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Antigone by Sophocles
- a new millennial rendition by Avalon

Dedication: Dedicated to Diedra, who is sometimes called Doloris, or Our Lady of Sorrows & Mercy. Whose original name was Kore, who then grew up to be Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld. Her relationship with her mother Demeter, and journey from maiden (Kore) to mother (Persephone) was chronicled with and celebrated by the ancient Eleusynian mysteries. Persephone can also be called Kwan Yin or Green Tara. Although each of these figures is distinct within their particular canon within the Spiritual Heritage of Humanity, together they form an archetype within the collective consciousness.

 

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Foreword

 

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1 - Characters

Antigone - The title protagonist, a dynamic strong daughter of Oedipus, a voice of action defending human rights / eternal divine law.

Ismene - The sister of Antigone, the softer caring daughter of Oedipus, a voice of acceptance advocating accepting the status quo.

Chorus of Theban Elders - Within this rendition the various members of the chorus speak together and separately.

Creon - current King, Commander & Chief of Thebes, the voice of temporal state law.

Watchman - Chosen to bring the news to Creon about the violation of his proclamation.

Haemon - Son of Creon, the fiancee of Antigone.

Tiresias - The blind Prophet

Messenger - Brings the news about Haemon.

Eurydice - Wife of Creon

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2 - Prologue

(The opening scene takes place in front of an elite mansion.
This is the mansion of Creon, current leader of Thebes.)

(Enter Antigone and Ismene.)

Antigone

Ismene, my sister, my blood. It seems that the roots of our family tree taint us with genetic negativity. Are we doomed? Do you see any other answer? Our father, our brother, who art in Hades, cursed is his name, for eternity bound with psychological perversity, for unknowingly marrying his and our mother. Now we suffer.

Ismene

I don't know...

Antigone

Don't know!? Shame & dishonour are heaped upon our family. Not only do the old whispers persist but now this new proclamation by the Commander and King. Haven't you been paying attention to the news? Don't you understand? This new decree, this proclamation by our esteemed leader brings new burdens for our family, our clan. The wolf is at the door.


(Oedipus, former King of Thebes,
is both father and half brother of Antigone.
They share the same mother, Queen Jocasta.
As prophesied, Oedipus slays his father and marries his mother.
Oedipus was thrown away by his father because of this prophecy.
The fearful act of discarding his son precipitates the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Antigone is one of four children that Jocasta has in her second marriage, to her own son Oedipus.)

Ismene

I don't know... I don't listen to the news, Antigone. The good, the bad, it's a never ceasing river of overwhelming & depressing information. The last I heard, our two brothers died battling each other. Fratricide. The foolishness of boys and men. Dying by their own hands.

Antigone

Our two brothers, join our father, our brother, in Hades.

Ismene

After they killed each other, the Argive Army fled into the night. It seems my ears never cease to ring. Tinnitus so loud, as if someone is not only whispering but shouting about my sorrow. Even as the victory of our own army should give me hope and raise my spirits, the blood of my brothers tears all joy from my heart, leaving only sorrow...

Antigone

I share this sorrow, thus I summoned you here. As ever, the walls have ears. As if tiny eyes watch every move, and hidden ears grab even whispers.

Ismene

The social chain turns ones' private sorrow into a shout, it is as if a tiny bird hears and tweets our intimate secrets, inscribing them in a book of sorrow to be forever canted in a web of deceit.

Antigone

Let's face it. The only privacy we have is outside of the walls that should protect us.

Ismene

And even here we could be held up for ridicule with the blinking of an eye. Tell me. What is it that causes the tremble in your voice? Your face cannot conceal your need to share.

Antigone

Creon, our mighty leader, gives burial to our brother Eteocles, yet leaves the other to rot in the sun as food for the crows. Thus our brother Polynices is denied passage across the River Styx to the dimensions of the dead. The eternal rituals of the dead demand that his body be burned in sacred pyre then the ashes buried in the earth. To allow him, his body to go untended, left as carrion for the dogs and crows is an insult to his soul which goes far beyond the deeds of this life and intrudes into the justice of the Gods.

Even the barbarians who know nothing of spiritual life and worship only one God abusing those who worship differently, would not stoop so low as to deny the eternal rituals to anyone. Creon's royal decree prohibits anyone from weeping or lamenting Polynices death and worse still, no one may bury him.

Is this the meaning of the word "noble"? Is it justice to deny the higher laws?

Ismene

I don't know. What can be done? Who can oppose any powerful system of justice, even when justice is unjust? What can we do?

Antigone

This isn't simply about injustice. This is about absolute and raw power. Whoever disobeys this decree shall be publicly stoned! Noble Creon will crush whoever would show compassion for our fallen brother.

Ismene

What can we do? We are not warriors. That's how the cookie crumbles.

Antigone

Is that the way you see this? How quickly all is revealed. Are you not noble? Would you foul the very well from which you spring?

Ismene

What can I do to untie the tapestry of fate?

Antigone

Simply help me. We have a job to do.

Ismene

Help you? With what? All deeds begin within the mind, what is welling up within yours?

Antigone

Our fallen brother needs our hands.

Ismene

You wish to violate the proclamation?!

Antigone

He is our brother. Your brother. Even if we wish otherwise, we have a familial duty.

Ismene

Are you a fool? Creon has decreed, under penalty of death that...

Antigone

Who are you to call your sister a fool? He is our brother. The only foolishness is to defy the eternal laws of Spirit. Would you betray him?

Ismene

Do not be rash, sister. Think about this, carefully. Think before you act.

Did not our father convict himself, then dishonored and abhorred, tear out his own eyes with his own fingers?

Then our mother, his mother, his wife...the combination of these two concepts rolled into one makes stomach knot. Our mother was thus so devastated that she raised herself on a coil of rope leaving this life behind.

Now our two brothers in one single deed of fratricide, slaughter each other.

Should we two perish as well. We are all that remain of our family. We have each other. Should we risk this?

Should we not dwell within the sacred wisdom of women and avoid such contests.

Why fight? Within the maypole of nature the male holds the weaker strand and thus contends with violence, but we are stronger, we know the value of love, we know the beauty of children even those that are not our own.

I beg the forgiveness of our ancestors, and I attain this forgiveness through survival. Why fight when there can be no victory? Let us simply obey, let go and let God. Moderation. Moderation is the answer in this situation. Excess is not the way of wisdom and shall reap only sorrow. Let us simply pray for his soul. Perhaps the old way is simply superstition.

Should we not let the dead bury the dead?

Antigone

Let the dead bury the dead? What kind of nonsense are you prattling? Your brother's body lies unburied outside of the city walls. Is it nonsense that his soul may wander the earth forever? Are you so afraid that you would take this risk with your brother's soul?

I see. I see clearly. Your heart is ruled by fear so I won't try to persuade you. What's the use? Can honor be shared with the coward? If the deed is to be well done, I must do it. You are as you are, as ever, the trembling willow who moves with the breeze.

I have no fear! Better to die with dignity than to live in shame. They can bury me next to my brother. Will they not bury me next to my brother sometime in the future anyway.

This life, this person whom I am right now, this spirit who is your sister will soon dwell in the next dimension, the hall of spirits, I will honor the dead, for if it is true that my spirit will live in the dimension of the dead for the rest of time, then this is the wisest course of action.

You can live with dishonor. I will honor what the gods themselves honor.

Ismene

I am not talking about dishonor, or even honor. I'm talking about survival. It is foolishness to fight the fight that cannot be won.

Antigone

Then call me a fool, but I shall bury my brother.

Ismene

Unhappy sister. I fear for you, am afraid to lose you.

Antigone

Don't worry about me, I go to my fate. You go to yours.

Ismene

If you must do this thing, keep it secret. I shall say nothing. This way you can get away with it.

Antigone

Keep it secret! Bullshit! This is not a deed to do in darkness. This must be declared. Announced! Silence does not serve justice. Proclaim the truth and have no fear. That is the least you can do.

Ismene

I think it is better for cooler heads to prevail. Think this over, do not be rash. A little time...

Antigone

Time waits for no woman, and with a cool head I plan to execute this deed.

Ismene

If you can get away with it, but wishing does not make it so...

Antigone

Whatsoever can be conceived, can be achieved.

Ismene

In a battle, it is well known that those who are deceived are bereaved.

Antigone

Cease your negativity, the way forward is not the way back. This a clear path. Like a choice between white or black. You may feel that I am wrong but I choose the path of honor. Death before dishonor. I am unafraid.

Ismene

I walk the way between, enfolded within the shades of gray. It is best to delay, to wait. Avoid absolutes...

(Exit Antigone)

I see you cannot be dissuaded from this folly. I believe the higher way is love, the better way is survival. I will always love you.

(Exit Ismene)

 

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3 - Parados

(Enter the Chorus.)

Chorus

Sun rises to shine upon all equally.

We greet illumination as one people united in our purpose to penetrate the deeper mysteries within the compass of this day.

Together we seek enlightenment.

And it is said: Seek and ye shall find!

Morning light is soft and sweet, dances upon the dew and awakens joy within the heart for coming events.

Noon light is strong and bright.

Not all is beautiful within such brightness.

Twilight ends the day with edges fading in soft greys.

What will day reveal before the night once more conceals.

There are those who say: "it is all good",

but when they go into fields of vegetables, we do not see them eating the dung between the rows.

The seven Gates of Thebes have seven guards.

Is not every mother proud of her son in uniform?

For every soldier that falls upon the fields, is not there someone deprived by this fatality?

But for each that is vanquished there is a victor,

a smile for every tear.

Golden streams of sunlight illuminated the Argive warriors:

white shields,

full armor glistened in the sun.

Is a nation to forgive its traitors?

Those who stand with the enemy, are the enemy!

Those who would crush the economy simply to gain power deserve no forgiveness!

Polynices, like a proud Republican, rode against our nation for the sake of his own profit.

He joined with the Argives descending upon our land like vultures,

riding cold white clouds of death

seeking to feast upon the fat of our land.

Armed to the teeth,

trampling the crops beneath their feet,

they did not hesitate to crush the poor who were not fast enough in their retreat.

Encircled by the abusive cries of the Republican army of the Argos many lost their lives.

They were a bane upon our land.

But the day of his destiny became his night of doom.

Even with his super pack of foreign mercenaries the traitor did not breach a single door.

Instead he tasted the fruits of greed

which is the death of success within the jaws of defeat.

All the gold in this world cannot buy enough strength to win victory over death.

Mad science may toil at the serpent's coil at the base of life, but there is no way to slice out death except to risk the destruction of all life.

Why pray to the God of war, if peace will bring you more?

The God of war only serves the industry of war

If you pray to the God of war, you must be prepared to offer your children in sacrifice.

Zeus, Brahma, God the father, patriarchal king of energy, the rain of death leaves everything covered in blood.

When you awaken from the drunken madness of war, how long will the hangover last?

What hair of which dog can heal such a hangover?

It is easier to overcome the morning pain of drinking an entire bottle of Metaxa by oneself, than to overcome the aftermath of war.

Do not unleash the dogs of war, before you have fed the beggar at the door.

