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Original Sinsuality - lemonbalmbee

About Original Sinsuality

Previous Entry Original Sinsuality May. 26th, 2005 @ 10:58 pm Next Entry
There was a garden
in the beginning
Before the fall
Before Genesis

There was a tree there
A tree of knowledge
Sophia would insist
You must eat of this

Original Sin?
No I don’t think so.
Original Sinsuality
Original Sin?
No it should be
Original Sinsuality
Original Sin?
No I don’t think so.
Original Sinsuality

I’m calling you
You are not alone
I say
You are not alone
In your Darkness
You are not alone
You are not alone

- Tori Amos

I have been thinking about this song for a few days, and thought I should put it up now. It's one of my favorites from the 'Beekeeper' cd. I believe I read, or heard, somewhere, that it was inspired by the gnostic text: 'The Apocryphon of John', which is a gnostic interpretation of the "creation, fall, and salvation of humanity".

In the text, "Sophia" is the mother of "God" (Tori sights him as the Old Testament God, but he was God, at least in his own opinion, in the text), her creation, Yaldabaoth/Saklas/Samael, born of her own ignorance, is an abomination. So she exiles him to a place she believes is hidden from other gods to ensure he will never be seen. Yaldabaoth is a monster in that he: wrongly places himself ruler over the earth, or world, in arrogance and ignorance he creates more imperfect creatures, he unfairly punishes others, and he claims that there is no one who is greater, or more powerful, or "higher" than him. In the text, Adam and Eve are created as part of the effort to "overthrow" Yaldabaoth, I think to sort of bring balance and put everything to right. I am certainly over-simplifying here. Within each of them is "Epinoia", "perfect knowledge", a spark of pure light, which is what remains in them of their divinity, and cannot be removed even by Yaldabaoth. However, they are enslaved by Yaldabaoth, and they forget who they are. They were, as Gnostics believe we are now, trapped in a sort of "sleep of forgetfulness". Sophia comes down as an eagle to guide them, and by eating of tree of life, which is Epinoia ("Through her they have tasted the perfect knowledge") Adam and Eve are awakened.

I'm sure I have not made every idea crystal clear here. It's really quite difficult to interpret this text with the little knowledge and experience I have with gnostic interpretations. And, I am trying to condense it, and explain really only what is relevant to 'Original Sinsuality'. There is quite a bit more to the text, but hopefully this much will serve as a very small, basic introduction, with which you can, perhaps, begin to understand the imagery and ideas within Tori Amos's song. Maybe I will read more and come back and change it all tomorrow. :P

Anyway, tori sings the song beautifully. I really love the way she sings "Yaldabaoth saklas" near the end. It sounds so eerie and unnatural, and I think it feels a little frightening even. Which is appropriate, as Yaldabaoth is unnatural; he is a powerful being, even if he is not the most powerful being, and he is a resentful, vengeful, wrathful being.
And yet, the song ends with Tori singing, hauntingly, that he is not alone. In that moment she is singing as Sophia, who loves her creation, even though she knows that he is a monster. Sophia's reaction to Yaldabaoth isn't really expressed this way in the text, I believe, but as a human woman who is herself a mother, inhabiting the role of Sophia, Tori projects this feeling onto her. However, in the text, Sophia does understand that she is to blame for Yaldabaoth's existence, and at least in part to blame for his destiny. So, just as a compassionate human mother would, and should, Tori expresses, as Sophia, her compassion for her creation and wishes to comfort him in his darkness, to assure to him that she is with him, so he is not alone.
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