During this first phase of human life that began with the transformation of animal man into a human being who will steadily develop until he becomes thoroughly integrated is said by esotericists to take place upon the first of three crosses. This cross called the Mutable Cross is the cross of the developing mind with its constantly changing conditions and environments that drive the soul within the form from one extreme of experience to another so that life runs back and forth between the pairs of opposites. It is this cross that eventually shapes man through his response to these changing circumstances into an integrated personality and also shapes the inclination of his soul. Those forces that produce the changes needed for the outer expression of the soul come through the constellation Gemini and because of the qualities of that expression the soul is often called the Christ consciousness. These qualities that are those of a world saviour are at their most potent when man begins to follow the Great Wheel of life in an anti-clockwise direction. The second ray, which is the ray of love-wisdom, is inherent in Gemini and thus it is the primary channel through which the love of Deity flows into our universe. Gemini's work ever reminds us that God is Love and because of its influence upon humanity it is sometimes called the "constellation of the resolution of duality into a fluid synthesis." It is the destiny of all men to follow in the footsteps of the Christ, to be world servers and eventually world saviours. Only those aspects of man, which cannot be transformed into this synthesis, must fall away or die.
It is no surprise then that the theme of this third labour of Hercules, which is the Labour in Gemini, concerns the unification as the complete man, or the integration of all aspects of the outer man, these are of course the mental, emotional and physical bodies that when united represent the fully functioning personality vehicle through which the inner man, the soul, can find expression. This cannot begin to be possible before a man has developed a deep desire to be self-disciplined, honest, and true with a longing for the meaningful spiritual life of interior reflection and meditation. It is likely to require a genuine and steady effort over some considerable time before a man can carry his desire to be true to spiritual intention into real outer expression and to the point of manifested fulfilment. This will not be achieved simply through an intellectual understanding or through a man's good works but rather through the development of the true qualities of heart and mind that are their motive power or force, for the man of vision must translate his vision into service that is truly spiritually fulfilled.
In order for man to begin to achieve this he must firstly develop the five senses so that his field of awareness is greatly expanded presenting him with ever-wider spheres of relationships and possible achievement. Then he may develop knowledge of many things but with knowledge must come understanding and for this he must thoroughly combine the function of the heart with the mind, to be both caring with thinking. This unified understanding brings the application of knowledge to the problems of life in the light of wisdom. Alice Bailey described wisdom as "the omniscience of the synthetic knowledge of the soul". 1 This includes both the knowledge and the understanding of the right relationship of all beings that is possible because the soul of all beings is One.
I stress that this is not only an intellectual understanding for we can progress no further until we allow it to become a synthesis of both heart and mind with the soul. Then a level of understanding begins to formulate that has not been possible before and this is an uninterrupted intuitional understanding. For now the inner path can begin to open, this is the antahkarana that will now begin to form and down which intuitional knowledge will flow. The eventual extension of this process will reveal the direct knowledge of all things. This synthesis of the personality triangle with the soul begins to create the channel of connection with its higher co-respondent, the spiritual triad and the formulation of this intuitional link makes possible the expression of true love-wisdom through the human form. You can see that the task of the labour in Gemini is a tremendous one of co-ordination or at-one-ment of the soul with the form so that the pairs of opposites are at last blended and become a unity.
The whole meaning of human consciousness, it seems to me, is to demonstrate that this union of matter with spirit is possible. For we humans are the path builders for a spiritual expression that must one day include all forms in all the kingdoms upon our planet. What is possible spiritually for you and I in our time is extremely remarkable but it has of course been possible for a very long time and a few men and women here and there over the millenniums have taken that step forward towards a new kind of being but now we move into an age where this transformation is possible of realisation for many millions of us. Imagine a race of men who are completely selfless, who seek to care not only for all beings upon our planet but also for our relationship with all the worlds, with the stars but also the worlds of the simplest life forms within the One Life, these are men caring as true sons of God.
On the face of it this task of Gemini seems simple, just a question of proper care and understanding. This is just what Hercules believed at the start of the task but as he discovered, there are many pitfalls to recognise and to overcome along the way. The task as it is presented in the myth of the labour is to find the Garden of Hesperides in which grew the tree with the golden apples. It was said that many of the sons of men who knew they were also sons of God desired to have these apples. The Teacher warned Hercules that the apples were guarded well by three maidens who were in turn guarded by a one hundred headed dragon whose strength was too great even for Hercules to overcome. Each of these dragonheads represents an illusion that can deceive and sidetrack a man from his quest for the truth; each represents a glamour on the astral plane, the plane of illusion. He can only overcome these obstacles by lifting them high into the light of truth and in due course he realises that this is just what he must do. Hercules was also warned that he would meet five great tests along the way, each of which would give him opportunity to develop his skill, understanding and wisdom. Hercules searched throughout the world and returned time and again to the starting gate without success.
The Teacher sent Nereus, the speaker of truth, who appeared to Hercules disguised in varies ways in order to give him differing words of truth but Nereus was not recognised by Hercules as the messenger of truth. I see Nereus today in those men and women who speak about the one truth but in different ways in all the world religions. Most of those who listen to their words see only the externals of the teacher, they recognise the cloth of their religion, (that fabric built by all the followers of their faith who have adapted it to suit the needs of each generation) but they fail to see or understand the one truth that is secreted within the heart of the true men of faith who appear throughout the major world religions. But to return to the task for Hercules who then entered the place of darkness and ignorance (the astral plane) to continue his search and there met Antaeus the serpent of untruth with whom he wrestled and who overcame him at every point. It was not until Hercules searched for error in himself that he was able to lift the serpent high into the light of truth and there it vanished before his eyes. This is a reminder that the path is always an interior one and we must continually examine our conduct and motives by lifting them high into the light of truth and there correct the error that we may see within ourselves.
