THGIS OF THE DEEP
Once upon a time there was a dolphin, named Thgis, who roamed the sea. He was a big, strong, powerful dolphin and all of the other fish in the sea depended on him and looked up to him. He enjoyed this status, but sometimes he felt as though there was something missing.
One night, a very still, dark night in the doldrums, while all of the other fish were sleeping, he looked up and saw the stars shimmering brightly through the surface of the water. “How beautiful,” he thought. “There’s so much more of the world and beyond to discover. I’m always so concerned with thinking about being what I’m supposed to be in my world that I never have the time to experience another.” So he took a deep breath and rolled over on his back to soak in the essence of the stars. As he lay there in quiet contemplation, he began to notice one star stand out. It started to become brighter. In fact, the light that emanated from this star became so bright that he felt as though he were being enveloped by it. Just then, the water began to ripple. “This can’t be,” thought Thgis. “The night is still as a sleeping lamb.” But the circular ripples began to spread creating a show of long beams of light. As Thgis looked closer, a vision appeared; a beautiful vision of a woman. She had long, silken hair, and eyes that sparkled like diamonds. On her back were majestic wings of violet. She was kneeling down with a pitcher of water in each hand, pouring one into the ocean and the other onto land. Mesmerized, Thgis began to swim towards her, but just as he reached the surface of the water, she disappeared. As quickly as the ripples had started, once again it was still. This frightened and confused him terribly. He dove quickly back down to hide in the depths of the sea where he felt safe and comfortable. Being careful not to wake the other fish, he found an isolated rock to hide behind…but still, there was some unknown feeling that he couldn’t seem to shake. As he peered out from behind his little cubby hole, there it was — that beam of light! It appeared to be following him; yet, it didn’t seem menacing. “Surely,” he thought, “if it wanted to get to me, it could.” But it just seemed to be near by. Always near enough by, no matter where he swam, that he could go and be enlightened by it if he so chose. It seemed to be calling to him, yet never imposing.
Finally, he could stand it no longer. He swam closer to investigate and much to his surprise, instead of feeling anxiety, the closer he got, the more peaceful he felt. As he entered the ring of light, he felt it enter him. A rush of emotions overcame him as he was lifted by the light. Slowly, his suspension in the water transformed into his being suspended in space above the water. Higher and higher he rose. In the stillness of the night, the stars reflected on the water as if it were glass. The stars seemed to reach the horizon and their reflection met the sky; it were as if it was one. Then the earth kept becoming smaller and smaller until it became just another star.
The light grew stronger and stronger and pulled him in directions he had never felt before. It frightened him, but at the same time fascinated him. All of a sudden, he experienced what felt like an explosion and found himself lying on a beach. The sun was shining bright and warm and it felt good on his body. But he was scared. He had been beached. How could a dolphin survive on dry land? He tried to roll back down to the water, but as he turned, he looked upon some sunflowers and ivy. There, in the midst of a garden, stood a handsome gentleman cloaked in red, wearing a white tunic. “Who are you?” asked Thgis. “I am The Magician,” said the man. “I am here to guide you on your journey to the integration of the passion and purity you desire.” “But, how shall I live?” replied Thgis, “I am a dolphin, I can not live on dry land.” To which The Magician replied, “You are a dolphin only in the earthly bounds of your confinement; however, here, you are not bound by earth and sea. Here, you are in your heart and soul, a higher place of yourself…and you have all of the tools you need to survive and prosper.” And with those words he dissipated into thin air.
Much to the amazement of Thgis, he looked down and had legs with which to walk. He stood. He squished the wet sand through his toes. He looked out upon a world as he had never seen before. The blueness of the sky met the blueness of the ocean at a sharp and clear horizon. Whitecaps danced on the surface of the sea to the harmony of the wind through the palms and the waves upon the shore. Behind him extended a lush, green, tropical valley. Looking at this, Thgis said to himself, “Surely, this place must be heaven.”