He was a warrior in a previous war,

giving his strength to protect our people.

The anguish of the people's cries is not diminished by the heel of the tyrant.

When the fields are trampled under the machinery of war, the ensuing losses mean more death in the long run.

Polynices, son and brother of Oedipus, raised his hand against his own nation.

His brother, Eteocles, opposed him, and defending us, died in opposition.

The curse of the parents may thus be visited upon their children.

Who would not be cursed being of his ilk?

Did not Oedipus unknowingly fulfill the prophecy killing his father on the crossroads, then marrying his mother who gave birth to these boys?

The strands of life are woven within all beings, though they may not be seen.

Thus the wise man or woman learns to kindle the gentle flames of kindness and lets go of anger.

Listen. Do you hear the drums? The pounding of the feet.

Nike, the goddess of victory dances in the temple of our nation,

our citizens are drunk with joyful celebration,

the dance circles weave through the town squares,

feet pounding the ground,

the people lead the victory dance.

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4 - Episode 1

(Enter Creon)

Here arrives our Commander and chief, King Creon, son of Menoceus.
The compass contains all directions, but feet go in only one. What is Creon's destiny?
He calls the crowds to cease celebration and assemble for his proclamation.

Creon

Citizens, our nation was shaken by the recent storm of war. Now we are secure again. Those assembled are those who understand, who are loyal, respecting the authority of the state. Elders who uphold our heritage, the foundation of free enterprise.

Even Oedipus who both raised our clan and shattered our bloodlines upheld the authority of the state. Now his sons have perished, entwined in mutual destruction. Once again we see the demonstration of the power of prophecy. The three fates weave the lines of destiny. Defilement of the sacred taboo of blood brings destruction as sure as fouling the waters of the nation brings agricultural disaster.

I stand here. Untainted by my cousin's transgression. A strong and noble branch of our family assuming the throne of Laius.

Who knows the mettle of a man till he is tested by the challenge of leadership.

Spirit steps forth in flesh and metes out judgment according to the law of the land.

I believe as I assume the seat of power that it is my duty to give and take noble counsel and stand in strength to speak loudly those words that are essential to our salvation. Who values a counselor that does not speak up with simple truths?

Cowards stay silent. Even when to speak, would bring honor. Why? They are silent because of fear. Fear of consequences stills the tongue when it is most important to speak.

Those who cling to their clan, or who prize political victory over the well-being of the nation are not worthy of citizenship. The wealthy who do not pay their share to support the daily toil, the poor who complain instead of putting their shoulder to the plough, merchants who sell substandard goods to profit at expense of the people, the traders who steal the margin of enterprise to profit through its liquidation, these are the bane of our nation.

Those who tend to the garden of the nation are planting the positive seeds of the future.

Those who sow seeds of discord in hopes of reaping political reward are not worthy to lead the nation.

The ship of the nation is guarded by those who are willing to lift the bucket and bail.

Those who do not toil cannot value the fertile soil. This is the nature of humanity.

Great leadership is not found in shirking responsibility or shrinking from the necessary decisions for the good of the people. I invoke the Gods, knowing they are all seeing and all knowing. We have been shielded from disaster and thus today we celebrate victory.

I pledge to nourish my nation and thus I make this proclamation concerning the progeny of Oedipus: Eteocles fought for the people, a valiant warrior who died a hero. Thus he shall be honored with the sacred rites of the dead and buried in a tomb befitting his status.

On the other hand, the turncoat Polynices, put personal profit before the people returning from exile seeking to loot our dwellings and pillage our property. He sought to enslave his kin and rob his clan. This is an abomination. A wealthy scion of the royal family turning upon his nation. He shall receive no honors, no mourning, no lamentation. His flesh is to be regarded as the food for crows and wild dogs.

This is my decree! We do not honor traitors, we honor heroes.

Chorus

Your command is the law, Creon, son of Menoceus.

It is wise to temper judgment with compassion.

But who can be compassionate toward criminals or traitors.

The ancient law is an eye for an eye!

Even the dead understand the prerogative of a king.

Creon

Then keep my commands and cherish my demands.

Chorus

Indoctrinate the youth to obey the Gods of the land, thus the king's commands.

Creon

Watch must be kept over the corpse of the traitor to insure his humiliation.

Chorus

What other commands do you have for us?

Creon

Be as bald eagles, perched above, eyes open, watch for dissent, keep ears attentive to listen for subversive words. report those who are disorderly and threaten our nation.

Chorus

Only fools love death and as this is our penalty for traitors, we will watch and wait to mete out this fate. We are geriatric thus orderly and able to confirm the ancient rights.

Creon

Greed drives the grand old partier to seek more, and more. Even at the expense of their nation, our nation. It is unpatriotic to put profit ahead of the people or ahead of the well being of the land. Traitors shall not be tolerated.

(Enter the Watchman)

Watchman

My king. The barbarians to the west say "Ne Nuntium Necare", which means do not kill the messenger. I came as fast as my feet could carry me, but my thoughts flew before me, finding this place before I arrived. Then faster than the wind, my thoughts returned to me, encircled me with a thousand fears, for I am not a great man like you my lord. I must work for my meals, and I have never known a seat that I could call my own much less a mansion, or a throne. Yet, I summoned up my faith. Knowing that the Gods are present everywhere, I took courage.

In turning my thoughts around, I looked down and found my feet had arrived at this square. Inspired by Nike, I had victory over my fears.

Creon

Why would you fear anything at all? Speak your truth!

Watchman

I felt it was best to be the first to tell you. To unveil what has happened, but having seen the fate of the bearers of bad tidings before, I thought perhaps the fruit ...

Creon

What is the use in talking in circles? Come to the point.

Watchman

Danger makes the heart beat faster. Anger begets actions rooted in cruelty, and I ...

Creon

Eye! Eye! I look to the delivery, now speak, then be gone.

Watchman

My lord, the corpse of Polynices, who for personal profit did betray his people, has been given ritual burial.

Creon

What!?

Watchman

With stealth befitting such a deed, someone bathed the corpse, covered it in sacred ochre and a layer of dry soil. Obvious signs that they performed the Sacred Rites so that his spirit could take flight. His soul journey has begun.

Creon

Who? What man would risk death and dishonor?

Watchman

When the first watchman called us to the scene. It was as if pure spirit had moved and accomplished all without effort.

Creon

Nonsense!

Watchman

At first we thought the body had been taken, but there were no marks upon the ground, no signs of wheels or even footprints. No, trace of shovel or pick. Then as we drew closer, we found the corpse had been covered with a layer of soil. The body was undisturbed, as if blessed by the Gods. No crow had descended to pluck the eyes from the sockets. The body is intact.

At this point, blame passed between the guards, words bringing us to blows, yet none of the Watch confessed this deed and it was clear no one was guilty of this act.

We then drew lots to decide who would bring you this account. It was my unlucky lot that condemned me to be the messenger bearing bad news.

Chorus

Words echo in our minds.
Pure spirit is not bound by space or time.
If this deed has been blessed by the Gods,
Who are we to say it is naught.

Creon

Enough! Words such as these simply exacerbate the wound. What fool would risk the anger of a prince for the sake of a corpse? Why would the Gods of our Nation spend any energy to protect a traitor?

We can see that the wealthy are blessed by the size of our mansions. The wealthy are taller, and stronger so they need more and better food.

Contrast the wealthy with the poor, who live in hovels and need little food. It can easily be seen that the poor are cursed. Is this because of their past lives? Or because of dissolute lives today? Who knows. Perhaps the people of the east are right, it is karma.

It is obvious which temples house the greatest Gods. The most beautiful temples, with large holdings of land and rich offerings these are the temples that are blessed.

Do we see the blessings of the Gods on the brow of the laborer or the slave?

No. We see the Gods reflected in the glimmer of golden goblets, and the beauty of finery.

Our Gods are not going to descend from Mount Olympus to care for the corpse of a traitor. The Gods are Good and thus they honor what is good, and we know what is good. Traitors are not good regardless of their excuses.

No. This is not the work of the Gods. This is the work of whispers in the shadows. The work of those who defy my right to the throne.

Such are the men who live in poverty consciousness, not respecting the Golden Rule: "He who has the Gold, makes the rules. Those who have no gold are simply fools."

Work, work is the key to financial freedom. -- note

Coin is the root of corruption. Silver pieces placed in the hand of weak minds bends them every time. Every person has a price, yet can be brought to heel by what is right. --note

(Creon turns to the Watchman)

I know that the Gods are always present in form and thought, thus I speak my word on this.

You. Yes, you, are charged to discover the man who did this deed. You will go forth and reveal the truth, or find yourself wishing for the sleep of death until you unfold your deepest secrets with your final breath.

Watchman

I ... your grace ...

Creon

Words ... words create little worlds within the mind. It is best to be conscious of their effects.

Watchman

I did not seek to harm, only to inform.

Creon

Form, in form, out of form, proper form, etiquette, propriety, impropriety, do you not see the effect of your communication.

Watchman

My words have caused pain. Perhaps they wound the ear, or perhaps the soul, I do not know, I ...

Creon

Eye? Open your eyes and see. Use your ears to hear. Would you presume to hurt your betters?

Watchman

I presume nothing your grace. I just ...

Creon

Blather. Blither. Tweet. Tweet. Like a bird whose song grows tiresome.

Watchman

Your grace, I did not do this deed.

Creon

How can I be sure? Are you not poor? Is it not true that poverty breeds needs and thus you can be easily bought. How can I be sure that you were not?

Watchman

I simply ask for grace from your grace.

Creon

"Grace from your grace." How clever. You'd best put your brilliant brain to work before that mind has no head to contain it.

(Exit Creon)

Watchman

It was my lot that brought me to this meeting. My colleagues informed me that my doom was sure, yet here I stand. It was my belief that I would live beyond this day thus I shall, for the Gods favor those who are willing to meet their destiny with open mind and heart.

(Exit Watchman)

 

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5 - Stasimon 1

Chorus

Beyond all understanding is Divine Mind, we open our hearts and within we find, that which we conceive and believe can be achieved, thus our evolution is as simple as our belief or as complex as a tapestry woven from the threads of fear.

Hold your goal within your mind, and you can cross both space and time, or traverse the frozen tundra or the baking sands of the Sahara.

Within Divine Mind, we find the keys to the deepest sea, the design to provide us with limitless energy, even wings to traverse the skies.

The seasons turn and so do we, with spring turning, the soil frees the seed,

summer sun ensuring growth,

autumn harvest filling the silos,

till winter drives us within to eat the grain

while listening to the falling rain

as our hemisphere freezes once again.

Humanity is filled with souls who are willing to brave surging seas and howling winds.

Ulysses ventured around the known world to return home again.

But the greatest venture is the journey within.

Mother Earth, Gaia, most ancient of all the Gods appears inexhaustible in energy and abundance.

Her soil yields endless prosperity when one rotates the crops.

The geese flock from north to south and the hunters gather more than enough to eat.

Yet the birds always return.

Wild horses roam across the plains, and give chase enriching their own herds

and yet there are always more.

