TotD: Freya Stark on Beauty

From Perseus in the Wind by Freya Stark:

If love­li­ness is so engaged, as I believe, in the skein of our uni­verse, it is sad that it should be lit­tle cared for in our schools. The whole of the indus­tri­al world pro­claims its unim­por­tance, and mil­lions and mil­lions of peo­ple spend their lives look­ing almost exclu­sive­ly at ugly things. This sure­ly will pass. What is more insid­i­ous­ly dan­ger­ous at the moment is a timid heresy which believes that the igno­rant can be trained to beau­ty by the sec­ond-rate. The fal­la­cy of our age main­tains it bet­ter to do things bad­ly than not at all. As a mat­ter of fact there is very lit­tle harm in doing noth­ing: to do things bad­ly is an active get­ting in the way of the few nec­es­sary peo­ple who might do good. To adapt beau­ty to “the man in the street” is to use the bed of Pro­crustes with a vengeance and to muti­late divin­i­ty: it is bet­ter to remem­ber that the man in the street him­self was made in the like­ness of God. To him beau­ty is sim­ple and easy, a nat­ur­al hunger which all can assim­i­late in ele­men­tary or com­pli­cat­ed form, pro­vid­ed they are not clut­tered up with medi­oc­rity already. Medi­oc­rity will nev­er lead to beau­ty: the two roads are not even par­al­lel; they are divergent.