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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.