KWMLover, Amor

September 3-4, 2017

“I think we’re going to the moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul … we’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream.” Neil Armstrong

From where I stand, it seems like there’s no more night and day, they are both slowly fading away. The Brightest Light is constantly projecting Its highest quality photons straight into my core. Perhaps, is more than a projection, I AM Its Sanctuary. All the Beauty I can experience, absorb and behold, with the limitations of my physical senses and filtered by my brain’s visual cortex, is but a dim reflection of Its Source — the only One who can truly satisfy the deepest yearning for the Beauty that my heart truly desires. Interestingly, this perception, this constant awareness of what’s behind the matrix doesn’t diminish the re-created beauty molded by quantum invisible forces using plain gray matter, it enhances it. Because of this increasingly awakened state of becoming more ‘in love,’ of being filled with IT [ the fuel our engines are designed to burn on, ] the Life in me can better appreciate even the holographic hollow moon in the September night sky, when she wants to be seen in all her different forms and apparitions, fully illuminated by our solar system’s sun or partially hiding behind dark-grey clouds. Even the night herself, like the most dazzling shaped reflection of Eve on a very special date, showing in her smooth hands, the tips of her fingers’ delicately and perfectly sculpted French manicured nails, waiting to be noticed … the small details, like the waxing or wanning crescent moon, shadowed by Earth. Beauty, with that look of love in her eyes, … Femininity at its best, contained and bottled in the most enchanting and queenly fashioned Eve, just waiting and wanting to be gently but firmly touched, as a prelude to a passionate kiss, enriched by the smell, taste and texture of the finest wine, at the sound of a mid-slow tempo Bossa-Nova jazz piece played by seasoned musicians, by the ocean, … making music and making love from a distance. Altering the brainwaves, stirring the fire, the desire that possesses and consumes our lower senses, with our permission, leading us to the deepest and most ecstatic and intoxicatingly heavely-hellish experience possible on this side of Creation — a taste of Eternity, — before waking up in each others’ arms with an even more increased and intensified sense that we were made for so much more, … for a Life that is partially now, but is yet to come, … the New Heaven and the New Earth, Eden 2.0.

“… Lumiere, darling / Lumiere over me / Lumiere, darling / Lumiere over me / Lumiere, darling / Lumiere over me …” – E.S., Tenerife Sea

“We believe that the Lover, by whatever name, is the primal energy pattern of what we could call vividness, aliveness, and passion. It lives through the great primal hungers of our species for sex, food, well-being, reproduction, creative adaptation to life’s hardships, and ultimately a sense of meaning, without which human beings cannot go on with their lives. The Lover’s drive is to satisfy those hungers.” Robert Moore

Nothing is more meaningful than Beauty … “One thing I desire and I seek most — to gaze upon the beauty of the Creator.” King David

Full Moon | Hortus Conclusus

Monday, August 7, 2017

Illuminated and dazzling
Behold how tonight She is
Receiving photons from the Sun
Like a bride enjoying a kiss

Displaying Her beautiful form
After yesterday’s wild storm
Tonight as one of the tastiest cocktails
Classily unveiling Her surface’s details

Glamorous, adoring and captivating
The resplendently ravishing Full Moon
Displaying Her alluring circumference
Mesmerizing sight for Her Groom

In the enclosure of a walled garden
We strengthen our souls
Who we really are
Learning to love blades of grass
The Universe’s Maker
And each and every Star

When we are truly in love
Our world’s naturally energized
The King, Warrior, Magician and Lover
Adding order and passion to the civilized

// GR

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

No one can successfully play
The Eternal King’s role in our world
No One’s as Great as He is
Regardless of what we’ve been told

Earthly Kings can only be Great
When in sync with the Immortal One
Eternal destiny over fate
Completing the work that He has began

Hortus Conclusus
Where the Immortal enters the heart
Life, more than mere existence
Consolidating identity, our eternal part

Trusting, bonding with Nature
In a peculiarly different way
Working on what lasts forever
In a manner words can convey

To Eternity, we only take who we are
What we do here reflects the Everlasting
If we do it from the same Heart
Matter stays renewing itself
We gladly proceed to a brand-new start

// GR

Accessing The King

“The first task in accessing the King energy for would-be human “kings” is to disidentify our Egos from it. We need to achieve what psychologists call cognitive distance from the King in both his integrated fullness and his split bipolar shadow forms. Realistic greatness in adult life, as opposed to inflation and grandiosity, involves recognizing our proper relationship to this and the other mature masculine energies. That proper relationship is like that of a planet to the star it is orbiting. The planet is not the center of the star system; the star is. The planet’s job is to keep the proper orbital distance from the life-giving, but also potentially death-dealing, star so as to enhance its own life and well-being. The planet derives its life from the star, so it has a transpersonal object in the star for “adoration.” Or, to use another image, the Ego of the mature man needs to think of itself—no matter what status or power it has temporarily achieved—as the servant of a transpersonal Will, or Cause.”

Robert Moore | KWML

An American Hero

John McCain, 80, recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, is a great example of what it is to be a true patriot a lover of his nation. A man who doesn’t have deep affection for anything, who’s life is not surrendered to a cause greater than himself, is an unfortunate soul. John is a brave maverick who, as a prisoner of war, courageously endured five and a half years of excruciating hardship in the hands of the enemies of liberty in Vietnam. Worse than what he had to go through is to be similarly deprived of liberty and mistreated by one’s own, when they choose to take side with wickedness and punish the godly. McCain, an American hero, has devotedly served America, the cause of freedom, for almost his entire life.

“Nothing in life is more liberating than to fight for a cause larger than yourself, something that encompasses you but is not defined by your existence alone.” ― John McCain, Faith of My Fathers

“Ironically for someone who had so long asserted his own individuality as his first and best defense against insults of any kind, I discovered that faith in myself proved to be the least formidable strength I possessed when confronting alone organized inhumanity on a greater scale than I had conceived possible. Faith in myself was important, and remains important to my self-esteem. But I discovered in prison that faith in myself alone, separate from other, more important allegiances, was ultimately no match for the cruelty that human beings could devise when they were entirely unencumbered by respect for the God given dignity of man. This is the lesson I learned in prison. It is, perhaps, the most important lesson I have ever learned.” ― John McCain, Faith of My Fathers

My prayers go out to him and to his loved ones during this uncomfortable and trying time in their lives, knowing, with unfailing assurance, that the Creator is and will be present with them as they go through it.

