Musical Mystery in the Sacramental Journey II: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell

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

Music is the Transcendent Language of the Liturgy

TUTOR: OK, student, to get back on the bandwagon, we remind ourselves that we are progressively showing that music is revelatory, at least objectively.

STUDENT: Yes, and it has been an awesome ride so far!

TUTOR: Yes, recall, firstly, that the ultimate language of the Mass is music, and that the liturgy perfectly communicates the essentials of our faith implicitly. Hence, how can music not, in some sense, reveal the mysteries of faith.

STUDENT: Yes, and we have persistently been showing this through the lessons. More particularly, this has been demonstrated wonderfully in everything we have done so far. Toward that end, maybe you could review what we have worked on.

Western Music is Not Relative

TUTOR: Sure. Firstly, we showed that western music is not Relativistic: that if we use natural law and harmonics, the Western scale of 12 notes follows as the simplest natural and objective music that exists. Hence, music is not arbitrary but rigorous and logical.

Moreover, we have begun to establish that this same natural music contains some mind-blowing analogies of Catholic mystery and doctrine that cannot be denied objectively but only questioned about whether God intended them or not.

The Greater Ages in Music

STUDENT: I agree. I will chime in on the first analogy: in the second lesson, we showed that the Greater Ages of the World, both in the joys and sorrows, follow a simple musical scale, and that the octave was an awesome metaphor: the first and last phases of human history, whether in joy or sorrow, have basically identical characteristics: in this: namely, that the world in the beginning is totally wicked, sparing a remnant [Noah and his family], and the world at the end is totally wicked [the great apostasy] sparing a remnant [small portion of Gentiles and most Jews]. Too, the world at the beginning is destroyed by water, and the world at the end, by fire; finally, the first world is starting to be redeemed, whereas at the end, it is being utterly redeemed. Hence, the beginning and the ending ages of humanity are like octaves.

The Trajectory of the Greater Ages

In that third lesson, we saw that the Development of the 12 notes of Western music through the aforementioned “fifths of fifths” yielded a powerful meaning: the scale tends to alternate between a NT event and its associated OT prefigurement.

The Sacramental Journey, Descending Joy

TUTOR: Good, and now I’ll wrap up the final lesson so far, the Sacraments scale. Here, we saw that there are only four possible scales in music to be sufficiently objective to be a possible basis for an analogy of faith. Those were the scales that had the following:

  • Compete [all notes of the pure key]
  • Unique [each note occurring only once, sparing the final octave]
  • Uni-directional [stays in one direction from beginning to end, that is, no back ups]
  • Beginning with the base key note
  • Completing with the octave [and hence base key note]
  • Resolving [ends with an octave of the base note, that is, having sense of finality and not left hanging, as with notes between the base note octaves, exclusive]

These characteristics that form foundational, objective scales that are not therefore subjective only had two possible parameters, each with only two possibilities:

  1. Emotion: joy, sorrow [major, minor]
  2. Direction: ascending, descending

This was then two parameters each with two possible parameters, making 2 x 2 = 4 possible scales:

Consistent:

  • Ascending Joy
  • Descending Sorrow

Inconsistent:

  • Ascending Sorrow
  • Descending Joy

The consistent scales are where the emotion matches the direction. These were the initial scales of our lessons: the greater ages. Here, it is common sense: the greater ages have two dimensions: ages of joy, then ages of sorrow. We think of joy as ascending, or becoming more, and we think of sorrow as getting worse, or descending. Hence, it was appropriate to regard the scales of each as ascending joy and descending sorrow.

This left the inconsistent scales, or ironic, as one could call them. This is where the emotion is in contrast to the direction. This was then where one aspect of the mystery is good and one is bad. We saw that that worked out to the doctrinal development of the Church as the mystery of truth and expressed as the ascending sorrow scale, and then the sacramental mystery of grace expressed as descending sorrow.

This was profound, as follows: the Church was ascending in knowledge of God and His mysteries from Constantine to present through her doctrinal development. But it was sad as the world persistently resisted her apocalyptic testimony, hence, again, ascending sorrow.

In contrast, the profundity of the sacramental scale was that the receiving of the sacraments in life, each in their own place, is wonderful and joyful because God gives us grace with such beautiful signs and meaning, but our life is nevertheless a physical descent toward death, hence, again, descending joy.

This, then, brings us to the second part of our sacramental mystery scale: heaven and hell. Let us begin:

STUDENT: Now, what do you mean?

TUTOR: Let’s go through it.

Heaven Starts on Earth: Grace

Heaven starts on earth. Heaven starts on earth because of grace, and this is because grace is a veritable created participation in the very life, love, and knowledge of the Trinity. And since the Trinity's dwelling place is heaven, by sanctifying grace, we get a taste of heaven! It is therefore arguable that if we even get some such grace, we will experience heaven.

