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The Labors of Hercules - The Purpose of the Study of the Hercules Myth
The Purpose of the Study of the Hercules Myth

(The following material was prepared by Dorothea Cochran at Mrs. Bailey's request and was found among her papers. This excerpt seems to provide an appropriate concluding note for the Hercules series.)

The first scriptures for the human race were written by God on the Earth and Heavens. The reading of these Scriptures is Science. Familiarity with the grass and trees, the insects and the infusoria, teaches us deeper lessons of love and faith than we can glean from the writings of Fénelon and Augustine. The great Bible of God is ever open before mankind.
- Albert Pike.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
- Psalm 19, 1.

The progress of a world disciple is illustrated in the heavens by the Labors of Hercules through the zodiacal signs. It is as though God had pictured in space his Plan for the working out of the evolution of the human spirit back to its source.

The intense interest evinced at this time in the spiritual life is, in itself, the warrant for such a study as the Labors of Hercules. Academic, dogmatic and theological religion has no longer its ancient appeal but, in spite of a widespread revolt against organized, or ecclesiastical religion, the urge towards the spiritual realities has never been more keen than it is today. The period of empirical experience on a large scale is with us. Men and women everywhere are refusing any longer to believe the authoritative pronouncements of the churches or to accept blindly the dicta of any theology. They are determined to know for themselves the facts of the inner mystical experience, if such facts can be ascertained, and to grasp for themselves the nature of that identity which we call the soul.

The world setting is ripe for a renewal of a living faith and religion which will be based upon personal knowledge and not upon the pronouncements and the interpretations of limited minds. Dr. Rufus Jones, the great Quaker leader, calls attention to this fact in words which are worth noting:

"...an outbreak of mysticism is always a sign that the soul of man is uttering a vigoros protest against the encroachment of some organized system of life ... which threatens to leave scant scope and area for its own free initiative and its spontaneous creative activity. It is a proclamation that the soul has certain inherent rights and capacities, a dominion of its own, which must be respected and held sacred. Sometimes mysticism has been the protest of man's spirit against the hardening crust of dogma, sometimes a revolt against ecclesiasticism."
The Philosophic Basis of Mysticism by T.H. Hughes, page 46.

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