The mind is forever yearning, In this world of turmoil and strife. Those who see beyond the horizon, Are aware of eternal life. - George Rapanos
The Hidden Teasure Myth
"A Pearl of Great Worth"
Abandon thy-self all those who enter here.
Photograph by George Rapanos
Myth is one form of the analogical approach to the absolute, and represent a clothing of the Infinite in positive, metaphorical, and finite terms. Like the weaver of fine cloth, the mystic spun tales and legends of wisdom into an amazing tapestry of the human spirit. Wisdom is the awareness of "Truth" and the soul's acceptance of the labyrinthine nature of the human condition.
By George Rapanos
It is only with the heart that one can see clearly.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.
Painting by Susan Boulet
A myth is not to be taken literally. Myths are concerned with the timeless and the constant and direct our attention to the eternal and the universal. Myths look back to the deepest level of the human consciousness and its meaning. A myth cannot be demonstrated by rational proof; its insights are more intuitive. A myth enables a person to apprehend a deeper current of existence. It may remain abstract to most in rather the same way as a musical score remains opaque to most of us and needs to be interpreted instrumentally before we can appreciate its beauty.
A Hidden Treasure
To Life Eternal
Life is more than an adventure
Once beyond time there was a prince seeking a spiritual kingdom. He wandered into a dark and vast forest and became lost. While searching to find his way out, he heard a soft sweet melody that delighted him. It coaxed him so sweetly, sounding so charming, so childlike and loving that he was compelled to follow the enchanting melody deeper into the forest.
He came upon a magically lit clearing where he saw an angelic creature, celebrating a mystery, playing that soft sweet melody on her golden flute. Her radiant beauty and the sound of her music went to his soul. He was bewitched. Her entire being glowed with pure grace. She was the princess of his dreams. As she played, the forest flashed with mystical light, and the prince became frightened and instinctively drew his sword. When the fairy princess saw him do this, she vanished, and so did the sound of her music.
The beauty of the princess and the melody of her flute haunted the prince wherever he went. A spell had been cast upon him, and he had no choice but to seek that which had frightened him and had also brought him much joy. Being separated from that moment caused him pain and suffering.
He thought of her constantly. He had never seen her before and did not know where she had come from, or where she had gone. Filled with both hope and fear he searched every part of the forest around his earthly kingdom, yet he searched in vain. Although she had disappeared, her presence was always with him. Was it a dream? He cried out, "God, may this be reality and not a dream; but if it is a dream, let me dream on!" From that very moment the prince became aware of a love that gave his life its true meaning.
He knew that he must find her and he continued his quest. His journey brought him to a wise old sage who was reputed to have guided many men to their ultimate destinies. The sage told the prince that what he was seeking was not a dream but could only be found in the dark recesses of an enchanted castle built by a vain and unhapppy queen.
She had built this castle so strong that it would be very difficult for anyone to penetrate it. Outside the walls were stone, inside they were covered with a thousand mirrors. The queen needed these mirrors to give her or anyone who looked upon them the illusion of life, but the cold, empty rooms only reflected her own emptiness.
The sage told the prince that the queen's daughter lived in this vast, deserted castle and was the beautiful, mysterious princess whom he sought. She was kept a prisoner in this castle by a spell her mother had cast on her when she was a little girl. The princess was told that she "should not," and "ought not," leave the castle; this spell and the mirrors made her unable to find her way out.
The sage said that it was written in the stars that her spirit comes out at night and plays a soft, sweet melody with the hopes that someday, someone will hear her call and come to be rescued.
It had also been written that a gallant prince would come and, if his love and resolve were strong enough, and if he pursued her with a pure heart and with sincere intent, he would eventually penetrate The castle walls and find the love he was seeking. Then the prince and the princess would live forever in the enchanted forest, a mystical land, with eternal love in the spirit and kingdom of God.
The sage also told the prince how to find the castle and warned him that the road was long and difficult to follow. Although the wise man described many dangers, he also said, "Follow you heart. If one's heart is pure and true to his dream, he will find and win whatever he is seeking."
After his long and arduous journey, the prince finally reached the dark and forbidding castle. He knocked on the door but no one answered. He shouted for someone to let him in and, again no one answered. What lay beyond? What perils threatened? What dangers awaited on the other side of the door?
His terrified soul held his heart captive and he considered turning back. Overcoming his fear, he gathered his courage and lifted the latch. The mighty door swung open.
His mind told him to run, that his search was in vain, but his heart told him to remain. Such was his need that his courage cast away his fear and he entered.
The memory of the melody of the flute and the beauty of the princess pulled him into the unknown. He lit a candle and drew his sword. Suddenly, he was faced with a thousand men, all with lighted candles and drawn swords. The reflection of the candles in the mirrors created a brilliant light, and in the terror of that moment he knew what he had to do. To continue his quest for the princess, he must do battle with each and every one of the warriors he saw.
Standing before him were one thousand warriors, ready for battle. He became aggressive and the warriors became aggressive. He raised his sword against these overwhelming odds and charged. As he struck at his foes, he heard the sound of breaking glass.
He pulled back and to his surprise, his thousand adversaries pulled back. In a gesture of humility, he surrendered his sword. At the same moment, the thousand warriors who faced him also surrendered their swords.
Bewildered by what had happpened, he picked up a piece of glass that lay at his feet. Upon looking at it, he saw a warrior and realized that it was none other than himself. The pieces of glass were only parts of a mirror and the warriors he faced were only reflections of himself. He looked deep into the mirrors and became aware that he was alone and the enemy was himself.
At that very moment the barrier between him and what he loved and sought, melted away. All the warriors had disappeared. What he had perceived as terrifying was merely an illusion. With this realization the prince left the dark, sinister castle with a new-found freedom.
As he walked from the castle, a sudden gust of wind blew out the candle and the castle walls crumbled into ruins. To his bewilderment, he was still bathed in a brilliant light from an unutterable source of existence.
Once again he heard the angelic music that had haunted his soul. He turned and saw the radiantly beautiful princess playing her golden flute.
He approached her filled with the grace of an ideal love. A sense of timelessness came over him and he truly believed the mystical power that had brought them together had united their souls in the spirit of love.
The prince shouted, "Here I Am, the goal of life. Here I Am, all life! This is the only reality that has ever existed, or that will ever exist." At that moment he realized he and the princess and the power that brought them together were one.
The Hidden Treasure
"The Pearl of Great Worth"
There is a Hidden Treasure,
Most search for it in vain.
It comes down from heaven,
And it falls like the rain.
This treasure is not one of silver,
This treasure is not one of gold.
The source of this hidden treasure,
Lies deep within one's soul.
A treasure more precious than silver,
A treasure more precious than gold.
To find this hidden treasure,
You must look within your soul.
- George Rapanos
There is a basic longing that lies at the depths of the human heart. Myth attempts to express its fulfillment. Myth attempts to anchor itself in the final nature of things, which conquers death itself. Myth stretches our imagination to its limit and goes on to assure us that we can have what we reach for. It is the spark of divinity that God plants in human beings that initiates the journey in the first place. God is the real agent in the wooing, as well as its object. "God becoming man that man might become God."
"Myth embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words."