The Garden of Hesperides
There was a time, some time ago, perhaps before time, when Heart was a happy soul. She was the queen of Heartland and she loved to be with her people as well as alone by herself. What she would often do was to spend time listening to the others in her queendom, but she also listened to herself and especially to her soul voice. She would follow that voice to guide her in her feelings and thoughts and what she did, and this made her time happy and meaningful. Although disagreements between her people occurred from time to time, these were always worked out right away, and even though nobody thought about it, the queendom was a happy place.
Then one day Mind entered her territory. He made a big entry and there was much gafuffle. When Heart heard about this she sent an invitation for Mind to join her for a visit so she could welcome him to her territory. Mind agreed, but on his own terms and in his own time. Heart felt uncomfortable about this, but to protest was foreign to her nature.
By the time the meeting was to occur, Mind had already created many changes in Heart's territory. Mind wanted things done his own way and was willing to get his way by telling others that unless it would happen, they would no longer receive the things that he had been offering them. As it turned out, many people became very fond of what they had received from Mind. It gave them a sense of power and ability and significance, something they had not experienced before. And so they agreed to the changes Mind asked for. Mind certainly knew how to get what he wanted.
But others were not so happy with what was happening. They felt the so-called gifts Mind was offering set a trap for them. There was something about Mind they did not like and this made them suspicious. They kept to their old ways and were unwilling to make the changes that were suggested or asked for.
Things progressed, and quite a split grew between the two groups of people, as did the tension between them, causing even families to break up. In the marketplace and at other public places and events each group avoided the other. More and more people became very uncomfortable with the tension and succumbed to the power they could have in following Mind's lead. But even though the group following Mind became quite large and Heart's group was shrinking in size, the latter's conviction was strong enough to still make it a formidable presence.
Heart heard of all this and was dismayed and perplexed about what to do. She had always gotten along well with her people and the harmony had always been so sweet. She decided to wait until her meeting with Mind to get a better sense of what was happening.
At the appointed time, Mind arrived with a group of helpers to meet with Heart. Heart welcomed them and offered them refreshments. It did not take long for Mind to speak up. He said that the moment he arrived in Heart's territory he noticed the lack of progress within the land. People seemed to be happy, but much of their time was wasted with arduous tasks and working in a clumsy, mindless way and with cumbersome tools. He said people were living in ignorance and he was determined to contribute to the people of Heartland by improving their lives. He wanted to open their eyes to many things they had not been aware of, and to make changes that would enable them to be more effective in their lives. He said this would make everyone happier and things would get better. When Mind had finished speaking, all those who accompanied him nodded their heads and gave a grunt of approval.
Heart was silent. She felt things had been fine the way they were before and felt uncomfortable with what she was picking up from Mind and his new reform movement. She had always felt so close to her people and this was the first time she felt distanced from them. But she knew not how to respond and kept silent. When Mind had finished his monologue, Heart gracefully thanked him for coming and showed him and his cohorts to the door.
Mind's power progressively increased in Heartland, and people gradually forgot about Heart and their former gentle, sensitive ways of interacting with each other. It was true that life was in many ways easier and they were more effective in what they were doing, yet something was missing. Although they had emerged from ignorance, they kept hearing from the other group that they had become ignorant of something else. And what they heard had a feeling of resonance within them that they could not quite put their finger on.
Over the years, although the tension was still strong, the ways of Mind had become mainstream and hardly anyone was doubting their validity. One day Mind decided that since he thought things were now going so well, he would finally take a break from his work there and spend some time in Cloudland for a well-deserved vacation.
When Heart became aware that Mind was away, she wanted to spend some time again mingling with her people. Since the time of Mind's coming she had been supported by the group that kept true to the old ways and had stayed away from Mind's influence. At first she wanted to ask them to come with her so she could feel safe, but on reflection she felt it important to go alone. She gathered the courage within herself to risk being alone with her people, and she emerged to be with them again for the first time in many years.
She felt safer with Mind away, but nevertheless felt his presence in her people, so she walked quietly in the marketplace and the parks. She was so unobtrusive, at first the people hardly noticed her. But when they looked again, there was something about her that resonated deep within them. They had gotten out of touch with this, and felt on some level that they had missed it. They were not quite sure what it was, but they sensed there was a deep hole somewhere in their being. The skills and awareness they had received under Mind's influence had given them a sense of power and confidence, but it had also alienated them from others, and even from themselves and their work. More and more, their way of being showed an insensitivity to the life within and around them. But instead of waking up to this and hearing the calls of distress, they found comfort in engaging in their ways even more. They found this helped them to keep their mind off their discomfort, and it also enabled them to focus on the unattainable comfort they were desperately seeking. To support their ways they looked to Mind, who convincingly spoke to them of that better life which was just around the corner if they persisted. "Progress is the only way things change for the better," he kept telling them, and this made much sense to them.