I’m thankful for his life, for his family, and for all those who believe, serve, love, endure, fight, … and pursue what’s in their hearts, whatever that is, with an unwavering faith, even during times when many seem to be inclined to cynicism, disbelief, skepticism, pessimism and a plethora of negativity that can only be conquered by the strength and the power in and around those who know that in the end, love, hope, truth, justice, mercy, grace, freedom, dreams, the essence and the fires of Heaven, will win, penetrate and permeate the entire Earth.

Best wishes to a champion,

Gelson Rocha

First image: Supercarrier USS Harry S. Truman | Second image: John McCain with his squadron [ front right ] and T-2 Buckeye trainer, 1965

Mastering The Two Worlds

The God in me recognizes the God in you. Innocence » Death and Destruction » Knowledge and Wisdom.

This past week, I pulled this picture from my archives and remembered some of the main life events that were not just calling me but urging and driving me to be more conscious about the inner journey. I was, somehow, partially good at avoiding it. Among many reasons, I really enjoyed the busyness of life and the inner work, or soul work, is a slow process and it takes a lot of discipline. Being very impatient as I used to be, I tried to avoid it for as long as I could, until the eyes of my heart were forced to pay more attention to what’s inside; to be more intentional about learning the inner-dynamics and more open to the ways of the heart. Some people become more conscientious about the inner work early, others later on in their lives. Yet, others seem to go through an entire lifetime without ever doing it and without ever knowing why we are here.

As I looked at the picture, I quickly recalled one of the movies I saw back then. “People are afraid of what’s inside, and that’s the only place they’re ever gonna find what they need.” Peaceful Warrior

“… Friend: Wait a minute. You’re letting somebody else coach you? Dan: No. Friend: Well, what’s he doing to you? ‘Cause you look like crap. Dan: I don’t know. I don’t know what he’s doing to me. Friend: You better get away from it, Middleman. We got qualifiers in four weeks and you’re looking like a worthless piece of shit …”

If you haven’t seen this movie, outside of the entire context, you may not get the full meaning of the dialog between the two young individuals.

Although, I never broke any of my physical legs or any other limbs beside my nose when I was a small kid, and even though, I know that there is a lot more to the process than the philosophy presented in this movie — I’m not a pacifist, — Peaceful Warrior was and is a good metaphor for some of the dynamics of the heart. As stated by Robert Bly, “Being lied to by older men amounts to a broken leg.” Like all of us, I had a lot of work to do, including a ‘broken leg’, and I still have more soul-labor as I proceed to embrace and integrate the two poles of my own shadows and to navigate my character through this Eternal Fairy Tale we’re all a part of and are writing with every choice we make, out-of-sync or synchronized with our truest destinies.

Wisdom is the essential basis of true greatness. Reasoning processes alone cannot know, perceive and achieve the knowledge of truth. Only Omniscience knows all truth and have Real Wisdom. Great individuals like George Washington learned to perceive and to receive truth directly from the Source.

“I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.”

Campbell’s Seventeen Stages.

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” Joseph Campbell

I. Departure

1. The Call to Adventure

The hero begins in a situation of normality from which some information is received that acts as a call to head off into the unknown.

Campbell: “… [ the call of adventure is to ] a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state; but it is always a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, super human deeds, and impossible delight. The hero can go forth of his own volition to accomplish the adventure, as did Theseus when he arrived in his father’s city, Athens, and heard the horrible history of the Minotaur; or he may be carried or sent abroad by some benign or malignant agent as was Odysseus, driven about the Mediterranean by the winds of the angered god, Poseidon. The adventure may begin as a mere blunder … or still again, one may be only casually strolling when some passing phenomenon catches the wandering eye and lures one away from the frequented paths of man. Examples might be multiplied, ad infinitum, from every corner of the world.”

2. Refusal of the Call

Often when the call is given, the future hero first refuses to heed it. This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.

Campbell: “Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture,’ the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless — even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire or renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.”

3. Supernatural Aid

Once the hero has committed to the quest, consciously or unconsciously, his guide and magical helper appears or becomes known. More often than not, this supernatural mentor will present the hero with one or more talismans or artifacts that will aid him later in his quest.

Campbell: “For those who have not refused the call, the first encounter of the hero journey is with a protective figure [ often a little old crone or old man ] who provides the adventurer with amulets against the dragon forces he is about to pass. What such a figure represents is the benign, protecting power of destiny. The fantasy is a reassurance — promise that the peace of Paradise, which was known first within the mother womb, is not to be lost; that it supports the present and stands in the future as well as in the past [ is omega as well as alpha; ] that though omnipotence may seem to be endangered by the threshold passages and life awakenings, protective power is always and ever present within or just behind the unfamiliar features of the world. One has only to know and trust, and the ageless guardians will appear. Having responded to his own call, and continuing to follow courageously as the consequences unfold, the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side. Mother Nature herself supports the mighty task. And in so far as the hero’s act coincides with that for which his society is ready, he seems to ride on the great rhythm of the historical process.”

4. Crossing the First Threshold

This is the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, leaving the known limits of his or her world and venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm where the rules and limits are unknown.

Campbell: “With the personifications of his destiny to guide and aid him, the hero goes forward in his adventure until he comes to the ‘threshold guardian’ at the entrance to the zone of magnified power. Such custodians bound the world in four directions — also up and down — standing for the limits of the hero’s present sphere, or life horizon. Beyond them is darkness, the unknown and danger; just as beyond the parental watch is danger to the infant and beyond the protection of his society danger to the members of the tribe. The usual person is more than content, he is even proud, to remain within the indicated bounds, and popular belief gives him every reason to fear so much as the first step into the unexplored. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown; the powers that watch at the boundary are dangerous; to deal with them is risky; yet for anyone with competence and courage the danger fades.”

5. Belly of the Whale

The belly of the whale represents the final separation from the hero’s known world and self. By entering this stage, the person shows willingness to undergo a metamorphosis. When First entering the stage the hero may encounter a minor danger or set back.

