Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.Posted: June 20, 2012
“Wabi sabi is a Japanese philosophy that teaches that beauty and wisdom are not “out there” to be discovered, but are instead here in this moment. Many of its concepts correlate with ideas of Zen Buddhism, because the first Japanese involved with wabi sabi were tea masters, priests, and monks who practiced Zen.”
Readers of this blog will know I have a core interest in creative simplicity, universal thinking and ‘Middle Way’ philosophy. Truth be told this perception makes its way into all of my posts, sometimes unconsciously, whether they be on art, culture, psychology, or personal topics. I have attempted to articulate aspects of this perception consciously on the ‘Philosophy’ page, and in these previous posts:
Recently, I discovered another piece of what is shaping up to be an awesome lifelong puzzle: Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi is “a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.” It is the art of finding beauty in that imperfection, wisdom in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It is simple, slow, and uncluttered. Modest and humble.
Characteristics of the wabi sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
The person who introduced this aesthetic system to me last week said that the Way of wabi sabi was to “go with the flow”, to adapt to rather than fight inevitable change in life. And to stabilise oneself by “living in the now”.
Being wabi sabi is being true to ourselves, and happy with who we are.
He was ‘preaching’ to the choir. Yay wabi sabi! I see correlations to my Pacific cultural background. And my body conveniently fits this aesthetic 😉
“Wabi-sabi as way of seeing the world, states that nothing is permanent but change (nothing new in Eastern philosophy) but Wabi-sabi’s variation is that things are evolving from or devolving towards nothingness. And beauty lies at the borders of nothingness. Imperfection is hailed as a virtue rather than a defect. It is admired.”