The Transmigration of Souls

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Adams On the Transmigration of Souls |

In an interview, Adams explained: If pressed, I'd probably call the piece a 'memory space. But I hope that the piece will summon human experience that goes beyond this particular event. According to the composer, "Transmigration means 'the movement from one place to another' or 'the transition from one state of being to another. The work is scored for an SATB chorus, a children's choir, and an orchestra comprising piccolo , three flutes 3rd doubling piccolo , three oboes , two clarinets , bass clarinet , contrabass clarinet , two bassoons , contrabassoon , four horns , four trumpets , three trombones , two tubas , timpani , four percussionists, strings , and pre-recorded tape.

The Transmigration of Souls

Reviewing the world premiere, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times wrote, "The richness and solemnity of this music come primarily from its harmony, a subtle mix of sturdy tonality and anxious, stacked-up orchestra chords spiked with shards of dissonance. Adams's material to be insufficiently involving on a purely musical level.

But this atypical concert work asks you to put aside typical expectations. And there is real musical method to its structure, for 30 minutes passed by almost too quickly.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He taught that all souls are divine by nature, and originally enjoyed a divine status. Whenever any soul stains itself with sin it is condemned to wander for 30, seasons away from the company of the blessed and to assume all sorts of mortal forms plant, animal, and human , retaining the memory of its previous incarnations. The importance of transmigration in European thought is due in no small measure to plato's concern with the doctrine.

He became interested in it after his first journey to western Greece Long, 69 — 73 , and described it in a number of striking passages Meno, 81A — D: Phaedo, 70A — 73B, 80A — 84b; Rep. These passages are fundamentally consistent, although there are variations of detail among them; the details are usually similar to or identical with those found in Herodotus, Pindar, and Empedocles Long, The purport of these passages is as follows: Human souls were originally created by the Demiurge out of Existence, Sameness, and Difference, and placed each upon a separate star, from which they were shown the nature of the universe and the laws of destiny.

All of them are, at various times, incarnated as humans. They die, are judged, experience punishments or rewards for their deeds in life, and after 1, years are again incarnated. They choose their own new bodies, and this choice is of crucial importance; but it is governed partly by the necessities of their own nature. A soul that has kept itself free from bodily taint for three lives is released completely from the cycle of births; most souls must live ten earthly lives — spread over 10, years — and then they rise again to the region of the gods and a vision of Truth. According to the Phaedo 81E — 82B , incarnation is possible into animals, birds, or even insects, but some Neoplatonists insisted that Plato was here speaking allegorically.

Since the concept of orthodoxy scarcely existed in Greek religion, Plato or any other philosopher was free to borrow details of any doctrine from various sources, combining them to produce the sort of synthesis he wished. Plato gave us a doctrine of transmigration that is constructed to emphasize in particular the divine source and nature of the soul and that encourages righteousness to the end that the soul may return to its proper divine status.

In the Hellenistic and Roman period transmigration was accepted in at least some branches of neo-pythagoreanism, as well as by some Stoics, who are thought to have been influenced by Posidonius or Varro. The normal Stoic doctrine was that the soul is actualized at the moment of birth by a process of cooling; but there seems no doubt that some Stoics did accept transmigration see Vergil, Aen. Diels, Doxographi Graeci [Berlin ] — ; Epicureans naturally opposed the doctrine: Platonic sources lie behind the speculations of Philo Judaeus De somniis 1.

The doctrine played a part also in the Mysteries of Mithra see F. Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, Eng. McCormack [ New York ] Transmigration was so well known as a doctrine that it could become a literary theme.

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See, for example, Ennius's dream, Annals 2 Frgs. Warmington , probably based on Callimachus Frg. Pfeiffer] ; Ovid, Metamor. Transmigration was taught by many of the forerunners of neoplatonism, such as Cronius, who wrote a monograph on it not extant , Albinus, Numenius, Harpocration, and possibly Celsus, the general tenor of whose doctrines implies belief in transmigration see O. It was a standard tenet of Neoplatonism, though members of the school did not agree whether transmigration into an animal was possible, and some of them taught that, while a human soul can be confined in an animal's body for punishment, it exists alongside of the animal's proper soul.

On the Transmigration of Souls - John Adams

The fullest extant discussion is that of plotinus Enn. The doctrine became so widely held among pagans at this time that Nemesius, Bishop of Emesa c.

The doctrine was held by some Jewish sects as the Karaites and by some Muslims, as well as by Gnostic groups cf. Tertullian, De anima 28 — , esp. Though flatly opposed to the Christian doctrine of redemption, it also found adherents among nominal Christians. Origen was accused of believing it by Theophilus see St. The doctrine was held by the Manichaeans and, in the Middle Ages , by the groups known collectively as cathari. It was held also by Giordano bruno chiefly in Degli heroici furori and J. Fourier — , and some of J. Lavater's — followers, among others, and it enjoyed a recrudescence in the 19th century under the influence of translated documents from the Far East.