Peacock Feather, Watercolor, Heather Salazar

Use Beauty to Overcome Evil

Peacock Feather, Watercolor, Heather Salazar

In ancient India, the peacock was a symbol that beauty can overcome evil, as peacocks are able to lure and eat poisonous snakes. As the snake encircles the peacock with closed plumage, the magnificence of the opening its feathers enables the peacock to foil the snake’s attack and ultimately triumph over the venomous creature.

In our own lives, the poisonous snake could be a perceived injustice or an attack from someone else. Internally, we attack ourselves, either allowing ourselves to be small-minded or small-hearted. In each of the peacock’s iridescent and colorful mandala-shaped feathers is a reminder of the magic that by tuning into the beauty of the universe and feeling it resonate inside of us, we are able to overcome both the internal and external demons in our lives.

Heather Salazar

Heather Salazar, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy, artist, and certified yoga teacher. She has been teaching philosophy, yoga, and meditation in university classes and at colleges since 2007. Her philosophical research focuses on the intersections of metaethics and philosophy of mind in Eastern and Western traditions and in particular on conceptions of the self and their impact on moral obligations. Her publications include _The Philosophy of Spirituality_, “Descartes’ and Patanjali’s Conceptions of the Self” (Journal of Indian Philosophy and Religion 2011), "Why Are You Standing on My Yoga Mat?!" in _Yoga - Philosophy for Everyone: Bending Body and Mind_ and “Kantian Business Ethics” in Business in Ethical Focus. She is currently under contract for a monograph which assesses and contributes to neo-Kantian ethical constructivism: _Creating a Shared Morality_ and is co-editing _Mind Over Matter_.

In her art, Salazar specializes in photography, figurative charcoals and monotypes, as well as vivid oil paintings of landscapes and objects of meditation. Salazar’s art is deeply impacted by her philosophical research in philosophy. Her art graces the covers philosophy books such as _The Philosophy of Spirituality_ and all of the books in the series _Introduction to Philosophy__ (Rebus).

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