True Beauty Is Functional
- Realization: True Beauty Is Functional
I have a new office laptop. When I first got it, there was a protective plastic film on its cover. It has been more than a month but I have yet to remove it. One day, while shutting down the laptop, I realised the plastic wasn't doing "justice" to the laptop- in the sense that it covered up and "marred" its original intended design. I wondered if I was going to keep it on forever. What am I forever protecting the laptop cover for if I am never going to expose it? It struck me that the mere protection of beauty or anything precious with no use of that which is protected is a total waste of time and effort. Anything beautiful which is shielded from the world loses its essence of being beautiful. Anything beautiful must be functional. By functional, it can be subtle but sure. A painting can inspire for instance. Interesting... this must be why inspiration is always beautiful. The best and most beautiful things in life are functional and free for all- the breeze, the singing of the birds, the cooling rain... Yes, and true unconditional love too.
This reminds me of the parable of the hidden gem in the Lotus Sutra... "Suppose a poor man visited his old friend. He was treated well with food and drink, and fell asleep. His friend had to go out on official business, so he fastened a priceless gem inside the garment of the poor friend as a gift to him, and went out. The drunken man did not notice what his friend had given him. After a while he got up and went to another country. He had great difficulty in getting food and clothing. He was satisfied as a homeless man. Some time later the good friend happened to see him. He said, "Alas, man! Why have you had such difficulty in getting food and clothing? I fastened a priceless gem inside your garment the last time you came to my house. The gem is still there. You did not notice it! What a fool you are! Trade that gem for what you want! You will not be short of anything you want."
What use is your beautiful gem of your Buddha Nature if you do not reveal its full splendour? Let it shine today!