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The Labors of Hercules - Labor XII
Interpretation of the Story

There are several variations of the myth concerning the labor of Hercules in the sign Pisces. We are told that there was an island where lived a human monster called Geryon with a body of three men united. He had a herd of red cattle, guarded by a shepherd and a two-headed dog. Hercules received orders (Pisces is the sign of obedience) to bring these cattle from the island, across land and water to the sacred city.

Hercules sailed to the island in a golden cup and when he arrived there he climbed to the top of a mountain and spent the night in prayer. Then he killed the two-headed dog but he did not kill the shepherd. He also killed the owner of the red cattle. Here is the beautiful part of the story: Hercules placed all of the cattle in the golden cup, in which he had sailed over to the island, took them to the Sacred City, and offered them in sacrifice to Athena, Goddess of Wisdom. This sacred city consisted of two towns connected by a wonderful wall and a gateway called the Gateway of the Lion. After the cattle were delivered Hercules' work was over. We hear no more about him but he may have gone on to greater cosmic work. [198]

Let us think of Hercules as a world savior. He has had a vision of something he has to do. He sees humanity owned by a monster, a three-bodied man, the symbol of a human being with mental, emotional and physical bodies united. I think that this labor has not yet been completed; this accomplishment lies ahead. There have been other sons of men gathered out of the human family from time to time, one here one there, a group here and another there, as when the Buddha was on earth and it is said that he saved nine hundred. Now humanity, the human monster, is ready for salvation and the real work of The World Savior can begin as a whole with the group concept underlying the work rather than individual soul saving.

The symbolism of the red cattle is plainly that of the lower desires, desire being ever an outstanding characteristic of humanity. They are guarded by a shepherd, which is the mind, the two-headed dog representing the matter aspect and the psychic nature. You see why Hercules spared the shepherd. The mind can still be the shepherd of the cattle but the two-headed dog, the psychic-emotional nature and the matter aspect, Hercules killed, which means that they were deprived of any power. The shepherd still had power and I can conceive of no time in which a human being in incarnation will not need to use the mind as the interpreter of spiritual energy.

If Jesus as a human being, en rapport with his soul, becomes a transmitter of light to the sons of men, so we can extend the concept and think of humanity as a whole with all minds held steady in the light, transmitting to lower kingdoms in nature that spiritual energy which will raise them up into heaven. That is the work of humanity. We are so occupied with our own problems that we forget the larger picture. It is to be noted again that the keeper of the cattle, the form aspect, was also killed but the shepherd and the cattle were raised up in the golden cup. Here you have the Holy Grail; and so the work was accomplished. The World Savior had fulfiled his [199] function. He had lifted up humanity. That is what all world saviors have done. They all did what, to a greater extent, Christ did.

We hear about the failure of Christianity. I do not see failure anywhere in the Great Plan. Perhaps slowness, but do you know how disastrous it would be if evolution were too rapid, how dangerous it would be if people were over-stimulated before they were ready? All teachers know the dangers of over-stimulation, the disasters that occur when a person makes certain contacts before the mechanism is sufficiently tuned up. World saviors have to work slowly, but time means nothing to them.

The term, world savior, has until now been associated with the thought of the emergence of a great son of God out of the Father's home, called by the need of humanity to do a great work. Down the ages they have come, dwelt in physical bodies, worked through an emotional nature and have been exceedingly intelligent. They have by their lives set an example that we may follow in their steps; by their words they have sounded the note, the message that humanity needed in order to take the immediate next step forward. In their acts they have given a demonstration of service, gone about the world doing good, and their names have stayed with us down the ages. You must be a very dominant figure to remain in the minds of men for thousands of years. Most of us are forgotten in twenty.

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