Campbell: “The idea that the passage of the magical threshold is a transit into a sphere of rebirth is symbolized in the worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale. The hero, instead of conquering or conciliating the power of the threshold, is swallowed into the unknown and would appear to have died. This popular motif gives emphasis to the lesson that the passage of the threshold is a form of self-annihilation. Instead of passing outward, beyond the confines of the visible world, the hero goes inward, to be born again. The disappearance corresponds to the passing of a worshipper into a temple — where he is to be quickened by the recollection of who and what he is, namely dust and ashes unless immortal. The temple interior, the belly of the whale, and the heavenly land beyond, above, and below the confines of the world, are one and the same. That is why the approaches and entrances to temples are flanked and defended by colossal gargoyles: dragons, lions, devil-slayers with drawn swords, resentful dwarfs, winged bulls. The devotee at the moment of entry into a temple undergoes a metamorphosis. Once inside he may be said to have died to time and returned to the World Womb, the World Navel, the Earthly Paradise. Allegorically, then, the passage into a temple and the hero-dive through the jaws of the whale are identical adventures, both denoting in picture language, the life-centering, life-renewing act.”

II. Initiation

6. The Road of Trials

The road of trials is a series of tests that the person must undergo to begin the transformation. Often the person fails one or more of these tests, which often occur in threes.

Campbell: “Once having traversed the threshold, the hero moves in a dream landscape of curiously fluid, ambiguous forms, where he must survive a succession of trials. This is a favorite phase of the myth-adventure. It has produced a world literature of miraculous tests and ordeals. The hero is covertly aided by the advice, amulets, and secret agents of the supernatural helper whom he met before his entrance into this region. Or it may be that he here discovers for the first time that there is a benign power everywhere supporting him in his superhuman passage. The original departure into the land of trials represented only the beginning of the long and really perilous path of initiatory conquests and moments of illumination. Dragons have now to be slain and surprising barriers passed — again, again, and again. Meanwhile there will be a multitude of preliminary victories, unretainable ecstasies and momentary glimpses of the wonderful land.”

7. The Meeting with the Goddess

Campbell: “The ultimate adventure, when all the barriers and ogres have been overcome, is commonly represented as a mystical marriage of the triumphant hero-soul with the Queen Goddess of the World. This is the crisis at the nadir, the zenith, or at the uttermost edge of the earth, at the central point of the cosmos, in the tabernacle of the temple, or within the darkness of the deepest chamber of the heart. The meeting with the goddess [ who is incarnate in every woman ] is the final test of the talent of the hero to win the boon of love [ charity: amor fati, ] which is life itself enjoyed as the encasement of eternity. And when the adventurer, in this context, is not a youth but a maid, she is the one who, by her qualities, her beauty, or her yearning, is fit to become the consort of an immortal. Then the heavenly husband descends to her and conducts her to his bed — whether she will or not. And if she has shunned him, the scales fall from her eyes; if she has sought him, her desire finds its peace.”

8. Woman as Temptress

In this step, the hero faces those temptations, often of a physical or pleasurable nature, that may lead him or her to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life, since the hero-knight was often tempted by lust from his spiritual journey.

Campbell: “The crux of the curious difficulty lies in the fact that our conscious views of what life ought to be seldom correspond to what life really is. Generally we refuse to admit within ourselves, or within our friends, the fullness of that pushing, self-protective, malodorous, carnivorous, lecherous fever which is the very nature of the organic cell. Rather, we tend to perfume, whitewash, and reinterpret; meanwhile imagining that all the flies in the ointment, all the hairs in the soup, are the faults of some unpleasant someone else. But when it suddenly dawns on us, or is forced to our attention that everything we think or do is necessarily tainted with the odor of the flesh, then, not uncommonly, there is experienced a moment of revulsion: life, the acts of life, the organs of life, woman in particular as the great symbol of life, become intolerable to the pure, the pure, pure soul. The seeker of the life beyond life must press beyond [ the woman, ] surpass the temptations of her call, and soar to the immaculate ether beyond.”

9. Atonement with the Father

In this step the person must confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in his or her life. In many myths and stories this is the father, or a father figure who has life and death power. This is the center point of the journey. All the previous steps have been moving into this place, all that follow will move out from it. Although this step is most frequently symbolized by an encounter with a male entity, it does not have to be a male; just someone or thing with incredible power.

Campbell: “Atonement consists in no more than the abandonment of that self-generated double monster — the dragon thought to be God [ superego ] and the dragon thought to be Sin [ repressed id, ] But this requires an abandonment of the attachment to ego itself, and that is what is difficult. One must have a faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy. Therewith, the center of belief is transferred outside of the bedeviling god’s tight scaly ring, and the dreadful ogres dissolve. It is in this ordeal that the hero may derive hope and assurance from the helpful female figure, by whose magic [ pollen charms or power of intercession ] he is protected through all the frightening experiences of the father’s ego-shattering initiation. For if it is impossible to trust the terrifying father-face, then one’s faith must be centered elsewhere [ Spider Woman, Blessed Mother; ] and with that reliance for support, one endures the crisis — only to find, in the end, that the father and mother reflect each other, and are in essence the same. The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being. The hero transcends life with its peculiar blind spot and for a moment rises to a glimpse of the source. He beholds the face of the father, understands — and the two are atoned.”

10. Apotheosis

This is the point of realization in which a greater understanding is achieved. Armed with this new knowledge and perception, the hero is resolved and ready for the more difficult part of the adventure

Campbell: “Those who know, not only that the Everlasting lies in them, but that what they, and all things, really are is the Everlasting, dwell in the groves of the wish fulfilling trees, drink the brew of immortality, and listen everywhere to the unheard music of eternal concord.”

11. The Ultimate Boon

The ultimate boon is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps serve to prepare and purify the person for this step, since in many myths the boon is something transcendent like the elixir of life itself, or a plant that supplies immortality, or the holy grail.

Campbell: “The gods and goddesses then are to be understood as embodiments and custodians of the elixir of Imperishable Being but not themselves the Ultimate in its primary state. What the hero seeks through his intercourse with them is therefore not finally themselves, but their grace, i.e., the power of their sustaining substance. This miraculous energy-substance and this alone is the Imperishable; the names and forms of the deities who everywhere embody, dispense, and represent it come and go. This is the miraculous energy of the thunderbolts of Zeus, Yahweh, and the Supreme Buddha, the fertility of the rain of Viracocha, the virtue announced by the bell rung in the Mass at the consecration, and the light of the ultimate illumination of the saint and sage. Its guardians dare release it only to the duly proven.”

