Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Vision of C. S. Lewis in "The Great Divorce"

"THE REASON why I asked if there were another river was this. All down one long aisle of the forest the under-sides of the leafy branches had begun to tremble with dancing light; and on earth I knew nothing so likely to produce this appearance as the reflected lights cast upward by moving water. A few moments later I realised my mistake. Some kind of procession was approaching us, and the light came from the persons who composed it. First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers-soundlessly falling, lightly drifting flowers, though by the standards of the ghost-world each petal would have weighed a hundred-weight and their fall would have been like the crashing of boulders. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. "Is it? ... is it?" I whispered to my guide. "Not at all," said he. "It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green." "She seems to be ... well, a person of particular importance?" "Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things." "And who are these gigantic people . . . look! They're like emeralds . . . who are dancing and throwing flowers before her?" "Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand livened angels lackey her," "And who are all these young men and women on each side?" "They are her sons and daughters." "She must have had a very large family, Sir." "Every young man or boy that met her became her son-even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter."
"Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?" "No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more”
"And how ... but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs . . . why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses." "They are her beasts." "Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much." "Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them." I looked at my Teacher in amazement. "Yes," he said. "It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life."

Monday, 7 September 2015

Veni, Creator Spiritus!: Gustav Mahler's Hymn to the Holy Ghost

Gustav Mahler, the Austrian composer born in a Jewish family, converted to Catholicism out of professional reasons, was an idealist and a freethinker. His spiritual seek and becoming are reflected in his Symphonies.

The monumental work of his maturity period, Symphony No. 8 in E flat is dedicated to the Holy Ghost, The creator Spirit of the Universe. Written in 2 parts, the symphony known as the Symphony of a Thousand needs a huge orchestra, 8 soloists, 2 mixed choirs and a children choir. It is the first continuously choral and orchestral symphony ever composed. The symphony is a  massive statement of human aspirations and a cry for illumination, expressed in 2 ways:  religious and philosophical.
 The first part is a setting of the medieval Catholic Pentecost hymn “Veni Creator Spiritus”, while the second uses the  text of  the closing scene of J.W. von Goethe’s Faust drama (the scene of Faust’s redemption). The same Holy Ghost is described by Goethe as the Eternal Feminine , The Holy Virgin Mother, The Goddess. A very inspired juxtaposition of these two poems in Mahler's work.
This work was performed on the 2nd of September 2015 in Bucharest by the Radio 2 Orchestras, and 2 Choirs, Philharmonic Choir, soloists Erika Sunnergardh, Cellia Costea, Aurelia Florian, Michaela Selinger, Liliana Ciuca, Stefan Vinke, Serban Vasile and Sorin Coliban and conductor was Cornelius Meister. Both in the the orchestras and choir were performing sahaja yogis and some other artists who got Self Realization.

You can see here the translation:

Veni, creator spiritus,                                     Come, creator Spirit,
mentes tuorum visita;                                       let your spirit enter us;
imple superna gratia,                                        fill with grace from above
quae tu creasti pectora.                                   those whom you have created.

Qui Paraclitus diceris,                                     You are known as the Comforter,
donum Dei altissimi,                                        a gift from God on high,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,                                   living spring, fire, love,
et spiritalis unctio.                                            and unction of the spirit.

Infirma nostri corporis                                     Endow our weak bodies,
virtute firmans perpeti;                                    with eternal strength;
accende lumen sensibus,                                 inflame our senses with light,
infunde amorem cordibus.                               pour love into our hearts.

Hostem repellas longius,                                 Drive the enemy far away,
pacemque dones protinus;                              grant us lasting peace;
ductore sic te praevio                                     so that, under your guidance,
vitemus omne pessimum.                                we might avoid all evil.

