"At times the psychological conscience quickly gets paralyzed under the stress of futile introspection. But there is another spiritual activity that develops and liberates its hidden powers of action: the perception of beauty. I do not mean by this that we must expect consciousness to respond to beauty as an effete* and esoteric* thing. We ought to be alive enough to reality to see beauty all around us. Beauty is simply reality itself, perceived in a special way that gives it a resplendent value of its own. Everything that is, is beautifyl insofar as it is real--though the association which they may have acquired for men may not always make things beautiful to us. Snakes are beautiful, but not to us." Thomas Merton, No Man Is An Island, p. 52.
*effette-worn out; exhausted
*esoteric- taught to a select few; private; select
(Forgive me: I had to look these up for myself!)