III. Return

12. Refusal of the Return

Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow the boon onto his fellow man.

Campbell: “When the hero-quest has been accomplished, through penetration to the source, or through the grace of some male or female, human or animal, personification, the adventurer still must return with his life-transmuting trophy. The full round, the norm of the monomyth, requires that the hero shall now begin the labor of bringing the runes of wisdom, the Golden Fleece, or his sleeping princess, back into the kingdom of humanity, where the boon may redound to the renewing of the community, the nation, the planet or the ten thousand worlds. But the responsibility has been frequently refused. Even Gautama Buddha, after his triumph, doubted whether the message of realization could be communicated, and saints are reported to have died while in the supernal ecstasy. Numerous indeed are the heroes fabled to have taken up residence forever in the blessed isle of the unaging Goddess of Immortal Being.”

13. The Magic Flight

Sometimes the hero must escape with the boon, if it is something that the gods have been jealously guarding. It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it.

Campbell: “If the hero in his triumph wins the blessing of the goddess or the god and is then explicitly commissioned to return to the world with some elixir for the restoration of society, the final stage of his adventure is supported by all the powers of his supernatural patron. On the other hand, if the trophy has been attained against the opposition of its guardian, or if the hero’s wish to return to the world has been resented by the gods or demons, then the last stage of the mythological round becomes a lively, often comical, pursuit. This flight may be complicated by marvels of magical obstruction and evasion.”

14. Rescue from Without

Just as the hero may need guides and assistants to set out on the quest, often he or she must have powerful guides and rescuers to bring them back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.

Campbell: “The hero may have to be brought back from his supernatural adventure by assistance from without. That is to say, the world may have to come and get him. For the bliss of the deep abode is not lightly abandoned in favor of the self-scattering of the wakened state. ‘Who having cast off the world,’ we read, ‘would desire to return again? He would be only there.’ And yet, in so far as one is alive, life will call. Society is jealous of those who remain away from it, and will come knocking at the door. If the hero … is unwilling, the disturber suffers an ugly shock; but on the other hand, if the summoned one is only delayed — sealed in by the beatitude of the state of perfect being [ which resembles death ] — an apparent rescue is effected, and the adventurer returns.”

15. The Crossing of the Return Threshold

The trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest, to integrate that wisdom into a human life, and then maybe figure out how to share the wisdom with the rest of the world.

Campbell: “The returning hero, to complete his adventure, must survive the impact of the world. Many failures attest to the difficulties of this life-affirmative threshold. The first problem of the returning hero is to accept as real, after an experience of the soul-satisfying vision of fulfillment, the passing joys and sorrows, banalities and noisy obscenities of life. Why re-enter such a world? Why attempt to make plausible, or even interesting, to men and women consumed with passion, the experience of transcendental bliss? As dreams that were momentous by night may seem simply silly in the light of day, so the poet and the prophet can discover themselves playing the idiot before a jury of sober eyes. The easy thing is to commit the whole community to the devil and retire again into the heavenly rock dwelling, close the door, and make it fast. But if some spiritual obstetrician has drawn the shimenawa across the retreat, then the work of representing eternity in time, and perceiving in time eternity, cannot be avoided” The hero returns to the world of common day and must accept it as real.

16. Master of Two Worlds

This step is usually represented by a transcendental hero like Jesus or Gautama Buddha. For a human hero, it may mean achieving a balance between the material and spiritual. The person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.

Campbell: “Freedom to pass back and forth across the world division, from the perspective of the apparitions of time to that of the causal deep and back — not contaminating the principles of the one with those of the other, yet permitting the mind to know the one by virtue of the other — is the talent of the master. The Cosmic Dancer, declares Nietzsche, does not rest heavily in a single spot, but gaily, lightly, turns and leaps from one position to another. It is possible to speak from only one point at a time, but that does not invalidate the insights of the rest. The individual, through prolonged psychological disciplines, gives up completely all attachment to his personal limitations, idiosyncrasies, hopes and fears, no longer resists the self-annihilation that is prerequisite to rebirth in the realization of truth, and so becomes ripe, at last, for the great at-one-ment. His personal ambitions being totally dissolved, he no longer tries to live but willingly relaxes to whatever may come to pass in him; he becomes, that is to say, an anonymity.”

17. Freedom to Live

Mastery leads to freedom from the fear of death, which in turn is the freedom to live. This is sometimes referred to as living in the moment, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past.

Campbell: “The hero is the champion of things becoming, not of things become, because he is. “Before Abraham was, I AM.” He does not mistake apparent changelessness in time for the permanence of Being, nor is he fearful of the next moment [ or of the ‘other thing’, ] as destroying the permanent with its change. ‘Nothing retains its own form; but Nature, the greater renewer, ever makes up forms from forms. Be sure there’s nothing perishes in the whole universe; it does but vary and renew its form.’ Thus the next moment is permitted to come to pass.”

“Now, God is Spirit, where the Spirit is there is freedom.” Paul | 2 Corinthians 3:17

Campbell, Joseph (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1st ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. (2nd ed. 1968, 3rd ed. 2008).’s_journey

Christ | SDI 2nd Tier Leader

The journey of Christ [ The Way ] is a perfect example of this trajectory … | Book of John, Chapter 17 | Christ’s Last Prayer before Crucifixion and Resurrection | Re-connecting the Two Worlds … on Earth as it is in Heaven.


SEALs Ethos. Warrior Gold.

Am I religious? No. Am I irreligious? No. What am I? I AM.
A man by nature, and a God, supernaturally. Imago-Dei.
“… beyond the range of human categories.” J. C.

Values that every man should live by.

In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me — my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.

The Divine God-Energy that flows in our veins

As I’ve been pondering on how we’ve been raising most of our boys and on how many systems have seemed to be designed or are evolving in manners and directions that are antithetical to how boys are naturally wired, I’ve been thinking about how is imperative that we should reevaluate and redesign those systems in ways that honor the natural flow of life within the masculine psyche. Why is this so important? Because our external structures, including the political structures are a reflection of our inner structures, and vice-versa.

