Monday, July 09, 2007

Manic Monday #19: Seven

In the Paradiso part of Dante's Divine Comedy, heaven is made up of nine spheres; the seventh sphere, or seventh heaven, being known as the sphere of Saturn (no, NOT the spear of Saturn, you smart alecks). Though it's interesting to contemplate just what this Roman god of fertility's spear would look like. Hmmm...

Anyway.

In the Paradiso, the seventh sphere is one of contemplation, a silent heaven. It sounds kind of boring when compared to the other heavenly spheres, which are either romantic, heroic, or intellectual. Even the so-called "sweet symphony of Paradise" is missing in seventh heaven. But there's a reason for this silence: mortals like Dante would be overwhelmed beyond his capacities if he were to hear celestial music or be subject to other sensory stimuli this far up in heaven. Such pure glory would be beyond a corporeal entity's ability to receive: it might kill him outright.


We have intimations of the odd effects of this sort of purity in our flesh-and-blood world, the world away from oral or written literature. Diving using pure oxygen can be hazardous; the claims of a person that she or he has only the purest intentions towards something or someone might best be taken with a grain of salt. Seeing with one's own eyes the unbelievable beauty of a landscape or seascape can leave him feeling like he's about to implode from the sheer beauty of it. Feeling utterly loved or loving someone utterly, being in a state of "perfection" -- however short the moment (which sometimes feels like an eternity) -- can be overwhelming, and the exquisite pain/pleasure that it brings can make one cry out for respite. Such can be the consequence of allowing one's thoughts and feelings to run untrammeled. Thank goodness there are other states of the heart and mind that complement/atone for the sometimes overpowering feelings that seventh heaven can bring.

Thanks for reading thoughts brought about by lack of sleep because of watching too much of MSN Live Earth last night (salamat, ZeroImpact, for the heads-up!).



Visit Manic Monday head honcho Morgen over at It's a Blog Eat Blog World for other interpretations of this week's theme word: Seven.

30 comments:

Travis said...

I watched some of the Live Earth stuff - enjoyed Bon Jovi and Kelly Clarkson. And Roger Waters - that was very cool.

Happy MM!

Lizza said...

I watched for hours and yet didn't get to see the performers you saw. Saw Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, James Blunt, Keith Urban, the Pussycat Dolls, Beastie Boys, John Legend, and a few others.

Happy MM!

ian said...

I could use me some time in that contemplation sphere. Too bad you gotta die to get there.

My work here is not done yet.

Ian

tegdirb92 said...

I missed the live earth broadcast--I bet it was really great. Wonderful post. Happy MM.

Desert Songbird said...

A marvelously erudite post for this challenging them.

Jamie said...

Just put the channel on Sundance and let it play. I was wonderful. Knowing you shared the experience with two billion others made it truly unique.

H said...

seven, nine and moments of intense pain and joy. Boy. you could be speaking to me directly, here.

very exquisitely worded, Liz!

True, this perfection thing, on Earth is very suspect. But thank God! that we have an image [however vague and inexpressible] of it to aspire to.

Daddy Papersurfer said...

and you've got the nerve to come over 'for a little R&R' and then complaining about being made to think and you do THIS!! Have you any idea how early it is here!
I think a little silence is called for ........ so adieu

mousey said...

Salamat! for reminding me about this I already forgot...

happy monday and the rest of the week too!

Amazing Gracie said...

I need to go back and re-read some of the classics! This was a wonderful read. Thank you so much!
~~~Blessings~~~

I Was Born2Cree8 said...

A well thought out post. Happy Manic Monday.

Reba's Run said...

Whoof, Arf.

Interesting read... even for a dawg.

Reba Rottenweiler

Gattina said...

Very interesting, now I am just thinking when I was last time in 7th heaven ?

Lizza said...

Ian: No, not yet! You're too young.

Tegdirb92: Thanks! Yes, it was fun.

Desert Songbird: Thank you very much! And thanks for dropping in.

Jamie: 2 billion people, that's amazing.

H: Somehow you always understand me. Hugs back at you, you sweet thing.

DaddyP: I'm getting the silent treatment from you now? Hmmmpf! (I hope I got that right this time.)

Mousey: Thanks, and have a great week yourself.

Gracie: Thank you very much! Blessings to you too.

iwasborn2cree8: Many thanks! Happy MM to you too.

Reba: Bow wow! (translation: thanks!)

Gattina: Thank you! And seems like I missed a birthday. Hope you had a blissful one.

Matt-Man said...

What?

Lizza said...

Oh, nothing important Matt. ;-) Cheers!

crazy working mom said...

Very interesting post. :)

Great job.

Have a great MM.

Comedy + said...

I don't watch television or go to movies, but your post is quite vivid. Have a wonderful MM. :)

Lizza said...

crazyworkingmom: Thank you. Have a great week!

Sandee: Thank you very much. :-) Hope you're having a wonderful MM yourself.

Sanni said...

In Germany, we say someone is "in 7th heaven" when 2 people fall in love with each other. Another expression is "to be on cloud No 17".

We´ve been to a wedding on 07/07/07 (noooo... not our own. I wouldn´t miss to invite you!) so I´ve recorded the concert. Looking forward to watch tonight =)

Have a great day, Liz!

Daddy Papersurfer said...

It's OK I've woken up now but I still can't think. It was very gracious of you to ignore my little tantrum and come and visit. Your spelling is terrrrrific.

Lizza said...

Sanni On cloud no. 17 sounds way cool. I've never heard that expression before. Thanks for telling me. Enjoy the music and have a great week!

DaddyP: I know your barque is worse than your byte. What did I misspell now??? I have to go back and look.

lisa said...

so THAT's what seventh heaven is! interesting info! and Live Earth in London is one concert that I would have loved to have been at.

Natalie said...

I had a hard time with Purgatorio and Paradisio but I can read Inferno over and over and over again. What does that say about me?

Debo Blue said...

I never knew where the term "7th Heaven" came from 'til now. At first I was like Ian..huh?

But then I re-read and am now interested in learning more. Thanks for enlightening us.

zeroimpact said...

Yeah, live earth
A great concert all around the seven continents
A great message too and yeah, I am lack of sleep too
Glad you enjoyed it and green green is the way
:)

Bond said...

So, I have to be dead to get to the contemplation sphere? cause i really really really need it...

have to think about it and decide...

CS said...

That was very interesting - I had never heard the origin of the term seventh heaven.

And i trust no one who claims to have pure intentions. Give me an honest admission of mixed motives any day.

Daddy Papersurfer said...

Thank you for sorting out the fuel problem. You are an angel walking the earth............and luckily not silent. Although, I must say, quiet times are quite nice too. Life's so complicated isn't it?
I'm seeing the new Harry Potter film on Monday so I'm over excited.

Lizza said...

Lisa: Yes, the London part was great. Thanks for visiting!

Natalie: I liked Inferno the best too.

Debo: Glad you liked it and learned something from my itty-bitty post. :-)

ZI: I wouldn't have remembered it if not for you. Thanks!

Bond: Nooo, don't take the word of a centuries-old poet. We can contemplate all we want now. :-)

CS: That's right. Honesty is still the best way to go.

DaddyP: I know when to keep my peace...at least I hope I do. And I hope the movie is a good one this time. So far the film adaptations of the HP books have been a disappointment for me.