Pensive

Emmanuel and the Concept of Absolution

(From a post made on The Vampire Relics' Facebook Page with some extra added mental meandering that happened after the fact.)

One of the themes that threads throughout all three books is that of Absolution (it's important because of the capital A!). I'm not referring to just Christian absolution but the essence of the word itself, sparking the human imagination to entertain the possibility, or feel secure in their faith to believe without question, that forgiveness for anything is possible. One of the sub-hives, the Hive of Redemption, established by Thiyennen, took the idea of absolution to a whole other crazy level with many of its members, including Thiyennen, resorting to behaviour seen in the travelling Flagellants during the Black Death. This twisted version of what may achieve absolution is studied in depth in The Augury of Gideon, when Thiyennen and his allies capture and imprison Cadmus Pariah.

Of course, all of this is only my opinion, and I respect and will aggressively defend your opinions on the matter, because that would be only fair. The nature of true absolution, in my opinion, partially based on personal experiences, is one of being accepted and loved for who you are, faults and all, and being able to return to a possibly simpler (as in uncomplicated) point in your life, when you could embrace wonder with abandon, and be shed of guilt that only serves to break spirits down rather than build them up. Absolution happens when you no longer accept such programming imposed on you from almost the point of birth throughout your life.

A song by Eliza Gilkyson, entitled 'Emmanuel', is very close to what I have believed in the past regarding redemption and absolution, and it still has an effect on my beliefs (or lack thereof in recent years). Superficially, the song would appear to be Christ-centered (this is different from Christianity-centered in my world, so just bear with me), it addresses the longing we all carry, regardless of religious or spiritual persuasions, to return home, or to the past, or to some place or state of being that existed before we think fell to the lies of shame and sin that weigh much of the modern world down. Even that storyline, documenting the spiritual enslavement of humanity, shows up in 'The Blood Crown', the fault of which is clearly placed at the Apostate's door.

The first time I heard the song, at work in 1993 (I was inspecting the CD the song is on), I listened to it from a Christian perspective, although I am not Christian, based on its title alone. Assumptions are easily made, are they not? When the words sunk in, my first interpretation was of a reality where the fallen angel Sammael is welcomed home by Emmanuel after going through incarnations of humans, animals, and even things (a rock, at one point!) before he could bring himself to revisit the music he had made prior to leaving in pursuit of the glories and tragedies on Earth. This interpretation dictated the last picture in the video.

The bigger story the song tells isn't one that heaps guilt, fear, and ultimately spiritual banishment if you don't toe a particular line on the listener; rather, it gives the message that, even after you've experienced and done all you feel you need to, both the good and the bad, the door will be open when you want to walk through it to whatever you believe is there ('What Dreams May Come' is an example of what I'm trying to communicate here). From that perspective, the song does not belong to just one faith. It belongs to all faiths and all levels of spiritual sentience, including Atheism, human and non-human. It is non-judgemental, and can be enjoyed on a purely secular level, particularly from a psychological viewpoint. Liking and agreeing with Carl Jung may help here, too.

I believe that's truly the only way absolution or redemption can be achieved. It's an acceptance and a presence of old knowing that we tend to lose in the physical realms, and many may perceive such acceptance and old knowledge to be an external phenomenon, which is completely acceptable, but I think it also is present within everyone and everything. All that said, even though my history with the song predates all three books, 'Emmanuel' is definitely a strong musical presence in 'The Augury of Gideon', considering both the song and book address the concept of cyclic returning so that healing may follow.

I believe that Eliza Gilkyson achieved something greater than all of us, including herself, when she wrote this song, and I think it's one that should be shared with as many people as possible, not as a means of conversion of any sort, but as a campaign to allow us to not only forgive one another, but to forgive ourselves.

The video is one of my much earlier attempts at movie-making, so please overlook the general sorry mess it is. The song is rare and the album it's on has been out of print for ages, so there's more people than not who have never heard it. My making the video was an attempt to rectify that crime against good music. One thing I did want to draw your attention to, regarding the video, is that the pictures used, with the exception of the last one, are all tapestries or tile mosaics in the Byzantine style, or at least that's what Teh Intarwebz told me when I started collecting images for the vid. Byzantine art was a major influence on the physical appearance of the Tarmi, specifically because of the eyes of the people in the art. If one did not know, one might assume that everyone in Byzantium had gigantic alien eyes and, as a teenager when I started mapping my personal myths, I got all caught up in the what-ifs that arose in my mind from studying the art. (And why hasn't Ancient Aliens addressed such possibilities yet?) Using these images for the video helped me tie in the importance of the song to my own mythologies.

So, if you're still with me after this godawful ramble, I hope you enjoy the song, and I encourage you to share it people who may benefit from the non-demoninational and/or secular message of hope that it is never too late to embrace the absolution sitting around waiting for you to pick it up. It's inside you already, despite what you believe or don't believe. You were born with it, it's still there, and it'll be there until you die, if you're an Atheist, or continue on with you, if you believe in the existence of afterlife and the many flavours in which such beliefs come available. Even if they don't need a message like that, but do appreciate good music (and who doesn't?), I feel the song would be a gift to them, as well.

If you want to learn more about Eliza, she has a website: http://elizagilkyson.com/

I also made second crap video using another song from the same album, this one focusing on any number of pagan histories after encountering invading religions, sung from the viewpoint of a priestess who lived such a history, but the song is specially focused on the Divine Feminine, as it is represented in the song by the catch-all Goddess name, Diana. It's called 'I Become the Moon' and it also had an effect on the writing of the Relics trilogy, especially 'The Blood Crown,' which features the Tale of the Blood Moon, whose narrative focuses on the triumph of the Apostate over the remnants of Tarmian civilisation, and the subsequent tragedy of humanity losing its way in the wilderness of the conquering magus' lies.

And if any of this inspires you enough to want to read the books, here's the link to them, for your continued convenience: THE VAMPIRE RELICS ON AMAZON.