Furthest Right

Where Harmony and Proportion Reign in the Aryan Mind

What made the West rise above others? One theory of history is that almost nothing has a single cause; rather, a pattern forms of details that channel events toward an inevitable conclusion. That way, even if one detail breaks, the end result actually happens, which mirrors how nature works with its own redundant systems.

A number of candidates present themselves, both nature and nurture. On the nature side, we have a higher-IQ population that naturally tends toward transcendent goals. On the nurture side, a culture (arising from genetics) favored order larger than the individual designed to fit within nature through harmony, proportion, and balance.

These became important when people realized what they had lost through the fall of the ancient empires and tried to resurrect it with classical aesthetics:

The term is generally used when referring to art created after the decline of the Roman Empire that places significance on values associated with art from antiquity. These principles include harmony, idealism, proportion, restraint, and balance.

“Restraint” in this case refers to a complicated idea of having the right amount of something so that it works with the larger order, something the ancient Greeks called to kalon:

Plato may speak of a face or body that someone finds kalon, or for that matter a statue, a spoon, a tree, a grassy place to rest (Phaedrus 230b). Then “beautiful” makes a natural equivalent, certainly less stilted than the alternatives. And yet even here it is telling that Plato far more often uses kalon for a face or body than for works of art and natural scenery. As far as unambiguous beauties are concerned, he has a smaller set in mind than we do (Kosman 2010).

Rather than seek a Greek equivalent for “beautiful,” translators often choose another English word for kalon. One rightly popular choice is “fine,” which applies to most things labeled kalon and is also appropriate to ethical and aesthetic contexts (so Woodruff 1983). There are fine suits and string quartets but also fine displays of courage. Of course modern English-speakers have fine sunsets and fine dining as well, this word being even broader than kalon. That is not to mention fine points or fine print. And whereas people frequently ask what beauty really consists in, so that a conversation on the topic might actually have taken place, it is hard to imagine worrying over “what the fine is” or “what is really fine.”

This translation falls between categories in English, or at least modern English. We understand beauty, and we understand minimalism, but we do not understand the intersection of those with function: the “just right” amount of beauty in a simple and immediately cognizable form, without excess or instability.

To kalon resembles another form from the Aryan canon, namely the Swedish Lagom:

Lagom translates as “just the right amount.” It means knowing when enough is enough, and trying to find balance and moderation rather than constantly grasping for more. Lagom is that feeling of contentment we all get when we have all that we need to make us comfortable. It’s neither a millionaire’s splurge in Vegas, nor a pauper’s cold winter night. It means having a roof over your head, food in your belly, friends at your back, and money — just enough money — in your pockets.

Lagom, though, is to enjoy the “just right.” It’s not simply learning to “enjoy the simple things,” but also appreciating that sometimes less really is more. Lagom is knowing that enjoying the now of what you have does not mean you need to add more of it. After all, talking to a friend over a coffee is nice. But meeting with ten friends after ten coffees does not make things better. Lagom is to accept this and to let the fact deepen.

In the “harmony, idealism, proportion, restraint, and balance” rubric this one probably fits in all of them but idealism, which is an ambition toward transcendental ideals like beauty, goodness, and accuracy (“truth”). An ideal object would have its function be evident but graceful and efficient as well as aggressive/decisive.

At the core of the ancient Greek idea is proportion, but unlike our modern equivalent, this does not mean solely within the object but also applies to its environment, context, history, future, and continuity between all of those parallels.

Balance, harmony, restraint, and idealism therefore relate to proportion:

Hence the Greek concept of beauty was based on a pleasing balance and proportion of form. The Ancient Greeks were innovators in the field of art and developed many new styles and techniques to achieve that perfectness of balance and proportion and that concept has influenced countless artists ever since. It can be argued that art up to the Greeks had been abstract and formal, while from the Greeks onwards it was based upon realism.

The ancient Greeks were obsessed with aesthetics (from the Greek aisthetikos, meaning ‘of sense perception’). Aesthetics is the study of beauty and the Ancient Greeks held beauty above all. To Plato it was an ideal.

Despite the differences in Plato’s and Aristotle’s views of art they did agree that art objects should try to be beautiful and useful. For Plato beauty was summed up in an object’s suitability and utility for purpose. It is from these times that beauty is linked to function.

This mirrors ancient concepts of proportion to the long-term context: a bad leader gives in to avoid war, a good leader wins a war, a great leader organizes things so that war does not occur and yet he does not back down. The best of all things is that which is in tune with nature enough to twist things toward transcendental good.

Even good and evil are understood this way. Unlike the method-based Abrahamic versions, in the ancient view “good” means that which enhances what is natural and thriving, and “bad” means that which destroys it; different methods, including killing and destruction, can be used toward good ends.

As modernity tumbles in ruins, it makes sense to acquaint ourselves with the distant wisdom of our people that, being closer to our formation, is clearer and more in tune with our intuition and knowledge of ourselves. All that is dying now needs to die, and what must be kept alive is slowly emerging.

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