For The Beauty That Moves (Us)
“On this path no effort is wasted,
no gain is ever reversed;
even a little of this practice
will shelter you from great sorrow.”
Bhagavad Gita 2.40 (Stephen Mitchell translation)
Some people radiate an inner light and seem to be endlessly happy. Maybe they are like you? It’s in our nature that we want to improve our lives, to grow, to develop, to reach our own Renaissance or to become a Renaissance person.
For seekers who wish to find deeper levels of meaning, a step into the Renaissance or a meeting with a genius such as Leonardo da Vinci could be a source of inspiration. Leonardo da Vinci serves as a global archetype of human potential, giving us examples of what we may be capable of doing ourselves. Giorgio Vasari, Da Vinci’s biographer wrote: “the gifts that Leonardo possessed seemed unlimited, standing to all areas of human knowledge and skill – artist, scientist, anatomist, sculptor, botanist, architect, musician, engineer, inventor, entertainer and philosopher”. Or as Bernard Berenson, an art critic, described Leonardo: “Everything he touched turned to eternal beauty.”
There are more good examples that may guide you. We know that those who study and follow the track of geniuses may, even if Nature didn’t give them a lot, approach the powerful works and participate in the genius’s superiority. As Giorgio Vasari said: “Heaven sometimes sends us beings who represent not humanity alone but divinity itself, so that taking them as our models and imitating them, our minds and the best of our intelligence may approach the highest celestial spheres”.
The Renaissance is much more than a time period in the history. The prototype of the Renaissance person originated in Florens, Italy, and it is based on the idea that a person’s capacity for personal development is without limits. Every person should have the goal to reach competence in a broad range of abilities and areas. In order to become a true Renaissance person we need to master our areas.
During Renaissance the Medici family ruled Florence. The Medici family is called the Godfathers of the Renaissance; they had influence on the growth of the Renaissance through their care of the arts and their humanism. The Medici family was extremely wealthy bankers and had a huge impact on the Renaissance, since their financial support allowed artists to focus on their work without thinking about money. The Medicis supported artists like Michelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Medicis were a sort of seers or gurus in Europe. They saw art as a kind of educational tool. Their interest in supporting art originated from a clear sense of what art is for. The Medicis gave an artist a mission. Through art they promoted beauty, truth and wisdom.
Renaissance advertised constantly philosophy. We could say that Renaissance was a kind of epic PR company with employees such as Leonardo and Michelangelo, who promoted: beauty, truth and wisdom. In fact, similar ideals were promoted later by others, such as A. Einstein: ”The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.“
The Renaissance people would want to inspire us to do things that really matter. During Renaissance, nothing seemed certain and under constant change, which gave inspiration for personal growth and spiritual experience. We can still feel the energy behind the art of the Renaissance.
Renaissance is a unique era. When people actively started to improve their own cultures, artists developed individualistic style; they had a great passion for discovery, awareness of human power and potential.
A Renaissance person was inspired not only by the ideals of antiquity; he also transformed ideals to meet the challenges of the time. You can draw inspiration from the ideals of the Renaissance, transforming them to meet the challenges of your time.
P.S. For the beauty that moves us! Greetings from Firenze 🙂