Beauty does not feed the body, but the soul, and thus beauty testifies to the fact that there is something beyond life, beyond mere nature. Beauty gives life meaning because beauty is useless, which is to say beauty does not keep hearts beating. When we encounter beautiful things, we cannot help feeling that we are receiving real power and health, although that power and health will not cure a fever or heal a diseased kidney. Beauty heals the soul the way food and medicine heal a broken body.
… The uselessness of Thanksgiving dinner reminds us that we are not mere bodies, but embodied souls, and only healthy souls are capable of charity … Beauty is the food which empowers the soul to care about others. Behind every five-dollar bill handed out a car window to a homeless man, there is some useless beautiful thing quietly doing its work.
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