Mindfulness practitioner, bestselling author, lecturer and lover of beautiful things
Dr. Frank Berzbach (47) discusses the source of the art of living in his new book “The Form of Beauty”. Beauty is a basic need. Everyone “embellishes” something and when they do, they feel better. Nevertheless, we often do not see beauty as part of our everyday life – we neglect our aesthetic needs, our awareness of form dwindles.
In his new book Frank Berzbach shows: to sharpen the sense of beauty, to develop an awareness of aesthetics, also means to lead a happier life. Only in this way can we appreciate the beauty of people, of clothing and food, the beauty of the analogue as well as of nature. For us, he unravels the abstract mystery.
The Curvy Magazine: What does beauty mean to you?
Frank Berzbach: It is a renewable resource and a source of happiness. Even on grey days there is something beautiful.
Three things from your life that you find beautiful:
Books, records and women.
To what extent does beauty influence our lives?
Humans also have basic aesthetic needs. Beauty can bewitch, calm and arouse, it borders on magic. There are many variations of beauty and especially the unfathomable depth of beauty never gets boring.
You write that today we express our affection only with profane expressions such as “like”, “nice” or “love”, and rightly criticize our vocabulary poverty and the associated decline in form. Frank, how do you give real compliments?
I like to celebrate beauty in people. To tell people that your clothes, your smile, maybe a word or a gesture are great, that’s often enough. That can be risky, if you know people better, you can say that someone looks sexy. But harmless compliments are no less effective; I often praise people’s shoes if I like them.
What do you like about yourself?
I prefer to leave that to others; men also like to get compliments, albeit less often. Ever since I got compliments for it, I like my hands.
Is beauty subjective?
Only to a small extent. Harmony and silence teachings play a role, but one must be able to deviate from them in an individual and form-conscious way. Beauty is not clear and objectively determinable, but it is even less simply an arbitrary individual judgement.
An interesting thesis that beauty can even have its appearance in the weather. Where can you discover the undiscovered origins of beauty?
In our everyday life there is much that can be adored. A perfectly staged cup of espresso or a Japanese tea bowl, even a well-made magazine can be very beautiful. The small things are important to me: a pencil or bicycle fascinate me more than a big car.
Is beauty dependent on parameters such as symmetry, height and youthfulness?
No, they’re just superficial categories. Personally, I don’t like symmetry. The height of others also depends on my own. I believe that all people with the ability to age can become more beautiful.
According to Umberto Eco’s theories, ugliness is not the other side of beauty – what is the opposite of beauty to you?
I stick to the Asian teachings: the opposite of beauty is evil. For me, the vulgar is also the opposite of beautiful.