"Views are often a reflection of self. If one sees that everything is ugly...their mind is ugly not the things... If one sees that everything is beautiful, their mind is beautiful."1
I came across this comment earlier today, and I thought, "This is 100% true." Additionally, it is also true when we see individual ugliness amidst beauty, which acts as a pointer right back at our own minds, to where we must focus our practice.
Take, for example, President Bush. Many people express a great deal of hatred for him. These same people, however, often see great beauty in nature--ancient redwood forests, hummingbirds, antelope, glaciers. Their hatred is born of delusion: President Bush & his actions may or may not be wise, but as Travis noted, what we see in others is a reflection of our own minds. President Bush's nature is the same perfect Buddha-nature that we all possess; and his actions are all grounded in his past actions and life experiences, just as ours are.
If we feel hatred for him, this reflects that the seed of hatred is still within us, that this poison can still obscure the view of the perfect Buddha-nature in every being. Seung Sahn said, "When there is no 'I' your mind is clear like space. Clear like space means clear like mirror; clear like mirror means a mind which just reflects: sky is blue, grass is green, water is flowing, sugar is sweet, salt is salty. The mirror-mind only reflects what's in front of it." When our mind is clear, when the poisons of hatred, greed, and delusion have been eliminated, viewing even the most evil-acting man, we will naturally, automatically, see his true nature, his perfection of being, and complete and total compassion will arise for him. Then we can see his actions for what they are--the result of causes and conditions--and see him for what he is: a Buddha-to-be.
1Travis Morgan, in the comments section of this poem.