Ugliness is the opposite of beauty and, especially in the Greco-Latin culture, was related to the human physical appearance and seen as an expression of a moral defect. This attitude is no longer appropriate for our present consciousness-soul age, not in artistic and even less in moral terms.
„You see, man, under the influence of the same delusion which has attributed certain Luciferian qualities to the divine powers, is inclined today to see unilaterally in the representation of the beautiful, for example, an ideal. Certainly, one can portray the beautiful as such. But one must be aware of this: If one were only to devote oneself to beauty as a human being, then one would cultivate in oneself those forces which lead into the Luciferian waters. For in the real world, just as there is no one-sided development - to which the retrograde belongs, to which evolution belongs devolution - there is no one-sided existence of mere beauty. Mere beauty, used by Lucifer to captivate and dazzle humanity, would make humanity free from earthly evolution and would not hold it together with earthly evolution. In reality, as with the interplay of evolution and devolution, we have to do with an interplay, a hard struggle of beauty against ugliness. And if we really want to grasp art, we must never forget that the ultimate artistic aspect of the world must be the interplay, the display of the beautiful in battle with the ugly. For only by looking at the state of equilibrium between the beautiful and the ugly do we stand within reality, not unilaterally in a reality which does not belong to us, but which is striven for with us in the Luciferic, in the Ahrimanic reality. It is very necessary that such ideas as I have just expressed should enter into the development of human culture. In Greece - you know with what enthusiasm I have often spoken from this place about Greek education - one could devote oneself unilaterally to beauty, for then mankind was not yet seized by the descending earthly development, at least not among the Greek people. Since that time, however, man has no longer been allowed the luxury of cultivating beauty alone. That would be an escape from reality. He must boldly and bravely confront the real struggle between the beautiful and the ugly. He must be able to feel, empathise, experience the dissonances in the struggle with the consonances in the world.“ (Lit.:GA 194, p. 56f)
- Rudolf Steiner: Michael's Mission: Revealing the Essential Secrets of Human Nature. CW 194. Rudolf Steiner Press 2016, ISBN 978-1855845176; eBook ASIN B07NB5SPZ3
- Rudolf Steiner: Die Sendung Michaels, GA 194 (1994), ISBN 3-7274-1940-7 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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