Tu septiformis munere,                                  You, with sevenfold gifts,
dexterae paternae digitus;                              the finger of God's right hand;
[tu rite promissum Patris,                               [you, true promise of the Father,
sermone ditans guttura.]                                 have endowed our tongues with speech]

Per te sciamus da Patrem,                            through you may we know the Father
noscamus [atque] Filium,                              [and also] the Son,
[te utriusque] spiritum                                   [and you, emanating from both], O Spirit
credamus omni tempore.                              let us believe forever.

Da gaudiorum praemia,                                Give us joy,
da gratiarum munera;                                    grant us your grace;
dissolve litis vincula,                                      dissolve the chains that bind us
adstringe pacis foedera.                                and join us in bonds of peace.

Gloria Patri Domino,                                   Glory be to God the Father,
Deo sit gloria et Filio                                   and glory also to his Son
natoque, qui a mortuis                                 begotten, and from the dead
surrexit, ac Paraclito                                   arisen, and also our Comforter

in saeculorum saecula.                                 forever and ever.

Part II - Closing scene from Faust, Act II
Mountain gorges, forest, cliff, solitude.  Holy Anchorites are sheltering in rocky clefts.

 HOLY ANCHORITES (choir and echo)

Waldung, sie schwankt heran,                      Forests sway,
Felsen, sie lasten dran,                                 rocks bear down heavily,
Wurzeln, sie klammern an,                            roots grip.
Stamm dicht an Stamm hinan.                       tree-trunk crowds close to tree-trunk,
Woge nach Woge spritzt,                             wave breaks upon wave, foaming,
Höhle, die tiefste, schützt.                             the deepest cave provides shelter.
Löwen, sie schleichen stumm,                       Lions, who walk quietly about
freundlich um uns herum,                              are friendly towards us,
ehren geweihten Ort,                                    honoring the sacred place,
heiligen Liebeshort.                                       holy sanctuary of love.

 PATER ECSTATICUS (soaring up and down)

Ewiger Wonnebrand                                     Eternal fire of bliss,
glühendes Liebeband,                                   glowing bonds of love,
siedender Schmerz der Brust,                       seething pain in the breast,
schäumende Gotteslust!                                raging desire for God!
Pfeile, durchdringet mich,                             Arrows, pierce me;
Lanzen, bezwinget mich,                               lances, subdue me;
Keulen, zerschmettert mich,                          clubs, batter me;
Blitze, durchwettert mich!                             lightning, pierce me through!
Daß ja das Nichtige                                     So that vain things
alles verflüchtige,                                         might all vanish,
glänze der Dauerstern,                                 that the eternal star may shine forth,
ewiger Liebe Kern!                                     eternal nucleus of love!

 PATER PROFUNDUS (from the nether region)

Wie Felsenabgrund mir zu Füßen                       As the rocky abyss at my feet
auf tiefem Abgrund lastend ruht,                         rests upon a deeper abyss,
wie tausend Bäche strahlend fließen                   as a thousand sparkling streams flow,
zum grausen Sturz des Schaums der Flut            to the awful cataract of foaming flood,
wie strack, mit eig'nem kräft'gen Triebe,             as, straight upwards by its own power
der Stamm sich in die Lüfte trägt;                       the tree-trunk thrusts itself into the air;
so ist es die allmächt'ge Liebe,                           so it is almighty love
die alies bildet, alles hegt.                                  that forms and cherishes all.
Ist um mich her ein wildes Brausen,                   When wild tumult roars around me,
als wogte Wald und Felsengrund,                      as the forest and rocks quiver,
und doch stürzt, liebevoll im Sausen,                 and yet, loving in its bluster,
die Wasserfülle sich zum Schlund,                     the mass of water, hurls itself into the gorge
berufen gleich das Tal zu wässern:                     eventually summoned to water the valley:
der Blitz, der flammend niederschlug,                 the lightning, flaming downward,
die Atmosphäre zu verbessern,                         to purify the atmosphere,
die Gift und Dunst im Busen trug,                      which carries in its bosom poison and fumes;
sind Liebesboten, sie verkünden,                       there are the harbingers of love, proclaiming
was ewig schaffend uns umwallt.                       that which forever seethes, creating, around us.
Mein Inn'res mög' es auch entzünden,               Might it kindle my innermost being,
wo sich der Geist, verworren, kalt,                   where my soul, confused and cold,
verquält in stumpfer Sinne Schranken,              suffers in a dull stupor,
scharf angeschloss'nem Kettenschmerz.            locked fast in chains of pain.
O Gott! beschwichtige die Gedanken,             Oh God!  Soothe my thoughts
erleuchte mein bedürftig Herz!                          lighten my needy heart!

