Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
This Sunday we have a great dance piece as a part of the service. Last Sunday Jeremy Mage and the Sounds of SANCTUARY NYC premiered two original pieces by Jeremy which literally took my breath away. The Arts are alive and well and in this moment in history may just be the saving grace we are all aware is so needed for a world in turmoil. The arts touch us in a place inside our hearts, and allow for a kind of cross cultural healing and communication which leads to transformation. Artists are born visionaries…they deal in the realm of the possible. We are all creative, and artists take the step of deciding to make the source of their creativity be the driving force in their life. It is a deeply spiritual pursuit…perhaps the purest one.
One of the “dirty little secrets” of American life is that social class plays a huge role in every part of our world…maybe even more than race. Because we are inspired by the U.S. Constitution, which would seem to indicate that our basic belief system is about equality, we have pretended for two hundred years that the class divisions which separate us don’t exist. And now we are in a time of International upheaval which is focusing a laser beam on the class structure of many societies. It is not part of the American myth to be one of the countries facing this kind of self critique. The upheaval in our world caused by the economy going south, by corporate greed becoming endemic, and by Occupy Wall Street pointing the effects of all of this out to us is shaking folks up. And getting shaken up is not a bad thing.
The teachers so many admire, Jesus of Nazareth, Gautama Buddha to point out two, have dealt directly with social injustice as the core message of their radical teachings. Jesus was always pointing out the hypocrisy of the “middle class” and Gautama Buddha was a prince raised in luxury, who had to simply sit down under a tree to figure out how this whole lack of equality could be part of his worldview once he broke out of the palace and encountered human suffering.
An interesting thing sociologists have pointed out for years, is that the Upperclass and the Underclasses have more in common with tone another than the Middle Class does with either. Upper and Under class people have a critique of the larger scene, and are generally outsiders to the main action of the masses. Middle class folks are aspirational…wanting conformity, competing with “the Jonese’s” (whoever they are). And now the middle class is disappearing, and people are scrambling to figure out who they are. But in a “classless’ society, how do you even analyze what is going on??
So THAT is where ART comes in. Art “goes there”. Art originates from the well of Oneness, and stimulates the best in our hearts…Even if a composer is a creep, his or her music can heal and carry you to the realm where we are One. You may not like the actor, or dancer or singer, or painter, but their ART has the power to remind you who you are…and “Whose” you are too. The artist may be dishonest, but his ART can’t be…or we feel it, and reject it at the heart level.
This month we will be celebrating the Arts of the African Diaspora, along with the Season for Nonviolence…They all go together. It’s about finding a creative way into the place where we stop the comedy of manners, and get real with one another. We are all in this thing together.
And what a joy that is when we finally just get it and dance.
See you Sunday,