'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so the old cliché says, insinuating that beauty is an object of judgment, a subjective projection. What a sad, impoverished impression of beauty. Beauty exists and does not need an eye or a beholder to substantiate it. Those who behold are merely lucky observers if they are fortunate enough to see beauty for what it actually is, and not through the tainted lens of human arrogance.
It is this anthropocentric egotism that allows us to cut down a rainforest and grow soybeans, to plow a landscape vibrant with innumerable ecological webs to build the concrete and glass structures of human glorification.
We float through life offering labels of good and bad, ugly and beautiful according to our own whims, as if the natural world cares for our opinions. All the while, as we are caught up in our fantasies, a complex symphony of life beyond our wildest imaginations falls prey to our plastic and cheap imitations. The aurora borealis will continue to ignite the northern sky regardless of our approval.
And yet we persist in our delusions of grandeur. Some have created a god in their own image that indulges in genocide, petty vindictiveness and hate crimes against humankind and the entire natural world, yet we hold this god up as the pinnacle of perfection. A Bronze Age text with a Bronze Age view of the world simplifies the wonder of creation into a stagnant 6 day episode when the real beauty is a far more magnificent, evolving and unfathomable wonder. Majestic mountains, millions of years in the making are reduced to rubble to harvest coal to fuel the human enterprise that now chokes the Earth and threatens the very wonder of life.
Human perception and belief are notoriously bad indicators of truth or beauty.