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The Case Against Pure Beauty

Updated: Sep 11

Interior decorating and the like... for some reason, is a whole profession, and something you can learn as well in certain institutions of education. The Far East as well created the concept of "Feng Shiue" (forgive me if I spelled it wrong), which claims that certain decorations, and their certain positioning in your interior structure, somehow affects you on a deeper level than it meets the eye! Whether this claim is true or not, of that I'm unsure.

Nonetheless, it's quite absurd, given the fact that once we are automatically get things and beings for granted, it's inevitable that we'd take decorations in the same regard. Pictures, toys, ornaments and other misc items -- what do they all mean, I must ask, when ultimately, we eventually begin to ignore their distinct existence?

Take a parallel example: I used to have a cat which is now my neighbour's. I lived with that cat for so long, I began seeing her as granted; not like the kitten I adopted several years later. Now that my neighbours' cat rarely comes to visit me in my own apartment, most of the time I might even forget that she exists!

Don't take me wrong, I love her, but now it's something I am used to know, to recognize. There's nothing new anymore, in living with the same cat for several years; a specific cat that loves your neighbour more than yourself, but I digress.

The same logic could be applied to decorations. Perhaps the room you bought new decorations for, will seem completely refreshing when you've done positioning everything. You might feel more spirited, or if you're religious, perhaps you'd feel closer to the deity you worship.

But in the end, with all due respect, the mind seems to make even the best of things underrated, by making them appear as casual, typical and so on.

It's then when the effect of visual appearance vanishes slowly but gradually, until you might not even recognize that something which excites you, is actually there! Why? Because it is blended along with the area that contains it, became a part of it.

It's like food and drinks; We might use them to pleasure ourselves in unhealthy ways, but in the end their effect might no longer become practically relevant to your overall experience.

Some people who are far richer than I, may go to restaurants not just for special occasions, but also on a regular basis, if these establishments were but another provider of a meal, they need to sustain themselves, just like us, poorer folk, taking something from our fridge.

Do you find it exciting opening a refrigerator? Most likely not because it's quite the mundane thing to do. The same goes for anything that we once regard as new and refreshing.

I only have one decoration in my apartment: a printed picture I bought online of my philosophy's symbol. On the long run it might've been a bad idea, and it might still be one, but ultimately, the picture became something ordinary, and thus, forgettable.

Most of the time I don't even really bother to look at the symbol; it gives me nothing, it doesn't make me feel anything beyond thinking that "hey, that's a symbol I made". My life would've been the same even without that picture hanging on my living room's wall.

Do you know what's more valuable than a vase, a well-crafted table or chair? The more valuable are, or should be, that which give us greater functionality in our operation in life whenever we seek or need something.

The need for entertainment is something many needs, so why buy a large, expensive picture, when you can buy a T.V screen that actually changes its visuals by the second? Not everything has to be elegant, not everything has to be impressive or luxurious; it's the functionality that should count, and that's my overall philosophy on inanimate objects in general.

A former antagonist who is yet to be nicknamed, told me that life is more than just machines. It was a criticism about me being dependent so much on this computer and other devices. However, what's better, on the long term -- a multi-purpose typewriter that can supply you with sound and visuals, or a classic typewriter you can't even publish worldwide on your own?

Why should one care of the visuals, they literally mean nothing beyond being "eye candy"! An eye candy, which you'll eventually consume, forget, and continue on the next product, in a potentially circled loop of useless items, marketed as "art", as "nice-looking", as "beautiful"?

Like with the profession of styling, as long as you have the basic capacity to manage a clean-looking home and have a minimum-sense of knowing what and what not to wear -- where's the problem, exactly?

Of course, if you have new guests on a regular basis, decorations may intrigue them more than yourself. But in this day of smartphones and other distractions, do we truly, regularly, see the world that lies not beyond our eyes but beyond our screens?

The competition over your attention, not you as an individual, but as a part of a greater demographic, is something which has many, many competitors, with no clear winner in sight.

I once had a fantasy: To just sit still and watch my own house from the couch. However, when I actually managed to do that, it really didn't mean anything to me, just like the hills here that I once considered astonishing. I found them quite impressive when I used to visit the region I now live in, but now? They are mere background, like that of a forgettable video game.

That is the problem with decorations -- beyond beauty they are useless and waste your money just over something that you might overlook for the next couple of years of your life. My grandparents have a lovely picture of Prague, the capital of Czech, but even them, who lived in the same apartment for over half a century, never really seemed to care about that picture.

Why, then, pay your hard-earned money on useless things? There are things with should have a far greater priority: That you'll have a place to sleep in, that you'll be well fed before falling asleep, that you will have enough electricity to power your house, and finally, to make sure that you can actually navigate in your house.

All of them, regardless of objectivity or subjectivity, should be far more important on "Which picture should I send to print?"

This pursuit after beauty, after beauty, is something I find quite repulsive. It's why I don't have the more "mainstream" forms of media, like Instagram or TikTok or whatever the other social medias are.

If I want to see your face, I'd just look up online, not refer myself to your wall! If someone wants to see a caricature of themselves, they can just hire someone on a freelancers' platform to do it for them and then they'd probably forget of all of this eventually and move on with their lives.

It's so easy, to highly regard something you purchase or achieve, and only forget about it, probably for the next couple of years. It still amazes me why would we need a stylist to even be an occupation, that brings more money, than being an armchair philosopher!

This is a general statement, not something that's directed to me personally. Why do the interior designer, the stylist and the other agents of beauty will get to live a nice life using money they... might not necessarily deserve?

Why would a grown adult need help with what they're wearing? It shouldn't be hard, deciding which shirt and pants to pick for each occasion that will follow? Should it be difficult to arrange a set of beauty items if you even have any?

Why, these incredibly easy procedures, require external guidance and monitoring? Aren't we being monitored enough by others already, in our daily lives? So what if I wore a poor combination of colours? I just need to work to survive!

Hereby my advice: Beauty should be kept to a minimum if you've moved to a new apartment or house, because there are things far worthier to take care of; They need to be taken of, because their functionality brings forth your existence and you surviving in it. You shouldn't buy things whose "purpose" is to be covered in dust after a few impressions.

If I'm ever to move somewhere else, I might as well get rid of the picture I put on my living room. I know how my philosophy's symbol looks, I don't need an external reminder of that every day. I don't care if I happen to disrespect my own symbol as a result, but I don't need objects that waste space, to waste space, in the space I navigate in.

Even if I had an external framework outside of my hermitage, no one should waste so much of their precious time on what to wear, and not know some basic ways to tie a tie if your occupation requires it (or if you just a tie-guy, like me when I rarely go out).

Beauty, is therefore, a very primitive, short-term way to amuse ourselves. Those who seek happiness for the long run, shouldn't be so occupied on aesthetics they will be forgetting the next couple of weeks or months.

Sure, the change in scenery is truly refreshing at times, but in theory, all refreshments come to an end, just like with anything in the universe. That's why they are called refreshing -- because they are temporary by default.

Do you want me to talk about the pictures I put on every article? I simply do it because it attracts greater attention in a legitimate way. This is not decoration; this is a series of first impressions to all my readers, regular as new. It's standard in newspapers, and everywhere where other content is at hand.

Even in this niche of philosophy, I have competitors, you see, and unfortunately, first impression sometimes matter to others at first, more than the article itself.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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