 CHORUS OF ANGELS (soaring in the upper atmosphere, bearing Faust's immortal essence)

Gerettet ist das edle Glied                              Saved is the immortal essence
der Geisterwelt vom Bösen:                           of the spirit world from evil:
wer immer strebend sich bemüht,                   whoever struggles and strives,
den können wir erlösen;                                 we can rescue;
und hat an ihm die Liebe gar                          and if on him love coming
von oben teilgenommen,                                 from on high has taken its part,
begegnet ihm die sel'ge Schar                         the Heavenly Host will greet him,
mit herzlichem Willkommen.                           with a heartfelt welcome.

 CHOIR OF BLESSED BOYS (circling the highest peaks)

Hände verschlinget euch                                Let's join hands
freudig zum Ringverein,                                  joyfully, together in a ring
regt euch und singe                                        let's rise up and sing
heil'ge Gefühle drein!                                     with holy emotion!
Göttlich belehret,                                           Instructed by God,
dürft ihr vertrauen;                                         you may rest assured;
den ihr verehret,                                            that he, whom you worship,
werdet ihr schauen.                                       you will behold.


Jene Rosen, aus den Händen                          Those roses, from the hands
liebend-heiliger Büßerinnen,                            of love-sanctified women penitents
halten uns den Sieg gewinnen                          help us to achieve victory
und das hohe Werk vollenden,                        and fulfill the noble work
diesen Seelenschatz erbeuten.                         of capturing the prize of this soul.
Böse wichen, als wir streuten,                         Evil fled as we scattered them,
teufel flohen, als wir trafen.                             demons retreated as we advanced.
Statt gewohnter Höllenstrafen                         Instead of the usual punishments of Hell,
fühlten Liebesqual die Geister,                        spirits felt the pangs of love.
Selbst der alte Satans-Meister                        Even Satan, the old master himself,
war von spitzer Pein durchdrungen.                 was pieced by sharp pain.
Jauchzet auf! Es ist gelungen.                          Rejoice!  It is fulfilled.


Uns bieibt ein Erdenrest                             An earthly residue remains with us,
zu tragen peinlich,                                      painful to bear,
und wär' er von Asbest                              and though it were made of asbestos,
er ist nicht reinlich.                                     it is not clean.
Wenn starke Geisteskraft                          When the strong powers of the spirit
die Elemente an sich herangerafft,               bind the elements to itself,
kein Engel trennte                                      no angel could divide
geeinte Zwienatur                                       the united double nature
der innigen beiden;                                     of the firmly united pair:
die ewige Liebe nur                                    only eternal love
vermag's zu scheiden.                                  is capable of dividing them.


Ich spür' soeben,                                    I see at this moment,
nebelnd um Felsenhöh',                           misty around the rocky heights,
ein Geisterleben.                                     a gathering of spirits.
Regend sich in der Näh'                          Moving nearby, I see
seliger Knaben,                                      holy children,
seh' ich bewegte Schar                           a multitude
los von der Erde Druck,                         freed of earthly burdens,
im Kreis gesellt,                                      joined in a circle,
die sich erlaben                                      delighting themselves
am neuen Lenz und Schmuck                 in the new springtime and in the embellishment
Der obern Welt.                                    of the world above.

 DOCTOR MARIANUS (in the highest, purest cell of all)

Hier ist die Aussicht frei,                            Here the view is unobstructed,
der Geist erhoben.                                     the spirit uplifted.


