Is it really in the eye of the beholder, this thing we call beauty; this category in which we subsume so diverse a jumble of things as ideas, ideals, bodies, clothes, and no end of clutter with which we populate the vacant shelves and corners of our homes? At the level of things, the only difference between us and the individual pushing a grocery cart down the street laden with "worldly treasures" is the relative value of the treasures--a value that is discerned and decreed only by the collectors and those who agree with them. Much catches our eye, whether the eye of the mind or of the body, and, thereby, captures our attention. There are the "beautiful people," the "perfect lives," to some mathematicians there is even beauty in proofs and certain numbers, and the beauty, in every case, is blindingly and seductively intoxicating; and here is where I lay our scene.
What do we find when we tear the mask off the beautiful smile, the handsome face, the strong young body? Those features are safe from our grasp because we are kept aloof by the beauty itself. And dare we approach the sharp mind and studious intellect that so easily rises above the pedestrian concerns weighing down our own common minds? We see the light in that mind and it's brilliance dazzles us; we are content to simply call it beautiful, admiring from afar. Nor can we escape the very filigree in which these lustrous precious gems are set, the social context and standing of this prince. No, we dare not forget this, the most obvious and sought after of all the beauties, the rank and class of such distinction as to set one immediately apart from "the people," the "hoi poloi," the commoners.The looks, the ability, the social standing are all beautiful; beautiful, that is, until, in a moment of horror, the mask is ripped off and we see the rotting entrails that lie beneath this disarmingly charming comportment. The glory of this outer form is not indicted by its putrefaction; but such beauty might lure us hence and there we would contaminate our own attempts to live the life that Light ordained. These dangers hide behind the mask of beauty, they are insidious threads knit tightly in a cloak of mostly truth, and lend themselves quite easily to have their good so often evil spoken of. These beauties are not all so odious, but that is just the point; we must always be on our guard around "beauty," "goodness," and "truth," to make sure we are safe and that we do not fall prey to those foul parasites that burrow there within the very flesh of these ideals to lurk in secret guise until they throttle us when we are found alone and unsuspecting. Indeed, they will come upon us, seeking our services and promising pay for just those skills in which we take the greatest pride; their "beauty" will distract us, their "goodness" will disarm us, their "truth" will then confuse us and in the darkness we will meet our end, taken in by a handsome 23 year old medical student, engaged to a beautiful girl and from a very good family.