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Chapter 5


Wise Words

A bright and happy boy, hidden away and alone – A mother’s counsel to her son: The virtue of silence – Power of the spoken word – The art of listening – Strength and fortitude – Clear thought and boundless vision – Do not fear – Live nobly and well – Adversities and hardships – Faith, the seed of hope – To know, to dare, to do, to be silent – Nurturing the seed of faith

 

1  In the sixth year of Areta’s sojourn in the flesh did she keep hidden away the son that she loved, being himself but five years of age; and it was rumored about among the women of the house that the child had surely died.

2  Yet in the son did Areta rejoice, for he was bright and filled with happy dispositions, being filled with mischief and curiosity towards all things; walking about in the shadow of his mother singing and laughing; bringing to the heart of his mother the greatest of joys, touched with sorrow; for she cared for him.

3  For this cause did the mother feel most anxious to teach unto her son the issues of life, nurturing him most tenderly with soft words and gentle touches.

4  Now on a certain day, the boy was left to himself to be alone; for each day the mother was called forth to labor; and when she had returned, the boy spoke, saying:

5  “Mother, I am alone in the day, having no one to play with, for I am hidden away; and though the greater part does not trouble me, yet in the little part am I made to weep because of it.”

6  And hearing this, Areta gathered her son upon her lap and spoke softly unto him, saying: “Do not weep, my son, for I have returned to take you again unto myself, for it is expedient that you be hidden away both day and night lest the ways of men should find you, to take you captive unto war and death.

7  Yet this will I speak for your learning: For such aloneness as you do feel today, will on the morrow, teach you to enjoy the presence of those who would come unto you.”

8  Such was the counsel of the mother unto her son, and holding to her breasts the seed of all her hope, she taught him, saying: “Come my son, and I will give into your heart words of counsel and of life;

9  That you may be wise throughout all the days of your life concerning those things which shall prove of greatest value; that you may walk in safety midst darkness and deceit.

10  For such counsel as you would take to heart, even that shall be as a shield round about you; causing that you shall walk unhindered and unafraid in the midst of men.

11  Hear then your mother’s counsel and forget not the words of my mouth; for even I would have you embrace the ways of silence; for of all the virtues which I would place within the heart of you, silence is most needful.

12  For silence does guard the ways of power, to keep most hidden the heart and mind together; for among men are there many which would make ruin any man who should prove greater than themselves.

13  Taking from the words you speak, any occasion whereby they might bring against you a strong accusation; to throw, with violent fury, your own words into the teeth again, to bring you down into death.

14  Let silence therefore set watch over the heart within; that you may ponder in the mind the words which you would speak; to weigh, most carefully the worth or folly of the heart within.

15  For if a man prove silent and unboastful, then shall there be added to the words he speaks, some greater weight filled with value and worth.

16  For the words you choose to speak are formed from the breath of your life, causing that they should live most constantly in the minds of those which hear.

17  And if the words you speak be wisely fashioned, then shall men of power have regard for you; but if your words prove foolish, then shall your words rise up against you from the mouths of others, to haunt and plague you even unto death.

18  And not this only, my son, but let your silence watch equally over such words as others would speak in your hearing; that by keeping the confidence of others, they might give into your care also, the secrets of greater things.

19  Still unto this, my child, would I add unto your silence, the art of listening, for there are many which hear but do not listen, causing that they should fall prey to the innermost thoughts of others; causing that they should tread, most precariously, between life and death.

20  For listening does lead a man to a greater understanding of the world in which he lives; and in understanding is there brought into the heart a wellspring of wisdom; for wisdom is the birthseed of every virtue; being in itself incorruptible of men.

21  Thus would I have you guard the ways of the heart with silence, that you may better listen to the words and actions of others; for if there should arise in subtle forms, the ways of danger, then shall listening most equally forewarn you; to lead you safely unto life and not death.

22  For many have perished midst empty words, being devoured of those they did not hear; for they were ever boastful and unable to see for themselves, the doom which lurks in the words and deeds of others.

23  Yet unto silence and listening would I equally add the need for strength and fortitude; that enduring beyond the pains and heartaches of this life, you might be benefited in both body and mind; proving yourself indomitable and most resilient before the eyes of men.

24  This then shall you learn for yourself most surely: that the victory of battle is not always given to those which are mighty in numbers or in power.

25  But rather is victory given to the man of clear thought and boundless vision; being made most strong and firm in heart and mind; going beyond the substances of the flesh, to embrace instead the strength of things unseen, but deeply known.

26  For all men are made to fear before those mightier than themselves; clutching with desperate zeal the threads of their life whereby they might hold them in the hand.

27  Causing that they should prove cruel and heartless towards those which are weaker than themselves, being continually chased about by fear and envy; being made weak and frail midst the powers of all their might.

28  Be you not like unto these my son; for it is given that fear should fall upon the mind of every man, but take no counsel of it; but stand you firm and steady in the calmness of your mind.

29  For in the thoughts which you think is there given that greater strength which no power can break in pieces, neither fall you subject unto the fear of death.

