The Journey to Wisdom
JJ: So next in his quest Hercules comes across Prometheus – another human being who is being tortured and in dire need. He thinks he is giving up his quest for the golden apples when what is really happening?
Audience: He is getting closer to them.
JJ: Right, he was actually taking one of the real steps toward the golden apples and that was service. To get the golden apples of wisdom one of the paths that we have to take is service, to be of service to all men, to be able to help people alleviate their pains. Prometheus represented humanity as a whole. The vultures were picking at his solar plexus. This depicts our emotional nature for our emotional nature gives us much grief and pain. Understanding our emotional nature and our complexities and being able to help people that are in emotional pain and lift them out of it requires a lot of wisdom. If a person is in a physical situation like Prometheus it is a bit different but when we switch over to an emotional nature, solving emotional problems like being a marriage counselor is probably one of the most difficult jobs on the earth.
Audience: Wasn’t Prometheus bound to that rock because he stole fire from the gods?
JJ: Yes that is part of the story as a matter of fact Prometheus shows up again in another labor and we will talk about him more then.
Audience: So Prometheus as a symbol is all of humanity doing what? Evolving?
Audience member answering: When Prometheus stole fire from the gods it is like when we get an inflated ego from our actions and so he had to suffer. The graphic suffering being his liver, he suffered this by day but it healed by night because it is in the darkness of ourselves that we struggle and then we come back around to that feeling of wholeness and self humility that we arrive at and that is just the story of man.
JJ Okay thank you, now Atlas was holding up all the cares of the world on his shoulders what does this represent?
JJ: One of the interesting statements from Jesus is, “Follow me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When you think of the story of the crucifixion you do not really think that. Whether or not your burden is light is not dependent on what is happening outwardly. It is interesting that people believe that He took upon himself the sins of the world. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane and he sweated blood and then he goes to the cross and yet He says my yoke is easy and my burden is light!
Now if He can say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” why can’t we say that? We look at our own lives and we think, wow I have it harder than anybody I know. Many people think this about themselves. Of course we do not know everything that is going on in everyone’s mind but once you explore a little bit you find that most people think they have it pretty tough. So it is interesting that He made that statement “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” when he faced such a monumental amount of pain that He had to go through. This boils down to attitude.
Atlas stands for humanity and we as human beings think that we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders and we are waiting for Hercules the higher self to come and take that weight off of us. We are all waiting and let me ask you this – where is the Hercules in our lives that all of us are waiting for? For some people it may be your parents, for others it may be your spouse. For some it may be your Guru, for others it may be dying and going to heaven. Some say, “I am not going to be burdened anymore, this life is the pits but Jesus is going to reward me when I go to heaven. We are all waiting for Hercules to come and take the burden off of our shoulders. What did Hercules find out about the burden?
Audience: The world was okay without him holding it up.
JJ: Yes the world can take care of itself. It was all for nothing and there was no burden to be worried about. In other words, the things that burden us down and make us feel the weight of responsibility is built on illusion and is not even really there. That is why even when Jesus was faced with a terrible situation he could say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” – because of the way He looked at the situation.
As a matter of fact there was a story in one of the apocrypha books that was supposed to be written by Peter. When Jesus was being nailed to the cross He was laughing. I thought that was kind of funny but on the other hand I think it is entirely possible that it may have been true.
Since Jesus was a Master of the physical world it is quite possible that He could have negated the physical pain if He so chose. He might have thought the situation was kind of amusing.
So it is interesting that what maybe really happened could have been totally different than the Passion of The Christ as presented by Mel Gibson even though that movie does make you really think it is quite possible that the reality was quite different. Maybe His yoke was easy and His burden was light clear to the end. There was one great struggle He had which was in the Garden of Gethsemane which was like one of the labors of Hercules where we have to face a great crisis. We will talk more about that as well.
Lets move on. It turned out that Atlas and the three maidens were guarding the tree and when they saw that Hercules had obtained wisdom, that he desired to serve and to alleviate people from their suffering. This produced wisdom so they gave him the golden apples freely. But then when he had the golden apples he decided he would just leave them there for the next person. He did not even eat them himself but saw that the best thing to do would be to leave them for the next traveler.
It is interesting that when he had the physical apples that he chose not to partake in them. Why? Because wisdom is not physical. You cannot hold wisdom in your hand. Anything representative of wisdom he would leave it for the next guy and he would find out the reality of it as he goes through the same struggle. I think that is a beautiful story.
Audience: We had Aries and Taurus, did this come in as a Gemini?
JJ: Yes the golden apples are in the sign of Gemini and one of the lessons that we overlooked was the fact that he had to learn the duality of things because the Gemini represents the dualities. So on his search for wisdom he balanced off the outward with the inner. The two sides of the Gemini are the outward and the inner, matter and spirit as he balanced them together and by finding that balance he obtained the wisdom.
JJ: There is a story of a student that came to Socrates and he says, Socrates I want wisdom and knowledge like you have; what do I have to do? And that is what Hercules asked, where do I find the golden apples? And he was told “I am not going to tell you.”
Socrates said to the student, come out with me and wade in this lake about waist high and I will show you The student said okay so they wondered out into the lake about waist high and Socrates grabs him by the head and pushes his head under water and holds it there about a minute and then brings his head up. The student says what in the world did you do that for? Socrates says, when I had your head in the water what did you want more than anything else in the world? He says air and the longer I was down there the more I wanted it. Socrates replied, “When you want wisdom as much as you wanted air you will then be as smart as me.
I’ve always liked that story which likened to Hercules wanting wisdom, Hercules wanted wisdom like he wanted air and he searched for it and he did not give up and when he found it was not in the way that he thought he would find it. When he was being delayed by helping Prometheus, Atlas and all these other guys that was really part of his journey in finding wisdom. The finding if the wisdom was in the journey not in the ultimate destination. It is a little bit like fun; fun is in the journey, not in getting there.
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