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The choice we have to make


Aug 24, 2018
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Once upon a time there was Hercules. Being mature enough, he knew it was the right time for him to make an important choice. He was wandering around and he finally sat at a foothill, thinking of which path he should follow in life. All of a sudden he sees two tall women approaching him.

The first woman wears simple, clean clothes, does delicate and steady movements and her gaze is serious and modest. The second woman is overweight, flashy, is wearing very expensive clothes but has no taste, wearing gold jewelry, having make-up on and having disdainful gaze. These two women started walking towards him at the same time, but, the second woman decided to speed up her pace in order to greet and talk to Hercules first. As she meets him she says "Hercules, I can see that you are thinking of which path would be better for you to follow. If you follow me, you will have a life everyone would be jealous of. An effortless life, the most easy life. Whatever you need you will just take it from others and without any work or effort you will live a happy life". She was pointing at a wide path, flat, easy to walk at, while in the middle of it there was mist and the road started to shorten in width. Hercules listened to her very carefully and asked her what her name is. She replied "my friends call me Eudaimonia (Bliss), although my name is Kakia (Vice/Malice)".

The second woman didn't try to reach Hercules as soon as possible, unlike the first woman. When she finally reached him she said "Hercules, I will not try to trick you, and the reason I won't do that is because I know what you are capable of doing, because I know your ancestors. I won't promise you pleasures without efforts, but I will show you the truth as it really is.
The truth is that in order to move on and advance in life, first you need to care for, aid and benefit your friends, and secondly you need to work for, care for, and benefit your hometown". Hercules asked her who she is and she replied "my name is Arete (Virtue)". The road she pointed was very thin, uphill, with many obstacles, very difficult to walk at in the beginning, but close to the end, the road started getting smoother and smoother.

The first woman who met Hercules was Vice, which means that she will always try to reach to us first, trying to make us believe it's Bliss, to make us choose her instead of Virtue, the Good. She talked to him about only the things he can do for himself, how to gain stuff. Not helping, caring or even respecting others, just caring for himself only.

Vice is camouflaged with the meaning of bliss about physical pleasures. This can be tricky and make us follow her path because usually bliss is related in our minds to an effortless life, doing no work, having always luck and everything to happen without putting any effort, that everything has to happen by itself, this is the root of corruption. This has only to do with our personal gains only. Like we need to have everything with no effort, and that's the root for evil, according to the ancient Greek philosophers.

The second woman didn't refer to anything about him, but that he has to focus on his friends and his hometown and only then he will receive pleasures. The Good will just reach us when it's supposed to, not trying to make us choose it, but just to remind us who we really are and what we have to do in out lives, our cause.
All of the people who start to reflect in and start to understand themselves, who wonder "why life is the way it is?", "what should I do?", all these people are on a crossroads, about to choose a path between vice and virtue. The road we may choose is a choice we make alone.
Hercules chose the path of Virtue, and then he faced the famous 12 labours of Hercules.
I loved this post, thank you.
Thank you Maya, very wise story.
Just like the others have said, cool story :) Living a sober life isn't easy, but it will improve your clarity and conviction.

Al Jilwah: Chapter IV

"It is my desire that all my followers unite in a bond of unity, lest those who are without prevail against them." - Satan