Where does beauty come from? Beauty is the splendor of connection above contradiction. Kabbalists are capable of perceiving an inner beauty of creation concealed to others.
Is it possible to perceive beauty in an atrocious world?
Not if we think that beauty is only associated with visions and feelings related to pleasure and well-being, with comfort and tranquility.
These feelings and instincts, although they are totally legitimate, try to please the natural desires of the body, perhaps the intellect, perhaps protect us from fear and we can even believe that they constitute the essential good.
But suddenly a war appears, a pandemic, someone we love dies, somebody abandon us, and everything that was safe and beautiful falls apart. What beauty can there be in that?
There is good and there is evil, there is beauty and there is horror. It seems that our deepest biological reaction is to divide, to think dually, or, as Richard Rorty would say, it seems that our brain still cannot think without using these ancient dichotomies.
Would we be able to see that behind all this there is a unity, a kind of plan of creation, a great secret algorithm?
If we succeed, according to Laitman, we could really perceive the secret beauty of the cosmos, and we would not be afraid of death, which is the basic feeling of the reptilian brain, which makes us accumulate, react, attack, fight, isolate ourselves.
We could connect with the whole, achieve unification, which is called jihud in Hebrew.
We might have to reset our brains and install a different operating system, more advanced and subtle, faster and more powerful, capable of navigating this atrocious world without fear paralyzing us or making us reactive and violent.
It would not be a unity of opposites, a coincidentia oppositorum, but rather something beyond, something towards which we are darkly heading as a civilization, as humans, but which we have not yet fully glimpsed clearly.
I keep looking for those keys, and I confess that some of them are being given to me by Kabbalah. Laitman is right. As William Butler Yeats wrote, “Utterly transformed / A Terrible Beauty Is Born.”