“Keep watch over your heart with all diligence, because from it flow the springs of life.” King Solomon | Book of Wisdom

There are, perchance, many young and older men feeling [ not an emotion ] like they have to run or hide because they know they have a multifaceted golden nature, but most don’t know what to do with it, or perhaps they live surrounded by cultural norms and organizations that are not aware of or are suppressing the healthy ontogeny and expression of the different aspects of the fully integrated masculine essence. The fire, passion, energy, needs to be harnessed, not sought to be extinguished, which leads to internal convulsions. | “Do not quench the Spirit.” Paul | 1 Thess. 5:19

Last week, I recollected a Tim McGraw song I first heard about a decade ago, written by Brett James, Chris Lindsey, Troy Verges, Aimee Mayo, that clearly illustrates and vocalizes the experience.

“In my home town / For anyone who sticks around / You’re either lost or you’re found / There’s not much in between / In my home town / Everything’s still black and white / It’s a long, long way from wrong to right / From Sunday morning to Saturday night / Everybody just wants to get high / Sit and watch a perfect world go by / We’re all looking for love and meaning in our lives / We follow the roads that lead us / To drugs or Jesus … / My whole life, I’ve tried to run, I’ve tried to hide / From the stained-glass windows in my mind / Refusing to let God’s light shine down on me, down on me …” Drugs or Jesus

“Religion can’t sozo you because to enter God’s Eternal Kingdom [ Sacred Order ] you need the new birth.” Book of John 3:1-7. Irreligion can’t lead one on the path of the new birth either. It doesn’t have a blueprint for the rediscovery of the inner temple. “The place that Solomon made to worship in, … Every part of it is intelligence and responsive to every other … This heart sanctuary does exist, but it can’t be described.” Rumi

There’s an old saying in the Sacred Scriptures that people perish for lack of knowledge and understanding. Gentleman, there is a third road! The Initiatory Masculine Sequence [ IMS. ] It begins with red, it goes to white, and then to black. Particularly, I believe the red and the white should be cultivated in parallel to each other, even when the energies seem to be more overwhelming during different stages, which makes my understanding more inclined to the King, Warrior, Magician, Lover [ KWML ] archetypal theory proposed by Robert Moore in his researches. To know more about it, study some of the teachings from Robert Bly and Robert Moore and you’ll better understand the flow of the energies, including the king energy, which seeks to establish internal and external balance and order.

The meaning of the IMS colors are not the same as the Spiral Dynamics Integrated [ SDI ] color scheme, but if you study both concepts, plus the KWML, and if your mind can grasp and cognize it, you should be able to notice how the theories overlap and can be fused, assimilated and organized into an integrated matrix — a quadrant around a spiritual core, the heart of hearts, which is connected to the invisible world; the other world.

“… They go form red to green and so I just drive into the night …” Take Me Dancing | “… I got a cure for the country’s ills … I been thinking ’bout, thinking ’bout …” Sacred Love | Sting

I haven’t checked the latest statistics on this, but results from a research published around the year 2014 showed that about 6,400,000 children between ages of four and seventeen have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. By high school, nearly 20% of all boys, while in their more naturally reddish [ rubedo ] phase, will be diagnosed with ADHD. Their natural aggression needs to be honored and developed under the supervision of mentors and elders, not suppressed or medicated.

“According to manufacturers of ADHD stimulants, they are associated with sudden death in children who have heart problems, whether those heart problems have been previously detected or not. They can bring on a bipolar condition in a child who didn’t exhibit any symptoms of such a disorder before taking stimulants.” Esquire Magazine

It’s really sad when we use our sophisticated scientific knowledge, separate from wisdom, to increase our senseless depravity, when it should be used the other way around. That is not how we build the Eternal Kingdom from the inside-out, totally missing and bypassing one of the main components — our hearts.

The individuals who’ve suppressed their red energy, who’ve had their sacred warrior energy not blessed, unrecognized, underdeveloped, shamed, medicated or misdirected, … which comprehensively includes most people, will have to bring the suppressed or incorrectly used energies to a more conscious surface, in an appropriate environment [ Liminal Space, ] in order to be healed, cultivated and then used as contribution to the hearty and vigorous betterment and protection of our civilization.

Below is an excerpt from one of my favorite presidents, as he was positively and in a blessed manner, recognizing and making reference to the value of our great warriors:

“Winston Churchill said of those he knew in World War II they seemed to be the only young men who could laugh and fight at the same time. A great general in that war called them our secret weapon, “just the best darn kids in the world.” Each died for a cause he considered more important than his own life. Well, they didn’t volunteer to die; they volunteered to defend values for which men have always been willing to die if need be, the values which make up what we call civilization.” Ronand Reagan | May 31, 1982

Rochambeau: a swift kick to the groin.

The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln at Antietam October 3, 1862 “In The Darkest Hour”

“I have felt His hand upon me in great trials and submitted to His guidance.” Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863

On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner referred to the most famous speech ever given by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called the Gettysburg Address a “monumental act.” He said Lincoln was mistaken that “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Rather, the Bostonian remarked, “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech.”

While he may have had the intention to elevate the importance of the speech, the Senator, in his faulty rationalization, completely missed the point that people live to write speeches because battles are fought and won. Words fall short when it comes to conveying the depth of the meaning of the sacred deaths of those who offer up their lives to fight for a noble cause, which is part of the very core idea of Lincoln’s speech.

There are five known copies of the speech in Lincoln’s handwriting, each with a slightly different text, and named for the people who first received them: Nicolay, Hay, Everett, Bancroft and Bliss. Two copies apparently were written before delivering the speech, one of which probably was the reading copy. The remaining ones were produced months later for soldier benefit events. Despite widely-circulated stories to the contrary, the president did not dash off a copy aboard a train to Gettysburg. Lincoln carefully prepared his major speeches in advance; his steady, even script in every manuscript is consistent with a firm writing surface, not the notoriously bumpy Civil War-era trains. Additional versions of the speech appeared in newspapers of the era, feeding modern-day confusion about the authoritative text.

Bliss Copy

Ever since Lincoln wrote it in 1864, this version has been the most often reproduced, notably on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. It is named after Colonel Alexander Bliss, stepson of historian George Bancroft. Bancroft asked President Lincoln for a copy to use as a fundraiser for soldiers (see “Bancroft Copy” below). However, because Lincoln wrote on both sides of the paper, the speech could not be reprinted, so Lincoln made another copy at Bliss’s request. It is the last known copy written by Lincoln and the only one signed and dated by him. Today it is on display at the Lincoln Room of the White House.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Nicolay Copy

Named for John G. Nicolay, President Lincoln’s personal secretary, this is considered the “first draft” of the speech, begun in Washington on White house stationery. The second page is written on different paper stock, indicating it was finished in Gettysburg before the cemetery dedication began. Lincoln gave this draft to Nicolay, who went to Gettysburg with Lincoln and witnessed the speech. The Library of Congress owns this manuscript.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate we can not consecrate we can not hallow, this ground The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.