But alas, where do we get the best grace?

STUDENT: I got it! The Sacraments! Hence, whichever sacrament gets us in the door is the one thing necessary to get us a taste of heaven.

TUTOR: You got it! And which one do you think that is?

STUDENT: Of course, this is Baptism!. This also makes sense because Baptism is the only sacrament necessary for salvation. And yet Baptism is not isolated. It is mystically caught up in the whole sacramental economy. How will this apply?

TUTOR: Good question. What about this: what if the sacraments had a musical analogy that could build on this heaven thing. Guess what? There is! Don’t believe me? Come and see.

STUDENT: Ok, this sounds kewl. Hit me!

TUTOR: Firstly, let us recall in more detail our sacramental scale: descending joy. For the simplest piano analogy, this is CBAGFEDCB, or C descending down to the octave C, pure note by pure note. Also, we recall that C is the most illustrative key on the piano because the pure notes are the white keys, and the sharps and flats are the black keys. Here it is in the numbers, noting that there are nine steps instead of seven since, besides the seven sacraments, two steps fill out our life at either end: birth and death.

  1. Natural birth
  2. Baptism
  3. Confession
  4. Eucharist
  5. Confirmation
  6. Marriage
  7. Holy Orders
  8. Anointing
  9. Death

STUDENT: I remember this well, thank you! What now? We were discussing is the absolute minimum step In life to get a taste of heaven.

TUTOR: Yes, we have that baptism is the necessary sacrament to get us into heaven. BUT, in our musical scale of the sacraments above, Baptism is not the first note. Not the first note, you say?! How can that be?! Because, mon frere, one has to be born NATURALLY before one is born SUPERNATURALLY. Hence, natural birth is the first note, and therefore also the first note before baptism.

STUDENT: Aha, I get it. Hence, of the notes in our scale, not merely Baptism, or note 2, is needed for salvation, but also the first note, 1, or natural birth.

TUTOR: Yes, this puts the scale in context. From here, we can ask that if natural and supernatural birth give a minimum participation in heaven, is it possible that there is a full theology of all sacramental steps that will be in heaven, and no more, at least in principle.

STUDENT: That is a great question. Is there a solution?

TUTOR: Yes, and it is common sense: if these two sacramental steps, or notes, [natural birth and baptism, or notes 1 and 2] reveal the minimal conditions of getting a taste of heaven, then the full musical implications of these notes should reveal every sacramental sign or activity that will remain in heaven, either literally, or in principle.

STUDENT: Ok, great, but how? That is, what you mean by full musical implications of these notes?

TUTOR: Excellent! It means this: the full musical implications of these notes is attained by taking the complete base chords of the roots. Why? Because the base and complete chord of a note clearly indicates the full musical implications of the note. And actually, we will see that this music perfectly shows the theology.

STUDENT: That makes perfect sense! I cannot wait to see this. And let me guess: the full chords are just from common sense music theory.

TUTOR: You are absolutely right. And toward that end, what do you think the two chords are?

STUDENT: Yes, clearly, the base key major chord is just Cmaj, since we are in key of C. or Dmaj if in key of D, and so forth. As for the next chord, we have the full chord of B in key of C. This is a little technical. We do not take the chord of 2 in ascension but in descent. For, if it were 2 in ascent, it would be Dm. In this case, because we are descending, B is actually 7 in the regular ascent scale. And In the major scale of ascent for a base key, the 7 is diminished. Hence, for key of C, B is Bdim.

TUTOR: Right on. Can you work out the particular notes?

STUDENT: Sure. We all know that the major chord for a base key is 1 3 5, where five is the fifth, and 3 is the third, major version. Hence, for C, this is C E G. However, since we are descending, G occurs first, and then E, or CGE.

TUTOR: Good, and Bdim?

STUDENT: Yes, with similar argumentation, B dim is B D F, or again, because of descent, B F D.

TUTOR: I will ignore the acronym, as this site is rated PG.

STUDENT: Same here, I won’t tell a soul if you won’t.

TUTOR: Is that the Bangles?

STUDENT: No, that is 10 years late. It is the Go-Go’s.

TUTOR: Ok, fine, so let us move on from the eighties.

STUDENT: Sure, and I w ill rush us out of the cheese syndrome. The chords reveal these notes:

CGE [Cmaj] Derivatively, this is, in sacramental steps:

1. Natural birth,

4. Eucharist,

6. Marriage

Similarly for Bdim [BFD (big, oops, sorry)], or in sacramental steps, this is:

2 Baptism

5. Confirmation

7 Holy Orders

So, presumably, these should be the six sacramental dimensions that will be in heaven either literally or in principle.

TUTOR: Amazingly, they are! I will start us out!

No Eternal Mark, but Eternal Activity

Let us begin with the natural life sacraments:

Firstly, obviously, our natural existence will be in heaven forever, elevated.

