Speaking from my experience only, I can say that I'm relatively certain that certain notions of art and defining what is Aesthetics is a culturally determined notion, but despite the different techniques, mediums, and artistic conceptual frameworks, there seems to be a unified concept of "beauty" in all cultures. However, this might be just a dangerous expression of attachment to that pleasing idea or form.
What is your opinions on the idea of Art?
If you think it strengthens attachment, how does it do this?
If you think it doesn't strengthen attachment how would you define Aesthetics in a manner that doesn't express attachment?
I remembered there were discussions about music as a distraction from practice and people debated and discussed about it. Some people believed it was healthy, and others felt it was unhealthy. I want to pose a bigger question related not only to music, but experience as a whole. Is art conducive to awakening, or do you feel it is a hindrance and attachment to the sensual? Is trying to appreciate or understand aesthetics harmless, or does it cause a clamoring attachment the very moment you try to define it?
When there is ignorant based contact with an art form, there will be birth of a feeling and the development of that feeling into craving, clinging and dukkha
If there is wisdom based contact then one knows the feeling to be impermanent, dukkha and not-self. There is no pursuit of the feeling, one is simply aware of it
In terms of practice, from what I can tell, the Buddha taught a refraining from viewing artwork, listening to music, watching plays etc because this leads to a more balanced mind not disturbed by the current of wanting or averting, instead of the opposite, such as listening to music or viewing art which strengthens it
One should then, as I said, refrain from such things and focus on the Noble Eight Fold Path, becoming more and more grounded in the moment of now, being mindfully aware, strengthening mindfulness until eventually craving ceases, through contemplation of the way things are, then one wont like or dislike art anyway
Just my thoughts on the issue anyway
"If he feels a pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent; there is no holding to it; there is no delight in it.’ If he feels a painful feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent; there is no holding to it; there is no delight in it.’ If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he understands: ‘It is impermanent; there is no holding to it; there is no delight in it.’
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
"What are the feelings, O Lord? What is the origin of feelings, what is their cessation and the way leading to their cessation? What is the gratification in feelings? What is the danger in feelings? And what is the escape from them?"
"There are, Ananda, three kinds of feelings: pleasant, painful and neutral. Through the origin of sense-impression there is origin of feelings; through the cessation of sense-impression there is cessation of feelings. It is the noble eightfold path that is the way leading to the cessation of feelings, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
"It is the happiness and gladness arising dependent on feelings that is the gratification in feelings. Feelings are impermanent, (liable to bring) pain, and are subject to change; this is the danger in feelings. The removal and the giving up of the desire and lust for feelings is the escape from feelings.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nypo.html
"In the case of pleasant feelings, O monks, the underlying tendency to lust should be given up; in the case of painful feelings, the underlying tendency to resistance (aversion) should be given up; in the case of neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings, the underlying tendency to ignorance should be given up.
"If a monk has given up the tendency to lust in regard to pleasant feeling, the tendency to resistance in regard to painful feelings, and the tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings, then he is called one who is free of (unwholesome) tendencies, one who has the right outlook. He has cut off craving, severed the fetters (to future existence), and through the full penetration of conceit, he has made an end of suffering."
If one feels joy, but knows not feeling's nature,
bent towards greed, he will not find deliverance.
If one feels pain, but knows not feeling's nature,
bent toward hate, he will not find deliverance.
And even neutral feeling which as peaceful
the Lord of Wisdom has proclaimed,
if, in attachment, he should cling to it,
he will not be free from the round of ill.
And having done so, in this very life
will be free from cankers, free from taints.
Mature in knowledge, firm in Dhamma's ways,
when once his life-span ends, his body breaks,
all measure and concept he has transcended.
He follows the path of agreeing and disagreeing and experiences whatever feeling that arises - pleasant, unpleasant, or neither unpleasant nor pleasant. Delighted and pleased with those [pleasant] feelings he appropriates them. This arouses interest in those feelings. That interest for feelings is clinging. From clinging, there arises becoming, from becoming arises birth, from birth old age, sickness and death, grief, lament, unpleasantness, displeasure and distress. Thus arises the complete mass of dukkha