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AESTHETIC IDEAL OF THE ORIENT

March 20, 2016 | Author: admin image 2

All people want to be beautiful, healthy, cheerful and happy. However, beauty is not only what pleases our eyes, ears or sense of smell. Often, beauty is perfection. As a rule, good verses, superb music, brilliant scientific theories, and the canvases of talented artists are perfect. Experiencing these things gives us pleasure. A very good move in chess or a successful pass in football may also be called "beautiful". When a scientist successfully and effectively proves a theory, colleagues say: "It is beautifully formulated!

High aesthetic ideals and the philosophy of beauty comprised the essence of ancient Eastern civilization. Since ancient times, people living there have cared very much about their appearance. For instance, they made beautiful clothes and cosmetic utensils.

Aspiration for an aesthetic ideal was not limited to beautiful clothing and expensive incense. It was considered that a person, and also everything that surrounded him, should be beautiful. "Avesta", the ancient book of the Zoroastrians (1st millennium BC), says that a human being should constantly improve himself and the world in which he lives. Throughout his entire life, a faithful person should cultivate and improve his land and decorate it with green plants. He must also maintain cleanliness and order in his home and strictly keep up his personal hygiene. Untidiness, a sloppy appearance and the neglect of the norms of hygiene were considered to be a great sin.

According to ancient beliefs, everything beautiful and clean was patronized by Ormuzd (or Ahuramazda, the God of Good), while everything ugly and dirty was ruled by Ahriman (or Anhra-Manyu, the God of Evil). Dirt, illness, rust, mold, stink, withering, rotting and everything that spoils our world is created by the hands of Ahriman and his malicious spirits. Therefore, everybody was obliged to increase beauty and reduce disharmony. Man was involved in the struggle against the forces of evil. Incense and cosmetics were used not only to improve external attractiveness, but also for religious purposes. In order to achieve ritual cleanliness, ancient Azeris applied aromatic oils and ointments made of frankincense, myrrh, rosemary, hyssop, cassia, cinnamon, nard and other plants. Cypress, with its fragrant needles, was considered the tree of the prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster). The dispersion of oils was also thought to purify the air and provide protection from evil spirits

In both ancient pre-Islamic and medieval Muslim Azerbaijan, beauty and harmony were considered to be the criteria of perfection. The aristocrats (including the shahs, khans, sultans, their courts and deputies) were the basic consumers, keepers and sponsors of the aesthetic ideal. Beauty was understood to be not only the external attractiveness of a person, but also their skill at behaving correctly and beautifully in society. In addition to learning such sciences as history, logic, mathematics, religion and law, the young representatives of the aristocracy were taught calligraphy, graceful manners, table etiquette, the correct selection of incense and the use of cosmetics. In the training of boys, considerable time was devoted to riding and martial arts as well.

In both ancient pre-Islamic and medieval Muslim East, beauty and harmony were considered to be the criteria of perfection. The aristocrats (including the shahs, khans, sultans, their courts and deputies) were the basic consumers, keepers and sponsors of the aesthetic ideal. Beauty was understood to be not only the external attractiveness of a person, but also their skill at behaving correctly and beautifully in society. In addition to learning such sciences as history, logic, mathematics, religion and law, the young representatives of the aristocracy were taught calligraphy, graceful manners, table etiquette, the correct selection of incense and the use of cosmetics. In the training of boys, considerable time was devoted to riding and martial arts as well.The ability to speak beautifully, compose verses, and quote from the classics was considered to be ideal for the young aristocrat.

Read more on this topic in the article Farid Alakbarli. Philosophy of Beauty.