What is Artistic Religion?
Art is not simply a product; it is a relationship between people, and it can represent shared meaning, beauty, truth, and imagination, in any medium. Any exchange of symbolic representation, any sharing of intentional manifestation or imagination, can be considered Art. Every conscious being can participate in Art. Anyone can surpass themselves by pursuing an artistic activity. Even if you don’t create a work or performance of your own, you create your own meaning when you encounter a work of Art. Art can develop your creative imagination and lead you to deeper, ever-evolving understanding for all that you experience in the world, including yourself. The universal medium of all Art is consciousness, which is our miraculous gift and the kaleidoscopic lens emergent from Nature through which the universe experiences itself.
Artistic Religion embraces this as the most inclusive and transcendent basis for human community. We hold that all conscious beings are kindred in purpose. Nature has invested us all with the same essential capabilities: to create and share meaning, to experience wonder, to bear witness, to love, to dream, and to grow in wisdom.
Humanity has always used Art to cultivate these dimensions of conscious life, whether it’s the art of writing (which includes all sacred texts and sermons of every religion as well as poetry, literature, philosophy, scientific writing, and law), or other arts such as music, dance, visual arts, theater, cinema, and also practical arts such as architecture, agriculture, urban planning, and engineering.
As with any human activity, Art can be used as a mechanism of social status and hierarchy, or as a commercial product focused on profit. But when we affirm Artistic Religion we acknowledge that the ultimate purpose for Art is neither for status nor for wealth, but for the evolution of consciousness, for building community, and for personal enjoyment, achievement, and liberation.
Some may ask: why affirm Artistic Religion – why not just make art? The answer is that those who pursue Art as their primary life-path are marginalized today. They are assumed to be aspirants to commercial success, to fame, to academic or other elite cultural social status, when in fact the vast majority of artists follow Art as a practice that is as devotional as any other religious practice. We also see the need for recognition of the Artistic path as a valid pursuit universally, for all human beings, not tied to exclusive or competitive social mechanisms. Artistic Religion uses expression, conscious evolution, and shared meaning to build peace and benefit all humankind. We believe each person has the potential to unlock a uniquely valuable and meaningful life of unfolding consciousness, and Art is the key. Artists come from all backgrounds, operate at every skill level, and tend to be motivated by meaning, by beauty, by personal exploration, by conscious evolution, and by community.
All religions are ultimately founded on creative, artistic impulses: on poetic sermons and myths, on deeply imaginative revelations, on sacred music, on iconographic or mystical visual and plastic arts, on theatrical rituals. The wellspring of such tangible spiritual creation is the seeking, self-surpassing consciousness, which is as ubiquitous and potent today as it ever was. The world needs those called to a life of Artistic seeking, who recognize this vital role of Art, to build a community that is more empowered, more universal, more mutually supportive, and more transcendent than an academic or commercial affiliation.
The Affirmation of Artistic Religion declares that the role Art plays in the human soul and in human society is profound and sacred. This movement aims to confer all legal protection and social legitimacy to those who pursue the peaceful artistic life, at all levels and from all backgrounds, not for profit or status but for personal liberation and shared meaning.
Sign the affirmation today to help build the Artistic Religious community.