Schiller’s central idea—and inspiration, as I would call it—is that beauty is born in play.
When I first read this I thought it a frivolous idea; but I then recalled that we speak of Mozart and Beethoven as playing the piano, the very opposite of superficiality. And we refer to Shakespeare’s plays; and I agree that such “playing” describes the most profound and humanizing of all human activities.
Play is the one activity where the fusion of inner vision and objective facts is achieved. Out of this comes the living form that is beauty. This living form is vital, alive, dynamic; and at the same time gives serenity and repose, as for example in music.
Play unites the inner world of our personal reverie with the outer world of people and nature.
—Rollo May, My Quest for Beauty