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The Labors of Hercules - Labor II
The Meaning of the Labor

In spite of all initial partial failure, Hercules has made his start. In line with the universal law he has begun his work oil the mental plane.

In the working out of the creative plan, thought-impulse is followed by desire. That state of consciousness, which we call mental, is succeeded by the state of sensitivity, and this second labor deals with the desire world and with the potency of desire. It is one of the most interesting labors and one that is [42] told us in fullest detail. Some of the accounts given of the various tests to which Hercules was subjected are exceedingly sketchy and brief in outline, but the tests in Taurus and Gemini, in Scorpio and Pisces, are related at greater length. They were drastic in their application and tried out every part of the aspirant's nature.

The key to the labor in Taurus is the right understanding of the law of Attraction. This is the law that governs that magnetic force and that principle of coherence which builds the forms through which God, or the soul, manifests. It produces the stability which demonstrates in the persistence of the form throughout its cycle of existence, and concerns the interrelation between that which builds the form and the form itself; between the two poles, positive and negative; between spirit and matter; between the Self and the not-Self; between male and female, and thus between the opposites.

Four Symbolic Words

We find that this test concerns predominantly the problem of sex. There are four words in the English language which are ideographic and symbolic. They consist of three letters each and are as follows: God, Sex, Law and Sin. In these four words we find expressed the sum total of all that is.

God, the sum total of all forms, the sum total of all states of consciousness, and the energizing Life. Sex, that Life in operation, attracting spirit and matter and instituting the interplay between the objective and the subjective and between the exoteric and the esoteric. Sex, desire, attraction, the instinctive urge to creation, the pull of the soul, the urge to divinity, desire of the male for the female, the lure of matter for spirit: all these phrases can be piled up to express some of the activities of Sex in its various relations. Law, the thought-impelled response of God to form; the habits instituted by the timeless interplay between the polar opposites which have been recognized by humanity as the inevitable laws of nature; the imposition [43] of the will of God and the impress of that will upon form and its recognition by man. Sin, according to its connotation, signifies "the one who it is," the uprising of the unit against the whole, individuality versus the group, selfishness instead of universal interest.

Thus is the story of the universe written for us in these four words. God, the Whole; Sex, the attraction between the parts within that Whole; Law, the habit of the Whole; and Sin, the revolt of the unit in the Whole.

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