Music as a Revelatory Image of the Greater Ages of Humankind

Dear reader: this writing is in tutor/student dialogue format for more entertaining discourse. Enjoy!

TUTOR: So, student, you remember that in our first lesson [Music: Is it Totally Relativistic?], we showed that music is not entirely relative: that even though different cultures may divide the music period differently than the West, or hear different things in our music that we don’t hear, nevertheless, if we use natural law and harmonics, the Western scale of 12 notes follows as the simplest natural and objective music that exists and that has more than one note. Hence, Western Music is not arbitrary but rigorous and natural.

STUDENT: Yep, got that. And you said this because you indicated that from here on out in our lessons, we will show that natural music contains some mind-blowing analogies of Catholic mystery and doctrine that cannot be denied objectively and can only be questioned about divine intention. Is that right?

TUTOR: Absolutely, and in this lesson, we are going to start with the simplest analogy, the greater ages.

STUDENT: Good, shoot!

TUTOR: Before we do, I am wondering, you had tickets to pink floyd last night. How did that go?

STUDENT: Great!

TUTOR: Must have cost a fortune.

STUDENT: Well, actually, it was pretty cheap. This is because, they decided to do a retro gig. What that meant was that, normally, if one wanted to get into the show, you would have to push the “go ticket” button approximately .000000000000001 seconds after the ticket sale shot gun. Then, one would have one convenient seat left, which would cost 1,500 euros and would be wonderfully located in the far upper right corner of the coliseum, or in other words, about 1.2 miles from the stage. Also, the seat would be luxuriously comfortable in a thin bleacher with no back support and tucked in like sardines in a concentration camp.

TUTOR: Didn’t Roger Waters sing about stuff like that?

STUDENT: Kind of, yeah, but it didn’t happen. Rather, lo and behold, the crew decided to have a lottery, and out of the lucky ones, a 1975 experience was given. So I got a 5th row seat for $15, and rather than pay $7 for a hot dog, $10 for a small bag of cheetos, and $15 for a medium drink no-refill, I got a combo of all three for three bucks!

TUTOR: Awesome! Maybe that will happen again with another band!

STUDENT: I hope so!

TUTOR: Ok, well let us hit the lesson. So again, we are going to try to show that greater ages of human history make for a simple and perfect musical analogy. But first, we need to make a common sense argument that in even trying to do this, we are “shooting” for a good target, an appropriate target.

STUDENT: And that might be what?

TUTOR: Liturgy!

STUDENT: Liturgy?!

TUTOR: Yes!

STUDENT: How?

TUTOR: Let me explain. Firstly, we know that music is the ultimate language of the liturgy and therefore should be the ultimate language for humanity. It is numeric, complex, and intertwined with emotions, and so, like letters of an alphabet, the notes can convey any experience whatsoever in a manner transcendent to any other vehicle or medium. But, it is also said by Holy Father Emeritus Benedict, where he himself echoes oceans of mystics, that the entire faith is summed up in the liturgy. Hence, if the liturgy is the supreme image of the faith, and music is the ultimate transcendent language of the liturgy, then it follows, quite probably, that the whole of the essential dimensions of faith should be somehow mystically veiled in natural music.

STUDENT: that is a tall order, but if it turns out to be true, at least seemingly, then that would be like completely radical and totally excellent, like an adventure!

TUTOR: Amen, Amen, I say to you, it will be completely radical and excellent!

STUDENT: OK, but you have to fill this order.

TUTOR: Never fear, I will totally wow you!

STUDENT: Ok, the burden of proof is on you!

TUTOR: OK, here we go! To begin, I have probed these questions and found, at a bare minimum, unbelievable analogies in the basic, natural, Western Music that indeed summarize the near total essential dimensions of our faith. It may sound crazy, but simply come and see! We are going to rock this! I promise that you will not be disappointed! Toward this end, it would make sense to first ask, what are the primary dimensions of the faith that will serve as the reference points for this musical revelation that we speak of?

STUDENT: Good Question, what are they?

TUTOR: Well, in short, I have found three such wonderful mysteries, at least in analogy, and those are:

  • The Greater Ages of the Divine Plan
  • The Mystery of Truth: Ecclesiological Ages of Doctrinal Development
  • The Mystery of Grace: the Full Sacramental Journey

STUDENT: Where did you get these from?