It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Hay Copy

Believed to be the second draft of the speech, President Lincoln gave this copy to John Hay, a White House assistant. Hay accompanied Lincoln to Gettysburg and briefly referred to the speech in his diary: “the President, in a fine, free way, with more grace than is his wont, said his half dozen words of consecration.” The Hay copy, which includes Lincoln’s handwritten changes, also is owned by the Library of Congress.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met here on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we can not dedicate we can not consecrate we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Everett Copy

Edward Everett, the chief speaker at the Gettysburg cemetery dedication, clearly admired Lincoln’s remarks and wrote to him the next day saying, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.” In 1864 Everett asked Lincoln for a copy of the speech to benefit Union soldiers, making it the third manuscript copy. Eventually the state of Illinois acquired it, where it’s preserved at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Bancroft Copy

As noted above, historian George Bancroft asked President Lincoln for a copy to use as a fundraiser for soldiers. When Lincoln sent his copy on February 29, 1864, he used both sides of the paper, rendering the manuscript useless for lithographic engraving. So Bancroft kept this copy and Lincoln had to produce an additional one (Bliss Copy). The Bancroft copy is now owned by Cornell University.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Source for all versions: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler and others. | Lincoln speech text is in the public domain; the organization, remaining text, and photo on this page are copyright 2017 Abraham Lincoln Online.

Video clip from the Saving Lincoln Movie.

Father’s Love Letter

My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1 | I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2 | I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3 | Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31 | For you were made in my image. Genesis 1:27 | In me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28 | For you are my offspring. Acts 17:28 | I knew you even before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5 | I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12 | You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book. Psalm 139:15-16 | I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26 | You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14 | I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13 | And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6 | I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. John 8:41-44 | I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16 | And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1 | Simply because you are my child and I am your Father. 1 John 3:1 | I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11 | For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48 | Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. James 1:17 | For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33 | My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 | Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3 | My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Psalm 139:17-18 | And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 | I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40 | For you are my treasured possession. Exodus 19:5 | I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. Jeremiah 32:41 | And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3 | If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29 | Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 | For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13 | I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20 | For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 | I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 | When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18 | As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart. Isaiah 40:11 | One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4 | And I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4 | I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. John 17:23 | For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. John 17:26 | He is the exact representation of my being. Hebrews 1:3 | He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31 | And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 | Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 | His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. 1 John 4:10 | I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32 | If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me. 1 John 2:23 | And nothing will ever separate you from my love again. Romans 8:38-39 | Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7 | I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15 | My question is…Will you be my child? John 1:12-13 | I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad.
Almighty God

Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications © 1999

The Story of Iron John


There was, once upon a time, a King, who had near his castle an enormous forest, in which wild animals of all sorts lived. One day he dispatched a hunter into those woods to take a deer, but the hunter did not return. “Something went wrong out there,” said the King, and the next day he sent two more hunters out to search for the first, but they did not return either. On the third day, he called all his huntsmen in, and said, “Scour that entire forest, and stay at it until you’ve found all three of them.”

Not a one of those hunters ever returned, and moreover, the pack of dogs that went out with them never came back either.

No one after that dared to enter the forest, and let it be in its deep stillness and solitude. Only now and then an eagle or a hawk flew over it.

This situation went on for years, and then one day a strange hunter appeared who wanted some work to do, and he offered to set foot in the dangerous woods.

The King however refused to consent, saying, “It is not safe in there. I have the feeling that you will end up like the others, and this is the last we’ll see of you.” The hunter replied: “Sire, I’m well aware of the risk, and fear is something I pay no attention to.”

The hunter took his dog with him, and walked into the forest. It wasn’t long before the dog picked up the scent of game and went in pursuit; but he had hardly run three steps before he stood at the edge of a deep pool and could not go farther. A naked arm reached out of the water, grabbed hold of him, and pulled him down.

When the hunter saw that, he went back to the castle, got three men, who came with pails, and they bucketed out the water. When they got down to the ground, they saw a Wild Man lying there, whose body was as brown as rusty iron. His hair hung down from his head over his face and all the way to his knees. They tied him with cords and led him back to the castle.

At the castle there was great astonishment over this Wild Man; and the King had him locked up in an iron cage that he had placed in the courtyard, and he forbade anyone, on pain of death, to open the locked door. He gave the key into the keeping of the Queen. Once that had been done, people could go safely into the forest once more.

The King had an eight-year-old son, who one day was playing in the courtyard, and during that play his golden ball fell down into the cage. The boy ran to the cage and said, “Give me my golden ball.” “Not until you’ve opened the door for me,” the man answered. “Oh no,” said the boy, “I can’t do it, the King won’t let me,” and he ran away. The next day the boy returned and asked for his ball again. The Wild Man said, “If you open the door,” but the boy would not. On the third day, while the King was out hunting, the boy came once again, and said, “Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t open the lock because I don’t have the key.” The Wild Man said, “The key is under your mother’s pillow; you can retrieve it.”

The boy, who really did want his ball back, threw caution to the winds, went into the castle, and got the key. The cage door was not easy to open, and the boy pinched his finger. When the door stood open, the Wild Man walked through it, gave the boy the golden ball, and hurried away.

The boy suddenly felt great fear. He shouted and cried out after him, “Wild Man, if you go away, they will beat me!” The Wild Man wheeled around, lifted the boy onto his shoulders, and walked with brisk steps into the forest.

When the King returned, he noticed the empty cage, and inquired of the Queen how the Wild Man had gotten loose. She knew nothing about it, went to check the key, and found it gone. She called the boy, but got no answer. The King sent a search party out into the fields, but they did not find the boy. It wasn’t difficult to guess what had happened; and great grief and mourning settled on the royal house.


When the Wild Man had reached the dark forest once more, he took the boy from his shoulders, put him down on the earth, and said, “You will never see your mother and father again, but I will keep you with me, for you have set me free, and I feel compassion for you. If you do everything as I tell you, all will go well. I have much gold and treasure, more than anyone else in the world.”

