From Arcadia to Elysium in The Magic Flute and Weimar Classicism: The Plan of Salvation and Eighteenth-Century Views of Moral Progression

Presumably, many people gloss over the aphorism that life is a journey—indeed, for Latter-day Saints, an “eternal journey”— as cliché. But this aphorism encapsulates profound theological, philosophical, moral, and even teleological implications that should indeed interest most people. The journey metaphor connotes progress and ascension, indicating beginning, purpose, and end to mortal existence. True, moving linearly from point A to point B—metaphorically ascending a ladder or climbing a steep mountain—fittingly illustrates the progress inherent in this eternal journey. But a cyclical understanding of this progression—spiraling upward from one state of being to another—also captures and perhaps even enriches the sense of mankind’s journey.

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