HERCULES-HERACLES A SUPER HERO!
Hercules-Heracles, among all the Greek heroes and Gods, was a real super-hero. He defeated monsters and great warriors and the most amazing thing of all was: THE TWELVE LABORS! Maybe no other Greek god or hero is as famous as Hercules. Let's talk about his deeds and labors.
Hercules that was the name given to the Greek Heracles. He had to achieve amazing things. Several movies had been made depicting his glory and fame. Usually he is shown as a body builder with huge muscles; but his strength was not physical. It was a spiritual strength, same as Samson in the Bible.
He had to fight against two serpents when he was a baby. His whole life was full of challenges. Never a regular human being could ever do all the great tasks he did. Yes, he was the son of Zeus and had his genes.
Fighting against the serpents when he was a baby means the need of fighting against the negative serpent (Desire). Heroes have self-control and therefore, they control their own desires. That is the path to become a great hero. That serpent is the serpent that was in the Garden in Genesis. We all must fight it and defeat it. Hercules did it at the very beginning of his path.
Do not ever take the symbols as they are. We need to understand the meaning, otherwise they lack sense. I tell more about Hercules on the article: GREEK HEROES AND GODS or HEROES IN MYTHS, IN ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS AN DIN MODERN LIFE (Both links at the bottom)
Hercules-Heracles is maybe tone of the most favorite ancient heroes and we could even say he is a super hero. Some people belief he is more than a myth and actually a real human whose life was depicted in a mythological way. Actually, I am one of them. All those great heroes of ancient mythology were real, but their lives were depicted in a symbolic way.
Check these movies:
The great hero had to pass several trials to become the kind of hero he was. They were the 12 labors:
1> THE NEMEAN LION.
2> THE LEMAEN HYDRA.
That evil monster was just a symbol and not a real monster. It is Mara in Buddhism. It represents the mind. All those heads coming out from the Hydra are our thoughts. Controlling the mind is essential to fulfill the other tasks. Otherwise, your mind will make you weak in front of harder deeds. A mind without control is under the power of the senses and therefore, under the power of Illusion. How can you see the difference between being under illusion and not being under it? There is not way if you are under the power of the mind.
3> THE GOLDEN HIND OF CERYNEIA.
Here Hercules most get the Pet of Diana without hurting it. Hercules most strike it with his arrows, but without hurting it. This task needs perfect concentration.In other words, a perfect control of the mind. Now you can understand why controlling the mind is so important. it was a task of pure mental control. Once a person has that then he/she is ready for the great deeds!
4> THE ERYMANTHIAN BOAR.
The boar is a symbol of wild instincts. We all should control those instincts to be more human. Violence, hatred, revenge, anger, etc. are so destructive; but we all have some of them. Just check the world. Violence is everywhere. So in order to achieve spiritual development we have to control our behavior, our instincts.
5> THE AUGEAN STABLES.
This is a great representation of the mind in a state of total chaos. We need to purify our mind. First we need to control it; but then we need to clean it from all those horrible negative thoughts. The root of a bad behavior comes from negative thoughts. Revenge comes to you r mind first, then you act.
6> THE STYMPHALIAN BIRDS.
The birds represent thoughts. See? first you control the mind, then you clean your mind from negative thoughts; but these thoughts are deep down into the subconscious. Either you defeat them or they defeat you. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, comes to help Hercules. This task requires all the intelligence and real wisdom to be fulfilled.
7> THE CRETEAN BULL.
The bull is a symbol of power. Nevertheless, power can destroy your values. It does not matter how strong you are, you should always keep in mind that arrogance can destroy your relationships and admiration. control the bull with humbleness and kindness.
8> THE MARES OF DIOMEDES.
These animals symbolize animal passions hidden within each human being. Controlling them is important for the inner development.
9> THE GIRDLE OF HIPPOLYTE.
Hippolyte was queen of the Amazons, the great women warriors.Ares, the god of war, give that belt to Hippolyte. Hercules with other warriors went to visit her. The queen of the amazons received Hercules; but the goddess Hera told the amazons that Hercules was coming for their queen. So they went ready to fight. Heracles killed the queen before he was attacked and he took the belt after a great fight.
The belt is an ancient symbol of control of inner energies. this is a representation on dissolving any desire related to losing energies.
10> THE CATTLE OF THE MONSTER GERVON.
In order to take the herd, Herrcules had to fight Orhtus, brother of Ceverrus. Orthus was a two headed dog. But the great hero defeat him easily. It was not too hard to get the herd, but the real task was to take them back to Greece. He had several problems to do so. One bull escaped and it was taken by king Eryx. Heracles had to fight against him to get the bull. Finally he accomplished the task.
Here Heracles is teaching us perseverance to defeat any obstacle.
11> THE APPLE OF HESPERIDES.
The Golden Apples that had the power to become immortal to the person who eats them. Sounds amazing, right? Well, our hero had to get some apples on this labor; but he did not know where they were. He was looking for them all around. He found Prometheus, the one who took the fire from the gods. He told Heracles to get Atlas to go for the apples. So Hercules asked that favor to Atlas. the latter accepted if Hercules could hold the world while he go for the golden fruits. The great hero accepted. Atlas came back with the apples; but he said he would take them to Eurystheus himself. Heracles did not refused the offer; but he asked Atlas to hold the world so he could put some pads on his own shoulders. Atlas grabbed the world back again and, of course, Hercules went away.
A great lesson that shows Hercules was not foll at all. These apples represents the real wisdom and the power that comes from wisdom. It takes a lot of courage and effort to get them. That is why not many wise men are around.
12> BRINGING CERBERUS FROM THE UNDER-WORLD.
Cerberus, the horrible dog with three heads living in the underworld, was the most important and dangerous task for our hero. The idea was bringing Cerberus from Hades to the world of the living beings. Nobody came back alive after going into the underworld. Hercules had to prepare himself for the battle. The great Heracles passed through the Eleusinian Mysteries before starting this labor. Why? Because he need extra power to face such a beast.It is easy to picture it was a really awesome fight; but Hercules defeat the beast and took it to Eurystheus.
Cerberus is a symbol of the inner and deepest desires of any human being. Those deep desires are in the subconscious. A real hero needs to understand those deep desires, in other words, he needs to purify the subconscious. Just after that he becomes a real hero.
All these twelve labors are just mere symbols teaching us the need to change our way of life. They teach us about courage and boldness. They are telling us about the fight for success. Yes, we do not need to fight big monsters or beasts; we do not need to look for Golden Apples. But we need to overcome our own fear and traumas; we need to face our negative thoughts and negative emotions. We really need to find what is holding us back.
The great ancient myths are not just mere tales for kids. Actually thy are for adults able to understand them and ready to change the way of life that we have. We all are entitle to have a better world; but it will never happen if we keep the path of our lives without any change. The whole world is a mess and it is up to us to build a better world.
MORE FROM CULWISDOM:
PLATO: THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE!
GREEK HEROES AND GODS.
HEROES IN MYTHS, IN ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS AND IN MODERN LIFE
ZEUS-JUPITER: THE FATHER OF THE GODS.