Tuesday, March 6

d'où venons nous / que sommes nous / où allons nous

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? [1897] is one of Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings. Gauguin inscribed the original French title in the upper left corner: D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous. The painting was created in Tahiti, and is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
-via wiki
...in the spring of 1891, a letter informed him of the death of his daughter Aline, age 21. This tragic event provoked not only the break-up with his wife –irrationally accusing her of Aline's death- but also his definitive rupture with any vestige of faith. In a devastating letter wrote that year, Gauguin affirmed: “My daughter is dead. Now I don't need God.”
-via TheArtWolf
This is just the opening to a broad discussion of the spectrum of possible religious beliefs held by mankind, in a lecture by former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway. Though most reading this will not be familiar with Holloway and his recent break with the church and his long questioning of religion, I highly recommend the below lecture.

Yes, yes, severe change of pace here I know... spoiler alert, he wrote a fantastic book about 10 years ago called Godless Morality, long/short argues that asserting the presence of any God not necessary for humans to act morally. V v interesting guy, and fantastically well read and entertaining to hear speak. A champion against economic inequality and for social freedoms. If you are in Edinburgh, Scotland this weekend he will be speaking about his recently published memoir Leaving Alexandria.

The above too heavy for you? Ok...