Posted on 2nd February 2015
Students, many of you have been asking me an important question, and it’s one that I’ve been asking myself as well. How can I remain devoted to the Ancient Truth when the man who taught it to me - Wayland – has revealed himself to be a monster? Everything else he’s told me has been a lie. So why not Ancient Truth?
At first, I thought I would throw all of it away, scrape it out of my mind to make space for something new, something without the taint of Wayland’s corruption. But the more I tried erase it, the more it reasserted itself, more solid than any of my father’s shifting deceptions.
There’s a folk tale that I read while I was researching my Ph.D. It had passed through so many voices before being written down that it was impossible to tell where it had first been told. But it went like this:
Once there was a prince whose land had fallen into chaos. The crops had failed. The animals were stricken with disease. The people were starving. But there was a legend of a priceless ruby that lay in a cave in the mountains, and the prince knew that the ruby was valuable enough to save his kingdom.
After many harrowing challenges, the prince found the cavern where the ruby lay. But as his fist closed around the precious stone, he heard the booming voice of a mighty demon. The demon had lured the prince with the tale of the ruby in order to kill him and complete the devastation of his land.
But the prince tricked the demon and escaped, ruby still clutched in his hand. Now the prince had a choice: use the ruby to save his kingdom or throw it away because it was tainted with evil. After purifying himself in an icy mountain stream, he meditated on his conundrum. After three days and three nights in a trance, the decision became clear in his mind.
It’s there that the story breaks off. The ending to the tale has been lost to history. But I’ve always believed that he kept the ruby. And so will I.
I do not keep my ruby unthinkingly, naively. First I must be sure that my precious treasure carries no trace of the demon who gave it to me. I will return to the source, this time without Wayland’s infernal eye reading over my shoulder. Here on my own, I will finally encounter the Truth for myself, without manipulation, and stand before its light alone.
I do not know what I will find. But what I find will be mine. Not his.