It was then that Hercules met Busiris, the great arch-deceiver who is the son of the waters of the astral world. It is he who claims to know the only truth and says that all other truths are wrong or false; he will say stay with me and be saved. Hercules stayed with Busiris and forgot all about his search for the sacred apples, each day his spiritual resolve grew weaker until this teacher who he had come to love and trust greatly bound him to an alter where he was trapped for a year. Slowly he saw the truth of what Busirus was and remembered that Nereus had said Truth lies within you and on reflection realised the deception that had entrapped him. We must each recognise that there is higher power, strength and wisdom in ourselves that can be reached through the soul and so we must turn inwards and evoke this power that is the heritage of all the sons of men who are all the sons of God. Hercules turned to this spiritual strength within and breaking his bonds, he seized the false teacher and bound him to his own alter and left him there so that he may learn.
This past year had taught Hercules much and he was able to continue upon his journey with greater wisdom. With a year of delay behind him he felt the need for real haste upon his journey but he became aware of cries of deep distress, should he hurry on or seek the one in need? Hercules hurried to the spot from where the cries came and found Prometheus chained to a rock in agonising pain. Vultures were plucking at his liver and he was facing a slow death. Hercules released him and carefully tended the wounds of his spiritual brother until Prometheus had safely recovered. With more time lost Hercules resumed his search but for the first time since the beginning of this Labour the teacher spoke and told Hercules that there had been no delay and he had now completed four of the five tests because the rule upon this path is to 'learn to serve'. So often the aspirant is concerned about learning and understanding the work set before him and he fails to understand the true secret of selfless service. We should realise that nothing can draw one into alignment with the purposes of the soul than for him to serve. If one can learn to live 'as if' the soul then he will soon become one with this divine self and he will more quickly know truth through a truly intuitive understanding.
Hercules' search went on, he travelled to every part of the world but found nothing. Worn out by fear of failure and so much travelling he was at his wits end but then he heard a rumour from a pilgrim upon the path that the tree with the golden apples stood near a distant mountain. Hercules set of towards the mountains of the east but then he was halted by a sense of deep distress for he was confronted by the giant Atlas staggering beneath a load of worlds upon his back. Trembling Hercules took the measure of Atlas's load and the agony that he bore, and forgetting his quest completely he bracing himself and eagerly shouldered the load from Atlas but immediately the load disappeared and there Hercules stood free. Standing before him now was this giant of a man holding golden apples and offering them to Hercules.
There also were the three sisters. One of the sisters, Aegle, placed an apple in Hercules' hand saying, "The Way to us is always marked by service. Deeds of love are signposts on the Way" 2. Then Erytheia, who is the keeper of the gate through which all must pass before they can stand before the One who Presides over our planet, gave him a golden apple inscribed with the word 'service', and told him never to forget this. Lastly came Hesperis who with clear love bid him to continue to serve upon the Way as an example for those world servers who would follow after him. Hercules gave back the apples saying, 'these are for those who follow' and so his labour was completed.
For the ordinary man the keynote of Gemini is, "Let instability do its work" but for the man following the reverse flow of the Wheel of Life the keynote is spoken by the soul, "I recognise my other self and in the waning of that self, I grow and glow."
That qualities of this Christ like consciousness streaming through Gemini that seeks the resolution of duality into a fluid synthesis is so in line with the intention of the New Age of Aquarius. Each year as the expression of the qualities of the Age grow stronger it will carry us closer to the centre of power that will induce recognition of man's essential unity, the processes of sharing and co-operation will grow from strength to strength, the barriers of separation will finally be broken down, and there will be a blending of the consciousness of all men into a unity and common sharing which is so like the Christ consciousness. For the Law of Loving Understanding will grow speedily to produce a world wide international spirit and the recognition of the universal belief in one God will draw the faiths into a mutual sharing of experience. The obsession with material things will give way to a need to understand the spiritual qualities that bring real meaning to our life and into our interaction with all the life forms of our physical world.
This change of focus in the Aquarian Age will produce a real sense of relationship and identification with all that lives upon the Earth, a unity that builds the recognition of the One Life. This sense of brotherhood will allow Mercury to spread the message of selfless love, which will allow Humanity and the Spiritual Hierarchy of the planet to draw together into a deep relationship.
All the early signs of these things are now everywhere to be seen, the desire for true peace based on right human relations, the mixing of the cultures through worldwide travel and emigration, the growing international concern for the poor and needy and those affected by natural calamities, the growth of international groups and NGO's supported by people from every nation, the growing peace and interfaith movements, the list goes on. Things are changing quickly, profoundly and with increasing speed. This is the most remarkable age Man has ever seen; yet we are only entering into the entrance hall, just you wait until we enter the main arena! All this is as yet somewhat clouded by the death pangs of the Age of Pisces which demonstrate through political and ideological conflicts, extreme human self-centredness and greed for power and the planetary resources that rightly belong to us all.
1 The Labours of Hercules, p 60.
2 Ibid, p 59