David Herbert Lawrence was – and is to this day in many respects – one of those misunderstood, misrepresented, spiritual-cultural visionaries that go so deep it confuses and/or scares people. Just read some quotes by him and you may understand what I am talking about.
A poet, writer, lucid observer and opponent to the first great global Process of Reciprocal Destruction (PORD) 1914-1918, he was deeply saddened by how wrong humans had got it with Christianity, what they had done with that gift. He was way ahead of his times knowing a thing or two about cultural and spiritual transformation, and about finding meaning – the problem we Westerners and increasingly Westernised people are battling with.
His deep understanding of human beings, his reverence for nature, his poetic mysticism and courage to live the life he chose, against all odds, all make him just so beautiful and inspirational.
I shall let some of Lawrence’s quotes speak for himself:
“It is a fine thing to establish one’s own religion in one’s heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.”
“In the oldest religion, everything was alive, not supernaturally but naturally alive. There were only deeper and deeper streams of life, vibrations of life more and more vast. So rocks were alive, but a mountain had a deeper, vaster life than a rock, and it was much harder for a man to bring his spirit, or his energy, into contact with the life of a mountain, and so he drew strength from the mountain, as from a great standing well of life, than it was to come into contact with the rock. And he had to put forth a great religious effort. For the whole life-effort of man was to get his life into contact with the elemental life of the cosmos, mountain-life, cloud-life, thunder-life, air-life, earth-life, sun-life. To come into the immediate felt contact, and so derive energy, power, and a dark sort of joy. This effort into sheer naked contact, without an intermediary or mediator, is the root meaning of religion.”
D. H. LAWRENCE, “New Mexico”, Phoenix: the posthumous papers of D. H. Lawrence
“A man has no religion who has not slowly and painfully gathered one together, adding to it, shaping it; and one’s religion is never complete and final, it seems, but must always be undergoing modification.”
“God is only a great imaginative experience.”
“The human soul needs beauty more than bread.”
“For my part, I prefer my heart to be broken. It is so lovely, dawn-kaleidoscopic within the crack.”
“The only justice is to follow the sincere intuition of the soul, angry or gentle. Anger is just, and pity is just, but judgement is never just.”
“Every civilization when it loses its inner vision
and its cleaner energy, falls into a new sort of sordidness,
more vast and more stupendous than the old savage sort.
An Augean stable of metallic filth.”