On Inner and Outer Beauty

attention-to-accessories Our clothes are the physical embodiment of our personalities, our tool to connect not only with our fellow-humans, but also tune ourselves with various occasions, seasons, environments etc. Our clothes represent who we are more than our bodies which are given to us by Fate and Chance and, at least not completely, by our own decisions. Our inner qualities are indefinably important, and our outer appearance will either assist or disturb our quest for bettering ourselves. We should clothe our personalities with honest thoughts, high ideals, and lofty purposes; and to enable to reach the pinnacles of our aspirations we should clothe their dwelling places – our bodies – with agreeable, proper, beautiful raiment, raiment that will not hamper our best intentions but stimulate ourselves and those we chance to meet in reaching for our ideals. Every outfit is a signal from our innermost personality to the outside world. It reveals our attitude, our motives, our entire worldview – and at the same time reflects them back to ourselves, multiplying inner Beauty with outer Beauty, or subtracting the outer negligence from what little remains of inner Beauty. So, a flower pinned to a neat and clean collar, a bow delicately tied, a hat arranged carefully in the most becoming angle, are potent tools in shaping ourselves and the Universe, not to mention shining positive light on everyone we meet. Attention to our outward appearance should not be considered to be inferior to the attention we give to our spiritual selves. If attention to decoration and dress disappears, it’s a sign of loss of humanity, of destruction of self and social ties – and neglecting one’s virtues and personal development more often than not  follows the neglecting of one’s appearance. True ascetics who focus all their attention to spiritual development are rare. Unfortunately not all the people you see wearing torn trousers and sloppy undershirts compensate for their offensive appearance with superior moral qualities…
Indifference and inattention to dress is a defect of character rather than exhibition of virtues, and often denotes a loss of hope and interest in life. While interest in life usually generates an interest in improving one’s appearance, it can also work the other way round: wearing beautiful clothes can spark hope and give a much needed jolt of energy. The world looks quite different when wearing spotless gloves, a nice dress and a becoming hat compared to how it looks if wearing ratty sweatpants. A fondness for dress, when based on appreciation of Beauty, does not degenerate into a vain show, and it has an elevating and refining influence on society and on personal morals.



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