TUTOR: Good question. The answer is that this actually makes sense: the Bible is major history, so its greater ages, if it were possible to delineate them, should be somewhere in there. Beyond this, then, we have the Catholic faith in particular, and here, the faith is really meant to address two supreme dimensions of the human soul: the intellect, or truth, and the will, or grace, seeing as the Catholic faith is ultimately concerned with our redemption.

STUDENT: I agree: our redemption resides in these two dimensions: intellect, that is, what to believe in truth, and grace, the will, that is, how we are strengthened by the sacraments to live the moral law.

TUTOR: Yes, you got it. In this lesson, we will treat the first dimension in all its unbelievable coincidences (?!) of Catholic theology: the greater ages of human history.

STUDENT: What do you mean by “greater ages?”

TUTOR: Good question: with this, I mean none other than the greater ages of human history as delineated by the counterpart analogies of the days of creation in the beginning of Scripture and the beast heads at the end of Scripture, which is to say, Genesis and Apocalypse.

STUDENT: Really! What are those theologies?

TUTOR: The theology exists in which human history follows a mysterious path like the symbolic days of creation, and that, in this: that just as the days of creation alternate between evening and morning [“evening came and morning followed, the first day, .. the second day, and so forth”], so also does God’s Plan move through epic time like this [see, The Joyful Mysteries as All Human History]:

STUDENT: That sounds very interesting. Can you give some examples?

TUTOR: Sure. It really follows common sense. More specifically, if we simply walk through the bigger events of the OT, they alternate like: darkness/light, darkness/light. That is, spiritual darkness enters history around God’s People, but God draws light from it, spiritual illumination. Then, the sin comes back, and God redeems it again. Evening came and morning followed, the first day, the second day, and on and on.

STUDENT: Yes, now that I ponder this, I can see it sort of happening. But before we walk through some of this, you mentioned the beast at the end of Scripture. How does that work?

TUTOR: Good question. It is not hard to see.; it works like this: the imagery of the beast mirrors this reality. in Apocalypse chapter 13, it is written, “And I saw one of his heads as it were slain to death: and his death’s wound was healed. And all the earth was in admiration after the beast” (Rev 13:3). Here, a head of the beast can image a darkness of our day of creation above, that is, a period of spiritual desolation, or sin. The slaying of such a head then clearly images the spiritual light, the sunrise, that vanquishes it, namely, a great redemptive action of God in history that destroys the sinful stage and brings renewal. Too, then, if a wound to a head of the beast is healed, it images that a sinful age has come back or succeeded a spiritual light.

STUDENT: I like that; that makes a lot of sense. Better than Kennedy coming back from the dead, like Hal Lindsay, or Nero coming back, like the typical Catholic approach.

TUTOR: Exactly. In fact, you are going to find that looking at the Apocalypse as a revelation of the big picture of the entire Church age is far more meaningful than confining it to petty details of the first century.

STUDENT: I agree. I think that the time is approaching when the typical Catholic approach of preterism will be highly inadequate to respond to our separated brethren. They are looking at a distant end of Church history with all their goofy and shortsighted details of the world war III and earthquakes and stuff, and all the Catholic Church does right now is just direct them to the opposite extreme of history, and unfortunately many times with petty details, too. What about all the great spiritual history between these extremes, and possibly beyond? We are fastly approaching a time where much greater depth is needed.

TUTOR: I agree, and this is an even larger tall order that is down the peak. For now, though, let us get back to the darkness/light thing.

STUDENT: Agreed. Fire away!

TUTOR: You got it! Ok, so, once again, salvation history quite veritably, in the big picture, manifests itself as a perpetual alternation being spiritual night and spiritual day, much like how the Christ persistently falls down and gets up on the way of the Cross.

Let us walk through it: In the beginning was the fall, and darkness fell over quickly with the age of Noah’s day, wickedness! But God entered in with great light, the Flood. Sinful humanity was baptized away, and creation started anew. Then, sin arose again with Babel, and God brought light, the confounding of tongues, followed by the greater light, the calling of Abraham and the formation of the first People of God, the Hebrews.

STUDENT: Yeah, I can follow this. Let me build on you!

TUTOR: Go for it!

