What's the significance of "Augustine"?

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asteroid
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What's the significance of "Augustine"?

Postby asteroid » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:18 am

According to the lyrics... is Augustine an ancient saint who was famous for teaching people to find spiritual freedom in travelling?

And there's a church (or more) named after him? Located near Mojave desert?

But the foremost point I can't understand is -- what's the meaning of "I'm breaking down" under the song's circumstance?
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aaparallel
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Postby aaparallel » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:27 am

From what I learned about St. Augustine (I haven't read Confessions), he was raised a Christian but didn't practice it. He studied rhetoric and had affairs with women. Then he went through some personal crisis (as in, he "broke down") and thereafter decided to focus his love onto something bigger than himself and his women, and converted to Christianity to serve God. So what I got out of the song is that the speaker is having that personal crisis (the person's "breaking down"), being unsure if he/she should have faith in something larger than life since the person is disillusioned by life ("every illusion in between / all the lies that I have seen..."). The person wishes to be like Augustine, who went through that conversion and ended up leading a better life because of it.

Vienna said that she hadn't really understood how people can put faith into something invisible like religion/God, and she felt that reading Augustine's Confessions moved her closer to that point of understanding. So if we were to be extreme and say that Vienna is the speaker in the song, she might be saying that she wants to experience what religious people experience when they look to their faith in times of need.
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asteroid
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Postby asteroid » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:54 am

She says "let me be YOUR Augustine" so I thought it was about enlightening other people...

Or does this "you" refer to the "religion"?
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Postby aaparallel » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:32 am

asteroid wrote:Or does this "you" refer to the "religion"?


Yeah that's what I think. I hear "let me be your Augustine" as "please, let me experience faith like Augustine did." I can also see "Augustine" as an adjective, meaning "like St. Augustine," maybe a synonym for "enlightened." "Let me be your augustine person." <- heh, that sounds funny.

Anyway, I hope others weigh in. Like Vienna, I wasn't raised very religious, and that's what I got out of reading about St. Augustine and listening to the song.
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Postby tanthalas » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:21 pm

If you take the song somewhat literally as her addressing God, then the line "let me be your Augustine" would make perfect sense.

I personally interpret "I'm breaking down" as a breakdown of skepticism rather than a crisis.

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Re: What's the significance of "Augustine"?

Postby artmarcia » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:16 pm

And the new album, AIMS, is Vienna after her conversion? The conversion having been a direct result of graduate school?

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Re: What's the significance of "Augustine"?

Postby cmooreNC » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:59 pm

If you're asking if Vienna had a "conversion" at grad school, such that she now has a faith, I think the answer to that is still "no." She mentioned at the Charlotte show in July that "some of my Christian friends have tried to convert me to Christianity without success." She didn't come straight out and say that she is an atheist, but I'm pretty sure that's where she still "resides" in terms of her own personal faith. Which is not to say that she isn't spiritual, as I think many of her songs definitely convey spirituality.
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Re: What's the significance of "Augustine"?

Postby artmarcia » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:43 am

I wasn't suggesting a conversion to Christianity, but more to Sustainability. The songs in Aims seem to be cautioning that our Western lifestyle isn't what's best for the planet, most specifically, "Landsailor."

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Re: What's the significance of "Augustine"?

Postby artmarcia » Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:51 am

And in "Level Up"--let your faith die, bring your wonder. Spirituality without a belief in a specific religious dogma--is that what's called "Secular Humanism"?

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Re: What's the significance of "Augustine"?

Postby cmooreNC » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:43 pm

artmarcia wrote:I wasn't suggesting a conversion to Christianity, but more to Sustainability. The songs in Aims seem to be cautioning that our Western lifestyle isn't what's best for the planet, most specifically, "Landsailor."


I'm with you there, although I don't think she's referencing just a Western lifestyle. More like the current human, developed nation worldwide, lifestyle. This album is written to the planet, not just a North American audience, I think. Which ties into her final Kickstarter goal of wanting to play her first shows, of some kind, in Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, Australia, etc.
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Re: What's the significance of "Augustine"?

Postby MannyQ » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:40 am

artmarcia wrote:And in "Level Up"--let your faith die, bring your wonder. Spirituality without a belief in a specific religious dogma--is that what's called "Secular Humanism"?


Secular Humanism is not specifically religious or spiritual. It is just the assertion that human dignity and experience trump mysticism 100% of the time. My favorite way to sum it up is just to quote Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: "Be excellent to eachother."

Plenty of secular humanists have picked up some kind of spirituality, or found elements of various religions they have found appealing. I would closely identify as a secular humanist, but I am also a Zen Buddhist.


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