In Defense of Big Love

Op-Ed Columnist May 31, 2016 David Brooks Ever since the days of ancient Greece, philosophers have distinguished between the beautiful and the sublime. Beauty is what you experience when you look at a flower or a lovely face. It is contained, pleasurable, intimate and romantic. Sublime is what you feel when you look at a mountain range or a tornado. It involves awe, veneration, maybe even a touch of fear. A sublime thing, like space or mathematics, over-awes the natural human dimensions and reminds you that you are a small thing in a vast cosmos. Recently neuroscientists have shown that the experiences of beauty and awe activate different parts of the brain. The distinction between the beautiful and the sublime is the distinction between the intimate and the transcendent. This…

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