The Return of Neoptolemus

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During the Trojan War, Menelaus promised his daughter Hermione to Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, who also received Andromache, Hector’s wife,as a share of the booty during the plunder of the city.

When he embarked, some say that he also took on board Aeneas, the son of Priam, who was later released after the death of Neoptolemus. But in the classic versions, Aeneas escaped during the siege of Troy. Appolodorus says that Neoptolemus also took another son of Priam with him, Helenus.

Warned by his grandmother, the goddess Thetis, of the dangers awaiting the Achaeans at sea, Neoptolemus delayed his departure for two days. Then he took the land road that leads to Thessaly via Thrace. According to some, he first sailed for a while.

He met Odysseus (Ulysses) in the land of the Cicones. When he arrived in the land of the Molossians, he learned that his grandfather Peleus had been driven out of Phthia by Acastus, son of Pelias. He returned the kingdom to his grandfather and brought back the Myrmidons unharmed.

Euripides tells us that Neoptolemus had a son from Andromache, Molossus. He also says that Helenus, Priam’s son, founded his own city after marrying Neoptolemus’ mother, Deidameia.

Neoptolemus’ marriage to Hermione was celebrated much later, just before Odysseus (Ulysses)’ return to Ithaca. One had to wait for Menelaus who did not return until eight or nine years later.

Let’s recall that Neoptolemus represents the future struggles of the “liberated” (in spirit) who works to purify the depths “up to the bone”, by paying attention to the minute movements of consciousness, for he is a Myrmidon (an ant). These struggles must eventually focus on the new challenges in the quest for freedom: indeed, Menelaus “unwavering will directed to the goal” had promised his daughter Hermione “the just evolution of consecration” to Neoptolemus “the new struggles in yoga”.

According to Euripides, the seeker first thought that he should work towards this “just evolution of consecration” by the pursuit of the movement led by Agamemnon – namely the improvement of man through the development of sincerity (Orestes) – before the new struggles in yoga take this just evolution as his goal (Menelaus promised first Hermione in marriage to his cousin Orestes who was still a young man before leaving for Troy, then reversed his decision and promised her to Neoptolemus).

But as a first step after the reversal, “the new struggles” (Neoptolemus) recover to their advantage the nature or power of the “warrior” developed by the ancient yogas (Andromache “the one who fights”, Hector’s wife, is taken as loot by Neoptolemus). Andromache could also be called “the warrior of light” if this term was not already connoted, for Hector worked within the framework of the enlightened mind.

In other words, the new yoga that must develop in total surrender to the Absolute must be based on the prior realization of the “warrior” that led to liberation.

Of course these “new struggles” were to include the future development of the mind and that is why, according to some, Neoptolemus also took Priam’s son Aeneas on board. Indeed, this evolution in the mind does not cease with the realisations of the impersonal Divine and ‘liberation in spirit’, for the seeker must still discover the personal Divine beyond the Self, the Cosmic Divine and the kingdoms of the Supramental.

This is probably also the reason for the embarkation of Helenus who represents the work towards greater liberation (Λ+Ν), which acts in the depths of the subconscious and the unconscious, a work that begins beyond mastery (Helenus married Deidameia “who killed what tames,” the mother of Neoptolemus).

The seeker is informed by a true intuition coming from the depths of the vital – an instinct, for Thetis is a daughter of Nereus “the old man of the sea” – that the ancient yoga paths (the Achaeans on the ‘way back’ to their respective kingdoms) would have to endure numerous assaults in the vital before reaching their evolutionary base (Neoptolemus was warned by his grandmother, the goddess Thetis, of the dangers that awaited the Achaeans on the sea).

The new recommended path is that of the body (the land road) on which the seeker was already engaged, but through a practice marked by too many constraints (Neoptolemus met Odysseus (Ulysses) in the land of the Cicones “those who work forcefully” who were allies of the Trojans during the war). This hard work refers probably to the various ascetic practices of the old yogas that are no longer necessary on the new path.

During the period of the Great Reversal, the seeker had directed the work of infusing consciousness into the depths of the being by an extreme demand for purity, which is not requested by the new yoga (Neoptolemus learned that his grandfather Peleus had been driven out of Phthia (Φ+Θ) by Acastus “the most pure” son of Pelias). The seeker becomes aware of this when the new yoga takes stock of the work done for the spirit-matter connection, which manifests itself through the circulation of ascending and descending currents (when Neoptolemus reaches the Molosses).

The work of purification in the depths of the being can then resume without having been weakened in any way (the Myrmidons return safe and sound and Peleus ascends the throne). 

(According to Euripides, Neoptolemus had a son, Molossus, from Andromache, which can be understood as follows: the new yoga based on the realization of the “warrior of light” allows work to begin in the balance of ascending and descending currents. The hypothesis of this son of Neoptolemus mentioned by Euripides is only coherent insofar as this hero is a contemporary of Odysseus (Ulysses) who has to execute this work).

Much later, when the new basis of yoga is well established (just before the arrival of Odysseus (Ulysses) in Ithaca, the journey of this hero being the last of the “returns”), the path will be directed towards the right evolution of consecration. This consecration is the result of the work of “the will directed towards the liberation of all limitations” in line with the aspiration (Neoptolemus will marry Hermione, daughter of Menelaus and Helen, in the lineage of Tantalus). It can be noticed that the name Hermione is close, through the structuring letters ΡΜ, to the name Hermes, the god of the Overmind, suggesting that the seeker has then access to this plan.

However, we will see that the couple Neoptolemus-Hermione could not have children, because this hero symbolizes an intermediate phase of the new struggles in the depths of the vital. These struggles will then continue with the son of the Orestes-Hermione couple, Tisamenos “paying what one owes”, a probable symbol of the settlement of the collective “karmas” (according to the imprints left in the physical plane).

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