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Author Topic: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?  (Read 509 times)

Hariti

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For those who can't read Latin, or don't recognize the verse, the title of this thread comes from Dies Irae, an old Catholic hymn about the day of final judgement.

It translates roughly to "Day of wrath, that day, the world is dissolved in fire, witnessed by David and the Sybil."

I thought it made an appropriate title for this thread, since it specifically and intentionally invokes the authority of Jewish and Pagan prophecies about the End of Times, despite it's Christian context.

So, that's what this thread is about: the End of Times, the Final Judgement, the Apocalypse, Armageddon, Ragnarok, Götterdämmerung, Doomsday... the end of the world, of humanity, and perhaps even of the Gods.

What does your tradition say, if anything at all, about the end of our world, or our universe? If you follow a cyclical faith, what does it say about the end of the phases of that cycle?

When does it come? How does it come? Who lives, who dies, and how so? Why? What comes after?
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Eastling

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Re: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 01:17:56 am »
What does your tradition say, if anything at all, about the end of our world, or our universe? If you follow a cyclical faith, what does it say about the end of the phases of that cycle?

When does it come? How does it come? Who lives, who dies, and how so? Why? What comes after?

Judaism doesn't subscribe to the more doom-and-gloom versions of these. We just have the premise that someday the Messiah will come, everything wrong will be right again (represented symbolically by the Temple being rebuilt and God therefore returning to dwell in the world), and everyone will live happily ever after. This pronouncement is always accompanied by a story about how the Messiah will only come when human beings have done their part to make the world a better place.

Some Jewish theology speculates that the cataclysmic end-times-like event was Creation itself, which shattered God into fragments, and that the stories of the Messiah are a way of expressing our duty to put the pieces back together. My eclectic path tends to lean in this direction as well, although I don't have all the details yet.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
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Hariti

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Re: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 02:12:27 am »
Judaism doesn't subscribe to the more doom-and-gloom versions of these. We just have the premise that someday the Messiah will come, everything wrong will be right again (represented symbolically by the Temple being rebuilt and God therefore returning to dwell in the world), and everyone will live happily ever after. This pronouncement is always accompanied by a story about how the Messiah will only come when human beings have done their part to make the world a better place.

I kinda had that impression, but of course Judaism is quite diverse, and different people have different views within the Jewish religion.

I find your statement about creation shattering God to be fascinating! It sounds rather pantheistic.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Altair

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Re: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 11:47:53 am »
What does your tradition say, if anything at all, about the end of our world, or our universe? If you follow a cyclical faith, what does it say about the end of the phases of that cycle?

Mine is cyclical, summed up by what is widely regarded as the most beautiful equation:



It's called Euler's Identity (pronounced "oiler's"; more about it here), and I think it says something profound about the universe. I've tried to describe that "something" in myth, particularly in regards to how everything ends. (See below.)

Quote
When does it come?

No idea; sometime in the distant future.

Quote
How does it come?

The monstrous, all-consuming dragon of chaos--embodying entropy--which has been held at bay by the Great Goddess's song since the beginning of time, returns to consume all as that song draws to its close. But now it returns with an ally, since one of the major gods--the underworld god, lord of the unknown--seems to have thrown over to its side.

Quote
Who lives, who dies, and how so? Why? What comes after?

Everybody dies, except the underworld god.

(The celestials, incl. goddesses of earth and moon, slain one by one by the dragon; the deities of fate, dreams, and nightmares, all poisoned thanks to the underworld god; the goddesses of sleep and death embrace in mutually assured destruction; and the underworld god uses his gift of gab to convince his rivals, the god of time and the god of space, to surrender their existence.)

That's when the underworld god pulls his double-double-cross, empowered by his dominion over all that was once the other gods to transcend to become the new Great Goddess, who takes up a new song to drive the dragon back, starting the cycle anew.
  • The Great Goddess, whose symbol is the perfect, beginning-and-endless circle, is shown mathematically as pi
  • Her song--the Song of Diversity, which changes one into many as She manifests as the universe--is represented by the mathematical constant e (The number e is about continuous growth)
  • The underworld god--the Lord of Things Unseen, who rules the impossible, the unknowable--is symbolized mathematically as the imaginary unit, i. This is the square root of -1, which is a number that can only exist in our imagination

Thus, returning to the equation: The song, raised to the power of the underworld god times the Great Goddess, + 1 (one complete iteration of the song), takes you back to the point of origin (0).

Whether this is insightful or me slapping meanings on things to make life and the universe seem more comprehensible is very much open to debate. And sorry for dragging you down a sacred geometry/mathematical rabbit hole!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 11:55:57 am by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Eastling

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Re: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 12:21:05 pm »
I kinda had that impression, but of course Judaism is quite diverse, and different people have different views within the Jewish religion.

Two Jews, three opinions.

Quote
I find your statement about creation shattering God to be fascinating! It sounds rather pantheistic.

I believe it's a relatively modern bit of theology, but I've always been fond of it.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
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Zlote Jablko

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Re: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 09:49:49 pm »
What does your tradition say, if anything at all, about the end of our world, or our universe? If you follow a cyclical faith, what does it say about the end of the phases of that cycle?

When does it come? How does it come? Who lives, who dies, and how so? Why? What comes after?

The ragnarok myth seems to have parallels in Slavic lore. The Carpathian Hutsul tradition says that a beast called the Arydnik is chained up in the underworld, and that when he breaks free he will engage in a final battle with Illya (Perun.) Perun will face death with honor and die. The imprisoned underworld  dragon shows up in a number of tales. Alternatively, there’s also supposed to be a Fenrir-like hound chained to the pole star in some traditions, who will one day break free. These are all likely progeny of Veles or avatars of him.