Suddenly, like thunder, he heard the gallop of hooves approaching. Racing past him were two royal knights on horseback, riding like the wind. Abruptly, they stopped, turned, and advanced upon Thgis coming to a screeching halt at his feet.
Startled, Thgis could say nothing to these two regal, imposing figures. One was fair, with blue eyes and sand-colored hair. He held in his hand a golden cup encrusted with jewels and filled with white and red roses. The other was dark, with chocolate-brown eyes and an aura the color of fire. In his hand he held a magic wand. Extending the wand in front of Thgis’ eyes, the knight said, “focus.” No other words were spoken, but Thgis knew he was to follow.
The knights led him to a path at the foot of the valley. The Knight of Cups gave him two flowers, one red and one white. The Knight of Wands then gave him a magic wand and said, “focus.” They then rode off.
Thgis looked at the flowers. He tucked them away in his heart as a gift. He then looked at the wand. He knew instinctively that touching this wand was the beginning of his spiritual growth and psychic freedom. He also knew that once he took the magic to be his own, he could never turn back. The magic overcame him. He had begun his journey.
Thgis walked only a short way before he came to a crossroads. There, before him, stood a young man with golden hair, a knapsack on his shoulder and a dog at his feet. Thgis asked, “Whatever shall I do? I am lost here, and confused. I don’t know what road to take.” To which the young man replied, “All roads lead to the same mountaintop…if you are willing to take the risk.” “What risk?” asked Thgis. “For all that is gained, some shall be lost, yet there is no loss so great as the lack of, or loss of, true inner knowledge. Our search is our journey here today. Ask your guide within.” “Who are you?” asked Thgis. “Some call me a fool, but only those who deny themselves the true gift of wisdom be one and the same.” Upon those parting words, the young man headed off down a path less traveled, his faithful dog in tow.
Thgis stood bewildered for some time, not knowing which way to turn. So he closed his eyes and listened to his heart. His heart answered with the sound of a babbling brook off in the distance. The path that followed that sound is the path he chose.
As the rush of the water became clearer, he began to see a vision before him. There, perched on the path, between two pillars, one white and one black, sat a dark-haired priestess, draped in flowing blue. In her hand she held a scroll; behind her loomed the lush of papaya and banana trees. At her feet was a bright, crescent glow. Not knowing how to speak in the presence of what he thought might be royalty, he said, “In what manner shall I pass here, M’Lady?”, to which she replied, “You should be so bold, sir, as to ask such a forward question of someone you do not know.” “I meant no disrespect.” he said. “What knowledge is it that you desire?” she asked. Thgis thought for a moment and then responded, “I see the moon at your feet; you hold great secrets of within. I come from deep beneath the waterline. My abilities are evident, this I know, yet, I see not what’s before me because of all that is around me. I search to find that which is within my own depth. I seek to see that which I know in my heart to be true…and that which I know in my heart to be mine.” “To seek is to be attained, my son,” she replied, “sit here about my feet.”
No sooner did Thgis approach the feet of this beautiful, secretive lady, than he found himself in the rush of the waterfall that was her gown. Waterfall after brook, and waterfall after brook he did swim, down and around sunlit hills and valleys. Guided by his magic wand, he wound around huge oaks and weeping willows. As he passed meadows and fields, he could hear the laughter and singing of muses, and of all living things. He could hear joy backed by the music of lutes.
After a days journey into night, he swam down one last waterfall and into a pond. There, as he emerged from the rippling water, he once again saw the crescent glow of the moon…the same mysterious glow that sat at the feet of the priestess. Only now, the sounds had changed; no longer did he hear the babbling water and the lutes, the sounds now, here in the darkness, were of the distant crack of thunder and the howling of wolves.
