Friday, November 17, 2006

Christ as the Artist...

I don’t know if any of you will find this as interesting as I did. It seems like a funny transition to go from dirty water to this, but here is the passage my proffessor read. Oscar Wilde described Jesus as an artist, connecting him closely with the romantic movement. So, if you find that vaguely interesting, or if you like Oscar Wilde at all, read this passage on this fine rainy afternoon. Its just beautiful.

From Oscar Wilde's De Profundis:

I see a far more intimate and immediate connection between the true life of Christ and the true life of the artist. He who would lead a Christ-like life must be entirely and absolutely himself, and had taken as my types not merely the shepherd on the hillside and the prisoner in his cell, but also the painter to whom the world is a pageant and the poet for whom the world is a song

Nor is it merely that we can discern in Christ that close union of personality with perfection which forms the real distinction between the classical and romantic movement in life, but the very basis of his nature was the same as that of the nature of the artist - an intense and flamelike imagination. He realised in the entire sphere of human relations that imaginative sympathy which in the sphere of Art is the sole secret of creation. He understood the leprosy of the leper, the darkness of the blind, the fierce misery of those who live for pleasure, the strange poverty of the rich. Some one wrote to me in trouble, 'When you are not on your pedestal you are not interesting.' How remote was the writer from what Matthew Arnold calls 'the Secret of Jesus.' Either would have taught him that whatever happens to another happens to oneself, and if you want an inscription to read at dawn and at night-time, and for pleasure or for pain, write up on the walls of your house in letters for the sun to gild and the moon to silver, 'Whatever happens to oneself happens to another.'

Christ's place indeed is with the poets. His whole conception of Humanity sprang right out of the imagination and can only be realised by it....

***If you want to read the whole thing, it's here. Slightly controversial at points, but I really like the ideas. What do you think?

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