The Wild Man prepared a bed of moss for the boy to sleep on, and in the morning took him to a spring. “Do you see this golden spring? It is clear as crystal, and full of light. I want you to sit beside it and make sure that nothing falls into it, because if that happens, it will wrong the spring. I’ll return each evening to see if you’ve obeyed my order.”

The boy sat down at the spring’s edge. Occasionally he glimpsed a golden fish or a gold snake, and he took care to let nothing fall in. But as he sat there, his wounded finger was so painful that, without intending to, he dipped it into the water. He pulled it out instantly, but he saw that the finger had turned to gold, and no matter how much he washed it, the washing did no good.

Iron John came back that evening and said, “Anything happen with the spring today?”

The boy held his finger behind his back to keep Iron John from seeing it, and said, “No, nothing at all.”

“Ah, you’ve dipped your finger in the spring!” said the Wild Man. “We can let it pass this once, but don’t let that happen again.”

Early the next morning, the boy sat again at the spring watching over it. His finger still hurt and after a while, he ran his hand up through his hair. One hair, alas, came loose from his head and fell into the spring. He immediately reached down and pulled it out, but the hair had already turned to gold.

The moment Iron John returned, he knew what had happened, “You’ve let a hair fall into the spring. I’ll allow it this time, but if it happens a third time it will dishonor the spring, and you will not be able to stay with me any longer.”

The third day, as the boy sat by the spring, he was determined, no matter how much his finger hurt him, not to let it move. Time passed slowly, and he began gazing at the reflection of his face in the water. He got the desire to look straight into his own eyes, and in doing this, he leaned over farther and farther. All at once his long hair fell down over his forehead and into the water. He threw his head back but now all his hair, every bit, had turned gold, and it shone as if it were the sun itself. Now the boy was frightened! He took out a kerchief and covered his head so that the Wild Man wouldn’t know what had happened. But when Iron John arrived home, he knew immediately. “Take the kerchief off your head,” he said. The golden hair then came tumbling down over the boy’s shoulders, and the boy had to be silent.

“You can’t stay here any longer because you didn’t make it through the trial. Go out into the world now and there you will learn what poverty is. I see no evil in your heart, however, and I wish you well, so I’ll give you this gift: whenever you are in trouble, come to the edge of the forest and shout, ‘Iron John, Iron John!’ I’ll come to the edge of the forest and help you. My power is great, greater than you believe, and I have gold and silver in abundance.”


Then the King’s son left the forest, and walked by beaten and unbeaten paths ever onwards until at length he reached a great city. There he looked for work, but could find none, and he had learnt nothing by which he could help himself. At length, he went to the palace, and asked if they would take him in. The people about court did not at all know what use they could make of him, but they liked him, and told him to stay. At length the cook took him into his service, and said he might carry wood and water, and rake the cinders together.


Once when it happened that no one else was at hand, the cook ordered the boy to carry the food to the royal table, but because the boy did not want his golden hair to be seen, he kept his tarboosh on. Such a thing as that had never happened in the King’s presence, and he said, “When you come to the royal table you must take your cap off.” He answered: “Ah, Lord, I cannot; I have a sore place on my head.” The King called the cook up, scolded him, and demanded how he could have taken such a boy as that into his service; and told him to fire the boy and get him out of the castle.


The cook, however, had pity on the youngster and exchanged him for the gardener’s boy.

Now the boy had to set out plants in the garden, and water them, chop with hoe and spade, and let wind and bad weather do what they wished.

Once in summer, when he was working in the garden by himself, it got so hot that he pulled his head covering off, so that the breeze would cool his head. When the sun touched his head, his hair glowed and blazed out so brightly that beams of sunlight went all the way into the bedroom of the King’s daughter, and she leapt up to see what that could be. She spied the boy outside, and called to him, “Boy, bring me a batch of flowers!”

He quickly put his tarboosh back on, picked some wild flowers for her, and tied them in a bunch. As he started up the stairs with them, the gardener met him, and said, “What are you doing bringing the King’s daughter such ordinary flowers? Get moving and pick another bouquet, the best we have and the most beautiful.”

“No, no,” the boy answered, “the wild flowers have stronger fragrance and they will please her more.” When the boy walked into her room, the King’s daughter said, “Take your headthing off; it isn’t proper for you to wear it in my presence.”

He replied, “I don’t dare do that. I have the mange, you know.”

She however grabbed the tarboosh and yanked it off; his golden hair tumbled down around his shoulders, and it was magnificent to look at. He started out the door at a run, but she held him by the arm and gave him a handful of gold coins. He took them and left, but put no stock in them; in fact he brought the coins to the gardener and said, “I’m giving these to your children—they can use them to play with.”

The next day the King’s daughter again called the boy to her and told him to bring her some more wild flowers. When he walked in with them, she reached for his little hat and would have torn it away, but he held on to it with both hands. Once more she gave him a handful of gold coins, but he refused to keep them and gave them to the gardener as playthings for his children.

The third day things went the same way: she couldn’t manage to get his hat off, and he wouldn’t accept the gold coins.


Not long after, the country was swept up in war. The King gathered his forces and was not positive that he could succeed against the enemy, who was powerful and retained a large army. The gardener’s boy said: “I am quite grown now, and I will go to war, if you’ll just give me a horse.” The other men laughed and declared: “When we’ve gone, you go look in the stable—we’ll certainly leave a horse behind for you.”

When they had all gone, the boy went into the barn and led a horse out; it was lame in one leg, and walked hippity, hoppity. He climbed on it and rode to the dark forest.

When he came to its edge, he called three times: “Iron John,” so loud that it echoed through the trees.

In a moment the Wild Man arrived and said, “What is it you want?”

“I want a strong war-horse because I intend to go to the war.”

“You will receive that, and more than you have asked for as well.”

The Wild Man turned then and went back into the woods, and not long afterwards, a stableboy came out of the trees leading a war-horse that blew air through its nostrils and was not easy to hold in. Running along after the horse came a large band of warriors, entirely clothed in iron, with their swords shining in the sun. The boy turned his three-legged nag over to the stableboy, mounted the new horse, and rode out at the head of the soldiers. By the time he neared the battlefield, a large part of the King’s men had already been killed, and not much more was needed to bring them to total defeat.

