Friday, July 22, 2005


This is an excerpt from a book called

Lightland, Climate Change and the Human Potential

The Olympian response to the realization that we are indeed involved in an epic struggle to right the balance of the earth will call for a radical and meaningful departure from the world view of the Titans. It will involve the ethics and virtues found in the Olympian Pantheon.

The Olympian response will embrace the belief that this calamity in the making can forge a refining of the human spirit and the human condition. It will postulate that a world of courage and justice is ours for the making.

It will state that our emphasis should be on wisdom and beauty; that fine arts, music, and the pastoral arts should be developed to the utmost of the human potential. It will stress refinement of the law. It would make medicine an art instead of a business.

The Olympian response will seize the opportunity presented by our own ignorance and seek to transform that ignorance into a mechanism of human transfiguration.

It will seek to bring man from the age of fire to the age of light.

According to these Myths, the relationship of humankind to the immortal gods is one of mutual interaction. Prometheus is chained by Zeus but he is liberated by Hercules, the mortal hero. Through the plan of Zeus, it is the task of this hero to accomplish the twelve labors so that the ladder from Olympus can be stretched from that world to this world.

Beginning with the strangling of the Nemean Lion, Humankind must change its attitude towards the King and his authority. We must become responsible for our actions and not look for the scapegoat. We are running the earth the way we do now because we choose to do so.

If there is injustice in Bosnia or starvation in Africa, it exists because we choose to allow it to exist. To believe that the individual human is powerless is to cede power to the King. We have so many tools available. We can pray or we can meditate. We can write our leaders. We can march on their malls, and we can cool our heels in their prisons. We can say we are not going to allow it to happen. We can stop paying their taxes and we can stop working in their millworks.

To slay the Lion of Nemea is a dangerous thing. It requires that each of us become self governed. It requires that we stop passing the guilt of our collective sins to that beast of the wild. We would take responsibility for those things that we believe are beyond our control and instead place them within our control.

The "would be" Hero must first slay the Lion. With that feat, two most valuable tools come into the hero's possession . The coat of the lion becomes a garment so that all can see that the lion resides with you. Its bones becomes a tool that will amplify strength.

The next feat, like the first, is both a group feat and an individual feat. Slaying the nine headed Hydra of Lerna requires that the root of all evil, "money", be slayed in your life and in the life of our culture.

The gross National Product is not a measure of what is important about America or any other nation in the world of nations. Neither is your personal income a measure of your worth in the community. Our present system of money is an extension of privilege. It rewards those who hold its key and imprisons those who do not. It is the second task of the Hero to place it under a rock.

As Robert Kennedy said in 1967, "The Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile: and it can tell us everything about America- except whether we are proud to be Americans."

Once the Hero has conquered these two fearsome foes, he must tame two more of equal stature. In bringing back the Stag with the Golden Horn, it is the task of the Hero to tame the sex drive and refine it into gold. This energy must be brought from the base to sublime where it can work miracles and wonders. Whether it is Kundalini or Libido, it is powerful and worthy of the hunt.

Likewise, the beast of desire must be tamed. The Boar of Erymanthus is the desire for more. Because of our innate sense that there may not be enough we are driven to compulsions which lead to greed and avarice. The Hero must learn moderation.

The fifth labor of the hero is cleanliness. The Aegean Stables represent our need to keep our house, our waters, our air , and our planet clean. If we do not, we fall victim to our own selves.

Next, the Hero must shoot down the birds that have become a plague. Whether they are satellites, nuclear missiles, or spirits that would carry us way at night, we must not let those who have dominion of the air have dominion of those of the earth.

With that dominion, the Hero can apply the mass and strength of the earth and its riches and thus bring the Bull of Minos to the king.

We must then slay king Diomedes, and disperse the man eating mares of Thrace. The Hero doesn't have to kill the Mares, he must stop them from destroying his cities, his homes, and the loved ones who ride in them.

The Hero must capture the Gift of Women, intuition, emotion, and creativity, even though the gods seem intent on frustrating that feat.

And once the Hero knows all sides of this nature, the cattle of Geryon, once they have been brought back from the west, will nurture our newly found whole selves, and time itself will lose its wings.

Then, in the search for the Golden Apples of the Hesperides, the Hero frees our benefactor and our trickster. Prometheus, the Titan, the giver of Fire, the bringer of woes, is freed from his rock. He is liberated not by gods or Titans, but by the mortal Hero who is strong in stature and beautiful in spirit. Prometheus, the Titan, who would trick Zeus, the God of men and gods, is released where he too can join the gods on Olympus.

The Hero will have returned the gift of Fire with the gift of Freedom.

The score will be evened.

God and man will again be in balance.

When these feats have been accomplished, the Hero will be able to go down into Hades, and take the three headed Cerberus away from his guard at the gates that allow no return. The Chair of Forgetfulness will no longer have power. The Hero will enter and leave at will.

The power of Darkness will succumb to the power of Light.

Like Hercules, the Hero will chose to leave this earth without fear.

The Hero walks to the Pyre as one who at a banquet table lies down upon his couch.

The bow and the arrow of the Hero will pass.

In new hands they will see new fame and new feats.

In line 955 of Hesiod's Theogony, the poem ends:

"The strong man Heracles, mighty son of shapely Alcmene,

after completing his painful labors,

was joined in solemn marriage with Hebe,

the daughter of great Zeus and Hera who walks on golden sandals,

on the snowy mount of Olympus-lucky man!

He accomplished his great work and now lives forever with the immortals,

where neither sorrow nor old age can touch him."

These words were written almost 12 years ago.

But the time they were written for is now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had almost forgotten about this. Nice to read it again. And good to see that it is for sale still at Amazon.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never seen this interpretation of the 12 trials. Very interesting.

I had never thought of it as a plan for humankind.

Too many B movies about Hercules.

12:44 PM  

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