Why Is The Living Ugly More Attractive Than The Sculptured Handsome?

‘…we have to recognize that beauty is that which irradiates symmetry rather than symmetry itself and is that which truly calls out our love. Why else is there more of the glory of beauty upon the living and only some faint trace of it upon the dead though the face yet retains all its fullness and symmetry? Why are the most living portraits the most beautiful, even though the other happen to be more symmetric? Why is the living ugly more attractive than the sculptured handsome? It is that the one is more nearly what we are looking for, and this because there is soul there, because there is more of the Idea of The Good, because there is some glow of the light of The Good and this illumination awakens and lifts the soul and all that goes with it, so that the whole man is won over to goodness and in the fullest measure stirred to life’.

Plotinus, (2005-06-30). The Enneads (Classics) (p. 492). Penguin Classics. Kindle Edition.

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