Beauty not only exists in the eye of the beholder, that is the only place it exists. A scene, an object, a being, none of these things contains beauty as an intrinsic property. To be called beautiful, someone must view the thing and appreciate that beauty—and sometimes there is a great deal of variation even between humans as to what constitutes beauty.
How do we make sense of this? What is beauty for, if it is inconsistent and subjective? Here is one possible explanation.
Beauty is your soul’s recognizing itself somewhere in the “external” world. When you realize—or perhaps decide—something is beautiful, you are drawn toward it either directly or through your attention.
For whatever length of time you allow yourself to appreciate what you are looking at, or listening to, or feeling, your consciousness is engaged in what can be a very intense and wonderful state of contemplation.
It doesn’t often last long. The ego gets in the way, making excuses to shy away from the full possibility of the experience or to try to control or grasp it. Defeating the ego’s interference with our connection to the deeper consciousness, however you may define that, is an important goal in many spiritual pursuits (and that is not limited to religious or metaphysical ones; the same can be said of great scientists whose seeking of truth and understanding often lead them to a deep perception and appreciation of beauty).
In fact, the ego’s stubbornness may be why the experience happens in the first place. If you believe there is a loving nature to consciousness, the Goddess or God—perhaps your unconscious mind, if you are uncomfortable with spiritual language—it is not so hard to see that It might be the reason for the appreciation of beauty.
Perhaps it is a game. The ego, wrapped up in its own pursuits and thoughts, must be reminded. If the soul is a loving reality, would it be surprising if it sometimes says, “Hey, silly mind. Do you remember Me? Look, there goes another reflection. Isn’t it beautiful?”
Perhaps there is a way to test this hypothesis. Move forward upon whatever spiritual path you find the most beautiful, until you find yourself more open to love and more connected to your Self. Do you not then see the universe and all the beings within it as that much more beautiful, when your inner light is reflected?