Fishermen cast their nets into the sea, draw them out filled

yet there is always more.

Mother Earth allows her children to suckle at her breasts, in an endless feast.

What is the child's duty?

We care for our mother. We care for our parents and love them.

Only a painful childhood could produce anger against the parents.

Of course there are storms, typhoons and tornadoes, but is this the only weather?

The great warrior, commands with skill, is capable and cares for the soldiers. The military genius knows the Art of War and therefore wins the hearts and minds of the common folk.

Our greatest civic leaders enjoy urban and rural planning. They understand that even the garbage must be removed and the sewage must be processed.

Divine Mind flows through us and we build with intelligence even stabilizing the temperature of our homes and buildings with a minimum of fuel.

We do this with Gaia's support, she is cool in the summer, warm in the winter.

Pipes sunk deep beneath the floor energy exchange balances temperature.

Although stupidity knows no limits, there are also no limits to the power of the mind.

A person who is thoughtful and resourceful can overcome all challenges.

Doctors are discovering the way to conquer diseases that previously had no cure.

Cooperation, co-creation, community, this is the way to success.

We have a duty to Mother Earth and to each other, care for our children and of course insure that each can grow old with dignity.

Honor and chivalry. Keeping the home fires lit. We tend to each other with love and compassion.

When the Gods send us signs, it is wise to respect them. We are blessed to receive them.

Here comes Antigone, suffering daughter of Oedipus.

Could she be part of this unfortunate event?

 

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6 - Episode 2

Keys To Heaven - Tools of Transformation

(Enter Antigone and Watchman)

Chorus

Could she be so lacking in reason?

Watchman

Caught, red-handed. Sacred red ochre stilll upon her hands. No sooner had the body been uncovered, returned to a state of disgrace, she appeared to rebury him. Where is Creon?


(Enter Creon)

Creon

I am here. What news do you bring?

Watchman

It is best never to take vows, for the mind is a plastic thing. Thoughts resolved for one conclusion could dissolve and reform into another. Fear creates the desire to flee or perhaps to fight, but should we struggle if we cannot win. I have returned to you to deliver this woman who I apprehended in the midst of sacred ritual over the body of Polynices. Here she is. Now you can interrogate her in the manner you see fit. I thank the Gods that I can wash my hands of this.

Creon

Antigone? This is not to be believed. How is it that Antigone is here?

Watchman

This is the maid! This is the one who buried the traitor. Now you know everything.

Creon

Are you sure of this?

Watchman

With my own eyes I saw her doing the deed. I swear. She was performing sacred burial rites over the body.

Creon

You swear to this.

Watchman

My Lord. I have sworn. I did as you commanded, with the results that you demanded.

I returned to the scene of the deed. The other guards did their due diligence removing the soil that covered the body leaving it bare once again to be easily ravished by wild animals. I joined my crew at the top of the hill overlooking the disgusting scene of death. None of us wished to descend from our perch to the putrid vicinity.

We were in retreat from the smell, baking in the sun when it seemed the clouds parted for a moment and the leaves on the trees shook as if there were a storm. Dust whirled so we closed our eyes but for the moment, heard a piercing wail which brought us to our feet.

Looking at circle of death below, we beheld this woman who was uttering curses upon us, those who had removed the soil from the body. She had brought more sacred oil, pure blessed water, red ochre and holy mead from the temple. She completed the ceremony by the time we took her in custody.

She did not deny that she had honored the traitor. It is a mixed blessing to have captured one who on the one hand has broken your law, sire, and on the other hand claims to be fulfilling the timeless laws of the Gods.


Creon

Do you deny what this man is saying?

Antigone

I do not deny it. I buried my brother.

Creon

Watchman, you may leave. You have done your duty!

(Exit Watchman)

Why did you do this thing? My decree was well advertised!

Antigone

I knew of your proclamation.

Creon

Yet you dared honor the traitor?

Antigone

Who are you to defy the eternal laws of spirit? Do you think yourself Zeus to overrule the divine laws of spirit and defy sacred justice?


Creon

I am the King. King of Thebes. I am the law.

Antigone

Justice holds scales in one hand and a sword in the other ...

Creon

I am that sword.


Antigone

You wish you could be that sword, but beware, the sword of justice is in the hands of a blind woman and that sword can also cut you...


Creon

Are you making threats.

Antigone

The higher laws of spirit are sacred. Do you think you can overturn divine law?

Creon

I do not contend against the Gods. We are a nation of laws. We will not honor traitors.

Antigone

I have freed my brother's soul to cross the river Styx. The door to the Hall of spirits is now open. It cannot be closed to him again. I honor the gods.

Creon

You honor a traitor and thus dishonor the nation.

Antigone

The dishonor is in your mind. It is your thinking that makes this bad. You are a prisoner of your thoughts.
-- note

 

Creon

My decree is not just a thought, it is law.

Antigone

It is your law, not my law, not the timeless law of Spirit.

Creon

You can join your brother in the Hall of the Spirits.

Antigone

Do you think I am afraid? I am only afraid of not doing my duty to the Divine. I am not afraid of you.

Creon

You are stupid or mentally challenged. You are mad. Only someone who is insane would do such a thing. The madness of your father has infected you.

Chorus

The Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Freedom is found in responsibility.
We must pay homage to the Gods.
But also we must do our duty to our country

Antigone

Is that your solution? Label me mad? Will that enable you to avoid the truth of your own responsibility?

Creon

I am not responsible for your stupidity! I am simply protecting our nation. Anyone who knows the forge, knows that iron overworked or forged too hard in the fire is more likely to shatter. That which is brittle is more likely to break.

Antigone

I think you are talking about yourself! Your words do not come from the Gods.

Creon

The angry horse needs a bridle. Every transgressor claims to be innocent.


Antigone

It is better to be humble. The gods will judge me and my motives. I'm committed to spirit.

[Compare with Proverbs 16]

Creon

What would cause you to conceive such a plan.

Antigone

The Gods inspire to obey the eternal laws.

Creon

The fates weave the tapestry of life. Their fingers ever busy working out the final day of disaster.

Antigone

Yes, the fates determine the weft and the warp of lives but what to some is disaster, to others is success.

Creon

The Gods detest hubris, you can be sure of that.

Antigone

What I am sure of is who violates divine law will suffer from their transgression. Love is not the source of punishment. Faith is not the source of suffering. Only those who fear to do the right thing need fear the future.

Creon

Your future is bleak.

Antigone

The Gods bless those who obey the Divine Laws. People make peace and way is made smooth.

Creon

Your brother did not bring peace to our nation. He sought to profit at our expense bringing foreign warriors and mercenaries to plunder our lands.

Antigone

Even the dead of the enemy deserve respect. Compassion and right action goes a long way. It is better to forgive, injustice brings only sorrow.

Creon

Forgive! We do not forgive those who trespass against the nation. A traitor is not forgiven! He chose his path. He chose to attack his blood, his people. The Gods witnessed his betrayal.

Antigone

Your lips drip with anger, spitting forth the fire of your fury. An oracle of insight. But your decrees are not proclamations of justice.

Creon

The King must make decisions for the good of the people, decreeing laws that reward those who do good and meting out justice to those who betray the nation.

Antigone

No, the scales of Justice are held within the hand of the Goddess. Balance is found within truth. Lies cannot be allowed to tip the scales, neither can power. We must defer to the Gods, follow the higher laws.

Creon

A King is called upon to do what is right. I am not unjust. My rule is rooted in righteousness. I listen carefully to my citizens taking joy in honest souls, rewarding truth and honesty. This messenger who brought you, brought news. News of death, news of your deed. Should I condone your crimes? You rewarded a traitor.

Antigone

I did what was right. I obeyed the law.

Creon

My decree is the law. I am the King. Don't you get that? My smile, my appreciation means life. My favor is like the gentle rain that nourishes the crops to grow. My anger means death. You would do well to be contrite and thereby avoid the never ending night of death.

Antigone

Am I to beg forgiveness for doing the right thing? No. I think not. I would rather have wisdom than reward. I would rather have soulful insights than a bag of silver. The high road is the way of truth, our highest duty is to divine law. By obeying the eternal laws of spirit we guard our souls against corruption.

Creon

The spirit possessed by pride is like a depressed person standing on a precipice soon to fall. It is better to be humble and ask for forgiveness, than hasten toward doom. Look. Listen and learn. Take heed and understand, perhaps then...

Antigone

I will trust in the Gods, the way of Divine Spirit, take my blessings from them. The greatest wisdom is found in discerning the way, making choices. The best instruction given with soft words and gentleness.

Creon

Is it not time for prudence? Your life is at stake. You could demonstrate some remorse. It is folly to proceed with pride, not to show any regret. If there is wisdom in your heart, insight in your mind, you will desist from this path, you...

Antigone

Truth cannot be bartered, nor wisdom attained through dishonest means. Wisdom teaches us the higher path is to obey the divine laws, to uphold even the rights of the dead to ...

Creon

Do you not understand? Remorse is the key to forgiveness. Penance softens anger like honey sweetens a bitter tea or a poultice heals a wound.

Antigone

You believe your way is right, yet no one can avoid death. You believe in your decrees. I believe in divine law and thus could not deny my brother his burial. I did this deliberately.

Creon

The root of evil is ever found within desire. The path to Hades is paved with cobblestones placed with good intention. Your hunger exceeds your appetite plotting evil against the people and now you simply defend your actions. Your words brand yourself with perverse logic.

Antigone

I had no choice. My lot was cast when you chose dishonor. My decision was inevitable, a fulfillment of Divine Right Action.

[End comparison with Proverbs 16]

Creon

You seem to be skilled in insolence. Perhaps it is your heritage, the rotten branch of a noble tree. You and your sister plotted this perverse path together with whispers and winks...

Antigone

Leave my sister out of this. She had nothing to do with this.

Creon

Criminals always hide their accomplices. You could not have done this alone. Summon her sibling!

Antigone

I told you, she had no part in this!

Creon

So you say, but I saw her within the palace just a moment ago, wringing her hands and acting fearful like someone with something to hide. Dark deeds often possess the criminal mind causing such behavior. Fetch her now. I am not going to tolerate this kind of behavior.

Antigone

What do you want from me?

Creon

Nothing. You are a shameful creature, a blight and bane on our nation.

Antigone

Then get on with it. Your words are as a foul wind from the sewer. There is no substance but always a foul smell. You are just a pitiful politician who has found yourself at the head of our nation not because of your own merits but because death opened the door for you. You are a vulture, seeking to ascend to an eagles aerie. One day you will be forgotten for you have no real claim to fame. You are not noble, you are but a shadow of a man.

Creon

Your mouth knows no words of wisdom. You're the bitter bird, but your words will not be heard, soon you will sleep forever.


Antigone

Do your worst! I do not ask for anything.


Creon

You have asked for death.

Antigone

You are a king and can get away with anything, but your failure to stop me is simply the prologue to your eternity. You will be known as a tyrant for all time. I will be remembered forever for burying my brother.

