to Tree's branches
back to Welcome on to Conclusion
14 A Beautiful View
The fact that there is enjoyment is rather obvious here --- why else would people stop for the view so often? But is there matching? One might suppose that this is a simple situation where one stimulus produces one response, as when one steps out of shadow into the sunshine and enjoys the feeling of warmth on one's skin.
The other idea is that there is something already in me, before I look at the view, and when I see the view some degree of match is achieved. In favor of this idea, we can note that people differ: the same view affects different people to different extents and in different ways. I think many of the remarks about Twig 13 apply, including the remark by Goethe. What is new here is that we come a little closer to the "higher things" mentioned in the Conclusion.
My point is that although admiring a view is, on one hand, much like admiring a painting, on the other hand it is a bit like looking at the night sky. Now I think of that experience as definitely mysterious --- one is filled with thoughts and feelings of a non-material kind, hard to pin down but with some kind of value; I wish more of us had that kind of feeling more of the time. So what happens when we enjoy a view is a more vague example of the Central Idea than, for example, a jigsaw puzzle, but it is perhaps an example more worth keeping in mind and pondering.