What does D.H. Lawrence mean by calling us to a religion of the heart? One possibility is that he is calling us to a private narcissitic religion. Obviously, he wouldn’t really need to call us to that kind of religion, its ranks are full.

I prefer to think he is calling us to an organic faith when he calls us to our own hearts. What people usually mean when they use the word “religion” is a very superficial thing compared to our untaught intuitions that we belong to nature, and to each other, and to a profound mystery we cannot even hope to understand.

As a minister, I obviously believe in organized religion. I believe such organization is necessary if we want to share our deepest life in community. But D.H. Lawrence is giving us a very important warning that organized religion is the lamp and never the flame. When religion asks us to be untrue to our own hearts, we must refuse. True religion may ask us to say “no” to our wants, but it never asks us to say “no” to life.  

(Picture found on Juan Cole’s Informed Comment site.)