Creon

Wishful thinking. You will be forgotten. Or if there is a whisper of you in the collective consciousness it will be the chronicle of a cadmean in the cause of a traitor.

Antigone

Your pride will only persist while you have the power to enforce your proclamations.

Creon

Have you no shame?

Antigone

There is no shame in honoring the dead, in particular your own family.

Creon

Your brother was a traitor.

Antigone

Even the enemy deserves dignity and if it means my life, I am willing to die.

Creon

What honor can be found in honoring the dishonorable?

Antigone

Are you now confessing? You the guilty one. Haven't you dishonored the Gods through disobeying Divine Law?

Creon

No one has disobeyed Divine Law. We are simply not going to honor your brother. A traitor to our nation.

Antigone

You cannot defy Divine Law just because you are angry.

Creon

Your brother sought to rape and pillage the nation of his birth. He did not deserve honor.

Antigone

The rites of the dead cannot be denied. They are a human right and thus divine.

Creon

The nation does not reward those who seek to destroy it.

Antigone

The rites of the dead are not a reward. They are a requirement.

Creon

An enemy is an enemy. Whether dead or alive. We do not honor enemies.

Antigone

Death is the greatest democracy. Participation is denied to none, granted to all. The battlefield is a graveyard where fallen soldiers gave their lives. Their combined blood nourishes the earth. All lie dead and their death makes them equal. Captain, plain soldier, general, those from good or wealthy families are all congruent when they fall dead. That is the reward for their stupidity. War is a labor of men. Women do not find glory in war. In fact there is no glory in war or honor in victory. There is only death on the field and in termination all are equal. Thus all equally deserve the rites of the dead.

Creon

A woman's wisdom. You wish to be the equal of the fallen heroes but you cannot be, because you cannot understand the rigors of war or the vigor of the victor. But take comfort in this, in death you will achieve your just deserts. Your belief in equality will die with you, or as you reason, give you the equality that you feel you deserve.

Antigone

No, my beliefs will echo in eternity. Your name will only live as long as it is linked with mine.

Creon

Prattle on, you are not my equal. I don't accept your arguments

Antigone

You are right, I will not stoop to your level, nor consider us to be equals. It is for the Gods to decide who is ultimately right and I am unafraid to slip into the night


Creon

And slip you shall, then if you find equality in death as you believe, you will soon have proof, but you might want to keep in mind that no one has returned from the dimensions of the dead to tell their tale.

Antigone

My tale will be told by poets. An essential human story for the rest of time.

Chorus

Here comes Ismene already enshrouded in the gray gown of grief,
Her eyes filled with tears, her pain visible as her heart speaks.
Innocence is obvious to those who listen with the heart,
but can an angry mind fathom the truth?


(Enter Ismene)

Creon

Viper! Do not think that you have gone unnoticed as you lurked within the darkness. Vampires ever seek to suck the energy of the nobility till like a tick bloated with black milk, lose your energy and fall into the grass giving birth to more bloodsuckers.

Instead of hiding in the shadows and plotting together. You shall join your sister, your fellow traveler. You can travel as partners on the final journey, unless you swear by the Gods, upon the soul of your mother, you had nothing to do with this.

Ismene

I am guilty. I am as much to blame as she, if that is what you see.

Antigone

Do not lie! Did you not argue it was better to survive? Why are you claiming a share in my crime when you refused to take part?

Ismene

You are my sister, without you I am alone. I stand beside you. We will perish together.

Antigone

No. You did not do the deed. You will not share the glory. You cannot make a claim on what you do not own.

Creon

Glory?! there is no glory in dishonorable deeds.

Antigone

I hear a buzzing.

Ismene

Antigone, do not leave me behind, let me share your fate.

Antigone

My fate cannot be shared. The deed is done and you were not part of that, so you have no claim.

Ismene

How can I live without family, you are all I have left.

Antigone

Your answer is with him. Your king. Ask him for a husband, then you will not be alone.

Ismene

Why do you insult me? What good comes from insults?

Antigone

I don't insult you, I simply affirm your truth. It was you who said you didn't know. It was you who refused to help me when I asked.

Ismene

I can help now.

Antigone

No, you cannot come after the deed is done saying you had a hand in it. You must live your truth. Remember you said you believed it was your duty to survive. So survive.

Ismene

I cannot live without family. I must stand with you.

Antigone

No. You must now stand alone on your own. The lone survivor. You chose life. I choose death. I go my way. You go yours.

Ismene

My heart was with you. My thoughts are with you now.

Antigone

Your heart may have been with me, but your feet and your hands were not. When has the wealthy capitalist liberated the nation? Sitting within her mansion, profiting in the labor of others while receiving a pedicure does not nourish democracy. We cannot right injustice while sleeping. Victories in sleep are only dreams. To accomplish anything, we must rise from slumber and take action. You chose your path, now live it.

Ismene

How can it feel so wrong?

Antigone

Because you would like to change the situation. You are afraid. You are afraid to be alone. You must live. Through living you will overcome your fear. My thoughts have been with the dead so long that I am, in fact, dead already. That is the nature of thought. That which we contemplate we become. Think on life and soon your life will be that which you envisioned.

Creon

Here, we can see how siblings of their ilk will twist in the wind seeking an excuse for their actions.

Ismene

Sir, this is misfortune!

Creon

Yes, but it is your fortune that is amiss. It is unfortunate that you chose to aid the ignoble.

Ismene

How can I live with no family? She is all I have.

Creon

She is nothing. She is already dead.

Ismene

She is your son's fiancee.

Creon

There are always other fields to plow.

Ismene

They are meant for each other.

Creon

My son cannot marry someone who is dead or dishonored.

Ismene

Haemon, forgive your father!

Creon

Marriage is for the honorable. Your sister is a whore to her desire.

Ismene

How can you insult the betrothed of your son? She is the love of his life and he hers.

Creon

She killed herself. You heard her. She dwelled on death so long she manifested her own crypt. Soon she shall live forever in that dwelling. Hades shall inherit her. She loves the dead. There is no love of life within her.


Ismene

So, there is no mercy within you.

Creon

Mercy is for those who show remorse. Your sister chose this course, the way of defiance. So I must deliver you both to your fate. Guards, Watchmen, seize them. Women and children want to run from death and pain.


(Exit Antigone & Ismene)

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7 - Stasimon 2

Chorus

Blessed is the person who can live his last moments free of pain.

When the earth shakes and seas pour onto the land, who can escape the divine wrath?

It is like the marriage bed. First the sheets of water retreat, revealing the bed beneath. Then the ocean rolls forth with dramatic passion, the climax of water higher than ever before destroying all innocence within its embrace.

Can a boy or girl run fast enough to escape the mighty Tsunami of fate?

Can we outrun ourselves or even our own shadow?

Can the children of incest escape the mortal coil within their blood?

Can you outrun your own heritage?

Now the sun sets on the last siblings and children of Oedipus.

Will they be covered in the sacred ochre?

Will they receive the rites of the dead?

Or will the living King defy the eternal laws?

We are all within the eternal flow of the divine,

but how can we know this flow, if we deny it?

Are we to only know the truth within our dreams?

Sleep subdues all resistance to the truth.

Waking we enter into the stream of thought, only with meditation can we slow their onslaught.

The nobility secure their prosperity through responsibility:

Noblesse Oblige.

Elite responsibility for the masses.

We cannot be secure within our homes if our neighbors cannot find security within theirs.

We cannot be assured of our rights if we will not stand in surety to secure these same rights for those with whom we disagree.

If we laugh at the misfortune of others, how long will it be before someone is laughing at us?

If we only value ourselves and do not treasure our community, how can we hope to secure our prosperity.

Inequality begets insecurity and only through equal application of the laws can we hope to achieve prosperity for all.

Hope is simply a delusion for within hope we find the seeds of fear.

We must be steady in faith, knowing the truth and giving thanks for it.

The firewalker is unburned by the fire, just as those who believe cannot be defeated.

How can we judge the heart by the color of one's cloak

or the mind by the type of hat upon the head?

To rule properly is to temper judgment with mercy,

but to obtain mercy we must have remorse,

what can end the cycle of violence if not forgiveness?

Here comes Haemon, the youngest and brightest of Creon's sons grieving.

Antigone is marched to her death.

Her demise deprives him of the life of his love.

The love of his life

She is his betrothed.

Now she walks the dusty road to death...

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8 - Episode 3

(Enter Creon with Haemon)

Creon

My son, do not take this personally. Antigone has antagonized our nation. She honored the traitor Polynices.

Haemon

No, she simply buried her brother and in doing so antagonized you. Let it go, let it go. Let go and let the gods handle this in the distant future...

Creon

She has defied the law!

Haemon

She has defied you! Your law. You are the law.

Creon

No, I am the instrument of the law, the sword of justice. I am responsible for the welfare of the nation.

Haemon

You are the king. You can do as you wish.

Creon

No, I cannot do this I wish. The mantle of responsibility demands that I mete out justice.

Haemon

Antigone is my fiancée, and she is my beloved. There is sympathy for her.

Creon

You think I do this because I want to? No, it is my duty, just as someday it will be yours. When you inherit the mantle of responsibility. You will see then, and understand what I know now.

Haemon

Father, I respect your opinions, value your guidance, but there must be some other way.

Creon

It is easy to follow the heart. It is hard to temper one's decisions with thoughtfulness. One day you will be a father and you will understand. Now in the spring time of your life, there's nothing that your father can do that is right. But in the late summer of your years, when you are blessed with children and they in turn are teenagers, you will recall how much wiser you were than me at this time. And yet, in that moment in the future, you will see me as the wiser one.

Haemon

I don't understand. You are the king. There is no need for philosophy. All it takes is a word, even a gesture to set her free. Why can't you just do it. This is vengeance, not justice.

Creon

No, if we let her do this, we will be saying the law does not need to be obeyed. We must make an example.

Haemon

We do not need to make an example of her. Kill a slave. Blame someone from a lesser house.

Creon

You tell me that i am being unjust by condemning Antigone who did this deed, then in another breath you would have me convict an innocent to take her place as a scapegoat. Is that justice?

Haemon

I don't know. I don't know. I just don't think killing her is the answer. Perhaps death is never the solution. We regularly kill criminals for murder, but it does not seem to deter the next one. I don't see why forgiveness cannot prevail?

Creon

Son, we cannot condemn the innocent, nor can we cast out reason. The pleasures of the marriage bed grow cold when one is in the embrace of a wicked woman. Right now your blood is hot. You want to embrace her beauty, but remember all that glitters is not gold and beauty only runs skin deep. What you believe is good today will be tomorrow's trash thrown upon the dung heap of history.
You are from a good family. She is a sow, the product of incest.

Haemon

You weren't saying that yesterday. Then, she was the vehicle to legitimacy.

Creon

Time reveals and in this case, as the world turns, it unveils true nature. Can our family rule if in our midst is one who has dishonored the people?

Haemon

She did not dishonor the people. She simply buried her brother.

Creon

Her brother! Her father was her brother too. What other shadows dwell within the substance of her blood? She was born of an incestuous union. The founders of all faiths have ever been aware of this effect. We take caution with our animals to avoid inbreeding as it brings forth defects.

