The 12 Labors of Hercules
JJ: Today we are going to teaching about the Labors of Hercules. The principle behind these labors is this, The Labors of Hercules are twelve labors where the disciple has to go against the grain and contrary to where the everyday normal, regular person would go. In other words in each one of the labors there is a tremendously difficult job to be done and many say or think, “I can’t do it, my neighbor can’t do it, no one in the city can do it. It would be nice if some great Herculean or Messiah type person who would come forward and he would do the labor for us.
The everyday person feels that he cannot do this labor. He does not think he is equipped for it and he does not want to do it so he follows the path of least resistance. In the labor of Leo, for instance, the Nemean lion is very dangerous and will eat anybody that crosses his path. He threatens the whole area. Everybody hides from the lion and nobody thinks, “why don’t I just go wrestle the lion and kill it?”
Nobody thinks this and it is entirely against the grain of everyone’s thought where this lion is terrorizing the community. And of course when Hercules comes along he does not even think of cowering to the lion. His only thought is how to destroy it and get the people out of harms way.
The basic teaching is this, we live many lives, and I believe it is about a thousand, within the system that we are in and during almost all the lives we follow the path of least resistance, learning through trial and error.
Our individual progress seems to correspond to humanity, Look at the beginning of recorded civilization, that which we know about, which was about six thousand years ago. We believe before this that were many other ancient people that lived on the earth but we will stick with what we know for sure. Through trial and error we invented fire, the wheel and all that and progress was really, really slow, and then around the14th, 15th, 16th, centuries progress increased. Finally just over 100 years ago all of a sudden we had an explosion of knowledge take place until we got to say 1930 or thereabouts. Then knowledge began to expand even more. About 95% of our technical progress has been made in the last 120 years and about 50% of that progress was made in the last 60 years or so.
It is amazing how we have just had an explosion of knowledge. This is similar to the way it is in the life of the disciple. He plods along and discovers the fire within and the wheels of life and progress is really slow and it is all by trial and error. Progress is mostly by accident or great need which causes him to discover a little principle here and a little esoteric knowledge there and he discovers that in his elemental lives maybe he will not be such a thief, or quite so cruel or maybe begin to treat those around him a little better. The basic principles takes hundred of lives to drum into his head. Just like in humanity it took thousands of years to just get the basics of civilization down to where we could live half way comfortably.
I know this is kind of uncomfortable thing to talk about but a hundred years ago we did not even have good toilet paper. I remember when I was a child half the time we had to use the Sears or Montgomery Ward catalogs. And what they did before Sears catalog I do not know. I wondered about what they did in ancient times and then I was watching the Discovery channel and they had a show about the ancient Roman bathrooms. If you a were rich you had a personal sponge that you carried around with you and after you used it you rinsed it off and you put it in your little case and if you were not rich then I do not know what they used and I do not even want to think about it!
Look how much better off we are today than the rich Romans or kings. We eat better now than a king ate 200 years ago. This is amazing when you think about it. I have been going through “The History of Civilization” by Will Durant and what those people went through in the old days is amazing and it is also amazing that when someone disagreed with another and they were the one in authority the other guy got tortured in some way like, burned with fire, pulled apart, molten lead poured down his throat, his appendages cut off or worse. Those guys had no mercy for each.
People read in the Bible about ancient times and say, boy those people in the Bible were not all that righteous – look what they did. If you look at the Hebrews and they seem kind of cruel by today’s standards but then you read in ancient history about the people that lived outside the Hebrews and they made the Hebrews look really good in comparison. So you have to look everything in perspective for the Hebrews were a notch above the rest of civilization on how they treated their enemies. At least they had the Ten Commandments to use as guideline and not kill each other in very brutal ways.
They had some freedom of thought but the everyday kings and tyrants that ruled the earth in ancient times were extremely cruel. So we have made a lot of progress since then and, like I mentioned earlier, everything is learned by trial and error and pain. Just like it took us a tremendous amount of pain as a civilization to get away from torturing each other in very cruel ways. Finally in most of the civilized world we do not routinely torture each other.
You have heard some say that at Guantanamo we are torturing those guys and one of the ways they feel like they are tortured is the female cadets there reveal the outline of their breasts too much and they say, Ah that is torturing me! That is one of the tortures I read about and I thought well, women could torture me all they want in ttat manner and that would be fine with me!
Audience female member: That is why today the women in India wear shawls so the men are not diverted from their attentions.
JJ: People today do not know what torture is. In North Korea and some other places those poor people there really have it bad if they step out of line. The average person is just trying to survive on grass and tree bark and things like that.
Some think waterboarding is terrible today but in the past kerosene and feces was used instead of clean water. I guarantee you’ll get no volunteers to undergo that type of waterboarding as we have now using water.
So the disciple progresses and as we incarnate we do so around the Zodiac. It is not a completely black and white thing but is the general principle. We incarnate around the Zodiac clockwise and then eventually as we get to the point to where we turn and tread the path with the most resistance, the path less traveled by as talked about the poet,.
As we go on the path less traveled by then our soul reverses us around the Zodiac and instead of going clockwise around the Zodiac, we are now going counterclockwise. So the Labors of Hercules go counterclockwise around the Zodiac beginning with Aries.
The Labors of Hercules covers twelve labors but I believe that many of them cover more than one life. For instance, in the labor where he finds the doe it says he passed through the gate numerous times until the doe got easier to find and the doe learned who he was and became close to his heart. We will tell you what the doe is as we proceed.
So especially in certain signs the disciple may want to go and visit again and again to make sure he is very strong in that particular labor. Whether or not the people in this class are undergoing the Labors of Hercules, it matters not because the principles that allowed Hercules to accomplish these labors can be used by any of us and gives many of us motivation, learning and tools to deal with our lives. Forget about wondering if any of us in this room are under going the Labors of Hercules, or are disciples of that quality. We can all use the tools that Hercules used during the labors even if we are a long way from being like Hercules.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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