STUDENT: Yeah, so after God formed the Hebrew People through Abraham and such, the next big thing is Egypt, the immediate Scripture after Genesis. This is a great darkness, the enslavement of the Jewish People. And sure enough, in that same Exodus, the next big phase was, that is right, the Exodus. God delivered His People in mighty deeds and gave them the Holy Land. This culminated with the Old Testament Kingdom, and David. This was mainly light.

TUTOR: Yep, you can keep going if you like!

STUDENT: My pleasure. Toward that end, after the first couple kings, the Jews started going downhill relative to the prophets. They got more and more wicked. Finally, they were so bad that God needed to give them an a**whipping. This peak of sin and unfaithfulness to the Old Law was a real darkness. But then, with Babylon, though it was physically bad, the Jews repented. They came back to God, and eventually, God brought them back home. Then they wept for how far they had fallen, and they rebuilt the Temple. And the NAB says that their reestablishment was so strong that it enabled them to resist powerful Hellenistic influences until the Maccabees ordeal. All that is clearly light.

TUTOR: Very good.

STUDENT: Yeah, so finally, the fifth darkness was Maccabees, where apostasy started to set in, and where many Jews were martyred by the antichrist figure Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the war that ensued. And a little while later, the greatest redemption of God in Person in human history, the coming of the Christ, the ultimate light of all since the beginning!

TUTOR: Very good, and we can note that, so far, over a larger time span, effectively, the process continues into the New Testament era. 

The complete process is then as follows, which is straightforward:

Old Testament

Day 1:
Darkness: The Fall and Wickedness of Noah's Day
Light: The Flood

Day 2:
Darkness: 
Babel
Light: Confounding of tongues and formation of Hebrew People, Abraham

Day 3:
Darkness:
 Egypt Enslaves
Light: Exodus, OT Kingdom, Prophets

Day 4:
Darkness: Pre-Exile Apostasy of Jews
Light: Babylonian Exile, Jewish Repentance, Restoration to Holy Land and Temple

Day 5:
Darkness: 
Maccabees, OT Antichrist Antiochus
Light: First Coming of Christ, formation of Church

New Testament

Day 6:
Darkness:
 Pagan Rome persecutes (50 - 300~)
Light: Catholic Christendom and Development of Church doctrine (~300 - ~1900)

Day 7:
Darkness:
 Minor Apostasy of Gentiles, 1900 - present
Light: [future] Minor Chastisement, Catholic Restoration, Age of Our Lady’s Peace, Fullness of Gentiles

Day 8:
Darkness: 
Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist
Light: Second Coming of Christ, General Resurrection, New Creation


So salvation history can truly be seen as seven [eight] great steps of light—or Redemption (joy) –and seven [eight] great steps of darkness—or sin (sorrow).

STUDENT: That is totally radical!

TUTOR: Amen! And the completely excellent part now follows. And obviously, it means music completely fits this.

STUDENT: You are the man. Go for it!

TUTOR: Here goes. For starters, we should recall music basics from our previous lesson: with basic music theory, there are seven notes in a pure key, and, when you reach step eight, you return to note one—where you started—as in, "do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do." We note, too, as we did before, that the days of the week bear the same nature: there are seven days in the week, and when you reach day eight, you return to day one. Also, noting above that we have steps of light, or joy, and corresponding darkness, or sorrow,, we note that in any key, there are two primary scales: a primary major scale (major chords and songs are "happy songs") and a primary minor scale (minor chords and songs are "sad songs").

STUDENT: Ok, but let me interject. Even in major or minor, there are many scales, like ionian, dorian, myxolodia, and so forth.. So how would we know which to do.

TUTOR: Excellent observation. Effectively, what we are looking for is a scale that is complete, strictly one direction, and resolving. This means that all notes of the key are accounted for, the scale traverses one direction only (meaning, it doesn’t back up anywhere), all notes occur only one time [except for the octave, which we will deal with momentarily], and it "resolves.'

STUDENT: I can see all of this happening for any of the seven or so scales of the major mode, as well as minor, except for “resolving.” What do you mean by “resolving?”

TUTOR: Yes, that is the key. By “resolving,” I mean a scale that when it hits the octave, one has the sense of reaching the end, a resting point of finality. And clearly, the only such scale that has that is the one that begins and ends with the primary major key note, or derivatively for minor, the primary minor note of the key. Because, think about it: any other scale of either dimension starts off on the wrong foot, meaning, in the middle somewhere, kind of like how king roland started off on the wrong foot for his daughter princess vespa’s wedding.

