The Four Stages of Life:
In an animated sequence, Amara’s mentor Matoaka tries to explain how sex can also be spiritual. She uses Matryoshka dolls to illustrate her point.
I got this idea from both Kierkegaard and from Hindu philosophy. The idea is all us humans go through four stages.
But the “lower stages” aren’t thrown out. Like Matryoshka dolls, the lower ones fit into the higher ones. So, a person in the “higher” ethical or spiritual stages can still make ends meet and enjoy pleasurable things like food and sex. In other words, sex and spirit don’t have to be divorced from one another.
Here’s a visualization of what this animated sequence might look like.
1. The Material Stage:
In our most primal stage what’s most important to us is getting material things like wealth and power. When we’re in this stage, we might be like ants:
The ant makes shelter,
fights off ANT #2,
waits in line to climb a ladder to deposit food into a piggy bank,
and joins the COLONY that surrounds the QUEEN ANT.
2. The Pleasure Stage:
In the next stage, we want pleasure: wine, women, song. When we’re in this stage we may look a bit like the Satyr from Greek mythology.
The ant transforms into a SATYR WITH GOLDEN RAMS AND FLEECE playing his flute and dancing.
He sees a LADY,
gets an erection
and chases her. She escapes, so…
…he plops down into a cushy chair, drinks wine and…
…uses it as lube for his woody.
3. The Ethical Stage:
In the third stage, we begin to think not just about “me,” but another. This is when we try to do the right thing even when we don’t want to. If we can find the “center” in the dissonance of our appetites and lives, we can in a sense become master of ourselves.
The Satyr transforms into an EAGLE approaching the vicious River Styxx with trepidation.
He spots a CRYSTAL GOBLET, swoops down, snags it, flies to the center, and fills it.
4. The Spiritual Stage:
In the highest stage, we seek transcendence, what’s bigger than the “small self” or our ego.
The River calms and the Eagle transforms into a WOMAN. where she finds a She hesitates but opens it. BLACK SMOKE wafts out and begins to choke her…
The River Styxx calms. The Eagle transforms into a WOMAN who steps inside a BOAT…
A FERRYMAN takes her into the UNDERWORLD where she finds…
…a SMALL BOX with the words “PERSEPHONE’S BEAUTY.” She hesitates but still opens it. BLACK SMOKE wafts out and begins to choke her…
The animated sequence also foreshadows the struggles Amara will go through in confronting Belissa in Act 3.