Once Love became the ruler of the heart’s realm,
It ruled out the way of the cleric and the king.

From pre-eternity to post-eternity is but a single breath,
A breath free of all those melodies high and low.
Dr Javad Nurbakhsh, Master of Nimatulahi Sufi Order

The struggle between the cleric and king is highlighted in

the enduring debate on whether Anglicanism should be

the exclusive religion of the British Crown and

Government. As HRH Queen Elizabeth’s arms declare, the

English Sovereign rules “by god and by right”: the

spiritual and legal authority of the British State and

Anglican clergy flow from her divine and majestic

authority as the supreme governor of god’s word. In a

time where corporate executives like Aylwin B. Lews sit

on boards of media, retail and military companies (ABC,

Sears and Halliburton Co.) that have larger market

capitalisation than the Vatican and Queen of England

combined, it is not a surprise that now even the

Archbishop of Cantebury, Dr. Rowan Williams, sees the

disestablishment of the Church of England as religion of

the realm to be a rather trivial matter. Advocating a

mystical approach to religion similar to Dr. Nurbakhsh’s –

that love is the ruler of the heart’s (god’s) realm – the

disestablishmentarians, like Williams, seem to embody the

new post modern religiosity – religion without its reason

for being, without dogma, separation or struggle. No

matter that the Petrine Doctrine of papal supremacy is

directly in conflict with the idea that the British monarch is

the Fount of Honour, in today’s post ideological era, such

minor details are not significant.

Antidisestablishmentarians have kept a classical

understanding of the cleric and the king, recognizing that

if the spirit only continues on earth within the Catholic

Church and if the Pope has universal power as the

successor of St Peter then a Catholic Crown in British

Parliament raises the problem of conflicting loyalties. If

the Lords Spiritual, Temporal and Commons are loyal to a

Monarch bound to a ruler of another State, the

independent nationalism of the United Kingdom is

dissolved. But are such concerns relevant in a kingdom

where more people attend Mosques than Anglican

Churches and where perceptions are shaped more by

Omnicom and WPP than by the Lords Spiritual or

Temporal, the Commons or the Sovereign?

Like Archbishop Williams, I believe not, and for this

reason, I have sought to recreate the single breath in my

work on Antidisestablishmentarianism. The visuals explore

the breath as constant, transcendent, as resolution, as the

unifier between the cleric and the king. The soundscape

creates a breath free from melodies high and low. Free

from the egos of the sovereigns, both papal and regal, it

is the sounds of the seeker of the spirit.

-Messrs and Misses Avigdor Michael, Maia Melton, and Charles Woodard

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