Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I closed my eyes to sleep, and missed out on so many hours of beauty.

     Your permeability to beauty is limited by many things, including your eyelids: lower them, and you will not see any beauty for a while. Open them, and you may see too much. The trick is to know that it's there, even when your eyes are closed to it: to perceive it with your inner eye.
     In the course of practicing the perception of beauty (don't worry, it's like riding a bike, you never forget how but you quickly become rusty without practice) you may find yourself OVERWHELMED! by the sheer abundance of beauty from time to time. Do not panic. Try to remember that beauty overload is a stage you are going through while you calibrate your Organ of Beauty Perception.
     Others have been there before you and written about it, both the calibration of beauty and beauty overload. Annie Dillard is one of the very best, and her book A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek chronicles a year spent perceiving beauty at a local pond, with many precise observations on the process of Beauty Perception. She relates two historical anecdotes of Beauty Overload. Blaise Pascal is overwhelmed by beauty, and utters: "Le Feu!" ("The Fire!"). He writes that phrase on a scrap of paper, and carries the scrap with him for the rest of his life. Ghengis Khan, marching with his army, sees a tree that is arresting in its beauty. He halts his army for two days while his goldsmith strikes a likeness of the tree on a medal. He keeps the medal with him for the rest of his life.
     This node itself is a result of a small experience of beauty overload. I was reading Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes by Lometa, and was almost squashed by the excellence of that node and its linguistic-historical-musical resonances; they set up a standing wave of enthusiasm in my being (nudge, nudge; not!) and I had to node this as a way of clamping down on the flow of perception. (C.f. Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception.) As the node title implies, the overload can be quite breathtaking, in an unpleasant way. I theorize that depression is a response to overload, and beauty overload, in some cases: anhedonia a result of blocking out beauty. Hmm.

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