STUDENT: Yeah, I remember that. But the king said it was too late, so they just kept going. And the wedding didn’t work out too well, at least the first one.

TUTOR: Exactly. Ending on any note in the middle of the standard octaves, exclusive, leaves you hanging with unfinished business. Hence, only the scale that starts and ends with the primary note of the key is resolving.

STUDENT: Great, so let’s go.

We are now ready to work out some wonderful correspondences.

STUDENT: I am all for it! Let’s go!

TUTOR: You got it! To start, the phases of light above are surely an ascending scale, since the joy in salvation history grows as God’s People, and the world, increase in love of God. For example, in the Exodus, the Jews are indeed being delivered from slavery, but they are stubborn and quite sinful. Later, however, after the exile, in the restoration, after having been supremely unfaithful just prior to that captivity and then restored, their relationship with God is stronger, and they are holier for it.

STUDENT: I agree. And in fact, I was thinking about our dispensation, the New, and how something similar has happened and will happen.

TUTOR: You mean in light of the prophecies our Lady’s Age of Peace that will reign before the final fall of the world?

STUDENT: Exactly. More specifically, in the sixth light, an unbelievable transition occurs: prior to Constantine, the vast majority of the Gentiles are in darkness, paganism, and sin, but with the Church’s apocalyptic victory over pagan Rome, suddenly the largest and most advanced civilization in the world has been transformed into a world that at least knows God in full and has the Gospel. Hence, an even greater ascension of joy than the post-Exile Jewish renewal.

TUTOR: I like where this Is going.

STUDENT: Yes, however, just as the Jews kicked and screamed as they were brought out of slavery and into their kingdom, so, since Constantine, that is, over the last some 1700 years, the Gentiles have kicked and screamed with the Gospel. More specifically, the Jews kicked and screamed as they were brought out of Egypt. They kicked and screamed when they got into the Holy Land, and finally they kicked and screamed their way out of faithfulness to the Old Covenant as they neared the Exile.

The Gentiles have been no different. After Constantine, they kicked and screamed as they were brought out of paganism [as in the Trinitarian and Christological heresies, Islam], they kicked and screamed as they were in Catholic Christendom [as in the Schism, the crusades, the inquisitions, the hierarchy corruption], and toward our own day of darkness, they have kicked and screamed their way out of the New Covenant [Protestantism, supernatural death of Enlightenment, French Revolution, perverse science and philosophy, and finally secular apostasy of the latter century].

TUTOR: I agree, there is a strong parallel.

STUDENT: Yes, but, nevertheless, in our modern times, we see that private revelation strongly suggests that an imminent chastisement will renew the Gentiles incomprehensibly into a civilization of love, of peace, to last as long as humanity wishes to cooperate with God’s grace, a far more substantial and loving conversion than the mere Middle Ages. In this same suggested coming age of peace, the Gentiles’ embrace of the Gospel will be far more widespread than merely European Civilization and far more profound and heartfelt because of the painful lessons that the world will have learned in the trying ordeal of our times (showing them anew the need for the Church in all its fullness), even as we just mentioned that the Jews had a stronger more heartfelt relationship to God after the chastisement of the Exile, which showed them in a supreme way their need for the love of God and faithfulness to His Covenant.

TUTOR: That is most radical AND excellent! You have shown that the coming age of peace will be an greater episode of joy than the Middle Ages and such, since the world will believe far more vastly and in far more pure love than in the first converison.

STUDENT: Awesomeness, Wayne’s World!

TUTOR: You already said that in the first lesson!

STUDENT: Well I am going to say it again, dangnammit!

TUTOR: Ok, I will grant you a dispensation since you so masterfully took our discourse forward.

STUDENT: Thank you!

TUTOR: Yes, so, to cap here, from both of our observations, clearly, the scale that best represents the ages of joy in human history is ascending major, since, again, the redemption ascends in degree, and relative to our modeling key of C, this same scale becomes ascending C up to C, eight notes, one octave.

STUDENT: Let me guess, now we turn to the dark side.

TUTOR: Yes! I will let you be Anakin!

STUDENT: My pleasure! In this regard, clearly, a parallel but reverse situation exists for the scale of sorrow: the phases of sin are descending since each new phase of sin is more sinful and culpable than the one before, so as to make humanity falling farther and farther down to the ultimate sin at the end, the great apostasy.

