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I bring you the Beauty of Suffering

000 philemon

It was noon on a hot summer’s day and I was taking a stroll in my garden; when I reached the shade of the high trees, I met Philemon strolling in the fragrant grass.

But when I sought to approach him, a blue shade came from the other side, and when Philemon saw him, he said, “I find you in the garden, beloved. The sins of the world have conferred beauty upon your countenance.

“The suffering of the world has straightened your shape.

“You are truly a king.

“Your crimson is blood.

“Your ermine is snow from the coldness of the poles.

“Your crown is the heavenly body of the sun, which you bear on your head.

“Welcome to the garden, my master, my beloved, my brother!”

The shade replied, “Oh Simon Magus or whatever your name may be, are you in my garden or am I in yours?”

Philemon said, “You are, Oh master, in my garden. Helena, or whatever you choose to call her, and I are your servants.

You can find accommodation with us. S

Simon and Helena have become Philemon and Baucis and so we are the hosts of the Gods.

We granted hospitality to your terrible worm. And since you come forward, we take you in. It is our garden that surrounds you.”

The shade answered, “Is this garden not mine? Is not the world of the heavens and of the spirits my own?”

Philemon said, “You are, Oh master, here in the world of men. Men have changed.

They are no longer the slaves• and no longer the swindlers of the Gods and no longer mourn in your name, but they grant hospitality to the Gods.

The terrible worm came before you, whom you recognize as your brother insofar as you are of divine nature, and as your father insofar as you are of human nature.

You dismissed him when he gave you clever counsel in the desert.

You took the counsel, but dismissed the worm: he finds a place with us.

But where he is, you will be also.

When I was Simon, I sought to escape him with the ploy of magic and thus I escaped you.

Now that I gave the worm a place in my garden, you come to me.”

The shade answered, “Do I fall for the power of your trick?

Have you secretly caught me? Were not deception and lies always your manner?”

But Philemon answered, “Recognize, Oh master and beloved, that your nature is also of the serpent.

Were you not raised on the tree like the serpent?

Have you laid aside your body, like the serpent its skin?

Have you not practiced the healing arts, like the serpent?

Did you not go to Hell before your ascent?

And did you not see your brother there, who was shut away in the abyss?”

Then the shade said, “You speak the truth.

You are not lying. Even so, do you know what I bring you?”

“This I know not,” Philemon answered, “I know only one thing, that whoever hosts the worm also needs his brother.

What do you bring me, my beautiful guest? Lamentation and abomination were the gift of the worm. What will you
give us?”

The shade answered, “I bring you the beauty of suffering.

That is what is needed by whoever hosts the worm.” ~Carl Jung, Red Book, Page 359.