30  For you know yourself already that it is certain that all men must die; therefore be you firmly resolved to live both nobly and well until the day of darkness.

31  For what advantage is there found in being as all other men? For when you die, then shall you sink beneath the weight of all common men; to be as unremembered in the minds of those which live after you.

32  Be you, therefore, most uncommon in all your doings before the eyes of men; that guided by such wisdom as would rise up within you, and guarded most subtly before and behind, to the right and to the left, by silence and listening, men might find in you the birth of a far more nobler way.

33  This truth then would I place within the heart; for I would have you know, my son, that except there be some great and inner strength within the heart and mind of you, there can be found no place for virtue to grow and flourish.

34  Fear not, therefore, such adversities and hardships as will fall upon you throughout the days of your life;

35  Neither be you filled with complaints and bitter cursings because of it; for adversity is but the teacher which would make you stronger still; and not the enemy as those which are weak might suppose.

36  Yet from what source would you construct most carefully, such strength as I would have you take unto yourself? By what means shall you be made of greater worth in the eyes of all who see?

37  Come then, my son, and lean you close upon my breasts, and I will speak to you of faith and of that power which would both shape and fashion the heart and mind together.

38  For faith is the substance from which that inner strength is most strongly fashioned; becoming of itself that sure and certain refuge which would lift above the troubles of this life, the one who believes most firmly.

39  Being in themselves neither bent nor moved by such doubts as do arise from time to time, but standing both firm and still in the strength of all their faith before the vain opinions of those who speak falsely.

40  For there are many which believe nothing good; going from fear to fear, being chased and tormented by endless doubt and gloom.

41  Beware therefore such as these; for they would make you like unto themselves, whereby they might not dwell alone in the midst of all their despair; to pull you down into the darkness of their own making.

42  Know therefore, my son, that faith is the seed of hope; filling the heart of those which believe with joyful expectation; calming the storms which rage about; holding to the path of strength and hope, the one which dreams most greatly.

43  Thus, my son, is it given you to weigh in the hand most carefully such things as would cause to dwell within you either faith or doubt, hope or despair, light or darkness.

44  Choose, therefore, most wisely and with care; for faith is preferable to all other things, to fill the sum of all your days with singing and joyful delight.

45  To lift you above the common affairs of all other men; bringing as gifts to your heart and mind such strength and hope as would lead you unto greatness.

46  And not this only, my son, would I give into the heart of you; for faith and wisdom would but lead you unto that power which lies beyond the frail and boastful powers of common men.

47  To build in you that stronger image wherein all who would have some regard for you, might find in all your doings, the beginnings of their own deliverance.

48  Attend with care such teachings as I would place within the heart; for I have determined to reveal in you the pillars of some greater power than men of themselves do know.

49  For the power which I would place into the heart and mind together is founded upon these things only: to know, to dare, to do, to be silent.

50  For in deep knowing is there found that certain courage which would set you free of darkness; while in the daring of greater things there is made to spring up the beginnings of such hope as would chase away the smallness of men.

51  And in the doing of some far more noble thing are the ways of men changed forever; causing to dwell within you both joy and fulfillment together; for if you would become as someone noble, then must you do already as someone noble.

52  Therefore, my noble son, know deeply the secrets of hidden things, that you may dare greatly in doing good among the children of men.

53  But be you watchful and guard through silence the pathways of your heart and mind, lest those which are cruel and hateful leap upon you, to weigh you down in darkness.

54  Let such faith as you would nurture take root most deeply, that it may surround you and penetrate you throughout the sum of all your several parts;

55  Let it move and breathe and dance about within the heart and mind together, that in the day of trouble you might find therein the pathway of deliverance.

56  Drink from your faith like water, that it may fill your days with confidence and hope; for except your ways be founded in faith, you shall surely fall beneath the smallness of common men, to be consumed in doubt and folly.”

57  Such were the words of Areta unto her son, and taking the boy by the hand, she spoke again, saying: “Come, my son, and I will make known unto you what faith is like.”

58  Now the mother took a seed and planted it in a small pot of earth; and placing it in the sunlight, she encouraged her son that he should water it but twice a day.

59  And after the passing of several days, the boy beheld the cropping up of a small seedling; and running unto his mother, he took her by the hand that she might see also.

60  And seeing the seedling, Areta smiled and gathering her son upon her lap, she spoke, saying: “Now, my son, I will make known the means by which faith is made to grow and flourish, to enrich and bless the whole of all your life.

61   For you have seen for yourself how the seed was first planted in the earth, being nurtured daily in sunlight and with water; and in the passing of the days, the seed did burst forth to rise above the very earth itself.

62  Likewise is faith made to leap out from the very midst of you; for the earth in which you plant is the tabernacle of the flesh; and the sunlight which would shine most warmly is found in all your thoughts and daily speech; while yet the water which would nourish the faith within, is found in all your doings.”

63  And when Areta had said these things, she taught unto her son the Prayer of the Self, whereby the son might give birth in himself of that faith which would make him strong and good and wise throughout the days of all his life.

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