Making his way onto land, he was confronted by a two pair of golden eyes peering at him in the darkness. “Oooowww,” someone howled. “Oooowww.” “Don’t let him scare you,” came another voice. The first was a wolf, thick and smoky grey, yet through his massive coat Thgis could see the purest white fur laying on the underside. The other was a dog with a golden coat that shimmered like that of Pele’s hair. “Oooowww,” again, howled the wolf. “Like I said,” said the dog, “he always howls like that at the full moon.” “But the moon is not full,” said Thgis. “No,” responded the dog, “in the hearts of wolves, the moon is always full. I am Heart, Heart the Dog. I am here to show you that what lies within can stay with you…out.” “And I am Shadow,” said the wolf. “Wolf Shadow. I am here to show you that what lies beneath can be let out. The journey ahead is a long one, you must let us guide you.” “Gladly,” said Thgis, for he was not too proud.
So they set out upon their journey through the darkness of night, with only the pale luminance of the moon to light their way. “Listen carefully, dear Thgis, listen to your Heart, Heart the Dog. He knows what makes you happy.” Wolf Shadow continued. “But mind you, dear Thgis Heart, your shadow, Wolf Shadow, is not dark. I know your secrets and howl only to wake the sleeping. Wolf Shadow will protect you if you allow him to play.”
As they journeyed on through the night, the thunder grew louder and more ominous. Suddenly, there was a crack of lightning that lit up the entire sky and in that moment revealed two huge stone towers standing on either side of the path. Thgis cowered at the sight. There was then another bolt, and another and another. Wolf Shadow turned and howled, “Oooowww. There is no blending of the soul, of Shadow and Heart, without passing through the towers of change! You are protected if you follow Heart.” Then Wolf Shadow disappeared.
Frantically, Thgis looked around, but Heart the Dog was nowhere to be seen. Thgis was petrified, he had had enough. He ran for cover in one of the towers. Once inside, though, there was a thunderous clanking and there looming before him was a monstrous, red-eyed, beast-devil. In his hands were leashes made of chains with people and creatures at the end of those chains. “I want to go home!” cried Thgis. “Come!” roared the beast-devil, “I will guide you.” “No!” cried Thgis, “You will chain me up and keep me here forever!” To which the beast-devil replied, “I do not keep my children, they come and go as they please…can you not see that?” And sure enough, as Thgis looked at the collars, as he looked at the chains, he could see that no one was there because they had to be, any one of them could have easily slipped out of the noose around their neck and walked away. “But why are they here?” pleaded Thgis, “Why don’t they leave?” “Because I make a comfortable home for them,” said the beast-devil, “They do not see me as you see me here now…I protect them from their own foolish choices. Come, look what I have prepared for you.” Thgis then turned to see a great ocean with all types of sea creatures, and the sun beaming down. Quite frankly, it looked inviting to him, yet he was skeptical. “Why are you here?” he asked one of the porpoises, to which the porpoise replied, “This is our world and we are comfortable in it. No one makes us stay. Here, we have no decisions to make. We just live our lives unaffected.” “Is that enough?” thought Thgis. “Come join us, friend,” said the porpoise, “you will be comfortable too.” But this time when the porpoise spoke, there was a strange resemblance to the voice of the beast-devil who was, now, nowhere to be seen. Thgis began to be lulled into the enchantment of the scene, but snapping to his senses he cried, “No! I will never be this stagnant!” and he turned and ran as fast as he could.
Through deafening thunder, across the darkened path he ran, dodging lightning bolts and falling debris. Into the other tower he ran for cover, but as he entered, the noise and commotion abruptly stopped! Everything was strangely quiet….except for the sound of a faint creaking. The inside of the tower was dimly lit with candles and lanterns. There were many rooms and hallways. Thgis followed the sound. Looking into room after room, the sound grew louder as he came closer. Finally, he came upon a room whereby there were three women spinning a woolen tapestry on a spinning wheel. One of the women was softly humming a haunting tune.