Sei er zum Anbeginn,                                Let him start out with them,
steigendem Vollgewinn                             until, ever rising, he attains
diesen gesellt!                                           the highest gain!


Freudig empfangen wir                     Joyfully do we receive
diesen im Puppenstand;                    this one in chrysalis;
also erlangen wir                              thus do we receive
englisches Unterpfand.                     an angelic pledge.
Löset die Flocken los,                     Take away the wrappings
die ihn umgeben!                              that surround him!
Schon ist er schön und groß             Already he is beautiful and tall
von heiligem Leben.                          through the holy life.


Dort ziehen Frauen vorbei,                  Women pass by there,
schwebend nach oben,                        soaring towards the heights,
die Herrliche mitterin                           the Glorious One in their midst
im Sternenkranze,                                crowned with stars,
die Himmelskönignen,                          the Queen of Heaven.
Ich seh's am Glanze,                            I perceive by her splendor
höchste Herrscherin der Welt!              the most exalted mistress of the world!
Lasse mich im blauen,                          Let me, in the blue
ausgespannten Himmelszelt                 outspread vault of Heaven
dein Geheimnis schauen!                      behold your mystery!
Bill'ge, was des Mannes Brust              Accept that, which in the breast of man
ernst und zart beweget                         moves earnestly and tenderly,
und mit heil'ger Liebeslust                    and which he, with holy joy,
dir entgegen träget!                             offers up to you!
Unbezwinglich unser Mut,                   Our courage is in undaunted,
wenn du hehr gebietest;                       when you sublimely command;
plötzlich mildert sich die Glut,              passions suddenly subside,
wenn du uns befriedest.                       when you pacify us.


Jungfrau, rein im schönsten Sinn,          Virgin, pure in the loveliest sense,
Mutter, Ehren würdig,                          mother, worthy of honor,
uns erwählte Königin,                          our chosen Queen,
Göttern ebenbürtig.                              peer of gods.


Dir, der Unberührbaren,                   It is not denied
ist es nicht benommen,                      to you, O stainless one,
daß die leicht Verführbaren               that those who are easily led astray
traulich zu dir kommen.                     might confidently approach
In die Schwachheit hingerafft,            Deeply entangles in weakness,
sind sie schwer zu retten;                   they are difficult to save;
wer zerreißt aus eig'ner Kraft            who, though his own power alone
der Gelüste Ketten?                          can tear away the chains of desire?
Wie entgleitet schnell der Fuß            How quickly the foot slips
schiefem, glattem Boden!                  on sloping, smooth ground!

 (The Mater Gloriosa appears, hovering.)


Du schwebst zu Höhen                      You soar up to the heights
der ewigen Reiche,                            of the eternal kingdom,
vernimmt das Flehen,                         hear our supplication,
du Gnadenreiche!                              O Fount of Mercy!
Du Ohnegleiche!                                O Peerless One!


Bei der Liebe, die den Füßen              By the love that bathed the feet
deines gottverklärten Sohnes              of your God-announced Son
Tränen ließ zum Balsam fließen,           with tears that flowed like balsam,
trotz des Pharisäer-Hohnes:                 despite the scorn of the Pharisees:
beim Gefäße, das so reichlich              by the vessel which so richly
tropfte Wohlgeruch hernieder:             dropped sweet fragrance:
bei den Locken, die so weichlich          by the hair that so softly
rrockneten die heil'gen Glieder.           dried his holy limbs.