Next, the literal Eucharist will not be in heaven, but communion will be; we will have communion at the table of heaven with our brothers and sisters; knowing one another, our lives, our love, sharing what has happened, our gifts; also, the sabbath; the Eucharist is supremely celebrated on the New Sabbath of our time. Heaven is the Eternal Sabbath, the New Creation.

Next, we know that literal Marriage will cease, but figuratively, we will all corporately be married to to Jesus, the Wedding Feast of the Lamb and His Bride. Jesus will "penetrate our inmost being" with His truth, mystery and love, and we will receive it into our souls, conceive it, and offer ourselves back to Him in eternal spiritual ecstasy.

This completes the first chord, or Cmaj. Now for the second, Bdim:

2 Baptism

5. Confirmation

7 Holy Orders

No Eternal Activity but an Eternal Mark

With these sacraments, there is something to note here: the activity of the sacrament does not persist, but the indelible mark does. We can show this by walking through these sacraments.

STUDENT: Wait, I see what you mean. Let me work them out!

TUTOR: Sure, go for it!

STUDENT: Great, here goes!

Baptism leaves an indelible mark on the soul, an eternal mark, but the activity will not persist. Why? Because faith is not needed as God is right in front of you. We see God. No faith is necessary when you see what you merely believed in. Similarly, there is no repentance in heaven since there is no sin to repent of. In fact, we do not even need to try to turn away from sin, since there is no temptation, whether from a fallen world, or a fallen spirit. There is no concupiscence in heaven. We are sinless, utterly purged. Hence, again, no repentance.

Confirmation: it leaves an indelible, an eternal mark, the mark of the Spirit, of its gifts, of the character of a mature member of Jesus’ True Society of Holy Ones. But the activity of Confirmation will never be again. Why? Because the seven precious gifts you received were to help you get to heaven, to weather the adult challenges to the faith. But in heaven, you have won the victory. You have completed the race and now collect the winnings. You are now ultimately mature, and forever victorious. You do not need Wisdom, for you behold infinite Wisdom itself, never to lose it. You do not need Understanding, for, as the beloved St Francis insinuates, you understand as you are understood, and vice versa. You do not need counsel, for you know what is right and wrong and have conquered the battle to live what is right. You do not need courage, for never again will you be faced with suffering to remain true to God. And so forth for knowledge, piety, and awe. Hence, confirmation ceases since it was intended to help you be saved as an adult, and you are now saved. Confirmation has served its purpose and is over with.

TUTOR: You are doing great, wrap it up!

STUDENT: You got it!

Finally, Holy orders leaves an indelible mark: once a priest or deacon, forever a priest or deacon. But the activity no longer exists. For no one offers the Mass anymore. Why do you want to eat God when He is right before in a direct presence? God, the Son, is right before you. We no longer eat God, for we see Him as He is. Too, we have no need for Bishops to preserve the ark of the Church in the storm, for in heaven, the Church has no storm, no tumultuous waves of heretics, schismatics, infidels, relativists, communists and demons to assault her. The Church is forever triumphant. No one in heaven is in danger of being deceived, so as to nullify the need of Popes and Bishops to steer them away from false teaching. Everyone in heaven knows the full truth, and they get it from God’s lips themselves, not bishops. But, again the mark of holy orders is indelible and forever.

TUTOR: Great Job! Let us wrap up:

Each of these two chords has different characteristics. in this second chord, you have the sacraments of eternal sign, the indelible character and mark persists forever, but the activity of the sacrament does not. Whereas in the first chord, there is no indelible, eternal mark, but the principle of the activity persists.

STUDENT: Ok, but what about the remnant notes? The ones that didn’t make the chord cuts. Here, I would say that if our analogy could do something for those, it would be icing on the cake; in fact, we would expect two things:

  • Firstly, that these notes would describe sacramental steps that will never be in heaven ever, whether in mark or principle, and secondly, that quite possibly might be in purgatory temporarily, and, if it were possible, in deprivation in hell forever.
  • Secondly, that in light of the first aspect above, the chord might be minor, or sad.

TUTOR: You are so on, bro, and It turns out that both of these happen perfectly!

STUDENT: Awesomeness, Wayne’s World! Work it out for me, bro!

TUTOR: You got it!

Sacramental Signs that will NEVER be in Heaven.

To start, what are the notes left over, or sacraments?

Well, the chords we had were CGE and BFD. This left out A and the bottom octave C and B. Note, the scale doesn’t end in C, which is the base note octave, or eighth note overall, but B, one below the octave, and this is because, remember, we have nine total notes—the seven sacraments, and birth and death on the end points—not merely eight. Hence, the final B is also not included in the chord cuts.

So what are the sacramental steps?

They are:

  • A Confession
  • C.[lower octave] Anointing
  • B [lower octave] Death

STUDENT: Yes, I can already see clearly that none of these in any sense will be in heaven.

