We can begin this day with a simple thought on beauty. At first the concept is difficult to define. Instinctively I feel that beauty is real to everyone. Once I have made my mind that something is beautiful I know it in the same sense that I know what the number “one” is. The natural number does not represent something: one is simply one. Beauty seems to appeal to that same area of our nature, that part that is connected both to the instinctive and the rational.

I think of this often in the context of the biblical story of the Garden of Eden. The absence of ugliness in the garden goes together with the absence of evil. The forbidden fruit will bring both evil and ugliness to the life of mankind. The act of disobedience seems to brake something in the matrix of human life. Just as God has warned death ensues but before man experiences death itself he has to experience a fall into a life of ugliness.

The garden was good to see, its fruits were good to eat. There is a whole inventory of desirable things that man has in the garden: he can sense the proximity of God and other spiritual beings. He can taste and see that all that God has given him is good. When God bring the animals before him, he starts growing a language that comes from within him, from his feelings and yet it is connected with that part of creation that is now being trusted to him.

When God names things the very act of naming them makes them come into existence: “Let there be light” results in light. But the naming of the animals is different. Man has to create a symbol in his mind, a second name of sorts for those creatures that God is bringing before him. God does not reveal to man the primordial names of a bear, a cat, a butterfly. God allows man to reach into his own soul and find a new name for creation. But is it new or is it something that man has to find within him, something that God has hidden inside man’s soul?