Enough of this! One day you will be king, then take your place upon the throne. To be a good leader, you must first learn to follow, not only to follow, but to follow well, to follow with excellence. Understand my reasoning and rationales such that there is no doubt.

How can I have confidence in you if you cannot even accept my rule? Soon you may need to lead the soldiers in combat. This is where partnership and understanding is a life or death matter. A soldier in the phalanx must ...

Haemon

Is this not a life or death matter? Antigone is not an animal being breed in the barn. She is my beloved, my future wife.

Creon

No. This is not your future wife. She belongs to Hades, to the dimensions of the dead. What was I saying?

Haemon

You were talking of the phalanx.

Creon

Yes, the phalanx. In the phalanx, strength is found in partnership. Standing side by side, strength is multiplied. The hoplite soldiers work as a unit, interlinked and interdependent. A good marriage is like the phalanx. Partners stand together, work together, and through their shared strength overcome all challenges. This woman has dishonored our nation. If she were to live and be your wife, it is only a matter of time before she would betray you too.

Haemon

The one does not predict the other. Antigone was burying her brother.


Creon

Why do you persist in this argument? Why use her name? She is soon to join her brothers in the dimensions of the dead. There is no way out of this situation. Why do you resist?

She betrayed our nation. She is a blood relation from the diseased limb of our family tree. Her father Oedipus, killed his own father on the crossroads, married his mother, sired his own brothers and sisters . She is one of these ilk.


Haemon

You speak as if Oedipus did this knowingly, he did not know the man on the crossroads was his father. He was unaware. Antigone is not my first cousin, nor so close as a 2nd cousin. Her family is more than thrice removed from our line.

Creon

Silence! Ignorance is no excuse. I am your father. This argument moves into the arena of disrespect. It seems I must be blunt. These women are the last of a diseased limb. If a limb is rotten, chop it off before the infection spreads. Yesterday, we could have made alliance with this marriage, but today to do so would be folly and the only remaining course of action is to eliminate this branch, cut it off.

Haemon

You mean to kill Ismene as well, but she has done nothing. This is not ...

Creon

Silence! Listen.

You must transform your thinking from a follower to that of a leader. You must learn to see deeper and understand. The world is filled with information but it is up to you to create a pattern that enables you to see deeper and further and as importantly to communicate your vision. That is what I mean when I say use your mind. There are plenty of scribes who can write your words, plenty of soldiers who can fulfill your commands, the reason we need leaders is they can use their heads as more than a decoration. The leader leads the nation through times of crisis returning the community to prosperity. This family has brought the crisis of war on our nation, and if we do not act quickly famine will follow.

I must have confidence in you. To learn to rule, you must be ruled. A great leader is forged in the fire of adversity, like a sacred sword, tempered through the hammering.

Can we nurture a leader without ever demanding sacrifice? Is it possible to encourage a consciousness of success by accepting half done deeds or by sweeping situations under the rug?

This is a situation that cannot be swept under the rug or ignored. The eyes of the nation are upon us. We must stand side by side, like the hoplites interlinked within the structure of the phalanx present an insurmountable wall of death. Our family is...


Haemon

I am not sure I wish to be part of this wall.

Creon

Our family! Our family must stand together against this menace. if we do not stand together, we shall fall. You are a part of this family. I am its head. I am also the head of our nation. We must stand together. There is no success to be found in denying the law of the land. The way of disobedience is the way of failure. The death of success. Be a man!

Chorus

It is hard to deny such strong words.
Creon's arguments seem sound.
Stand together. Respect the law of the nation.
Do not honor traitors.
All these things together form a powerful argument.

Haemon

Father, Divine Mind is the root of all reason. The mind is the greatest of all our possessions. Your insights are founded in experience. I only have my imagination with which to present an argument. You have the ear of the average man who finds inspiration in your speeches, yet the whispers of women throughout the city are about fairness.

They feel sorry for this girl. She did the honorable thing. She buried her brother. Who would leave a family member unburied. Food for the crows. The people's hearts are with her.

You know that I honor you. You're my father. I guard your honor and your goods. I have always been proud of you. My father, the great man. All my life I've looked up to you.

But is this greatness? Is this what a great man does? I'm not sure anymore. You are my father, I need to keep my belief in you, as much as you keep yours in me.

Everyone respects you. You are now our Commander and Chief, but we must not forget the sacred theater in the center of our town.

Creon

Theater?

Haemon

In the theater, actors play characters, utter wise sayings, whisper insights, explore the higher truths. They wear masks and reveal the frailties of human nature.

Creon

What is this nonsense? Theater? This is not a fiction. This is not a play. This is truth. This is...

Haemon

Father. Let me explain. What is more important to a little boy than the honor and glory of his daddy? And what father does not smile at his children's success?

Creon

That is normal for families. We...

Haemon

...want the best for each other and is it not true that the apple does not fall far from the tree? True wisdom does not lack humility. The wise are willing to admit their mistakes and do not spin their failures as successes.

Creon

There are limits to my patience.


Haemon

Grass yields to the wind, springing back when it is past, yet the mighty oak cracks in the gale.

Creon

Enough with the metaphors!

Haemon

Father, do the right thing. Let her go!

Creon

Do the right thing?! Let her go? One day you will understand.

Haemon

No father. There is no understanding this. I need you to relent. Find mercy. This is not the right way.

Creon

It is my way or the highway.

Haemon

There is no highway when we are on the low road.

Creon

This woman is disturbed. She is ill.

Haemon

All the more reason to let her go. The nation is with her. They believe she is right. If she is ill, it is from grief. First she lost her father, now her brother.

Creon

Her father was also her brother. I am the decider. I was chosen to lead the nation.

Haemon

You are a great man. A mighty oak, not a shrub. You are the crown of our family tree. You must demonstrate that strength through mercy.

Creon

I am the decider. I decide these things for the nation.

Haemon

The nation does not belong to one man. It cannot be possessed by one person or even a small group of oligarchs. Decisions must be tempered with justice. Does a warrior torture a child?

Creon

Democracy? Plutocracy? Oligarchy? All systems of government have a leader. As the leader I am the one who is the decider. I decide.

Haemon

You are not ruling in a vacuum. This is not an island of one.

Creon

Why do you care so much about this woman?

Haemon

I care about you.

[compare to Exodus 20:12 & Deuteronomy 5:16]

Creon

Have you not heard? It is the will of the Gods that you honour your father and mother.

Haemon

I am trying to save you.

Creon

Save me? Save yourself. So that your days will be prolonged and your life filled with goodness. This nation is a gift of the Gods.

[end comparison to Exodus 20:12 & Deuteronomy 5:16]

Haemon

And we must honour the Gods with our gifts. This is what she was doing, honouring the Gods.

Creon

She was honouring a traitor who sought to destroy our city. You dishonour yourself to defend her.

Haemon

This is not a powerful argument.

Creon

You are hopeless.

Haemon

No, I have hope. My hope is for you, for me, for our nation. If we have no faith, if we disrespect the gods...

Creon

Give it up. She is lost.

Haemon

Her death also means your destruction!

Creon

Are you threatening me!

Haemon

How can I threaten you? You are the decider! I am only contesting your weak reason.

Creon

Weak! How dare you!

Haemon

I dare to save you from yourself. You're not thinking clearly.

Creon

It seems pretty clear that you are the one who is unable to think. You are whipped.

Haemon

You only want to listen to your own voice.

Creon

I have had enough of your crap! You insult your father and the leader of the nation. It is time to bring this argument to a close. Bring the bitch!

Haemon

I can't believe this. My father! You. I ... I don't know why I waste my breath on you. You don't have a clue. I ... I'm out of here.

(Exit Haemon)

Chorus

Young people, when upset often do irrational things.
Perhaps it's best to go after him.
Make some resolution.

Creon

He'll get over it. Everyone has to grow up some time. Now we must deal with these two women.

Chorus

You intend to kill them both?

Creon

No. I have listened to your logic. The innocent must go free.

Chorus

What is the fate of the other?

Creon

There are better ways for atonement than simple death. Besides, death is what she desires. Therefore, let her be entombed alive, but fed well. This way she can achieve atonement by becoming one with darkness.

Eventually perhaps one with death, but not on our account. If she wishes to embrace Hades, she can do that in the darkness. If she wishes to live a long life, we will give her that absent of light.

Those who love the dead more than the living would do better to learn to love life, or live in hell on earth.

(Exit Creon.)

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9 - Stasimon 3

Chorus

Can love be conquered by war?

Or is war best conquered with love?

Our war with Troy will be remembered for thousands of years.

Launching so many ships for the sake of a pretty face.

Leaving a proud nation in disgrace.

Fallen. Destroyed. Lost. Due to obsession with a horse.

Can money buy real love?

Can love be maintained through intimidation?

Can one hold a partner through blackmail?

How many times have we seen the desire for love become a ravenous hunger that devours all prosperity?

What soul with a warm heart does not long for the lips of the first of love of their life?

For true love people travel across the oceans to distant shores.

Aphrodite inspires the deepest desire within the soul

and mires the spirit in quests that cross the mountains, the valleys and the distant steppes.

The human spirit cannot escape the fires of passion.

Or the fires of living hell when the heart is possessed by Eros.

The plain becomes beautiful.

Fair becomes unfair.

The awkward become graceful.

The rational lose all reason.

Even kin begin to pine for days free of strife.

Clear eyed youth, the fair and healthy inspire the flames of desire.

Not even our leaders are immune to passion.

How many fall into the flames of lust to awaken in a conflagration of public condemnation.

Aphrodite rules all hearts easily emptying the mind of reason and obscuring clarity of decision.


How can we look upon this scene, knowing this young woman will be walled into living death and not feel anguish at this injustice.

Who can watch such things and not be moved to tears.

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10 - Episode 4

(Enter Antigone)

Antigone

Here I am. And there you are. Are we not one? Do we not feel the same warmth of the sun? Do we not all stand upon the same stage of life?

You can look down upon me, or look up to me, your perspective shifting dependent on what side you take within the war of justice.

This is my last moment before the lights go down and I am forever enshrined in darkness.

There is not one of you watching my plight who can avoid the eventual slide into the dusty corridor of death.

My gown is not the gown of the bride, but the shroud of my demise. My only groom shall be the groom who stables my horse and soon I shall ride the chariot of death to the halls of Hades.

Chorus

You stand for the rights of all souls to travel with grace to the dimensions of the dead.
We cannot help but praise you and enshrine your truth within our hearts.
Every day a person lives is another step toward death.
Who can condemn the princess who honors her brother?
Only a fool would stand in the way of higher truth or defy Divine Mind.
Who will honor us when we must walk into the shadows?

Antigone

Where do we go when we die?

Some say "planted under, all is over."

Others say we go into the grey darkness to eternal sleep and dreams,

but what do we dream when we are dead?

And do our last moments determine our dreams.

There are those who say we will reawaken in pleasant fields wrapped in perfection and surrounded in love.

Do all, even the transgressor awaken in such a noble kingdom?

Chorus

Who can know where we go?

