Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) wrote just before 1800 on the subject of beauty as play and gave inspiring reasons why he thought this to be true. His idea was that beauty is born in play, such as Beethoven playing the piano, Shakespeare’s plays, ball players and now DVD’s, iPods and other players. Play is the one activity where the fusion of inner vision and objective facts is achieved. Out of this comes the living form, which is beauty. He says, “The object of the play instinct, represented in a general statement, may therefore bear the name of living form, a term that serves to describe all aesthetic qualities of phenomena, and what people style, in the widest sense, beauty.”
Play is closely connected to the words joy, merry, dancing, exhibiting, games, and frivolity, and no holding back. It is to act as a child, to play, dance, to jest and to play an instrument. This is reminiscent of the instruction of Jesus to “become like little children.” Surely beauty and play meet at this very junction.
“I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven.” Jesus