Seeking the Rose

 

Regarding Seeking the Rose, an amateur video of an ancient myth, inspired by:

The Precious Jewel (Sufi Story)
From Thinkers of the East by Idries Shah
Available at www.goodleather.com and www.ishkbooks.com

All wisdom, according to Daudzadah, is contained in the various levels of interpretation of this ancient traditional tale.

In a remote realm of perfection, there was a just monarch who had a wife and a wonderful son and daughter. They all lived together in happiness.

One day the father called his children before him and said:

`The time has come, as it does for all. You are to go down, an infinite distance, to another land. You shall seek and find and bring back a precious Jewel.'

The travellers were conducted in disguise to a strange land, whose inhabitants almost all lived a dark existence. Such was the effect of this place that the two lost touch with each other, wandering as if asleep.

From time to time they saw phantoms, similitudes of their country and of the Jewel, but such was their condition that these things only increased the depth of their reveries, which they now began to take as reality.

When news of his children's plight reached the king, he sent word by a trusted servant, a wise man:

`Remember your mission, awaken from your dream, and remain together.'

With this message they roused themselves, and with the help of their rescuing guide they dared the monstrous perils which surrounded the Jewel, and by its magic aid returned to their realm of light, there to remain in increased happiness for evermore.

Following are my notes from a talk I gave about Seeking the Rose to a mostly Jewish Kabala group. The Christian pageant is applicable as well (the Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt comes to mind), but not included here.

Moses

The beginning of the Book of Exodus tells the story of a "goodly child" who was hidden in the comfort of his home from the threat of death. In order for him to grow and prosper, though, he was sent away from home. He was put into a basket for protection.

He will perish if he stays home. (Spirit within needs challenge to thrive.) Some kind of "covering" made of the elements is needed to survive in the elements (Physical body). This is the "disguise" of the companions in the video.

His sister watched, kept an eye on him. The Pharaoh's daughter found him and kept him. She called for a servant to nurse him; unbeknown to her the servant was actually his mother.

His sister is awareness (his companion). The Pharaoh's daughter represents the natives of InverTerra; the babe is an alien to her and her culture. His mother is Wisdom, wearing the cloak of invisibility; that is, she nurtures him with Wisdom, and this is not recognized by the natives.

He is reared as the son of a Pharaoh; his real identity is not challenged until he discovers his purpose of living.

Raised IN the world, but not OF it. A purpose of living needed in order to fully develop into our real nature. This can be done only after we recognize we are aliens in a place foreign to us, not of our real nature, but necessary to develop our real nature.

Snow White

A child of incredible beauty (nobility) is threatened by the ruler of the wicked world (the witch). The child hides in a humble abode full of creatures who work in the mines and who use her as their servant. Even this hiding does not protect her, the wicked witch finds her and poisons her. She falls asleep. The kiss of the Prince awakens her; he takes her away from her servitude and degradation and they live happily ever after.

The child is the undeveloped Awareness function of Spirit. The wicked witch is the Resistance of this world, an alien world to us. The Resistance creates a challenge. If we hide from the challenge and listen to the suggestions (the dwarfs in the fairytale) we become in bondage to them, conditioned to serve them and not be about our noble purpose, and fall deeply asleep to Reality.

The Prince is the noble purpose. The union of the Awareness and the Purpose awakens us--when conflict ends, slavery to conditioning ends, we can leave the humble hut of the degrading conditioning and suggestions and return to our royal palace, knowing what we are, where we are, what's going on and what we can do.

Theseus and Ariadne

The Athenians were in deep affliction, being forced to pay tribute to Minos, king of Crete. This tribute consisted of seven youths and seven maidens who were sent every year to be devoured by the Minotaur, a monster. It was exceedingly strong and fierce, and was kept in a labyrinth... so artfully contrived that whoever was enclosed in it could by no means find his way out unassisted. Here the Minotaur roamed, and was fed with human victims.

