One thing has to be understood clearly: that the people who have asked so-called great questions about the meaning of life, about the meaning of the very existence, about the meaning of love, about the meaning of beauty, are thought to be great philosophers but they have one foot in the grave. Just before slipping into their graves, they are raising all these questions.
One of the great aestheticians, a great philosopher of aesthetics, Croce, devoted his whole life to a single question: what is beauty? In this century he stands alone as a high peak, incomparable to anybody else. His dedication to the question of beauty is total. He wrote about it, he talked about it, he taught about it, he dreamt about it; his whole life was woven around the question: what is beauty?
I have gone through his writings, and on each step I have felt that this man must have been blind – only a blind person can ask, “What is beauty?” And for almost one century, nobody has raised the question of whether Croce was blind or not. I say he was definitely blind. He may have had eyes, just as you have, but he had no perception, no sensitivity. He was asking the question what is beauty? And went on inquiring about it – and the whole existence is full of beauty.
Even the smallest blade of grass is beautiful. All around there are flowers and stars, birds and trees and rivers and mountains, and beautiful human beings. Why could a man of the intelligence of Croce not see a simple thing – that beauty has to be felt, not thought about? You have to see it; you have to experience it. You are capable of creating it, but it is such a mystery that it is beyond explanation. You cannot confine it in a definition.
But his whole lifelong effort shows only one thing: the poor man never experienced even a single moment of beauty; otherwise, his whole questioning would have changed. Instead he would have devoted his life to creating beauty, to experiencing beauty, to rejoicing with the stars and with the moon and with the flowers and with the birds. But he wasted his whole life.
And to what conclusion did he come in the end? – that beauty is indefinable. This could have been told to him by anybody in the very beginning. There was no need to waste a beautiful life, a precious gift of existence.
And one cannot be certain that it will be given to you again; you cannot even be certain why it has been given to you this time. Do you deserve it? Have you earned it? Does existence owe it to you? It seems to be a sheer gift, a gift of an abundant existence, not bothering about whether you deserve it or not. Not asking for your qualifications, not inquiring about your character, your morality, making no demands on you, just giving it without any conditions attached to it. Giving it not as a business, but without any expectations from you in return, giving it and allowing you total freedom to do whatever you want to do with it.
Everything should go beautifully, easily, with wellbeing. It is natural. If something is not going well that means something is sick, something is ill.