Some people are able to see and express beauty more intensively than others. Thomas Traherne (ca. 1636-1674) was one such soul. His writings and poetry emerged from a view of the world inspired by a life of worship, which resulted in Traherne becoming an Anglican clergyman. His presentation of beauty in the world was so inspiring that the Anglican Church eventually considered him a saint.
One of the Traherne stained glass windows at
the Anglican Cathedral in Hereford, England.
Here’s just one example of Traherne describing what it means to see beauty in the world:
You never enjoy the world aright; till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it. And so perfectly hate the abominable corruption of men in despising it, that you had rather suffer the flames of Hell than willingly be guilty of their error. There is so much blindness and ingratitude and damned folly in it. The world is a mirror of infinite beauty, yet no man sees it. It is a Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is a region of Light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of God. (Centuries of Meditations, First Century, Section 31)
Watching this video, I think I caught just a glimpse of what Traherne meant when he said that “the world is a mirror of infinite beauty.”