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What is beauty?

There are only two categories of things for humans: energy and information. Beauty is the subjective interpretation of energy and information by humans. Thus, the human brain, mind, and consciousness are the sources of beauty, not the energy and information by themselves. This means beauty is produced during the consumption, production, and interaction between humans, energy, and information.

The same amounts of energy may have different information. For example, one thousand calories of bread have the same value of energy as one thousand calories of meat, but those bread and meat have different information. One calorie of protein, one calorie of fats, and one calorie carbohydrates have the same energy, albeit different information.

For human beings, energy, i.e., food, is of utmost importance, and during the age of agrarian societies, the means of food production (land, water, warm climate, river basins, pastures, crop fields, etc.) were the goal of wars and conflicts.

After Industrial Revolution and during the age of industrial societies, another type of energy rose to prominence and importance - fuel. Thus, at the next stage of history, fuel (oil, gas, coal, uranium, etc.) was the goal of wars and conflicts. That means energy, either in the form of food or fuel, is one of the centers of human life, and items and ideas related to food and fuel are regarded as beautiful.

For example, fruits, flowers, trees, grass, animals, rivers, seas, oceans, fish, birds, river basins, seashores, mountains, etc., are related to food, and that is why they are accepted as beautiful. For example, cars, planes, rockets, weapons, trains, etc., are related to fuel, and this is the reason for their beauty.

Another source of beauty besides energy is information. Humans and all other biological species (animals, plants, viruses, etc.) are programmed to transmit and spread their genetic information, and humans do that through sexual relations between opposite sexes. Thus, almost anything related to the transmission of genetic information, i.e., sex, is accepted and regarded as beautiful.

For example, the human body (i.e., a female body that is ready for reproduction), newborn babies, toddlers, kittens, puppies, romance stories like Romeo and Juliet, etc., are related to the transmission of genetic information, i.e., sex, and that is why they are regarded as beautiful and cute. The marketing psychologists know these aspects, and they use the themes of food, fuel, and sex in their marketing campaigns and technologies. This proves that energy and information are the sources of beauty.

Nursi, in the Words, wrote that food is the means of the perpetuation of self, and sex is the means of the perpetuation of species. Thus, food and sex are the means of perpetuation.

Energy = Food + Fuel

Information = Sex

Food + Fuel + Sex = Beauty

Beauty = Perpetuation

Perpetuation = Desire of Eternity

That means we accept and regard something as beautiful, if and only if it enables and helps our self-perpetuation (food, fuel) and perpetuation of our species (sex). In other words, beauty is the instinct of perpetuation and desire for eternity.

The Glorious Quran put that definition of beauty about one thousand and four hundred years ago. Quran describes eternity by using the properties and pleasures of food and sex. The critics of the Quran claimed that this description is gluttonous and erotic and unsuitable for the highly spiritual Book of God, but they denied the biological dimension of human beings in favor of the psychological dimension. Thus, they accepted and advised the imbalance between the biological (animalistic) and psychological (spiritual) dimensions of a human being.

Beauty is the unconscious desire for eternity. Thus, beauty is the proof of eternity. Nursi, in his Tenth Word, wrote that desire for food, i.e., hunger, is satisfied by the existence of food. In the same way, he argued, the desire for eternity, i.e., beauty, is satisfied by the existence of eternity. Hunger is the proof of the existence of food. Beauty is the proof of the existence of eternity.

In the Seventeenth Word, Nursi explained verses 6:76-79 by highlighting the connections between love, beauty, and eternity. Eternity is the cause of beauty, and beauty is the cause of love.

Eternity --> Beauty --> Love

Thus, we love some things and people and accept them as beautiful if they connect us to eternity or if we suppose they can connect us to eternity. The desire for eternity is the cause and source of our errors and efforts, as evidenced by verse 20:120.

Humans love eternal and despise ephemeral. The struggle of the human consists of the effort to "eternalize herself" biologically, genetically, culturally, historically, informationally, etc. Just look at architecture, sculpture, literature, history, etc. Humans do not want to be temporary, but they want to be timeless. Humans do have the desire for perpetuity, eternity, and infinity. Beauty is the desire for eternity, and beauty is the proof of eternity because the desire for non-existent nothing is absurd and meaningless.

I chose, and I am choosing beauty and eternity, not ugliness and ephemerality.

-İman isteyen münafık


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