The Ascension and Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony

The Ascension and Antonin Dvorak’s New World Symphony

Dr. Kay Johnson-Gentile

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Around the time I turned six (1949) I began having a recurring dream.  In other words, I dreamed the exact dream over and over again.

I was about five years old, dressed in a bright yellow party dress and standing on the large front porch of my Grandmother Burgher’s all brick home at 29 Windsor Place in Moberly, Missouri.  I had purposefully placed myself to the left of the living room window and was peering, intently, at the wonderful birthday party taking place inside.  All of the children at the party were my age.  They were laughing and having so much fun! Yet I was observing the fun and games from afar, not participating.

Somehow, I knew, even at this early age, that this dream was a symbolic predictor of my life this time around!  Interestingly later in life dreams would be extremely important to me, but not yet.  I just KNEW this dream was a very significant one, and that someday I would know for sure why this was so.

At the time, of course, I knew nothing about dream analysis, nor was I aware of the important dream work Dr. Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, was doing at his laboratory in Europe.  Later in life I would discover Dr. Jung’s philosophy — that dream analysis is the primary way to gain knowledge of our unconscious mind. By writing down and studying our dreams, we can learn a good deal about ourselves and even gain Divine direction. This powerful idea is also expressed in the Holy Bible.

Recurring dreams usually reflect feelings and awareness that we have NOT yet successfully resolved in our waking lives.  Unresolved feelings might be related to past altercations with a family member, the loss of a beloved friend or family member, or a lesson we need to learn in order to make spiritual progress in our lives.  A recurring dream will continue until we have learned the lesson and incorporated that knowledge into our lives.

Around this same period of time I began to feel, deeply, that I was an old soul — that I had lived a life on this planet before.  However, it was not until I discovered the concept of reincarnation when I was in my early twenties that I really got it — really understood why I felt the way I did.  And when my conscious mind grasped again the concept of reincarnation — my life became more vital, more meaningful, and, yes, absolutely more REAL.

I also came to believe that my current lifetime was an extremely important one.  I now had a chance to end my exile here, on planet earth, and go home.  I know that sounds very strange, but the feeling was very powerful to me.  Now where home actually was I did not know.  But I believed it must be somewhere where freedom and equality are the way of life for ALL the people, not just some of them.   I began thinking of my current life as a sort of preparation for Going Home — to my home somewhere else in the vast, amazing Universe.

I think this strong belief was why I fell in love with the Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World, popularly known as the New World Symphony by Antonin Dvorak.  Dvorak, a Czech, wrote this popular symphony in 1893 during his three-year stint in New York City as director of the National Conservatory. Dvorak wanted to capture the spirit of this free, democratic country where there was opportunity for all to succeed if people were willing to work for it.  This Dvorak symphony is by far one of the most popular of ALL symphonies, in fact, Neil Armstrong took a recording of it to the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission.

The symphony, especially the Largo or “Going Home” 2nd movement has ALWAYS resonated with my soul.  Interestingly, the lyrics for Going Home were not written by Dvorak, but rather one of his pupils, William Arms Fisher (1861-1948) who adapted and arranged the Largo theme, adding his own words.  Fisher described his song as: “a moving expression of that nostalgia of the soul all human beings feel.” 

I agree completely with Fisher’s comment.  This beautiful, haunting melody expresses the longing for a heavenly home where justice and peace for all are the order of the day.

GOING HOME (lyrics by William Fisher)

Going home, going home
I’m just going home
Quiet like, some still day
I’m am going home.

It’s not far, just close by
Through an open door
Work all done, cares laid by
Going to fear no more.

Momma’s there expecting me
Father’s waiting, too

Lots of folks gathered there
All the friends I knew
All the friends I knew
I’m going home….

Nothing’s lost, all is gain
No more fret nor pain
No more stumbling on the way
No more longing for the day
Going to roam no more….

Morning star lights the way
Restless dreams all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life just begun.

There’s no break, there’s no end
Just a living on
Wide awake with a smile
Going on and on,

Going home, Going home
I’m just going home
It’s not far, just close by
Through an open door
I’m a going home.
I’m just going home…..

Going home, going home.

I was completely blown away the first time I heard the powerful Fisher lyrics sung.  Let me now share a true gift of love — the unique rendition of Coming Home, sung by the amazing Welsh bass-baritone opera soloist — Bryn Terfel.

This 2nd movement — or Largo movement — is played slowly and is quite somber and sad.  Yet, the sadness results from memories of the beautiful, loving home we actually came from.  This home is THE home that the soul is so desperately longing for!

However, in the final or 4th movement of the symphony, the same melody takes on an excitement, as home is now in sight.  Prior feelings of yearning and longing are finally being replaced with new feelings of absolute joy and happiness.  We are coming home to all that is REAL, at last!

So I want to end my blog with the Victorious 4th Movement of the touching, yet POWERFUL Dvorak Symphony.  You will feel the exciting energy of Ascension, thought of in Christian mystical terms as Union with God, or the Divine Marriage. It is more a gift God graces us with, rather than something we earn through our works — though works are part of it.

For more information on The Ascension, Union with God, or the Divine Marriage check out Christian mysticism or the Mystic Saints of East and West on the Internet.  You may also want to visit the website of The Summit Lighthouse. (www.summitlighthouse.org)  

Be blessed, dear reader.

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