I was walking around Kalemegdan with a friend of mine when suddenly a man like a hermit appeared from a small dark and dirty barracks. He went somewhere looking quite relaxed, followed by a street dog.
My friend rushed to express her disgust and made it too clear. The whole scene reminded me of the painting I once saw. The painting depicted the mythical hermit.
It’s disgusting! – she said.
We can all be him – I continued from my thoughts.
I will never be that! – she went into straightforward attack.
Perhaps you should try to, at least in some situations, put yourself in his place and try to look at the world from the perspective of one hermit– I answered.
What do you mean?
Do not look at him as a dirty wandering. Try to view him as a person who may have abandoned this aspect life and, for spiritual reasons, receded into his rust, silence and solitude. This desolation is a dry, barren, lifeless earth, but it is also a place of contemplation, prayer and divine revelation.
The friend was silent. I knew he was intensely thinking. The hermit was now farther away from us, with his back turned to us and we could no longer see his face.
Look, the dog is following him like in that mystical painting I was telling you about. And there the hermit was followed by the three-headed dog Kerber, the guardian of hell and the threshold of the underground world. The person who is followed by this dog is surely pulling themselves into the desert, crossing the threshold and entering hell.
Do not scare me with those words!– she looked at me right in the eyes.
If you are not familiar with mystic things, try to consider this psychologically. We have here a man who may have descended into the dark depths of the primal unconscious, after many temptations, suffering and denial. There he reached the light, wisdom and knowledge.
With you, one can never walk normally and talk about weather or something ordinary. You’re always running some of your battles for others – she laughed, she relaxed.
True or not, I think it would really help us put ourselves into the experience of a hermit. Through solitude and confronting the dark sides of our personality, and even the world around us, we would gain deep insights, experience and, most importantly, we would realize self-awareness that would transform us. The stay in this underground empire always carries deep spiritual insights that truly lead to peace and tranquility, sometimes even to enlightenment.
If he is so wise as you say and if he has realized great spiritual insights, then why is he still in this dirty barracks?– my inquisitive friend asked as the man was already out of sight.
Maybe he is reborn. He may have acquired spiritual wisdom that he still can not figure out in words. Perhaps this is the reason why he could not share it with others.
As in the mentioned painting: the scene of the hermit reveals its traits as a soul guide through Had and the underworld. Divine light and hellish experiences that initiate and overwhelm the soul reach their integrity and alchemy marriage of opposites.
Every person is in the stage of a hermit when they put themselves in solitude and isolate from others, further contacts with the outside world and pull themselves to think or meditate. What is waiting for those brave people can be defined as solutions to the problems or knowledge that will help in the path of self-development and individuation.
Many great teachers of humanity, such as Jesus, the Buddha, or Muhammad, had to pass through the experience of the desert to mature and strengthen in the temptations of solitude. It was their way to dive into the dark layers of the being or to receive divine revelations that later passed on to humans. Their example was followed by numerous mystics, saints and spiritual teachers.
Maybe we could follow their path for a second because of our souls and own lives.