No one passes through the gates of death to return and tell the tale.

We ponder where the soul journeys.

The Persians speak of the Bridge of Sighs that grows wide for the righteous and narrow for the wicked.

Some tell the tale of the River Styx,

the journey of the soul across the liquid expanse filled with furious emotion,

punctuated by stillness,

and at times pierced by the wails of the living

which can even rouse the dead to return for moments of madness.

Beyond Persia, around the great Indus River,

they say that all is decided through what is called Karma.

Your life stream intertwines with others into a creek,

then with more into a river,

eventually joins a sea of energy,

when your life's energy is fully intermingled with all that has passed over,

you are born again.

[Begin comparison with the four noble truths]

Antigone

Are we to be born again into suffering?

Chorus

Perhaps all life is suffering?

Antigone

Some have been lifted up into the stars and we can see their forms traced in the sky.

Chorus

These are timeless forms.

of God's and sacred creatures.

We are but mortals, our souls will travel on,

if there is truly a wheel of life and death

perhaps we will be reborn

or become one with the ocean of life energy.

Is there anyone whose life is easy?

A baby is born with the desire for milk

this is a desire for life

from this desire springs a dozen more.

Who pauses to examine their desires,

much less where those desires are leading them?

Antigone

I am not sure what I desire. I know that I wanted.

[Compare with the Nicean Creed]

Chorus

Nights, open into days

which close into nights,

an endless chain of time.

It is said there is a path to freedom,

a way to mastery.

The elusive way of mystery.

The world is sacred.

She is our mother;

Demeter,

giver of all life,

whose body is both visible and invisible.

Antigone

The Eleusinian mysteries, but I will hold no sheave. My chain is at an end.

Chorus

Kore played within the fields of flowers

in the spring,

blissful,

unaware.

Hades pulled her through an iris

she was lost to the earth

awakening

in the confines of Hades.

Antigone

Thus go I ...

Chorus

Demeter's daughter Kore

begotten of the love

the essence of life.

Kore,

one with life and love,

descended into Hades,

ate of the Pomegranate,

drank the sacred mead,

transformed through pain

into wise Persephone.

Now one with the living and the dead,

one with all that is.

Mother, Daughter, Sister, Wife,

not afraid of pain,

unafraid of life.

She is the spring light that never dies,

ever reborn as we through her.

She is the substance by which all things are made.

Antigone

Lost, taken into Hades, transformed by pain, found through grace. Kore communed with Hermes, messenger of the Gods, to be raised from the dead,

Chorus

Kore-Persephone suffered,

rose from Hades,

restored to life,

ascending again to Earth,

thus to be a fair and compassionate minister to the living

and judge of the dead.


[End Comparison with the Nicean Creed]

There is a way to transcend suffering.

It is the way of truth,

the way of life,

the way of understanding.

[End comparison with the four noble truths]

Antigone

Is there any understanding? Where is the understanding when people would deny what is due the dead?

Chorus

You will live forever in the memory of humanity.

Antigone

I am the object of scorn. Otherwise I would not be on the way to my death.

My clan. My wealthy nation. The light of the world. noble demonstration of freedom and prosperity.

The sacred majestic mountains, amber fields of grain, blue skies, fertile plains.

At least you can witness, how I am sent unto my doom.

What will be my lamentation?

Shall I also be left to drift between the dimensions of the living and dead?

Chorus

You stand upon the crossroads of history,

to be enshrined forever as a sacred vestal

who is a votary to the rights of all humanity.

Perhaps you have been chosen for this because of your father.

Antigone

Ah the crossroads,

ever the crossroads seem to create or crush hope.

My brother, my father, who are art in Hades. Cursed is the name of Oedipus. Who met unwittingly met his true father in the crossroads and slew him, married my mother, his mother, and sealed our destruction, yes, the destruction of the family of Labdacus.

Of course the three fates wove this cursed incestuous intercourse into the pattern long before these events unfolded on the sacred loom of time.

Just as my thread, my being was entwined into the sacred tapestry of life ensuring that I would die a virgin, cursed, unwed...

Chorus

Honour, Freedom, Love, Dignity,
These things are eternal truths
that stand in contrast to authority,
You willingly stood up against tyranny,
Who can blow a whistle and retain anonymity?

Antigone

No friends, no support, no wedding.
Apollo's chariot illuminates the sky, but these rays are the last I will see.
At what point is the heart so heavy that it drags us down to where no eye will see us.
I don't behold any tears being shed for my passing, no lamentation,
Just my last march into the eternal dusk.

(Enter Creon)

Creon

We don't really need to listen to your whining
Every criminal has a million excuses on the way to jail.
Now get rid of her. Take her to her new home.
She will get used to it. It has all the comforts for a dark mind.
She will have plenty of time to contemplate her actions
Plenty of food to eat. No one will disturb her.
Don't waste time removing her from our sight,
We wash our hands of this.

Antigone

My bridal chamber is a tomb.

Ears filled with a tyrant's words. I walk to my doom.

Enshrouded in darkness, my companions, my long dead ancestors and other spirits.

Persephone, Goddess of the Dead, give me strength, light my way to spring anew into defiance.

I find some measure of comfort in the teaching that within the embrace of death I will once again meet those who truly loved me. My mother, my father, my brother whose limbs I bathed in preparation of the final journey ensuring my own path to this place.

Do the arguments of the living fade with the final breath, or are they buried with the dead?

I poured the sacred mead upon your pyres and chanted the prayers to give you strength upon your soul's journey.

Divine Mind flows through all places all times,
yet I feel afraid to pass within this cave of my demise.

If I were a mother, would I have risked this death for the sake of a child?

As a wife, would I choose this? No, in the wake of sorrow, I would find another and build a new life.

But with our mother and our father entombed, no more brother will manifest so I bathed you, cleansed the wounds upon your chest, and ushered you into the dimensions of death releasing your soul in accordance with divine law.

Creon moves quickly to crush all opposition even to deny true justice and rightly blames me, because I will not deny the truth of my deeds to bring blessings to my brother. These blessings bring more curses, but I have done my ablutions and yet cannot be sure I have washed enough for the final journey. Can one prepare oneself for death, when one will have no one to perform the sacred rituals?

I have no children and will have none. My beloved has been denied even a last visitation because I am condemned as a traitor, led away practically on what would have been the day of my wedding. My bridal song will be an unsung funeral dirge.

Although I cannot rely upon any earthly ally, at least my heart is pure.

Can you judge me? Can you cast the black ball upon me? Exactly which divine law have I transgressed?

How is it that even the dead are treated as so much meat to be fed to the carrion beasts? Is this what provokes the Divine Wind and Wave that shatters the shores? Is this what prompts the volcanoes to explode? Or the heavens to reign down fire?

Chorus

These words, echo the storm within this crisis,
One can feel the depth of pain revealed within her voice
and witness the clouds of emotion on her face
She does not go easily unto her fate.

Creon

Speed is thus the best response. Get on with it.
To linger is to listen and to listen is to condemn.

Antigone

Moments slip away, bringing eternal night to replace the brief light of my days.

Creon

There is no sense crying over spilt milk. This crisis is of your own creation. You could have left things well enough alone. At this point there is no hope.

Antigone

My nation. My city.

Creation of, within, and through Divine Mind.

How can souls continually allow for such indignity to unwind throughout eternity?

Will there ever be a time when all people can expect to be treated equally?

Simply be respected with those rights divinely bestowed upon humanity?

If we are to be reborn, once again, and who is to know that we are not? Will we thus victimize ourselves till the end of time?

Or barring any such return of ourselves, will we condemn our progeny to such a culture or society?

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11 - Stasimon 4

Chorus

The tapestry of humanity is woven from the threads of lives entwined in destiny.

Stories abound painful attempts of royals to avoid their fates.

Noble Perseus was born from such travails.

His mother Danae impregnated by the golden seed of Zeus was entombed by her mortal father King Acrisius who being warned by the oracle feared his own death at the hands of her progeny.

But the Divine cannot be confined,

transcending space and time,

and even the meagre reflection of divinity can break free and thereby fulfill destiny.

Thus did Danae come to her liberation and Perseus was raised with another nation so that soon enough, Acrisius found his thread with life's tapestry to be of past magnificence.

When that oldest of divinity crosses ones path, there is no amount of gold that can purchase an extra minute or a sword that can fight the fatal hand of death.

Then there is the tale of Lycurgas, whose name today is a synonym for psychosis or self induced madness,

Lysurgic Acid Diamethylide, LSD.

This king's madness came from his desire to purify his personal Santorum.

He chose to oppose the holy Spirit of Dionysius

therefore place a prohibition upon the drinking of any libations, in particular wine.

Of course this was soon followed by the desire to extend the kingdom's laws to control the smallest details of people's lives in particular the lives of women and their reproduction.

Choosing to stand between the women of his kingdom and the Gods, he soon went mad and in his madness made an abortion of his grown son Dryas,

slicing him into a thousand pieces and then himself was torn apart limb from limb in the style of the Thracian people.

[Compare with 1 Samuel 2]

The wise observe their words and attitudes avoiding arrogance,

knowing the Gods weigh all deeds on the sacred scales of justice.

Ares, the God of war can break all bows,

strengthen the smallest warrior to steely eyed resolve and victory.

Whereas the mortal eye can be blinded,

the Divine Eye cannot be restrained or limited.

The Divine flow is never hindered

such that that those who are hungry are fed,

the childless gives birth to Seven Sisters.

Hermes and Persephone can pass through all barriers

even moving between the dimensions of life and death,

raising the dead and making life.

The Gods stand at the crossroads,

can move all traffic in any direction,

sending some to poverty, and some to wealth,

humbling the cruel and exalting those

whom you least expect to be raised from the ashes and seated at the right hand of the king.

The Gods not only set the foundations of the world,

they are the foundations of the universe,

our feet not only walk upon the land of the Divine,

they are part of that Divine,

guided by the Divine

therefore cannot stray from the Divine,

except by the will of the Divine.

The spirit who opens to the truth of the Gods is an ever present speaker of truth and channel of the Gods.

But those who oppose the path of compassion will be thrown into darkness and silence.

[End Comparison with 1 Samuel 2]

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12 - Episode 5

(Enter Tiresias, guided by a child.)

[Compare with Matthew 18:3]

Tiresias

Nation, Nobility, I am here, guided by a child. Old and blind, I rely on the eyes of a child to show me the path. Those who wish to commune with the Divine must let go of jaded ways and become like a child with open mind and untainted heart.

Creon

Venerable Tiresias, what tidings? What news of the divine?

Tiresias

Those who have eyes can see, those who have ears can hear. But only if one opens the mind can a vision be truly grasped and only if one listens can one change.

Creon

I have always valued your insights, ever eager to listen to your divine counsel and have a deeper insight into Divine Mind.

Tiresias

The way of truth and insight is the way of the divine journey. The wise captain pays attention. Location, location, location. Angle of the sun, distance to the shore. All these things to steer clear of the rocks and guide ship to safe harbour.

Creon

Your words have always raised my consciousness.

