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The Devotion of Hercules
The story of Hercules has captivated me in this degenerate age. So many men are disconnected from natural law and one of the few surviving stories of natural law and what it means to be a man can be found in Ancient Greek mythology. The Iliad and The Odyssey are must reads as well as The 12 Labors of Hercules.
This age requires strong men of devotion and intolerance. There is no better way to introduce your friends to natural law than the story of Hercules. No, not the Hollywood Hercules, the actual story.
Hercules wasn’t the dumb, lovable guy from the Disney movie or even Kevin Sorbo. Hercules for the Greeks was their most famous hero. He was a hunter and warrior, a monster slayer. Hercules set out into the fog of war and made the world safe for travel by conquering the ancient beasts that kept mankind contained. He founded sea routes and slew monsters.
His Labors weren’t done out of goodwill, but for redemption.
Hercules—out of a drunken rage or the influence of Hera—killed his own wife and children. With the guidance of the Oracle at Delphi, to appease the Gods for this crime, he was made to serve an unworthy king who issued him the Labors.
Everyone knows about his 12 Labors, fewer could name them all. The easy ones would be the Nemean Lion, the Hydra, and Cerberus, but how many talk about his Third Labor—the Cerynitian Hind? The hind was sacred to the Goddess Artemis. He spent a year tracking and trying to catch the beast without hurting it so as to avoid Artemis’ wrath.
Having worn down the beast, Hercules wounded the hind with an arrow. This allowed him to finally—after an entire year—catch the hind. He put the hind over his shoulder and headed back to Mycenae to complete the labor. After moving through Arcadia however, he is confronted by Artemis and her brother Apollo. The Goddess was angered and wanted the hind returned to her.
Hercules refused. Yes, that’s right. Hercules refused her.
This act is very powerful. Hercules defiance of the Goddess is something not talked about. To go against the gods is blasphemous, it’s taboo. It’s hard to understand the significance of this moment because we no longer believe in the gods. Perhaps, you can compare to going against the mob—the mainstream—today. The desire to fit in, conform, with your social group is high. It’s not easy to go against a group that can ostracize you.
He is choosing to go against the gods to complete his Labors. Hercules said it was out of necessity. Eurystheus wanted the hind captured and he would bring him the hind. If she wants to be angry at someone, be angry at the King who ordered the Labor done.
Lucky for Hercules, Artemis accepted this response. She healed the hind and allowed Hercules to go on his way. His defiance was an act of intolerant devotion to purpose. Hercules would go against the Gods of Olympus to complete his Labors. His brute manliness wouldn’t be intimidated by Artemis.
This is something as a man you must internalize. Your purpose, your great work, is primary above all other things.
Hercules set out for redemption. He wanted to set things right between him and the gods after the brutal murders of his family. These Labors would make him remembered, they would give him everlasting glory. But they also came with great pain and sacrifice. It took him a decade to complete the 12 Labors. That my friends is devotion.
The men of our time always choose the easy way. The way of Netflix, the way of the video game and cell phone. It’s unlikely that any man of this time can channel the absolute, intolerant devotion required to complete these Labors today. This you must dwell on because as modern men, we have no doubt angered the gods with disgusting blasphemies.
The way we live now is against natural law. It cannot be maintained. A more savage people—who haven’t sacrificed their virile fighting power—will eventually conquer us or something we didn’t see coming will do us in. It’s a matter of time and now is the best time to seek redemption. You must repent for your part in modernity. You must undertake great labors and forge great works, establish great bloodlines. You must make sure your name and bloodline are remembered.
Greatness, power, and glory—that is your goal, your high solar vision, your one purpose.