Benedetto Croce – a great philosopher with extraordinary intelligence – theorized beauty throughout his life; yet, as Osho said with his characteristic humor and insight,the philosopher could not experience beauty Knowledge triumphs; beauty vanishes.
One of the greatest 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 dreamed 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–the 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. He would rather 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.
SOURCE: Osho, Mindfulness in the Modern World