THE HERMIT BECOMES THE SEEKER
The Seeker is that in everyman which causes him to seek – and sense – the light.
Blazing upon the mountain-top, the Shiva fire of the One light shines like a mighty jewel. This is the crown chakra of the Citadel. The mountain is the Tree – the former tower or pyramid. The mountain is the Self upon which the One jewel blazes. The fire on the mountain-top is also the Way-Shower whose eyes irradiate the earth with beams that are like searchlights. For the jewel blazes and can be seen by everyone. And it is day.
But the Seeker is blind-folded.
He has purposefully bandaged his eyes from the light.
This is because it is so bright that it is blinding. But it is also because if he relied on his vision and thinking alone he might be diverted from the true goal by the golden clouds that encircle the mountain-top which might be compared to the false light.
Relying on his feeling – his two hands and ten fingers – for guides, he steps forth upon the path that leads up the mountain to the One light.
He is an old man for he has journeyed long in his quest.
Formerly this card was the Hermit – also an old man.
The Hermit, wrapped in a cloak, pursued his way in darkness, aided only by the feeble light of a lantern which he usually held half-hidden by his cloak. The Hermit represented man’s long search for knowledge, wisdom or the light. Throughout the ages he journeyed, guided only by his lantern – which was his own wisdom and that which had been passed down to him. Right direction he could not find. The night was dark. No light shone, not even the Moon. Perhaps the Hermit was on the right path, but the way had not been revealed to him. Avatars and prophets had come and gone and had led men and spoken of the fire on the mountain-top; but since man did not sense it directly for himself all that remained of it was that symbolized by his lantern.
The Seeker, casting his cloak and staff aside, and without a lantern, relies on his finger-tips, his own senses to guide him; and although he is blind-folded he is experiencing the light directly – more so, in fact, than as though he were looking at it with his eyes. For another meaning of this Book is that the Seeker is not diverted by externals, not even by the light itself. His ten fingers need not touch the light. He is feeling, knowing, and acting intuitively from within. He knows the light is there. He is going toward it. It is not an external as it would be if he were looking at it with his eyes.
The Seeker is far from the mountain-top, yet, having found himself – in the unassailable stronghold of the Citadel, Completed Man – he is, in a sense, already there.
The meaning of the Book of the Seeker is Right Direction.
The Seeker is related to the past, the Hermit, in that he is balding and white-bearded. The weight of ages and of man’s entire past history is contained in him. Yet does he stand nakedly before the light, not shrinking from the path he must climb nor the water that he must enter before he can actually climb the winding path up the mountain.
The water is baptism, and it is that which dissolves form and structures. That is why he must go through it in order to penetrate the final veil.
Symbolically he is to be born again – of water and fire.
And perhaps he already senses the cup of fire he must drink at the mountain-top, and the Renewer, Death, which lies beyond – for through these gates he will be re-born, and step forth as a baby.
On another path, leading away from the Seeker, is a comely woman bearing riches. Behind her are flowers and a book; before her is a city in the distance. The objects symbolize the things she craves of life which she hopes to fulfill in the city. The city is her goal. It is the fulfillment of tangible goals, or the desire to attain happiness through earthly things and conditions. This represents the wrong direction. The Seeker, the old man who as the Hermit spent centuries wandering alone in the darkness, guided only by his lantern, knows that this direction leads to nought since it leads not to the light or the One which is on the mountain-top, and which alone is real and enduring. There alone is found the immortal elixir.
The blind-fold he wears also serves the purpose of preserving him from momentary temptation. Blind-folded he can feel the light, the One being, the Self. Were his eyes open, he might be momentarily diverted and forget his true inner sensing. The blind-fold has taken the place of the night in which he formerly wandered. But the great difference is that the light is now plainly blazoning on the mountain-top. Formerly it was not there. Man believed in it but it was not yet manifest. The light – the birth of a new consciousness – has been given, even as the Way-Shower became the Star and directed the searchlight beams of his eyes down to man.
The path up the mountain is winding. There will be many turns in the spiral before he reaches his goal. But the path, the Right Direction, leads only to the goal. It makes no side trips.
The Seeker is everyman.
“Ye are Seekers”.