TUTOR: Amen, keep going!

STUDENT: Yes, so this is most easily seen in the New Testament darknesses. To start, note from the above list that the first darkness of NT history is pagan Rome. Here, sinful humanity, and the govt, rejects Christianity and viciously persecutes it. However, we can note that the world, as of then, did not fully understand the Gospel. They misunderstood Christians. But, as the love and courage of the faithful manifested itself through their brave, kind and benevolent actions which progressed through the persecutions, persons were won over.

Moving on to today, however, the modern renewed rejection of the Gospel in the former Christendom is more culpable, since Christianity has been present in history substantially. The European world and its derivatives have known God to a great degree, and found Him lacking. So the modern apostasy is more personal, more irresponsible. However, we note that full culpability is not yet reached in our time because the first conversion of the world was stained with much division and scandal: bloodshed, division of Christians, scandal in Church hierarchy, and the like. This lessens their culpability.

Finally, however, at the end of the world, the Gentiles will have reached full culpability, since before that time, and after ours, God will have vindicated His Church and Her teaching in the chastisement, showing humanity the terrible, even apocalyptic, consequences of not listening to Her. And were that not enough, He will have even given to her that fullness of spiritual and temporal peace for a great age, so that the supreme fruits of truly following His Gospel will show humanity God’s Infinite love and wisdom. Hence, when the great apostasy comes, man will be utterly culpable; they will not be able to say they didn’t know any better, nor that the have not seen the beautiful fruits of the Faith lived and experienced nearly globally in loving unity. For more, see this: Noah, the Dove, and Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit.

TUTOR: That says it all. So well. Hence, to cap up so far, the ages of Redemption can be seen as ascending joy, and the ages of sin as descending sorrow.

STUDENT: Is there any more?

TUTOR:
Oh yeah! The whopper is now here, big time!

STUDENT: Lemme have it!

TUTOR: You got it! Here is the culminating and mind-blowing parallel: the octave!

STUDENT: The Octave?! No way!

TUTOR: Oh yeah way! Like how Susan Samsonite—er Swanson—talked to Lloyd on the way to the airport.

STUDENT: Seriously?

TUTOR: Oh yeah, like a tractor beam. Wooooo. A tractor beam of profundity!

STUDENT: I gotta see this to believe it!

TUTOR: Well, here you go. Let me start by asking you, what does the octave do?

STUDENT: Well, from what I understand, with seven notes in a key, if you follow the notes one by one in order, when you reach step 8, you return to step 1, only one octave higher.

TUTOR: Bingo! In the above history, day one is indeed like day eight, both in respective darknesses and lights!

STUDENT: If that is true, that is radical!

TUTOR: Oh yeah! It is not only RADICAL, it is RADICALNESS to the EXCELLENCE POWER!

STUDENT: This is way cool, and not junior but senior!

TUTOR: Oh yeah! So check this out: “As it was in the days of Noah [age one, the Fall and the Flood], so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man [age eight, the Great Apostasy and Second Coming].” Yes! In day one, or age one, the world has fallen and quite quickly become, in Noah’s life, very wicked, sparing the righteous remnant of Noah and his family. Similarly, in day eight, or age eight, the world is likewise nearly totally wicked, the great apostasy, sparing a remnant, a small portion of Gentiles and most of the Jewish People, who will convert to the Gospel at that time. And in the light of day one, or age one, God destroyed the world, with water, and began to redeem it. In day eight, or age eight, God will destroy the world, by fire, and usher in the utterly redeemed world that shall never end, the New Creation.

2 Pet. 3:

Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] Saying: Where is his promise or his coming? for since the time that the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. [5] For this they are wilfully ignorant of, that the heavens were before, and the earth out of water, and through water, consisting by the word of God. [6] Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. [7] But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of the ungodly men. [8] But of this one thing be not ignorant, my beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord delayeth not his promise, as some imagine, but dealeth patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance. [10] But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt up.

Profound, huh?

STUDENT: That is like wickedly unfathomable!

TUTOR: It is, isn’t it? I have to say, though, some other completely wicked stuff remains if you are up to it, but this, I think is enough to digest for now.

STUDENT: I agree!

TUTOR: Class dismissed!




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