One might say that the Iris flower in the accompanying photo is very beautiful. However, real (profound) beauty surpasses what is superficially evident. Profound beauty goes far beyond mere recognition and superficiality. Hitler, for instance, loved flowers; he often gave them to others as gifts. Most of us see, but don’t see. Most of us are neither dead nor alive. It is very ironic, actually. We take for granted that we can see… perceive. We look with separation — between a so-called “center” and “what is seen.” Is seeing partially, seeing fragmentarily, seeing with tainted (i.e., corrupt) eyes… really seeing at all? Most of us accept the authority of others and we look at things in the ways that authority has dictated. We have wholeheartedly accepted a life of imitation, slavishness, being tied to systems, jobs, and routines that are making us more and more robotic, more and more mundane; and we automatons don’t see anything wrong with it. We perceive what we were programmed to perceive; we accept what we were programmed to accept; we fear what we were programmed to fear; we loathe what we were programmed to loathe. We dupe ourselves into thinking that we are somehow out of the box when, all along, we are firmly inside the box. We are the box. We fit into the pattern — that they fabricated — quite nicely, and then we die. That is how most of us (supposedly) live.
That can change if one is serious enough. The integrity and health of the world depend on such seriousness and profundity. Oneself and the world are not two separate things.