Tiresias

You walk the razor's edge, treading between darkness and light.

Creon

A shudder passes through me, your words are like a winter wind. Speak your truth.

Tiresias

Birds gather in flocks, bees swarm when the queen seeks a new home.

Nature holds the keys to Divine Insight if we will but listen.

Even empty, the sacred theater hold the vibrations of the divine explorations of human behavior.

The cry of the falcon penetrates and does not disappear from the ears of the pigeon that survives its deadly fall from the heights. The rush of the wind from beneath the twisting wing, the snap, the caw and then the quiet that follows.

The Silence of Death.

The sacred fires have been tainted with carrion.

Those eternal flames honoring our relationship with our ancestors and the gods have been contaminated with bits of flesh dropped by carrion birds.

An eyeball, believe to be one of Eteocles was found in the grand well. Citizens are afraid to drink the water now. Sacrifices and divinations are not auguring good fortune. It is said that the animals and birds that fed upon the dead are now sick and have themselves been dying and in doing so their bodies are fouling the smaller wells and are being found upon the doorsteps of the homes.

[Compare with 1 Samuel 2:10]

These signs speak clearly that it is time to change direction.

Might does not make right despite the desire of the strong to prevail over the weak.

Those who contend against Divine Mind will generally find themselves broken.

The Divine flows through the sands, and skies, and when most High Gods clap thunder rolls across the heavens. The Gods reach through all dimensions and Divine Judgment is felt to the ends of the earth.   
[End of comparison with 1 Samuel 2:10]

[Begin comparison with Dhammapada, chapter 1]

All that we are is a result of what we think. The flower and fruit of our being is rooted within our thoughts, indeed it is constructed of our thoughts.

The man who speaks with wisdom brings wisdom into his life,

the man who is thoughtless inadvertently brings unaccountable situations into being

soon his carelessness results in pain which follows him,

as surely as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that pulls the carriage.

The strongest man is capable of transforming when he sees the error of his way.

Thoughtless deeds can be amended through thoughtful actions.

We must simply open our eyes and see the higher truth, or listen to the caring insights of others.

The great leader rights the wrongs he finds, even if they are his own and through this demonstration of nobility he returns the nation to alignment with the Divine.

We must give the dead their due.

There is no goodness found in stabbing the fallen foe.

What honor is found through the abuse of the dead?

What good comes to the spirit who is constantly occupied with thoughts of past abuse?

The fires of hatred are not quenched by more hatred,

this is simply more fuel to the conflagration.

Ancient divine law is clear.

Hatred ceases through love.

Forgiveness is the way of wisdom.

Take heed, listen, hear and move yourself to proper action.


[End comparison with Dhammapada, chapter 1]
[Begin comparison with Dhammapada, chapter 3]

Creon

Wise old man. You bring your mind to bear upon this situation as a skilled archer aims his arrow. Your thoughts match the thoughts of fellow citizens of our nation who like minded bring their thoughts to bear upon this crisis.

It is hard to train the mind. One must learn to steady the anxious thought with focus on ease of action.

[Dhammapada Chapter 6:80-81]

The able archer fletches his own arrows, carpenters carve logs into function, the wise work willingly on themselves and become solid like granite unmoved or shaken by the weather, unworried and unfazed amidst blame or praise.

[1 Samuel 2:12-16]

You and your lot may fatten yourselves with the best bits of flesh from the sacrifice and even pocket profits from the sale of "sacred stones" and gold. But do not think that I will be swayed by your persuasion.

I have no fear of your derision. You might say that the sacred eagles of Zeus will rend his flesh and heft the bloody mess to the their master's throne bringing pollution to the seat of the heavens. But I am unafraid of superstitions.

Heaven and its majesty is undisturbed by earthly activity. All of your silly attempts to get me to grant this burial for the sake of that girl is hopeless. I know that the root of your dishonor is greed and your vaunted insights have been purchased with old family gold. Hidden loot of Oedipus now surfaces to save the last of his brood. It saddens me that you would stoop so low as to sell your sacred words for gold.

Tiresias

Those who have eyes will see, those who have ears will hear.

Creon

What is this silly repetition, a new fad, a new saying, popular street song?

Tiresias

Don't you understand that prudence is a priceless possession?

[Dhammapada Chapter 6:77]

Creon

Ah, the wise man admonishes and teaches, forbids what is improper. How is this working for you? Personally I believe fear is the greatest folly and foolishness brings its own reward.


Tiresias

You seem to be possessed of a great deal of foolishness, so what treasure will you reap?

Creon

I will not bandy words with a base prophet.

Tiresias

Base? You are defaming me in order to impugn my abilities.
Do you really want to accuse me of false prophesy?

Creon

I don't have to do that, you accuse yourself. All prophets are greedy by nature.

Tiresias

Perhaps you are seeing yourself reflected in others. Those who are ruled by ego are often deluded into seeing their faults mirrored in the beings around them.

Creon

Are you aware that you are talking to your commander and chief? Such slander may have a cost.

Tiresias

Note that it is you who keep speaking of cost as opposed to the deeper understanding of cooperation and co-creation. Did you save our city by yourself? Were you not part of a team? And was I not an essential part of that equation?

Creon

You are clever at elevating yourself through your vaunted art of divination and equally adept at dissembling.

Tiresias

You really want to me to talk. Here. In front of these people.

Creon

Bring it on! But speak from the heart and not for profit.

Tiresias

I believe I will and for your sake I shall.

Creon

Don't get the idea that you can profit on me.

Tiresias

On a happy day the sun move quickly through the sky, on sad days time seems to slow.
How long does this day seem to you? Equilibrium is the natural state of being, thus the universe bends towards balance. Do you think that you can shake the scales of justice without precipitating a reaction?
By end of a single cycle of the sun, you will feel the fingers of the fates, who will pluck a thread of life close to yours. Blood for blood. Dead for the dead.

[Dhammapada 5:60]

Nights seem longer to the sleepless soul; distance stretches further for the weary and the fool who ignores Divine Law is doomed to an endless circle of incarnation in the corridors of pain.

[end comparison with Dhammapada 5:60]

Violating the eternal laws that demand the honoring of the dead, compounding dishonor by burying the sister alive in a tomb of torture.

[Dhammapada 3:40-42]

You may thrust your victims into the jaws of death, but one cannot leave the lifeless body, lying upon the earth unheeded like a useless log. The harm that you may feel you inflict upon your enemies, the hatred that you direct at those you fear, simply rebounds upon yourself. No one could harm you more than yourself, not your mother, nor father, nor any of these relations. Your greatest damage has been self-inflicted by your poorly directed mind.

[End comparison with Dhammapada 3:40-42]

Your blatant disregard for the Sacred Rights of the Living and the Dead is a desecration that will not be denied by the Divine. You have brought this upon yourself as well as upon our city.

I'm not paid to say this. You can figure it out yourself with what little judgment you have left. At the moment our city is filled with the wails and cries of the women, the children, and all who are aware of the wrath that is descending.

I am not sure how you could think it was appropriate for the carrion birds to feast upon the dead, when anyone of sense would understand that they might drop the mangled bits into the city. The vultures descending into the stench of death then carry the offal onto the wind and the stench fouls our formerly fair city.

[Dhammapada 21:291 & 292]

Ensnared by your bondage to hate, you have sought your satisfaction through inflicting pain on others. Thus you cannot be delivered from hatred or the bitter herpes of hatred. The blisters will only increase because of your heedless hubris. You have neglected the sacred and done what you should not have done.

[End comparison with Dhammapada 21:291 & 292]

You have even directed your anger at me, so now the arrows are returned. Hopefully the shaft can somehow pierce your stony heart and thereby awaken you to some sense.

One thing you cannot escape is your own stupidity, it is like a shadow that only disappears in the bright light of wisdom. But even then it simply sits beneath you, out of sight to reappear as soon as wisdom takes its leave. Which now I shall do.

Boy, let's return home, there is more sense in a cold hearth stone than here.

[Dhammapada 10 - 131-136]

One who seeks his own joy through oppressing others with violence will never attain happiness in this life or the next.

This one wishes to shower all life about him foul speech not knowing that such angry seeds will return to him and bring a harsh harvest.

When a fool is committed to thoughtless action, such a witless wonder is soon tormented by his own deeds as a child who places his hand upon the heated hearth.

[End Dhammapada 10 - 131-136]


Chorus

My Lord, Tiresias has uttered such dreadful prophecies that I believe whatever color remained in my hair has fled with fear. This is not a man whose words can be taken lightly, he has never yet been wrong.

Creon

Oh, my heart. I feel confused. I know that I must be strong, but what if I am wrong?

Chorus

Son of Menoceus, perhaps it is best to take his advice.

Creon

What do you think I should do? Give me a clue.

Chorus

Release Antigone from the cavern in which you have confined her, build a proper pyre for the corpse, then inter the ashes as is proper and befitting duty to the dead.

Creon

You think I should relent?

Chorus

My lord, you must take swift action if you wish to avoid the divine retribution that is the sure reprisal for foolishness.

Creon

I do not wish to concede, but it appears that I have no choice.

Chorus

Get going. This is your responsibility. No one can do it for you.

Creon

I can do this. I am capable and able. You! And you! Grab axes and get to it now. We have work to do. We need to be about it. My mind is made up.

[Dhammapada 5:65]

If only for a moment, we will spend time with the wise,
open our hearts to forgive, our minds to higher truth,
transformation is as sure as our tongue tasting the flavor of the soup.

[End Dhammapada 5:65]
[Dhammapada 22:318-319]

When we realize wrong is wrong, and right it right, it opens up our second sight.
I am ready to leave my mistakes behind and return to the ancient path of the divine.

(Exit Creon.)

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13 - Stasimon 5

Blessed be the Divine Reflection.

awakened through the tools of transformation.

Blessed be the power of the mind

which when harnessed with the power of the heart

gives the spirit two mighty legs with which to surmount any challenge.

The light of wisdom is within everybody,

an eternal flame,

which can bring forth right speech and action.

Let this light shine!

Iakhe! Iakhe! Iakhe!

Blessed be the archetype of Bacchus, Iacchus and Dionysus.

The ancient Tao of the far east teaches us the way of freedom and responsibility.

Balance, Harmony, this is the way of enlightened society.

We take joy in the education of our youth,

denying none the best that our nation has to offer

because we know the strength of our nation is found through nurturing the seeds of our youth.

Iakhe! Iakhe! Iakhe! Blessed be twin flames of wisdom and creativity.

We guard the innocence of our youth

through knowledge

and through truth.

We teach them the interweaving spiral of life

so that they understand the strands of creation.

Guanine
Adenine
Thymine
Cytosine

The ladder of life.

These are the ancient truths of Phanes and Proteganos.

The primordials who ventured forth from the soup of creation

and through time, Chronus,

they inevitably gave birth to all life.

We are not an ignorant nation!

Our land is rooted in the universal truths.

Therefore we do not place one religion over another,

We teach our children that all are brothers.

The way of the fundamental is the way of death

and destruction to the core concepts of human rights & wisdom.

Humanity has never prospered within the confines of religion.