Theseus resolved to deliver his countrymen from this calamity. When the time of sending off the tribute came, and the youths and maidens were drawn by the lot to be sent, he offered himself as one of the victims... Ariadne, the daughter of the king, became deeply enamored of Theseus, by whom her love was readily returned. She furnished him with a sword, with which to encounter the Minotaur, and with a clew of thread by which he might find his way out of the labyrinth. He was successful, slew the Minotaur, escaped from the labyrinth, and took Ariadne as his companion of his way. [From Bullfinch's Mythology]

Theseus is Spirit, Will. Ariadne is Awareness. The labyrinth is the world full of second force. The Minotaur is the false purpose of living to gain pleasure and escape pain (pleasure and pain on all levels are side-effects or by-products of one's purpose of living, not the purpose itself.) Theseus' determination to slay the Minotaur is a new purpose--he does it regardless of the threat. Ariadne is the Awareness uncontaminated with the world, rather a partner to the Purpose, a tool. The Thread she gives to Theseus he anchors to his starting point and unwinds during his descent into the labryinth. he then can find his way back by following the thread. This represents being awake to what's going on, and keeping your destination, or Purpose, firmly in mind.

The Hymn of the Robe of Glory

[I knew of this story even before I read The Precious Jewel, and loved it. It can be found in The Complete Echoes from the Gnosis by G.R.S. Mead, edited by Stephen Ronan]

I
When, a quite little child, I was dwelling
In the House of my father's Kingdom,
And in the wealth of the glories
Of my Up-bringers I was delighting
From the East, our Home, my Parents
Forth-sent me with journey-provision.
Indeed from the wealth of our Treasure,
They bound up for me a load.
Large was it, yet was it so light
That all alone I could bear it.

II
Gold from the Land of Gilan,
Silver from Ganzak the Great,
Chalcedonies of India,
Iris-hued [opals?] from Kushan.
They girt me with Adamant [also]
That hath power to cut even iron.
My Glorious Robe they took off me
Which in their love they had wrought me,
And my Purple Mantle [also]
Which was woven to match with my stature.

III
And with me They [then] made a compact;
In my heart wrote it, not to forget it:
"If thou goest down into Egypt,
And thence thou bring'st the one Pearl--
"[The Pearl] that lies in the Sea,
Hard by the loud-breathing Serpent,--
"[Then] shalt Thou put on thy Robe
And thy Mantle that goeth upon it,
"And with thy Brother, Our Second,
Shalt thou be Heir in our Kingdom."

IV
I left the East and went down
With two Couriers [with me];
For the way was hard and dangerous,
For I was young to tread it.
I traversed the borders of Maishan,
The mart of the Eastern merchants,
And I reached the Land of Babel,
And entered the walls of Sarbug.
Down further I went into Egypt;

Down further I went into Egypt;
And from me parted my escorts.

V
Straightway I went to the Serpent;
Near to his lodgeing I settled,
To take away my Pearl
While he should sleep and should slumber.
Lone was I there, yes, all lonely;
To my fellow-lodgers a stranger.
However I saw there a noble,
From out of the Dawn-land my kinsman,
A young man fair and well favoured,
Son of Grandees; he came and he joined me.

VI
I made him my chosen companion,
A comrade, for sharing my wares with.
He warned me against the Egyptians,
`Gainst mixing with the unclean ones.
For I had clothed me as they were,
That they might not guess I had come
From afar to take off the Pearl,
And so rouse the Serpent against me.

VII
But from some occasion or other
They learned I was not of their country.
With their wiles they made my acquaintance;
Yea, they gave me their victuals to eat.
I forgot I was a King's son,
And became a slave to their king.
I forgot all concerning the Pearl
For which my Parents had sent me;
And from the weight of their victuals
I sank down into a deep sleep.

VIII
All this that now was befalling,
My Parents perceived and were anxious.
It was then proclaimed in our Kingdom,
That all should speed to our Gate--
Kings and Chieftains of Parthis,
And of the East all the Princes.
And this is the counsel they came to:
I should not be left down in Egypt.
And for me they wrote out a Letter;
And to it each Noble his Name set:

IX
"From Us--King of Kings, thy Father,
And thy Mother, Queen of the Dawn-land,
"And from Our Second, thy Brother--
To thee, Son, down in Egypt, Our Greeting!
"Up and arise from thy sleep,
Give ear to the words of Our Letter!
"Remember that thou art a King's son;
See whom thou hast served in thy slavedom.
"Bethink thyself o the Pearl
For which thou didst journey to Egypt.