“Hello,” said Thgis. “Yes sir, how can we help you?” one of the women replied. “I am very far from home,” said Thgis, “and I would very much appreciate it if you could help me get back.” “I’m sorry,” said an old woman, “that is no longer possible.” “What do you mean, no longer possible?” asked Thgis. “Just that,” said the woman, “it is no longer possible.” “ I don’t understand,” said Thgis. He was becoming distraught at the thought. “Come sit awhile,” said the third woman, “you can hold my lambs wool for me.” Thgis sat. “Did you notice how quiet it got when you arrived?” asked the woman. “Yes.” replied Thgis. She continued. “Almost as quiet as a lamb sleeping…wouldn’t you agree?” she said, asking the others. “Quite.” “Quite,” they replied. Thgis just sat bewildered. “Do you see this spinning wheel, Thgis?” “Yes….yes, how did you know my name?” “Oh, we know all about you; you see, my name is Fate, and this is Faith, and this is Time. The wool you’re holding is the unknown thread of your life. Look here, it is your tapestry we spin.” “I don’t understand,” said Thgis again. “Here, let us show you.” With that, Time, the old woman, layed out an unfinished work of art that Thgis recognized as the events of his life. The sight touched him deeply. Fate went on. “So you see, we can’t stop the wheel once it has begun to spin. It would ruin the work, and there’s so much left to finish. — Do you understand, now, why you can’t turn back?” “I guess so,” said Thgis, “but it doesn’t help my confusion any, I still don’t know where to go from here.” To which Faith replied, “There’s only one direction to go, that is forward. Follow us, we will guide you.” At that, Fate took a candle off the wall and they began to ascend a spiral stone staircase.
Up and up they climbed, led only by the yellow flickering of the flame. Bats screeched and the air grew colder as they rose. Thgis thought back upon his life. In his mind, he looked upon the tapestry that had been spread out before him. So many things had brought him to this place, things that were clearly meant to be, and now, as they reached the window below the rafters at the apex, he looked out upon his future. But he could see nothing; it was dark and unknown. “Why have you brought me here?” Thgis asked Fate. “It is here where you begin or end your journey, my dear Thgis. It is here where you fall or fly. You have seen those who have fallen, they are at the end of a chain, bound by their indecision and fear.” “And those who fly?” asked Thgis. To which Faith responded, “You have seen them also, they are the angels in your life. They are the winged messengers who inspire creative thought.” “But I am a dolphin,” said Thgis, “I have no wings to fly, I shall surely fall to my demise.” “Remember, Thgis, I am Faith. Believe in what I tell you. Yes, you are a dolphin, but are you not walking? Are you not breathing air? The Magician is wise and powerful…as am I. Remember, Thgis, I am Faith. Heed now my words and choose. Choose that which is best for you.” With those words, there was a crack of lightning, like intuition itself. Again, it lit up the sky, only this time, Thgis looked out upon the world and saw the rolling hills and sparkling lights of a peaceful countryside. And Thgis stepped out of the window and off of the ledge…and he flew.
Thgis flew until pink clouds of dawn filled the sky, and when day broke, he landed in a barren field at the foot of a mountain. Off in the distance he saw a lone figure approaching; on a white stallion he rode, his armor was of blackest black. The only sound over the deathly silence was the wind whistling on the plain. As the rider approached, Thgis could see the sunken eyes of a life that was no more. The rider quietly passed, not saying a word, and rode off into the distance once again. But; as the rider rode further and further away, things began to grow. All around, the hillsides became lush with fresh green grass. Flowers began to spring up and leaves sprouted on the trees. Birds sang; butterflies and ladybugs abounded. Life was renewed.
“Hello!” said Heart the Dog. “Heart the Dog!” said Thgis, “Where have you been?” “Right here,” was the reply, “I’ve been waiting for you. It’s time for you to follow me to the last leg of your journey.” “I am very tired, Heart the Dog,” said Thgis, “what more do I possibly have to learn?” To which Heart the Dog replied, “You have followed your Shadow, now you must follow your Heart; there will come a time when we will walk the same path.” Heart the Dog then proceeded to show Thgis to a small foot path at the base of the mountain. “It is here your real journey begins,” said Heart the Dog, “you have chosen well.” And with that, Heart the Dog vanished. But Thgis was not scared. He no longer felt alone. He knew that he was being guided.