But with their discomfort level increasing, a doubt developed about the validity of Mind's ways. And together with the emptiness they at first dimly but increasingly felt within themselves, as well as the faint memory of how things used to be with Heart, when they saw her walking amongst them, questions arose in their minds about their predicament. Silently but assuredly she returned their looks with warmth. With Mind away, they were no longer propped up by his presence and felt freer to entertain thoughts and feelings they had long ago that had become foreign to them.
When Mind returned from his vacation he immediately sensed something had changed when he noticed a group of people who were not as willing as before to engage in the ways he had taught them. It was not as if they were against him; it was rather that they were no longer at the ready beck and call of his influence as they had been. Mind felt a threat to this power and this made him uneasy. At first he tried to enforce his ways ever more powerfully so as to regain his authority, but the more he tried this the less effective he realized he was being with this group. The group decided to send a spokesperson to talk with Mind in an effort to make peace.
The spokesperson they chose was a young woman named Soul. She had embraced Mind's ways like the others and had gained from him the skills and awareness he offered and learned of their effectiveness and how useful they could be. But she had also become increasingly uncomfortable with what might be called their "side-effects". She was also uneasy with the tension between her new ways and what she had retained from the old ways, which she never entirely dismissed.
Up until this time, Soul had made a strong inner decision to sustain these tensions for she felt they somehow held an answer to her questions. In order not to let the stress get the better of her, she had created an inner container to hold it. It was this, together with her strength, determination and insight that enabled her to transform her inner tension into a creative tension. And so she accepted and lived with these inner pressures, although she knew she could not endure them forever.
One day when Mind was away Soul came upon Heart in the marketplace. From how Heart looked she knew at once that she needed to spend some time with her. Heart was glad to do so and during the time they spent together, she awoke in Soul all the memories of the life and ways that used to be. With the powers that Soul had gained from Mind, she was able to sort through all this in a way that could not have happened before. She came to understand Heart's ways in a new way and how they were different from those of Mind. Being with Heart and using the powers she had gained from Mind, this enabled her to distinguish between the tensions she bore and discern which were harmful or unnecessary, which she could then release. She came to see that Heart's ways were much more realistic than the vision Mind had spoken of, which was always in the future. She realized that this vision could in fact never be attained. But she also saw the value of what she had received from Mind in terms of putting the skills and awareness he offered in the service of Heart's way of being. During the time Soul spent with Heart, the feeling of emptiness within her had greatly diminished from the chasm it had been. Soul then knew that what she had received from Heart was more valuable than all else. In addition, Soul had gained an inner completeness in finding a place for both Heart and Mind.
When the day came for the meeting between Mind and Soul, Mind entered with a receptive disposition quite unlike before. Soul took the initiative and spoke clearly, quietly and confidently to Mind about what she had learned from Heart during his time away. She spoke to him of the many valuable things she had learned from him. She also told him also of the "side-effects" of his ways with their grave consequences of which even he had been unaware. Then she spoke of Heart's way of being and told Mind without question that this needed to take the place of the vision he had been offering them all this time.
As Mind listened to Soul, he was struck by the power, wisdom and insight in what she said. He knew she was expressing something he could not surpass, and realized his place was no longer to be master of the land as he had been. As he listened to Soul's words and voice, he came to recognize the value of Heart's ways as compared to his and agreed that these were true.
When they emerged from their meeting, Mind gave a speech to the assembled crowd in which he acknowledged his errors and how the time had come for everyone to follow not him but Heart. Soul next spoke of the fine gifts Mind had given them and expressed gratitude to him for them. Mind ended by saying that he had pledged himself to Heart's service and would put all his powers toward living the ways of Heart. Heart then came and joined Mind and Soul and expressed her gratitude to them both for the contributions they had given to Heartland. Mind bowed to Heart, after which all three stood before the people and bowed low. Everyone was jubilant and they cheered and cheered.
Heartland soon became a new place. Everyone is now treated with care and justice and there is harmony as before. But life is not as cumbersome as it had been, thanks to Mind's contribution. And when a difficulty arises that will not go away, Heart or Mind or Soul is asked to come and help. Insight, wisdom, compassion, and/or inspiration is offered which generally resolves the issue. If it persists, the other two are called in to offer their assistance. So far nothing has been found to be impossible for the three of them working together.
Heartland is now a model of how life can be and receives many visitors eager to learn of its ways. Because life is so different there, at first they are somewhat disoriented. But they feel so welcome and safe and supported in their own being that they quickly grow accustomed to the ways of Heartland. And just in being there, their ability to listen is enhanced, and before long they begin to listen in a new way. They listen to others, to themselves, and they listen to the sound of their own soul voice. They soon learn to follow that voice to guide them in their feelings and thoughts and in what they do, and this makes their time joyful and meaningful. In returning home they bring with them a new way of life that they can share with their people, and they do so with heart, mind and soul.
Hesperides | Bridge to Other Worlds | Heartland | The Hymn of the Pearl | The Frog
The Godson | The Emperor's Old Clothes | The Gypsy King | Gamuchi and the Abyss