1) We all love beauty yet, such a distinction causes us to disdain much as ugliness.(1)  

2) We all like to appreciate what is good in life. Yet this causes us to reject much as bad. Something and nothing give a place to each other, like figure and ground. High and low enrich each other like soprano and bass. To prefer one at the expense of the other would be foolishness.(2)  

3) Therefore the mastercraftsman acts precisely upon what the circumstance calls for and, in so doing, eliminates choice-making. In this way he follows exactly the flow of harmony without imposing his will.  


1) There is beauty of form, of color, of line, of manner, of character. In some persons beauty is lacking, in other persons there is more of it; it is only the comparison that makes us think that one person is better than the other. If we did not compare, then every person would be good; it is the comparison which makes us consider one thing more beautiful than another. But if we looked more carefully we should see the beauty that is in that other one too. Very often our comparison is not right for the very reason that although today we determine in our mind what is good and beautiful, we are liable to change that conception in a month's, a year's time. That shows us that when we look at something, we are capable of appreciating it if its beauty manifests to our view.   

Harzat Inayat Khan, Mental Purification
2)...Beauty deprived of its proper foils and adjuncts ceases to be enjoyed as beauty, just as light deprived of all shadow ceases to be enjoyed as light. A white canvas cannot produce the effect of sunshine; the painter must darken it in some places before he can make it look luminous in others; nor can an uninterrupted succession of beauty produce the true effect of beauty; it must be foiled by inferiority before its own power can be developed. Nature has for the most part mingled her inferior and noble elements as she mingles sunshine with shade, giving due use and influence to both... It is only by the habit of representing faithfully all things, that we can truly learn what is beautiful, and what is not. The ugliest objects contain some elements of beauty; and in all it is an element peculiar to themselves, which cannot be separated from their ugliness, but must either be enjoyed together with it or not at all. The more a painter accepts nature as he finds it, the more unexpected beauty he discovers in what he at first despises; but once let him arrogate the right of rejection, and he will gradually contract his circle of enjoyment, until what he supposed to be nobleness of selection ends in narrowness of perception. Dwelling perpetually upon one class of ideas, his art becomes at once monstrous and morbid; until at last he cannot faithfully represent even what he chooses to retain; his discrimination contracts into darkness, and his fastidiousness fades into fatuity.   
John Ruskin; The Lamp of Beauty; Writings on Art, page 79-80