TUTOR: Good, do you want to work it out?

STUDENT: Sure, here goes!

Confession

There is no sin in heaven. Nor any penance to do, since purgatory will have taken all of that away if necessary.

Anointing

Once again, no sin, no suffering. There is no suffering in heaven. One does not need to be strengthened to bear suffering in heaven. In heaven, they have made it.

Finally,

Natural Death

Natural death does not exist in heaven. Before the resurrection, only the soul is there; yet there is no dead body. Moreover, the saints are more alive than anyone on earth.

TUTOR: Excelllent, now try purgatory!

STUDENT: Got it! Clearly, all these principles exist in purgatory or hell, whether in effect, or in deprivation.

Purgatory:

Confession: penance; in purgatory, one is completing one's penance.

Anointing: suffering is in purgatory. We did not carry enough of the cross.

And Natural Death. Natural death is the temporal punishment for original sin. And the souls in purgatory are paying for temporal punishment.

TUTOR: Excellent,and now for the scary things!

STUDENT: Yes!

The Horrors of Hell:

Hell is just all of these but in eternal horror.

Confession

Everyone in hell wishes they had gone to confession. But it is too late. And their sins persist in hell, since one is eternally fixed on their last end at death. What does that mean? It means that those who die fixed on this world are forever desiring this world as the final end. When you die, your soul fixes itself forever on what you last chose before death. So if you chose wealth over God in your last breath, then forever will you want money instead of God. But you will have no satisfaction, and consequently, forever will you be in greed, yet never attaining its end. It will be eternal frustration, since this world, or anything in it, can never completely fulfill you, only God.

TUTOR: Good, but we should note for our readers that God does not want us to cower in terror over this. For, if we stay close to Jesus and Mary's Hearts, we will avoid this. For one cannot at one time love Jesus and Mother Mary with all their heart and lay their head upon their bosom and at the same time want sex or money as their ultimate desire. Mary is the gateway to heaven, hence, the rosary.

STUDENT: That is right. All those devoted to the rosary and Mother Mary are all but guaranteed a place in heaven. Mary said that devotion to the Rosary is a great sign of predestination. So what are you waiting for, reader? If you don’t do it already, buy a Scriptural rosary booklet and start saying the rosary as best as you can. Make that Predestination happen! Well, I still have to further look at the terrible reality awaiting those who do not choose love but only this world.

TUTOR: I know, let us pray as we go through it for poor sinners.

STUDENT: Yes.

Anointing

Anointing is a last minute chance to get right with God. The souls in hell will have resisted Gods' offer of mercy unto the bitter end. So the demons will mock them that they threw away even the last chance. Too, suffering: people who do not love God tend to avoid the cross and seek pleasure. Hence, now they have the opposite. The counter-suffering of anointing. But in this case, it is eternal suffering in horror.

Finally,

Natural Death

“And the second death has no power over them.” Apocalypse 20; their natural death is only further finalized in their supernatural death, which is hell. Then, in the resurrection, their bodies will come back in horror and disgrace (Dan. 12), and their eternal death will persist forever.

Consequently, we have shown that confession, anointing and natural death do not exist in heaven in any conceivable sense, but will exist, at least in some principles, temporarily in purgatory, and forever in hell. Also, we note the corollary that all other notes in the sacramental scale that form the chords from the foretaste of heaven do exist in heaven, whether in mark or activity by principle.

TUTOR: Very good, student. I will now lead us into the final observations. That is, there is now a final anecdote to our discussion today.

The Final Chords of Ultimate Sorrow and Restful Joy and Peace

What about the chord of Confession, Anointing, and Death? Well, the chord formed from confession, anointing and death is an ominous minor chord, meaning, all the notes that are not happy in the first two chords are in these last three notes: A C B, or derivatively as follows:

  • A, the base note of the minor
  • C, the third of the minor, or that is, the essential note that makes the chord minor
  • B is diminished. B is a secondary complex note that makes the minor chord very emphasized as minor. it is ominous.

This is in contrast to the major equivalent CB

Basically, these last two notes, CB, or derivatively, 8, 9, have stark contrast in different contexts. In our current context, they are overseen by A[m], and so give a profound sense of ominous sorrow. This is definitely a powerful audio depiction of hell, of falling into ultimate sorrow. BUT, if we change the oversight from the primary minor note [A] to the primary major note, or C, then, a powerful thing happens.

Here, the chord becomes, C B, or C maj7. And this is the thing: rather than AmCB, which is very sad and ominous, Cmaj7 is a beautiful chord that conveys a heavenly peace and rest, and this, precisely by the trailing maj7, or B. This is completely appropro since heaven has a final resting sense to it.

In conclusion, the descending scale of joy from octave to octave, perfectly describes heaven and hell in its sacramental analogy!




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