Bei dem Bronn, zu dem schon weiland        By the well, to which already long ago.
Abram ließ die Herde führen:                      Abraham led his flocks:
bei dem Eimer, der dem Heiland                 by the jar, which was raised
kühl die Lippe durft' berühren:                    to cool the Savior's lips:
bei der reinen, reichen Quelle,                    by the pure, rich spring.
die nun dorther sich ergießet,                      which welled up ever afterwards
überflüssig, ewig helle,                               overflowing, ever pure, flowing
rings durch alle Welten fließet.                    around and through the whole world

 MARIA AEGYPTIACA (Acta Sanctorum)

Bei dem hochgeweihten Orte,                By that most holy place,
wo den Herrn man niederließ:                 where they laid our Lord:
bei dem Arm, der von der Pforte,           by the arms, that thrust me back
Warnend mich zurücke stieß,                  in warning from the entrance:
bei der vierzigjähr'gen Buße,                   by the forty-year penance
der ich treu in Wüsten blieb:                    I faithfully endured in the desert:
bei dem sel'gen Scheidegruße,                 by the sacred farewell,
den im Sand ich niederschrieb.                I wrote in the sand.


Die du großen Sünderinnen                  You, who does not deny you presence
deine Nähe nicht verweigerst,                to women who have sinned greatly,
und ein büßendes Gewinnen                  and raise them up, through their
in die Ewigkeiten steigerst:                     penitence, to eternity:
gönn' auch dieser guten Seele,               grant also to this good soul,
die sich einmal nur vergessen,                who forgot herself just once,
die nicht ahnte, daß sie fehle                  not suspecting that she erred,
dein Verzeihen angemessen!                 your just pardon!

 UNA POENITENTIUM (once known as Gretchen, clinging to the Virgin)

Neige, neige,                                        Incline, incline,
du Ohnegleiche,                                   O Peerless One,
du Strahlenreiche,                                O Shining One,
dein Antlitz gnadig meinem Glück!         your countenance graciously to my joy!
Der früh Geliebte,                                 The one I once loved,
nicht mehr Getrübte,                             troubled no more ,
er kommt zurück.                                  has come back to me.

 CHOIR OF BLESSED BOYS (circling near)

Er überwächst uns schon                    He surpasses us already
an mächt'gen Gliedern,                       on powerful limbs,
wird treuer Pflege Lohn                      he will richly repay
Reichlich erwidern.                             the reward of faithful care.
Wir wurden früh entfernt                    We were taken prematurely
von Lebechören;                                from the choir of the living:
doch dieser hat gelernt,                      but this man has learned,
er wird uns lehren.                             and he will teach us


Vom edlen Geisterchor umgeben,             Surround by the noble choir of spirits, the
wird sich der Neue kaum gewahr,             new arrival is scarcely conscious,
er ahnet kaum das frische Leben,              barely aware of his new existence,
So gleicht er schon der heil'gen Schar        he already resembles the Heavenly Host.
Sieh, wie er jedem Erdenbande                 See how he throws off all the earthly bonds
der alten Hülle sich entrafft,                       of his former shell,
und aus ätherischem Gewande and,           in ethereal garments,
hervortritt erste Jugendkraft!                     steps out in the flush of youth!
Vergönne mir, ihn zu belehren,                   Allow me to be his guide,
noch blendet ihn der neue Tag!                  for the new day still dazzles him!


Komm!                                                  Come!
Hebe dich zu höhern Sphären!                Raise yourself to the highest spheres!
Wenn er dich ahnet, folgt er nach.          When he perceives you, he will follow.


Komm!  Komm!                               Come! Come!


Blicket aut zum Retterblick,                 Look up to the redeeming gaze,
alle reuig Zarten,                                 all people contrite and tender,
euch zu sel'gem Glück                         that you might be translated
dankend umzuarten!                            in blessed fortune!
Werde jeder bess're Sinn                    May every better impulse
dir zum Dienst erbötig;                        be readily at your service:
Jungfrau, Mutter, Königin,                   Virgin, Mother, Queen,
Göttin, bleibe gnädig!                          Goddess,  remain ever gracious!


Alles Vergängliche                          All that is ephemeral
ist nur ein Gleichnis;                         is but a symbol;
das Unzulängliche,                           the incomplete
hier wird's Ereignis;                          is here fulfilled;
das Unbeschreibliche,                      the indescribable
hier ist's getan;                                 is here accomplished;
das Ewig-Weibliche                         the Eternal Feminine
zieht uns hinan.                                draws us ever upwards.