The boy and his iron band rode there at full speed, galloped on the enemy like a hurricane, and struck down every one that opposed them. The enemy turned to flee, but the boy kept after them and pursued them to the last man. Then, however, instead of returning to the King, the boy took his band a roundabout way back to the forest, and called Iron John out.

“What do you want?” the Wild Man asked.

“You can take your horse and your men back, and give me again the three-legged nag.”

So it all happened as he requested, and he rode the hoppity hop back home.

When the King returned to his castle, his daughter went to him and congratulated him on his victory.

“It wasn’t me,” he said, “who managed that, but a strange knight and his warrior band who arrived to help.”

The daughter asked who this strange knight was, but the King didn’t know, and added: “He galloped off in pursuit of the enemy, and that’s the last I saw of him.” The girl applied to the gardener and inquired about his boy, but he laughed and said, “He is just now arrived home on his three-legged nag. The farm help made fun of him, shouting: ‘Guess who’s here? Moopygoop.’ Then they said, ‘You’ve been under a lilac bush, eh? How was it?’ He said back to them, ‘I fought very well; if I hadn’t been there, who knows what would have happened?’ They all fell over themselves laughing.”


The King said to his daughter: “I’ll arrange a great festival that will last three days, and you will be the one who throws out the golden apple. Perhaps the mysterious knight will appear.”

After the announcement of the festival had been made, the young man rode to the forest’s edge and called for Iron John.

“What do you need?” he asked.

“I want to catch the golden apple the King’s daughter is going to throw.”

“There’s no problem: you virtually have it in your hands right now,” Iron John replied. “I’ll provide you more: red armor for the occasion, and a powerful chestnut horse.”

The young man galloped to the field at the proper time, rode in among the other knights, and no one recognized him. The King’s daughter stepped forward, and she threw a golden apple into the group of men; and he was the man who caught it. However, having caught it, he galloped off and was gone.

When the second day arrived, Iron John had him fitted out with white armor, and provided for him a white horse. This time also the apple fell into his hands; once more he did not pause for even an instant, but galloped off.

That made the King angry, and the King said, “This behavior is not allowed; he is supposed to ride over to me and report his name.”

“If he catches the apple the third time, and gallops off again,” he told his men, “chase him. What’s more, if he refuses to return, give him a blow; use your sword.”

For the third day of the festival, Iron John gave the young man black armor and a black horse. That afternoon the young man caught the apple also. But this time, when he rode away with it, the King’s men galloped after him, and one got close enough to give him a leg wound with the end of his sword. The young man escaped; but his horse made such a powerful leap to do so that the young man’s helmet fell off, and everyone could see that he had golden hair. The King’s men rode home and told the King everything that had happened.


The King’s daughter the next day inquired to the gardener about his boy. “He’s back at work in the garden. The strange coot went to the festival yesterday, and only got back last night. He showed my children, by the way, three golden apples he had won.”

The King called the young man in, and he appeared with his tarboosh back on his head. The King’s daughter, however, went up to him and pulled it off, and his golden hair fell down over his shoulders; his beauty was so great that everyone was astounded.

The King said, “Are you the knight who appeared each day at the festival with a different color horse, and each day caught the golden apple?”

“I am,” he said, “and the apples are here.” Taking the apples from his pocket, he handed them to the King. “If you need more evidence, you can look at the wound that your men gave me when they were chasing me. What’s more, I am also the knight who helped defeat the enemy.”

“If you can perform feats of that magnitude, you are obviously not a gardener’s boy. Who is your father, may I ask?”

“My father is a notable King, and I have a great deal of gold, as much as I will ever need.”

“It’s clear,” the King said, “that I am in debt to you. Whatever I have in my power that would please you, I will give.”

“Well,” the young man said, “I’d suggest that you give me your daughter as my wife.”

Then the King’s daughter laughed and said, “I like the way he doesn’t beat around the bush; I already knew he was no gardener’s boy from his golden hair.” And so she walked over and kissed him.

The young man’s father and mother were among those invited to the wedding, and they came; they were in great joy because they had given up hope that they would ever see their dear son again.

While all the guests were sitting at the table for the marriage feast, the music broke off all at once, the great doors swung open, and a baronial King entered, accompanied in procession by many attendants.

He walked up to the young groom and embraced him. The guest said: “I am Iron John, who through an enchantment became turned into a Wild Man. You have freed me from that enchantment. All the treasure that I own will from now on belong to you.”

Translation by Robert Bly of the story by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in Grimms Marchen (Zurich: Manesse Verlag, 1946). Parts of this translation may be found in the chapters noted in parentheses.


Love Without End, Amen | George Strait

I got sent home from school one day with a shiner on my eye.
Fightin’ was against the rules and it didn’t matter why.
When dad got home I told that story just like I’d rehearsed.
And then stood there on those tremblin’ knees and waited for the worst.

And he said, “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us.”
He said, “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.
It’s a love without end, amen, it’s a love without end, amen.”

When I became a father in the spring of ’81
There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my father’s son.
And when I thought my patience had been tested to the end,
I took my daddy’s secret and I passed it on to him.

And I said, “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us.”
I said, “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.
It’s a love without end, amen, it’s a love without end, amen.”

Last night I dreamed I died and stood outside those pearly gates.
When suddenly I realized there must be some mistake.
If they know half the things I’ve done, they’ll never let me in.
And then somewhere from the other side I heard these words again.

And They said, “Let me tell you a secret about a Father’s Love,
A secret that my daddy said was just between us.
You see, daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.
It’s a love without end, amen, it’s a love without end, amen.”

Aaron Barker

Psalms 139 | A David Psalm

God, investigate my life;
get all the facts firsthand.
I’m an open book to you;
even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
then up ahead and you’re there, too—
your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
I can’t take it all in!
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark!
At night I’m immersed in the light!”
It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful!
God, I’ll never comprehend them!
I couldn’t even begin to count them—
any more than I could count the sand of the sea.
Oh, let me rise in the morning and live always with you!
And please, God, do away with wickedness for good!
And you murderers—out of here!—
all the men and women who belittle you, God,
infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
See how I hate those who hate you, God,
see how I loathe all this godless arrogance;
I hate it with pure, unadulterated hatred.
Your enemies are my enemies!
Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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