This is My Religion

“Each time dawn appears, the mystery is there in its entirety.”*


In many places on this web site I have made reference to religion, beliefs and spirituality. There are pages and pages of discussion, but ultimately I am a believer in brevity. If a person cannot state his views on a given subject in a simple and concise statement, it suggests that he has not yet maturely formulated his ideas. So here is my statement on religion. It came to me during my recent meditation in Notre Dame, Paris.

When I sit in a Notre Dame I put myself into contact with what I call “the Mystery.” I sometimes think of this mystery as “the More,” “the Higher,” or even “the Beauty.” I use all flavors of words, but within my being I know that a “more” exists and I clearly see it around me at all times. I see it in a sunset, in a cloud, in the ocean or even when a jet plane gracefully rises from the ground. What a wonder that such a massive thing can fly! My perception of this mystery is not a question of faith or belief. It is what I know. There is a mystery. A cathedral like Notre Dame is a place that is conducive to revealing this mystery. Every carving, every arch and every piece of stained glass speaks in the language of metaphor that points towards the mystery. The loftiness of its ceilings pulls my heart and mind towards heaven and so my presence in a place like this is my way of reaching out and touching the mystery, if only for a few moments. But I also see this mystery on a crowded bus, in a busy street or on a fast moving train. I see it everywhere, but somehow a glorious building like Notre Dame, with its grandeur and stillness, most easily opens my eyes to this wonder. So I come here.

Anna, you are a goddess, does a muse ever need to look up at times and ponder the mystery of life?

*Rene Daumal (1908-1944), French poet, critic

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