Pub Church: “On Being Led by the Sage” with Robert Harrison of Cotton Mather

Date and Time

Sunday, October 6th
5:30 PM


Scholtz Garten
1607 San Jacinto Blvd.
Austin, TX 78701


We’re kicking off the first Pub Church of the fall season with a major gift of a human being–the singular Robert Harrison! Robert will stretch our hearts and minds with songs and conversation from one of the world’s major streams of ancient perennial wisdom, the I Ching Book of Changes.

Robert is the creative force behind Austin, TX bands Cotton Mather and Future Clouds and Radar. He writes songs, produces music, records on old gear, performs live, makes quirky films, creates images, studies Eastern philosophy and cooks pretty awesome Indian food. After moving to Austin in the late 80’s, the band Cotton Mather produced one of the best selling albums of all time in England (Kon Tiki) and they toured for awhile with the likes of Hootie and the Blowfish. They disbanded in 2003, reunited in 2012, and are now more than halfway through their ambitious project to complete a 64 song cycle inspired by the I Ching.

Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, literature, and art. I Ching maps one’s psycho emotional GPS coordinates, as it were. While the ancient Chinese didn’t believe in God per se, as Robert says, “They believed in equanimity as demonstrated through nature, and how living in or out of accord with it determines outcome. Its themes – love, loss, betrayal, loyalty, vanity, and greed – are the very fodder of rock-n-roll from Fats Domino to Tame Impala. As much about the midnight kiss as the mud on your boot heels.” Like the labyrinth, meditation, or the Enneagram, I Ching offers a spiritual practice for living more mindfully.

The Texas Monthly’s amazing take on Robert and Cotton Mather’s I Ching project brings us up close to Robert’s spiritually creative process. As he says in the article, “I’ve always been spiritually curious. I love the story about Woody Guthrie getting admitted to the hospital near the end of his life, when he’s asked by the attending nurse to state his ‘religious affiliation,’ and he answered ‘all.’ When she replied, ‘No Mr. Guthrie, please be serious,’ he shouted in anger, ‘All or none!’ Well, I’m an all or none guy myself.”

In a feature article on Harrison in The Austin Chronicle , Robert reports, “I’m happiest when I’m pursuing innocence and when I’m offering an avenue for other people to do the same.” In the spirit of pursuing innocence, join us in Scholz’ north dining room. Come early to get a seat and order food and drink. As always, we close the evening with the chance to share communion through our unique invitation: “Before Jesus got turned into a religion, he wandered around, an itinerant rabbi, eating and drinking with sinners and outcasts.” All are welcome at the table!



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