Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Third Test, The Ceryneian Hind

For the third labor, Hercules was given a retrieval task instead of a slaying to accomplish. Eurystheus hoped that this labor would infuriate Artemis, who would presumably give him the terrible fate that Pentheus met with on the Holy Mountain. Hercules had to travel to the Hyperborean north, where he discerned the glint of the antlers from afar. For this task, the man of God his mind, but in the right way. We have to chase the silver stag, which is the mind of Christ. We have to catch the old stag under the light of the sacred moon, and change it into a gift for the gods, putting on the mind of Christ and changing the earthly hind into the true heavenly counterpart. We have to make unceasing prayer, thought, and communion in our heart to Christ, to God. And in the end, the stag runs free, for we cannot quench the Spirit or stop it from blowing where it lists. We can only take hold of the whole counsel of God in Christ and be changed in our minds, then follow this to transform ourselves and the world. The third task is not for those who would control their own adventures, or dictate terms to God, or not follow the deeper nous of the profound heart which blossoms under the Moon.

Or, says Plato, "the madness of God is greater than the sanity of man".

[Berlin, Neues Museum Herkules besiegt die goldbekrönte Hirschkuh (Herkules fängt die Hirschkuh von Ceryneia) Maler: Adolf Schmidt]

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