Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Hermit - Meaning and Symbolism




THE HERMIT.



After long wanderings over a sandy, waterless desert
where only serpents lived, I met the Hermit.
He was wrapped in a long cloak, a hood thrown over
his head. He held a long staff in one hand and in the other
a lighted lantern, though it was broad daylight and the sun
was shining.

"The lantern of Hermes Trismegistus", said the voice,
"this is higher knowledge, that inner knowledge which
illuminates in a new way even what appears to be already
clearly known. This lantern lights up the past, the present
and the future for the Hermit, and opens the souls of
people and the most intimate recesses of their hearts.
"The cloak of Apollonius is the faculty of the wise man
by which he isolates himself, even amidst a noisy crowd; it
is his skill in hiding his mysteries, even while expressing
them, his capacity for silence and his power to act in
stillness.

"The staff of the patriarchs is his inner authority, his
power, his self-confidence.
The lantern, the cloak and the staff are the three
symbols of initiation. They are needed to guide souls past
the temptation of illusory fires by the roadside, so that they
may go straight to the higher goal. He who receives these
three symbols or aspires to obtain them, strives to enrich
himself with all he can acquire, not for himself, but, like
God, to delight in the joy of giving.

"The giving virtue is the basis of an initiate's life.
"His soul is transformed into a spoiler of all treasures" so
said Zarathustra.

"Initiation unites the human mind with the higher mind
by a chain of analogies. This chain is the ladder leading to
heaven, dreamed of by the patriarch."

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