The higher way is the celebration of diversity

and the preservation of equality.

Iakhe! Iakhe! Iakhe!

Blessed be the brothers Apollo and Dionysus

who teach us

the way of discipline

hand in hand

with passion and relaxation.

Apollo, God of the Sun, dreams, reason and reliability.

Dionysus, God of the wine, intoxication and creativity.

When these archetypes are balanced within,

we manifest harmony,

the primordial DivineUnity.

A little wine is good for the heart.

A lot of wine destroys our bodies.

A little wine loosens the tongue.

A little more wine brings forth silly words and actions

A lot of wine can result in the absence of mind

and even the destruction of beloved beings and sacred objects.

How can one turn poison into medicine?

Through the sacred practice,

through the tools of transformation,

we can transform ourselves and all conditions and even heal the nation.

Treat, treat, and move your hands and feet.

Fields do not get planted by sitting in the garden,

water does not get drawn if you never leave the kitchen table.

The work does not get done if we only think about it.

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14 - Exodus

(Enter Messenger)

Messenger

Neighbors, Cadmeans, citizens of Corinth, descendants of ancient Amphion who with his brother Zethus built this city from the ground up.

[Dhammapada 4:7]

I am not here to judge. Who can truly find fault when there is not one of us who has never made a mistake. Wisdom is found in accounting for oneself. What have you done, what have you not completed?

[End Dhammapada 4:7]

The wheel of fortune is spinning,
do you know what side of the wheel you are on?
Are you rising, are you falling?
How can you be sure?

It was not long ago that Creon was happy, leading our city to victory over the invaders.
Having inherited the mantle of leadership, he prospered,
his children were privileged and his future was assured.
That is now the past.
Thoughtless action or inaction can bring change within an instant.

[Matthew 6:19-21]

How often men will bury their gold under the floor, or squirrel away fine clothes, only to find that gold is cold and even the finest cloth can rot or be eaten away by moths. You can gather up your jewels and treasures, but they can be stolen. That which you most highly esteem is what will make up the substance of your dreams, dominate your thoughts and hold your attention.

[End Matthew 6:19-21]
[Dhammapada 13:177]

Do not place your faith in stones or gold, the miser is rarely happy in this life and it has been said that when one dies the gold collected in this life that has not been put to compassionate use forges a chain that binds one to this world like an anchor holds a ship in port never to depart. A fool will not praise generosity, but the wise delight in giving, because what is given away belongs to the giver forever, thus it is often better to give than to receive.

[End Dhammapada 13:177]

Bring warmth into your life and home with loving words and kindness, cherish your family, your friends and above all cherish the sacred and divine.

Chorus

What is wrong? What has happened?

Messenger

Death. Death. And the dead condemn.

Chorus

Condemn? What do you mean? Who is dead? Who is the killer?

Messenger

Haemon, is no longer with us. His killer was no stranger.

Chorus

No, has Creon killed his own son?

Messenger

Haemon took his own life in anguish over his father's deeds.

Chorus

Once again, Tiresias, our prophet is right.

Messenger

That being the case, what else did he say?

Chorus

Here comes Eurydice. Does she know? Is she aware of the death of her son?

(Enter Eurydice)

Eurydice

I heard everything. I now know... I came to the door hoping to gather some friends to support me in prayer. As I opened the gate, I heard the news, now what am I to do ... will prayers now have any meaning? I am not sure what to believe, speak again and help me to understand. I shall listen, I am not unschooled in grief or sorrow.

Messenger

My lady, I am loath to tell this tale but since I must, I will. There is no point in lying about it or trying to soften the situation. Let me be plain. The truth is always best.

I was with your husband,

well, I followed him to the high plain
where the body of Polynices lay in pitiful repose,
his body savaged by dogs and crows.

Creon led us in a prayer to Hecate, the Goddess of the Crossroads asking for proper direction to make amends of our transgressions. Then our circle prayed to Pluton to forgive our neglect of the ancient divine laws, to restore our good grace, insure continued fertility and prosperity.

We then did fresh ablutions as best we could, using pure water, then wrapping what foul remains there were in holy bark and raising this body upon a bier we then began the sacred pyre.

Once the fire had begun, we left a watchman there, then followed Creon, toward the princess Antigone's rock hewn cavern. As we approached the valley of the noble dead, we heard a cry, a piercing wail erupt and echo from the cave. Creon faltered at this sound and grabbed his heart as if in pain saying:
"My heart, that is my son's voice, we journey into the valley of the dead and I feel as if I am going to my own demise. I feel wretched. Men, let's go, go, run ahead. We must check the tomb. See what is going on. Am I wrong? Was that Haemon's cry or do the God's simply torment me with delusions?"

We moved into the complex of crypts and came upon freshly broken stone work. The tomb in which Antigone is interred was broken open. Creon seemed frantic with fear. We peered into the shadows and there within was the maiden. At first it seemed she was levitating and then it was clear, she was hanging by a linen noose about her neck. Haemon was grasping her legs attempting to lift her and release her from her plight.

Obviously too late.
Creon moved toward him asking:
"What have you done? What do you need? What is this insanity? My son, Haemon, come, I beg you, come to me."

Haemon's eyes blazed with anger, he pulled his sword, took a sudden thrust at his father, stumbled and in that moment fell upon his blade. The blood sprayed from his wound, but even so he rose, and with a sudden movement pulled the suspended body of Antigone down into a heap, his blood now upon her pale cheeks as his life ebb, he seemed to try to give the last rites in his last morbid moments within that mausoleum.

[Dhammapada 20:287-289]

His last moments reminds us that even as the sun shines, a storm could be on the horizon, or a tsunami could rush upon the shore and carry us away. Can we protect our children from such events? We can scarcely protect ourselves, much less our family, from the caprice of the Gods. Thus the wise live lives of loving compassion and caring words.

[End Dhammapada 20:287-289]

Is there any limit to human folly?
-- notes

 

(Exit Eurydice.)

Chorus

Eurydice has slipped out without a word. What should we think of this?

Messenger

It is hard to gauge the effects of the death of a son upon a parent. As his mother, she must be in pain, perhaps she goes to the palace to prepare the wake.

Chorus

I don't know. It seems that too much silence, too much secrecy is as dangerous as too much extreme grief. Balance is found within moderation.

Messenger

I will follow her to her home. Perhaps I can support her to unfold the pain within and thereby release overwhelming emotions.

Sharing ones' woes in private circles can assure our continued strength.

(Exit Messenger)

Chorus

Here comes Creon. His burdens multiply. His misdeeds bring an ever rising tide of pain upon himself and his family.

(Enter Creon with the body of Haemon)

Creon

In my pride, I have been more blind than our blind prophet Teresias and now I reap the harvest of the seeds that I have planted.

Here is my son, blood of my blood, now drenched by my failure to transform to higher purpose.

It is my fault that has led to these results. His young life extinguished. I did not listen to you. I did not understand. I am devoured by my own misdeeds.

Chorus

It is late in the day, but even as the sun declines, wisdom rises within your mind!

Creon

We reap what we sow, the wind may blow the leaves but we are responsible for the planting of the seeds. How can I deny that I am the root cause of these effects?

I am the dust from which I sought to rise. Now I grasp the how, the why. The pain of Oedipus when he ripped out his eyes. As commander, as chief, it was within my hands to lift the consciousness of our nation to compassion. Change begins within. I failed and now...

(Enter Messenger)

Tragedy! My Lord, sadly I bear bad news. I heard your lamentation and I must ask you: who really leads our nation? Where the people lead, the leaders will follow. We live only today, for tomorrow never actually arrives with the new dawn.

Creon

What news? How can anything get worse?

Messenger

It is darkest, before it gets darker.
--notes

Your wife is dead. Overwhelmed by the loss of her son she has taken her own life.

Creon

Is there any safe harbour? Is there any way out of this dilemma? The wheel of fortune rolls over me crushing the last shreds of my pride.

What is left for me now? First my son and now my wife! Never ending sorrow.

Chorus

The doors to truth are open wide.
There is no place to run or hide
from the harvest of our own creation

Creon

Grief piles onto pain, once again, the loss never seems to end. My dead son within my arms and I am to bear more death upon my shoulders. An eye for an eye truly leaves the whole world blind. Why couldn't I see in time? --notes

 

Messenger

Even the strongest hearts can fail when taxed too much. Euryodice dutifully began her lamentations at the altar. First she lit a candle for Megareus, her son who fell in the recent battle at the gates of the city, then calmly lit incense, the fragrance seems to linger still. As the smoke began to rise from the altar, she let out a wail, grabbed her temples, fell to her knees, cursing Creon, you, as the slayer of her children.

Creon

No, no. My heart, my heart. I cannot go on. Someone, you, or you. Simply end my life now with a simple thrust of steel.

Messenger

She laid a heavy curse upon you before she left this world, put blame for this tragedy upon your head.

Creon

But how did she die?

Messenger

With the altar knife. Upon hearing that her last child was no longer among the living, she turned the blade upon herself.

Creon

I killed them all. It is my doing. Playing the great man I have destroyed all their lives. I am nothing, I am lower than the dust beneath our feet. I am but a rock upon the road, a stone upon the street. Lead me from this place.

Chorus

The best advice is that which is given with integrity.
Words that are shared without hidden gain
We clear the home of the old to make room for the new
perhaps this is how it is to be for you.

Creon

I am a shadow having no substance. What is a man bereft of blood? Can one lift his arm, move his feet? I can hear my words but it is as if I am not here. I have destroyed everything. I having nothing, I cannot go on...

Chorus

Do not think about tomorrow for it will never arrive, just be, be here now, in this moment, you are still alive. It is time for other hands to care for these concerns. You must rest.

Creon

What can I do? Nothing. Prayer. I can pray.

Chorus

The prayers of a beggar are never answered. The time to pray is at the outset not the end. We cannot arrive at the end and expect to return to the beginning once again.

We reap what we sow, so here you are.

Creon

No, not here. I will not remain here. Take me away from this place. I cannot face another moment on the stage of life. All that I embrace twists and turns, within my hands all is unsteady, the fire cools and the water burns. Another lesson to be learned.

(Creon is led away.)

Chorus

[compare with Proverbs 16:14-18]

The key to happiness is wisdom and mastery of our words and actions,
Realizing that our speech plants seeds within our lives,
we cultivate ourselves and develop a spiritual practice,
thereby compassion and forgiveness take the place of pride.

[compare with Dhammapada 23:14]

Must we learn from the mistakes of others?
We must work together as sisters and brothers
right now. in this moment, for tomorrow never arrives

[compare with Isaiah 26:19]

Arise, ye dwellers of the dust, arise, do not wait
old age, is much too late a time to be wise.

(Exit.)

Finis.

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INDEX OF
SPIRITUAL REFERENCES
AND QUOTATIONS

 

  1. note - Goebbel's / Hitler "Arbeit Macht Frei" which means Work will you Freed hangs over the gate to Auschwitz.
  2. note - Matthew 26: 14-16
  3. note - Hamlet
  4. 2 Proverbs 16

 

 

 

 

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