Dignity of the Beginning


In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The ground was empty, no landforms; was covered with vast darkness. The spirit of God was floating above the waters.
God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
God saw that the light was good and separated it from the darkness.
He called light "day" and darkness "night". It's evening, it's morning, and it's the first day.
(Genesis 1:1-5)

Perhaps the mystery and impressiveness of the darkness is hidden between these lines. It speaks of a dark ocean devoid of form and weight, without sound or meaning. Although this situation is interpreted as absence or nothingness in most sources; is the venerated power of the dark beginning.

Creation begins in the darkness, with chaos in nature. The potential of everything is hidden within this darkness. The journey of the macrocosm to the human creation in reference to the microcosm; With the opening of a woman's womb, it begins for the darkness within to give birth to the outer light.
The word Cosmos (from Greek kosmos meaning "order"), born out of Chaos, is the exemplary model of any "act of doing". For the Cosmos is the ideal prime example of both the creative state and every creation, and again the Cosmos is a divine work; directly sanctified in its own structure. By extension of meaning, more generally, everything that is "full", harmonious, fruitful, in a word "cosmosized", anything resembling a Cosmos is sacred.

Many religious rituals make use of symbols of darkness and light. In Judaism, two candles are lit on Friday night to welcome the Sabbath; In Catholicism, prayers are accompanied by candles lit for prayer, and at Diwali, the Hindu light festival, they decorate their buildings with ceramic lamps to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi. The Bible speaks of light as follows; “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” says. Darkness is sacred, and as long as it is not crowned with light, it is like Gaia in pain.

The Tenebrae (Shadows) ritual, which was held in the Catholic Church every midnight when it first began in the 9th century, and now on the last three days of Holy Week, to commemorate the crucifixion, is held by candlelight. The 15 candles on a triangular candle holder, each considered as fragile and short-lived as human life, are extinguished one by one. The silence and darkness that followed the extinguishing of the last hidden candle after it was shown to all, loud noise for the dispersal of the congregation; some say it actually represents the sudden darkness and earthquake that struck at the time of Christ's death.

On the other hand, when we look at Islam, as in many religions, it adopts the idea that darkness encourages worship, perhaps the source of which is the night peace in the desert; On the solid, cold, endless-looking desert, the earth appears to be united with the dark, starry sky in the sky, perhaps this is the source of the serenity of the ritual of repeating the moment of return to the beginning of everything.

We use the concept of darkness as a metaphor for the incongruities in our lives, the emotions that we cannot explain adequately and that make us uneasy, darkness draws the thin border just before awareness. Greek mythology tells this border through Erebos. Erebos, the representation of darkness and night, is also the name given to the realm of the dead. It is in a blurred place standing between Earth and Hades; Its physicality consists of darkness, beyond what the living know. When Orpheus, son of the Sun God Apollo, loses his wife Eurydice to his dark kingdom, he crosses the black river named Styx and begs for his wife to be returned. In the end, Erebos is persuaded to return to the earth and not look at his wife until he comes to the light, but Orpheus can't help looking at Euridice, which he wants to see again at the end; because seeing is synonymous with living.

Greek for light phos The word also means life. To live is to die, to be caught in the dark. Erebos and Hades were dark, so they had no vision.

Influenced by this myth, the German composer Christoph Willibald Gluck prepared the opera "Orphe and Eurydice". Gluck used this mythical subject and started a new era in opera. He developed the concept of "noble simplicity" for both drama and music, instead of opera series with complex and complex music.

The influence of the idea of ​​darkness on beliefs continued in the field of art. Concepts regarding creation myths and our position in the universe stem from imagination, writers, musicians and painters have produced many works based on the uncertainty of darkness.

In Dante, the middle of hell is 'clad in complete darkness'. Divine Comedy It begins by throwing the reader into the darkness in the opening lines.
In the middle of our life journey
When the winding path disappears
I found myself in a dark forest
( Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Hell.)

Shakespeare explores the ideas of dark and light in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Set in an enchanted forest, the subject is reenacted in Benjamin Britten's opera, the audience entering directly into the dark scene. The only witness of the events unfolding in the opera is only the moon.

Darkness is important in Caravaggio paintings. One of the secrets of the artist's impressive paintings lies in the fact that he painted his studio black to create dramatic contrast, leaving a very small light source.

After saying so much about creation and darkness, I couldn't finish the article without listening to Joseph Haydn's Creation Oratorio. A lover of order and form, Haydn has described the tension in the universe, that is, the tension between nothingness and existence, in the chaos section. This is the introductory part of the oratorio. In the following chapters, the creation of the universe is explained by dividing it into days. On the sixth day, living things and the last human are created. The libretto part of the piece has a long history. It was created on the basis of three sources;Genisis biblical book psalms ve John Milton '.n Paradise Lost . This work on Earth, Sun and Stars was Haydn's last oratorio.

Joseph Haydn genesis oratorio

Another classical artist about darkness is Mehmet Aktuğ's Fino Esilio (The Last Exile). The work is a sad cry from the darkness of an old star that has lost its light and disappeared in the endless darkness of the void.

Mehmet Aktug "The Last Exile"

Darkness or black or night… it doesn't matter if you close your eyes to dive into it, because no creation can be made under the light of day. With the wish of our heart to grasp that what is called reality is just shadows and that all things are actually aspects of the only thing, a center where people merge with man and humanity with God...


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