Belonging to the Rank

Rudeau, 24 x 24″, from a recent painting series

Compendium, now on view at the Islip Art Museum (running through December 27), explores the interchangeable qualities of both art and science. Curators Lorrie Fredette and Beth Giacummo included this quote by Albert Einstein in their show commentary:

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.

That quote, so provocative to me personally, has also been a way to stay centered during a time when grief and loss are ambient everywhere. It is also a useful mantra to carry along over the next few weeks while I am traveling in Asia and Africa.

I will return to Slow Muse in mid-December.

6 Replies to “Belonging to the Rank”

  1. thank you for this quote, deb. safe and smoooooth travels for you both. with love stephanie

    1. deborahbarlow says:

      Thank you Steph! My best to you.

  2. deborahbarlow says:

    One more correlative quote, from Arthur Koestler

    This oceanic feeling of wonder is the common source of religious mysticism,
    of pure science and art for art’s sake.

  3. we’ll miss you… travel well and smoothly 🙂

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