There is always a deep meaning in the legends of the
ancient Greeks, as in those of the Indians, Persians and
Egyptians, and it is most interesting to watch how the art
of the Greeks, with its beautiful structure as well as with
its legends, had a much deeper meaning than would appear
on the outside. Seeing and studying this art we find the
key to the ancient culture, and the further we explore it
the more we shall be acquainted with its depth and its profound
From the first part of the story of Orpheus we learn
that no object a person has once desired from the depth
of his heart will ever be lost. Even if the object of love
that a person has once desired is in the deepest depth of
the earth – where reason, but not the eye, can see it –
even then it can be attained if he pursues it sufficiently.
The next thing we learn is that in order to attain an
object the love element alone is not sufficient, but besides
love, wisdom is necessary. It is wisdom, which awakens in
harmony and harmonizes with the cosmic forces, which helps
one to attain one's object. There is a saying that the one
who possesses the knowledge of sound knows the science of
the whole life, and this will be admitted by the wise ones
of all ages and of all countries. The invoking of the gods
by Orpheus was his coming in touch with all the harmonious
forces which, united together, brought him that object which
he wanted to attain.
But the most fascinating part of the story is the last
one, both as a picture and as to the sense. As Orpheus was
proceeding, Euridice following him, the promise was that
he was not to look back. The moment he would look back Euridice
would be taken away from him. The meaning of this is that
the secret of all attainment is faith. If the faith of a
person endures as far as ninety-nine miles and one mile
remains before gaining the object, even then, if doubt comes,
attainment is no more to be expected.
From this we learn a lesson, a lesson which can be used
in everything we do, in every walk of life: in order to
attain anything we need faith, and if faith is lacking –
even if there is the slightest lack of faith in the form
of doubt – it will spoil all we have done.
'Verily faith is light and doubt darkness.'