X
"Remember thy Glorious Robe,
Thy Splendid Mantle remember,
"To put on and wear as adornment,
When thy Name may be read in the Book of the Heroes,
"And with our Successor, thy Brother,
Thou mayest be Heir in Our Kingdom."
My Letter was [surely] a Letter
The King had sealed up with His Right Hand,
`Gainst the Children of Babel, the wicked,
Thy tyrannical Daimons of Sarbug.

XI
It flew in the form of the Eagle,
Of all thee winged tribes of the king-bird;
It flew and alighted beside me,
And turned into speech altogether.
At its voice the sound of its winging,
I waked and arose from my deep sleep.
Unto me I took it and kissed it;
I loosed its seal and I read it.
Even as it stood in my heart writ,
The words or my Letter were written.

XII
I remembered that I was a King's son,
And my rank did long for its nature.
I bethought me again of the Pearl,
For which I was sent down to Egypt.
And I began [then] to charm him,
The terrible loud-breathing Serpent.
I lulled him to sleep and to slumber,
Chanting over him the Name of my Father,
The Name of our Second [my Brother],
And [Name] of my Mother, the East-Queen.

XIII

And [thereon] I snatched up the Pearl,
And turned to the House of my Father.
Their filthy and unclean garments
I stripped off and left in their country.
To the way that I came I betook me,
To the Light of our Home, to the Dawn-land.
On the road I found [there] before me
My Letter that had aroused me--
As with its voice it had roused me,
So now with its light it did lead me--

XIV
On fabric of silk, in letters of red [?]
With shining appearance before me [?]
Encouraging me with its guidance,
With its love it was drawing me onward.
I went forth; through Sarbug I passed;
I left Babel-land on my left hand;
And I reached into Maishan the Great,
The meeting place of the merchants,
That lieth hard by the Sea-shore.

XV
My Glorious Robe that I'd stripped off,
And my Mantle with which it was covered,
Down from the Heights of Hychania,
Thither my Parents did send me,
By the hands of their Treasure-dispensers
Who trustworthy were with it trusted.
Without my recalling its fashion--
In the House of my Father my childhood had left it--
At once, as soon as I saw it,
The Glory looked like my own self.

XVI
I saw it all in all of me,
And saw me all in [all of] it,--
That we were twin in distinction,
"And yet again one is one likeness.
I saw, too, the Treasurers also,
Who unto me had down-brought it,
Were twain [and yet] of one likeness;
For one Sign of the King was upon them--
Who through them restored me the Glory,
The Pledge of my Kingship {?}.

XVII
The Glorious Robe all-bespangled
With sparkling splendour of coulours;
WIth Gold and also with Beryls,
Chalcedonies, iris-hued [Opals?],
With Sards of varying colors,
To match its grandeur [?], moreover, it had been completed;
With adamantine jewels
All of its seams were off-fastened.
[Moreover] the King of Kings' Image
Was depicted entirely all over it;
And as with Sapphires above
Was it wrought in a motley of color.

XVIII
I saw that moreover all over it
The motions of Gnosis abounding;
I saw it further was making
Ready as though for to speak.
I heard the sound of its Music
Which it whispered as it descended [?]:
"Behold him the active in deeds
For whom I was reared with my Father;
"I too have felt in myself
How that with is works waxed my stature."

XIX
And [now] with its Kingly motions
Was it pouring itself out towards me,
And made haste in the hands of its Givers,
That I might [take and] receive it.
And me, too, my love urged forward
To run for to met it, to take it.
And I stretched myself forth to receive it;
With its beauty of color I decked me,
And my Mantle of sparkling colors
I wrapped entirely all over me.

X
I clothed me therewith, and ascended
To the Gate of Greeting and Homage.
I bowed my head and did homage
To the Glory of Him who had sent it,
Whose commands I [now] have accomplished,
And who had, too, done what He's promised.
[And there] ad the Gate of His House-sons
I mingled myself with His Princes;
For He had received me with gladness,
And I was with Him in His Kingdom;

XXI
To whom the whole of His Servants
With sweet-sounding voices sing praises.
                *           *         *
he had promised that with him to the Court
OF the King of Kings I should speed,
And taking with me my Pearl
Should with him be seen by our King.

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