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Sophia Begets the Demiurge


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Once again, I was in a quandary as to where to post this piece. It is properly either a ballet or a soundtrack to some future religious epic by Mel Gibson (and if anyone knows Mel Gibson, please forward this to him as I'm certain he'd find it interesting), but the the Cinematic Soundtrack and Film Scoring sections here are junked-up with bland little pieces that tell no story whatsoever. This music attempts to depict an arcane religious topic, so that's where I'll post it -- under Religious, and it's certainly contemporary in style.

CATHARTIC MUSIC
Since the development of monotheism, a salient problem with that system of belief has been widely discussed: namely, if God is all-knowing and all powerful, yet beneficent and kindly, why is there so much suffering in the world? Grief, pain, hunger, sobriety, disease, depression, parasites, and the very natural disasters we term "Acts of God" -- how can it be that a loving, perfect Creator has dealt us such woes?

Over the years, theologians have speculated that we should ignore our suffering, because since God actually is all-loving and kind, this must be the best of all possible worlds. If a more comfortable world could exist, our perfect Creator would certainly have created it. This philosophy is called Optimism, and Voltaire handily disposed of it in his short novel, Candide. A more rational explanation, yet one still within the scope of religion, dates back far before Voltaire, and that is polytheism.

The earliest Christians were influenced by many other systems of belief than the Old Testament of the Jews, and indeed, few Jews came to accept Jesus of Nazareth as the long-overdue Messiah who would drive the Romans out and give His chosen their due glory. Long before the Nicene Creed attempted to standardize Christian thought, many Christian sects remained influenced by the beliefs of the Greeks -- indeed, the Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles were all written in Greek. Beliefs borrowed from Mithraism, which was popular among the Romans, and Platonism combined with the cult of Jesus to form Gnostic Christianity, which held that the Supreme Being (the concept of the Trinity had yet to be devised) was not the creator of the universe. The material world was instead created by a lesser god, the Demiurge, whose mother was Sophia. The Demiurge, while not Satanic, had a personality disorder (or, he may have been bipolar), and the universe he created was thus dreadfully flawed. We poor mortals suffer as a result of his incompetence and mischief.

Various forms of Gnosticism thrived until the Christian church became organized and eventually powerful. By its very nature, Gnosticism does not lend itself well to any hierarchical organization. The Gnostics are pessimists who view this Earth as a corruption and a calamity caused by the Demiurge, and they expect to be freed from this mistake, not by following the orders of the puritanical bosses of any church, but by mysticism. A mystical experience is almost by definition not of this world, thus the only way to escape this tribulation of physical existence is through pure mystical experience. As opposed to the increasing puritanism of the organized church, some Gnostics embraced any means to a mystical experience -- drugs, sex, dancing.

Needless to say, this threat to established order met with severe repression. It was, however, not eliminated. It spread to the East where it was practiced as Manichaeism until about the 13th century, and it spread into isolated areas of Europe, where it held on for centuries. One such area was the south of France where it took the form of Catharism. The Cathar communities, despite their unorthodox tenets and concupiscent behavior, existed for many years like hippie communes in the Catholic nation, and little was done against them as long as they paid their taxes and sent tributes to Rome. But in 1209, when disagreement arose over fiscal issues, the Pope hired an army of 20,000 to stamp out the heresy. This was known as the Albigensian Crusade, and when its leader, Arnald-Amaury, was asked how to distinguish between the Catholics and Cathars in the territory, he is said to have replied, "Kill them all. God will recognize His own."

Catharism, with its belief in the dualism of the Demiurge and Sophia the heavenly mother of knowledge, then moved underground and was not completely eliminated until the Inquisition. Or was it? Alert readers will recall that the area where Catharism flourished is the very region to which Mary Magdalene is said to have moved to raise the children she had with Jesus -- a topic which was recently revived in the best seller of recent times, The Da Vinci Code. Further than that, I dare not divulge.

The sections of my piece are as follows;

1. Dance of the Seven Archons

2. In His Majesty, Yahweh passes with His Entourage

3. Even at Birth, the Demiurge proves Willful and has the Sin of Pride

4. After Giving Birth, Sophia is Ashamed and Wraps the Demiurge in a Cloud with a Throne in it

5. The Cherubim Gird their Weapons and Prepare for Battle

6. The Force of Syzygy Wins the Battle, Allowing for the Creation of the Universe

7. The Demiurge Joins the Dance of Triumph, Exulting over His Creation

As usual, the sheet music for this tune can be seen and played at my SibeliusMusic page, where you can watch the notes go by as the music plays. I had wanted to write this piece for symphony orchestra, but my orchestral pieces just aren't selling (zero sales), so I instead wrote it for wind ensemble.

No QuickTime, GarbageBand or other Apple sounds were used.

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Uploaded: Nov 22, 2006 - 11:44:08 AM
Last Updated: Apr 18, 2009 - 02:54:11 AM Last Played: May 10, 2018 - 01:56:48 AM
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Comments
Davis Gloff said 4200 days ago (November 25th, 2006)
Amazing
Not a reworking of other's ideas.. a completely new voice.
The difference between talent and genius:
Talent hits a target no one else can hit..
Genius hits a target no one else can see..

THIS is genius.
Enrique Gil said 4183 days ago (December 13th, 2006)
that was deep!
my wife recently took a history class that dealt whith a lot of what you wrote about, including the Cathars, and read the book The Labyrynth by Kate Moss. Having said that, I really enjoyed this piece. A lot of work went into this piece. What did you use and how did you do it? This is a great piece!
Check out my latest song called Simple Feelings
Andronis said 4174 days ago (December 22nd, 2006)
Brilliant
Finally getting around to catching up on my favorite people here, I've come to this masterpiece, far ahead of anything else thus far. It's unique, although stylistically you definitely have your own voice, this reminding me of your style in some past works.

Now, if I may ask, you clearly have one of the strongest true backgrounds in music of anyone here--would you care to share a little bit about how you got that way? Clearly you have creativity and talent, but you also have apparently had some sort of music education, and I'm curious what that entailed.

Anyway, great work. :)


Check out my latest song called Hymn Medley for 9-19-2010
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Name: Keith O. Edwards
Location: Detroit Michigan USA
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