The Most Horrible Putrefaction Is Apt To Set In

Briton Rivière - Aphrodite 01

Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays v.2:1926-1929: “The Substitutes for Religion”:

The arts, including music and certain important kinds of literature, have been, at most periods, the handmaids of religion. Their principal function was to provide religion with the visible or audible symbols which create in the mind of the beholder those feelings which for him personally are the god. Divorced from religion, the arts are now independently cultivated for their own sake. That aesthetic beauty which was once devoted to the service of God has now set up as a god on its own. The cultivation of art for its own sake has become a substitute for religion. That it is an extremely inadequate substitute must be apparent to anyone who has observed the habits of those who lead the pure, aesthetic life. Where beauty is worshipped for beauty’s sake as a goddess, independent of and superior to morality and philosophy, the most horrible putrefaction is apt to set in. The lives of the aesthetes are the far from edifying commentary on the religion of beauty.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/89395-Idolizing-the-Arts, Comment #1

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