The road ahead was a rough one. Up rocky, mountainous terrain he climbed, switching back and forth, back and forth, stopping only to catch his breath. But as night fell, Thgis could no longer see the path before him and he began to doubt his choices. He sat down in the darkness, not knowing what to do. It was cold and once again he was homesick. But as he sat, he began to notice the merest flickering of a light. As he turned and looked up the side of the mountain, which was almost straight up by now, he saw that there was something illuminating his way. He began to climb, finding rocks and branches to grab onto, and footholds on which to propel himself upward. The light grew stronger and stronger, and then…he saw him. At the summit of the mountain was an old gentleman holding a lantern high above his head; a lantern filled with the light of the stars. The old man had a long silver beard, wore a grey hooded cloak, and was holding a staff in the other hand. Thgis pulled up one last time, climbed onto the top of the mountain, and stood next to the man. “Welcome, my son, I am The Hermit. Turn. Turn and look out on what you have accomplished.” With that, Thgis turned and in the darkness, the lantern grew lighter and lighter until it enlightened the entire countryside, below and beyond the mountain, with a soft glow while the stars still shown above. Thgis could see the barren fields, and the towers. He saw the ponds and the rivers and the meadows. He saw the throne of the High Priestess and the lush tropical valley and the white sands of the beach. And he saw the ocean, his ocean, his home; but, now he realized with a great clarity that this was all his home. All of his experience and all of his feelings were a part of him that he had just never acknowledged, or allowed himself to see, and now that he saw, he knew that the women in the tower were right, he could never turn back…nor would he want to. He knew something more now and like the Fool said, “There is no loss so great than the lack of, or loss, of true inner knowledge.”
“Happy Birthday, Thgis,” said The Hermit. “The choices you have made are wise,” “Where are the gifts you have been given?” Thgis showed the man his magic wand and then went to pull out the roses he had been given by the Knight of Cups. To his amazement, there were no longer two flowers there, one white and one red, where he had put them safely what seemed, now, so long ago; now there was only one very large, beautiful coral-colored rose. The two had fused and it was now the color of the sky at sunrise. Thgis no longer had to choose between passion and purity because they had blended together in perfect harmony; they were now one and the same. Thgis turned to The Hermit. “Thank you, Hermit, thank you for all of the gifts I have been given.” “Don’t thank us, my son, thank yourself. You are the only one who can choose to grow. You are the only one who can choose to learn. All we have done was light the way. Now it is time to return, but know that this is not the end of your journey; you are enlightened now and with enlightenment comes the true gift of unending knowledge. Use your wings wisely and remember to follow your Heart. You are a brave and courageous soul. Be well and happy.” With that, The Hermit turned and retreated to his cave, but Thgis knew that he was standing at the entrance, there to see him off.
Thgis walked to other side of the mountaintop, and remembering what Faith had told him, he stepped off the side of the cliff…and he flew. Over hills and over valleys he flew until nightfall was once again upon him. Through space he effortlessly glided until he was surrounded by stars on both top and bottom. The stars again reflected on the surface of the ocean. It was then that Thgis knew he was home…and he dove. WHOOSH! Into the water he splashed, waking not a soul.
Thgis awoke the next morning and looked around as the rays of sunlight rippled through the water. Everything looked the same, yet strangely different. All of the other fish were going along their way, unaware of the world outside their own. But Thgis noticed now how similar many things were on the ocean floor. The mountaintops, the barren plains, the pinnacles that strangely resembled the two towers; and it all began to make sense now. Thgis knew that he could return to his inner/outer world at any time, but he just took his journey on a higher realm. All the fish around him had to make their own journeys in their own ways, and it was their responsibility to begin their own rebirth. The other fish knew there was something different about Thgis; some of them liked it, others did not; but he was no less powerful and no less respected, most of all, because Thgis respected himself. He was now free to be himself and do whatever came naturally to him, no matter how others felt about it. This was the time of his birth, and that made him a very fine fish indeed.
© 1994 Lisa Larson