The Metanoia of Simon Magus

Mythopoeia: the imaginative road to the Mundus Imaginalis
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Taurandir
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The Metanoia of Simon Magus

Post by Taurandir »

In the days when Simon was a young boy, before he was known as the Holy God, he herded goats for his father, Antonius, who lived in the village of Gitta. One day he brought his father's goats to the slopes of Ar-garizim to water them at the springs there. He also drank his fill of the spring waters and lay down to sleep while the goats grazed nearby.

While Simon slept he had a dream. He stood beside a river and the land was green and fruitful around him. A path led from the place where he stood to upstream. Standing near the path was a great angel who shone with a brightness that was terrible to look upon. The angel spoke to Simon and said, "Mortal, be not afraid." The voice of the angel was as a multitude of voices raised in song, and when Simon heard the voice he was not afraid. "Follow the path along the river Pishon, Son of Ephraim and it will lead you to Paradise." The angel waved his arm along the path that ran beside the river. "Fear nothing that you meet. Nothing can harm you if you stay on the path, and it will take you to a great treasure." Then the brightness diminished and the angel disappeared.

Simon followed the path up the river Pishon, and the land was very fruitful with all kinds of plants and birds. After what seemed a long time he came to a great wall of stone and a vast open gate. The river and the path came out of the gate. The gate was guarded by two cherubim with bodies of giant lions, wings of birds of prey, and the visages of stern and powerful kings. They stood on either side of the path in front of the gate, and between them was a sword of gold which constantly whirled in the air and blocked the way forward. Simon was afraid, but he remembered the words of the angel and he walked between the monsters towards the whirling sword, but the guardians of the gate did not look at Simon and the sword of gold sliced the air on either side of him and above his head, but did not touch him, and he passed through the gate unharmed.

Within the gate was a marvelous land full of every kind of tree which bore a multitude of ripe fruits. Strange birds flew between the trees. The land was as much more beautiful than the land outside the gate, as that land had been lovelier than the home of Simon's father in Gitta. Simon followed the path and the river separated into smaller streams and springs, until the path led alone through a beautiful forest of tall trees. He was greatly tempted to leave the path to wander in the beautiful forest, but he remembered the words of the angel and the promise of a great treasure so he walked farther, until the path ended at a large clearing in the forest

In the middle of the clearing, spaced some distance apart, were two trees which were larger than any Simon had ever imagined. A deep green sward lay between him and the trees. He approached the nearer of the trees and saw a large Serpent hanging from the lower branches. The scales of the serpent were of many colors and his eyes were of gold, and he watched Simon approach. "You are a clever boy," hissed the snake, "The guardians at the gate stop all from returning, but nothing stops the Dreamer." Simon did not reply, but saw the red fruit which hung from the leafy boughs of the tree. They looked good to eat and the snake knew what the boy was thinking. "Go ahead," he said, "They're really quite tasty." The boy plucked one of the fruit and bit into it. It tasted good and the juice ran down his chin onto his tunic. He ate the fruit and looked at the serpent hanging from the tree. "Nothing happens," the Serpent explained. "You see, it only works once. They are good though, aren't they?". The boy nodded as he finished the fruit and dropped the large pit onto the ground. "The ones you really want," said the Serpent, "are over there." He darted his tongue towards the second tree farther across the clearing. "You should really go see my friend there." Simon looked, and saw a large white Eagle sitting on the lowest limb of the farther tree. "She will tell you all about it. Go ahead." The Serpent looped his head and part of his long body around the boy's shoulders and firmly shoved him into the clearing towards the other tree.

Simon stumbled across the clearing between the two trees. He felt as if he had drank too much wine. The sun was hot and the juice of the fruit on his face, his hands and his tunic felt sticky and uncomfortable. He watched the Eagle on the branch of the tree and the Eagle watched him approach. When he came near to the tree and was underneath its leafy green canopy, he saw that the Eagle was much larger than he had thought. She was at least the size of a person, and her plumage was completely white and brilliant. Her eyes were bright yellow, intelligent and piercing. "Simon," she said, and her voice was very beautiful. "I knew you would come. Destined from before the beginning of the Universe to enter the Garden, reach the Tree of Life and eat from its fruit, which," she added in a hushed tone, "is completely forbidden." She spread her wings far apart and indicated the large yellow fruits which hung throughout the tree. "Pick one," she coaxed, "Eat, but realize it will all end in terrible disaster. You shall attain your heart's greatest desire and all the enemies of Man will hunt you down and destroy you. Your name will be slandered until the end of time because you dared to do what no one else ever has. Really though, you have very little choice. It is, in fact, your Fate." She cupped one of the fruit in her wing and pushed it gently towards him. Simon plucked the fruit from the twig and bit into it.

The fruit tasted so good that it filled him at first with pleasure, and then with ecstasy, and then the tree, the Eagle, the clearing, and the world around him were lost in a blazing light that seemed come from within him, and he became confused concerning where he was and even who he was. Then Simon thought that he was not Simon, but he was the Eagle, and he was the tree, and he thought he was every living thing that lived, or ever had lived, or ever would live, and then he thought he was God himself, and then he realized he was greater than God. He was filled with a joy so strong he thought he must die, and he knew he could not die, and then he awoke from his dream.

He was laying beside the spring on the slopes of Ar-garizim. One of his father's goats had awoken him as she returned to the spring to drink water. Simon sat up and blinked and the beautiful voice of the Eagle was in his mind, and said, "Samaritan. Two nights ago Roman soldiers were escorting a spice merchant coming from Jerusalem. They betrayed that man. They killed him and stole his gold. They put the merchant's body amongst the bushes to be devoured by wild beasts, and they hid the man's gold under the rock that you are looking at on the other side of the spring, intending to return for it later when the merchant's disappearance had been forgotten. Do you understand?" Simon silently said 'yes'. "Take the gold from under the rock, and hide it in a place of your own. Spend nothing, and tell no one that you possess it. Use the money, Simon, to find your way to Alexandria. Go to the library and tell the first learned scholar you meet there that you have come from Palestine to study Greek. Go now and do exactly as I have told you."

Simon looked under the rock and found all things to be as the Eagle had said. He placed the gold in a sack which he used to carry his food and tinder box, and he brought it back to the home of his parents, Antonius and Rachel, but he told no one of what he had seen or what he had found on Mount Gerizim. He left his home and made his way to the great library of Alexandria, and the first scholar he found there was an honest and learned man, and he accepted the boy as his student. This is the story of how Simon came to be known as The Great Power of God.

The Holy Book of The Great Invisible Spirit.

Amen
-Raúl
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Re: The Metanoia of Simon Magus

Post by Lúthien »

That's very interesting and very captivating.

I can't help but wonder, and I hope you don't mind me asking, how much of this is yours?
A! Elin velui, dîn dolog, aduial lúthad!
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Re: The Metanoia of Simon Magus

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

I like the Tale also.
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Taurandir
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Re: The Metanoia of Simon Magus

Post by Taurandir »

All of it was mine, sprinkled with a couple mytho-historical facts, such as the name of Simon Magus' father, the description of the gates of Paradise, etc. I didn't plagiarize anyone if that's what you mean. The eagle and the serpent make a natural pair from Nietzsche's "Thus Spake Zarathushtra". There were indeed two trees in Eden, of which Adam and Eve only ate from one. It can safely be called an original myth. I rewrote it like 20 times.
-Raúl
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