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Antigone Sophocles

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Antigone

by Sophocles

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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? New Thought events are fun to share

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