Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The King's Son ( and the Queen's Daughter);;;; journey of the soul

Once, in a country where all people were like kings and queens, there lived a family, who were in every way content, and whose surroundings were such that the human tongue cannot describe them in terms of anything that is known today.

This country of Sharq seemed satisfactory to the young prince Dhat and his sister princess Fatima.  Until one day, their parents told them: “Dearest children of ours, it is the necessary custom of our land, that each prince and princess go forth on a trial. This is to fit yourselves to be the king and queen you are meant to be.
This trial will enable you to achieve—by watchfulness and effort—an inner and outer strength impossible without it.
Thus it has been ordained in the beginning and thus it will always be. “

The Prince and Princess were prepared for the journey.
They were given a special food that would nourish them, which was of small compass but illimitable quantity.
They were given certain resources, which it is not possible to mention, to guard them, if properly used.

They had to travel to a certain country, Misr, and they had to go in disguise. They left behind their royal clothes, and took those of the new land. They were given guides for the journey and a sacred task: to bring back a certain jewels, guarded by a fearsome monster.

Their guides took them to the new land, to Misr, and left them there. They had been instructed to part, so they did, soon finding others who were on the same mission as companions.

But, because of the air and food of the country, all forgot their mission, and went into an ongoing sleep. This lasted many years, as Dhat and Fatima went about humble vocations, unaware of what had happened to them.

By means familiar to them but unknown to other people, the inhabitants of Sharq felt the situation of Dhat and Fatima, and sent them messages by a strange means, the inner content of which was:
“Awake. You are the daughter and son of kings and queens. You have a mission. It is time to stop your sleep.”

The message awoke the pair, who found each other at the monster’s lair, and by means of special sounds, they put the monster to sleep and retrieved the Jewels.

The Sounds now guided them back to Sharq, and almost at once they were again in their royal attire, and at one with their real home.

This time, though, through their experiences, they were able to see that what they had taken for granted was of far greater splendor than they could have imagined, and that it was the place commemorated vaguely by the people of Misr as Salamat, which the people of Misr took to be the word for Submission, but which Dhat and Fatima now realized, meant …. peace.

My rendition of the last teaching story, usually called the King’s Son,  in The Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah, from a dervish’s transcription of a recital supposed given by Amir Sultan, Sheik of Bokhara, who taught in Istanbul and died in 1429.

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