Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Boundaries

Hermes. The very name seems almost flimsy. Almost sounds like something you hear in the wind as you walk through the woods, like a conversation between the trees and the breeze. Yet Hermes, the God, is one of the most pervasive of all the powers of the cosmos from our mortal perspective.

The ever-moving son of the high king. The ever vigilant, all seeing, all hearing, all experiencing lord of communication and the mysteries of music. He is not the lord of music, but the force that causes that music comes from within us. He does not play the music, but creates the instrument that allows it to be played. A fine distinction? Not really.

You see, Hermes is the doer. He who brings about the means to accomplish something, yet is not the thing accomplished itself. He is not thievery, but with his help a thief might succeed. He is not the sheep-herder, but with his help the sheep-herder is successful. He is the messenger of ideas, bringing them forth and allowing us that beautiful gift of communication, but what we communicate, what we create from those ideas, how we succeed or fail with them is up to us.

But all ideas come with something else. Boundaries. What are boundaries, and are boundaries merely to be respected in his honor, or are they to be examined and the means to surpass them explored and exploited?

Hermes himself is a god of boundaries. His posts, the Herms, are set up as a means of marking boundaries, yet he is also the God who crashes through those boundaries, or to say it in a better way, the God who cleverly makes the boundaries meaningless by easily getting through them. This makes Hermes not just a God of communication and boundaries, but a god of excellence, and by that I mean a God who wishes us to excel at all things. To see the boundaries and jump over them rather then letting us stop us.

But is the boundaries are not to be respected in this way, how are they to be respected, since he is the God of those boundaries?

The answer, it seems, is quite simple. The boundaries are not walls to stop us, they are the walls that show us what others have accomplished and then taunt us to do them one better. They are our expectations and, yes, sometimes they are our own self limitations, labels, and laziness, all taunting us to do one better and follow the God of Boundaries across that boundary into new and wonderful things.

Strangely, once I started to see these things that Hermes seems to have been doing to me, the misfortunes that were hitting me in the face every day, as Hermes' own boundaries, I was forced to see them as things to get over in order to move to a better place, and they stopped.

Never been a superstitious type, but maybe this time I have to just accept that maybe the traveller was sticking his foot out as I ran for a reason, and it wasn't to break my leg, it was to teach me to fall without breaking it.

1 comment:

Kat Gowen Schorr said...

This is a wonderful post expanding on Hermes and his influence in our lives. I am just beginning to understand Hermes, and your post really helped me broaden my view of him. Thank you! ~Kat