In the material world, the approach of Veles may manifest itself in a less literal way. To me, the dragon represents avarice and unrestrained appetite in PIE tradition. That’s why the Slavic dragons devour uncontrollably, drink rivers dry, drink water until they burst, hoard treasure, steal the sun, etc. There’s a great example of this symbolism in the Norse Volsung Saga, where Fafnir kills his father for gold and morphs into a dragon while coveting it alone.

The hound is probably a symbol of death. Hounds are often associated with underworld deities, and some stories actually blame the dog for introducing death to mankind. So we have unrestrained appetite and death as harbingers of the end.

At this time, all things will return to their origin. Most PIE traditions have a “first sacrifice”  often a man or cow killed in the act of creation. See for example, the Persian Gavaevodata. (In Uralic/Siberian lore, often a reindeer, which may be the original form.) A Christianized form is found in the Russian Book of Doves. In the end, we all return to the source. We see hints of this in Orphism, with the miraculous reconstitution of the sacrificed bull-God Zagreus, from whom mankind was born. Or if you follow Porphyry, some mystery cults may have called the bull Melissa-Kore. In Norse mythology as well, Brimir (Ymir) is said to be a blessed hall for souls after ragnorak. Both traditions also imply a cyclic world.

Personally, I believe that even the wicked souls will all be redeemed in the end, more in-line with Zoroastrianism than Christianity.



Hariti

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Re: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 11:24:05 pm »
Personally, I believe that even the wicked souls will all be redeemed in the end, more in-line with Zoroastrianism than Christianity.

Well, some schools of Christian thought hold that view as well. Unitarian Universalism, and other Universalists, for example, as well as some interpretations of Mormonism.

I hold that view myself, within my own Hindu worldview.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Sefiru

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Re: Dies iræ, dies illa Solvet sæclum in favilla, Teste David cum Sibylla?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 07:28:04 pm »
When does it come? How does it come? Who lives, who dies, and how so? Why? What comes after?

Kemetic mythology is pretty varied, but I'm partial to one story that says that eventually the world will sink back down into the primeval Uncreated waters. It seems to me this isn't so much a destruction as a conclusion or completion, like going to sleep after a busy day. 'Would the last person leaving the universe please turn off the lights', or something like that.

Failivrin

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Personally, I believe that even the wicked souls will all be redeemed in the end, more in-line with Zoroastrianism than Christianity.
I draw ethical views from Goddess religions and Existentialist philosophy, but my cosmological views are basically Buddhist. Buddhists believe creation and destruction follow a cyclical pattern, similar to Hinduism but without a clear beginning or ending to the universe. There is no apocalyptic myth because an apocalypse would not resolve anything. That is, there is no mercy for the wicked: If you want to absolve your bad karma, you have to do the dirty work and absolve it yourself.

This takes a seemingly endless string of lifetimes from which it is almost impossible to escape, mainly because creation-sustenance-destruction are totally interdependent. It is impossible to live without killing, for example, so suffering is seen as inexorable from life, and attachment to life is seen as a source of suffering.

Although I don't necessarily agree or disagree, most Buddhists acknowledge Heaven, Earth, and Hell--but all of these are temporary states, and none of them is perfect or imperfect. You can, for example, live righteously and go to Heaven, then get so attached to its pleasures that you become a scoundrel and are reincarnated in Hell. Or you can be a scoundrel, go to Hell, and discover compassion for the sufferers there, rising to Heaven in your next life.

Buddha considered this whole roller coaster to be miserable and taught his disciples how to escape the cycle through a mysterious process which, as best I can describe it, involves inhabiting the universe without time, because time is the constant which changes pain into pleasure and pleasure to pain; it is even necessary to perceive pleasure or pain.

Personally, I don't doubt that humans are going to annihilate themselves or be annihilated. Consider the fact that Homo sapiens is the last extant human species: Our evolutionary kin, like the Neanderthals, have already gone extinct! But when humanity is abolished, it won't make a great deal of difference to the universe as a whole or the direction of Buddhist philosophy. Life and consciousness will simply adopt new forms.

Science also supports this: In 5 or 10 billion years, when our sun explodes and the Earth is turned to spacedust, the whole mass will form a nebula from which new stars and planets will be born. From a strictly scientific perspective, this can seem dismal, because the new solar system might be "devoid of life." But in the Buddhist perspective, even the most barren rock in space has consciousness, and everything conscious has the ability to reach enlightenment eventually.

[Adding paragraph breaks/white space - SP]
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 10:27:56 am by SunflowerP »

Failivrin

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That is, there is no mercy for the wicked: If you want to absolve your bad karma, you have to do the dirty work and absolve it yourself.
EDIT: I should clarify my original statement. Many Buddhists believe in some form of divine mercy, such as rituals or deities that can expedite the process of eliminating bad karma. In Thailand, where I live, the departed can also receive good karma through the actions of their children and grandchildren. But still, individual effort is important. All of us have Buddha-nature, or the ability to reach enlightnement, but there is no just-add-water eternal salvation.

That’s because a god who gives the keys of heaven to Dr. Mengele is as much a tyrant as a god who throws Gandhi into hell. Buddhists typically believe in gods (who are also trapped in the cycle of existence), but not in omnipotent sovereigns. Instead, Buddhist enlightenment depends on personal dharma, rather than divine judgement or grace.

[Adding a paragraph break - SP]
« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 10:32:02 am by SunflowerP »

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