Las Meninas

Dwelling in Possibility
Living in the Moment

Do You See as I See
Contemplating Perception

1 comment:

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