My Religion Is Art

Dear Sanctuary NYC Friends,


Last Sunday Caraid O’Brien shared a beautiful piece from the end of James Joyce’s Ulysses with us as a part of our Sunday Experience.  Caraid is a truly wonderful actor, and this selectionis part of a longer, seven hour reading she does of the book, her sacred text, for WBAI Radio once each year on Bloomsday.  The excerpt she read is the confession of Molly Bloom, of the depth of her ability to love, and of her willingness to take a huge risk to stay alive, even as her heart both breaks and breaks open.

             When we allow ourselves to travel deeper than the intellect and wider than the internal islands of self-definition have told us is our boundary, the Kingdom of God, of which Jesus speaks, is waiting for us. And on that journey, once embarked upon, we encounter both loneliness, and purpose. 

             Art is my religion. I know it to be an un-failing conduit to the realm of the Divine. I trust Art. And I am not so sure I trust theology. 

  The Wisdom Path is the mystic path, the realm of the artist, the poet, the dreamer. It is the place where we and God are one. Matthew Fox, the Episcopal priest, and former Dominican defrocked for his unapologetic unveiling of Creation Spirituality names the mystic journey to this place of Oneness as “One River Many Wells.”  It is this river we seek, when following the Wisdom Path, even as we access it through any number of wells.

  My well is ART.

             It is not a religion of believing, but of knowing, of feeling and not cognition. 

  My religion is felt in performance, and experienced in the moment of a heartbreakingly beautiful combination of colors on a canvas, or in the dissonance of a Stravinsky symphony.

             It is lived through nature, in the act of hope when planting a bulb in the soon to be winter earth, knowing, somehow, that the promise of its essence will emerge through the crusted ground when spring dares to appear again.

My religion is how and not what, and it is everywhere.

             It is in the amazement John Lennon felt when he encountered legions of wheelchair bound people outside his dressing room door after a concert , coming for a healing that he had already delivered in song.

  Listen my friends.

  The river is deeper and not wider, it is a whisper and a shout.

  And it is as near as your heartbeat, and as vast as the ocean.


Have a wonderful week.

See you Sunday,



Rev Jane


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