The truth in the middle

Was there ever a time when the world was so open, so visible as it is to us now through the modern media?

The truth in the middle

Has there ever been a time when so many opinions, beliefs and divergent ideas could be heard? We hold each other accountable for acting out of self-interest or just national interest. We exchange views on global warming and depletion, but we do not reach agreement. Reproaches are sounded, positions are taken, against each other. In word and deed the battle is fought with each other. Judging and rejecting the other, even killing, seems necessary. Have we reached the nadir of involution, the outer darkness, the point where we can no longer find each other?


It is known that “life” arises and continues in development due to the action of two opposing forces, of two poles. It is not without reason that Hermes Trismegistos says in the Corpus Hermeticum:

Everything comes from opposition to being. There is no other way that is possible[1]

It is a fundamental law of this nature. But what’s going on in the present day? Is there not something in us and in our living together that we have forgotten? Just something that matters? Isn’t the essence of the two somewhere in the middle?

As old as the Greek myths are, they tell of life situations in which we still find ourselves. In 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yval Noah Harari [2] writes, among other things, about two major opposing problems that characterize our time. He says that globalization makes humanity one great civilization and that problems such as nuclear wars, environmental disasters and technological disruption could be solved globally, but on the other hand nationalism and religion still divide our human civilization into different, often hostile camps. He compares this clash between global problems and regional and national identities to being caught between two monsters, Scylla and Charybdis. Myths tend to evolve over time. The values they contain are timeless.










In these stories the sea, the god Poseidon, symbolizes the sea of life. The heroes must try to sail the sea of life. Many dangers, heights and depths they have to overcome. For example, on one side of a narrow strait lives Scylla, the sea monster with six pairs of eyes that see where to strike, claws ready to grab. On the other side, Charybdis, who gulps the salty water down in one gulp. The hero Odysseus with his friends on their way back to Ithaca, their homeland, considers the best middle ground between these two evils. Sailing a little closer to Scylla and losing six men is better than being swallowed up by Charybdis altogether, man and ship.

In the painting by Joop Mijsbergen [3] we see the little yellow ship of Odysseus that is looking for a course between the two large monsters. Odysseus does not fight with either one, he focuses on the center, so he manages to get through.

In the myth about the recovery of the golden fleece, the hero Jason and his friends on the ship Argo must overcome the danger of “the Symplegades”. Two opposing rocks in the sea, which can move towards each other and crush everything that comes between them. When, from a distance, they see the narrow strait and the two sheer cliffs looming massive and motionless before them, it seems unimaginable that these monstrosities could move even an inch from their place. Jason releases a pigeon. Will she be able to fly between the two colliding rocks in time? The dove, symbol of the soul, saves the situation. Jason knows that if the Argonauts are of one soul, they will make it. And now see how Mijsbergen paints the Argonauts [4]. All oars in one direction, all pointed to the sun, the spirit-field behind the “Symplegades.”









With one speed and one direction and in complete coordination of all available possibilities, they manage to arrive at the mystery island of Kolchis. The Isle of the Sun where the golden lustrous fur, the “Golden Wedding Robe,” the robe of love, awaits them.

At the narrow strait we can think of the narrow path that leads out of the turmoil of time. From the fierce discussions of pros and cons, of rocks standing left and right.

Distant, self-absorbed contradictions and opinions convinced of their own right want to devour and crush everything that is placed in the middle. The center is the primordial light from which everything has sprung. They no longer know their own origin. An ancient wisdom says:

When the great tyrant and all the seven tyrants began to fight the light in vain, they knew not whom they fought against, for they knew not the light. And when they fought, they wasted their strength against each other!  [5]

They think they are fighting against each other, but in fact they are fighting against the light.

And how misleading can words be. The saying

the truth lies in the middle

is often taken as

a little bit of this and a little bit of that,

give up only part of your identity. Sometimes that is necessary. But the real middle is therefore not a poor imitation of one or the other. The center is the field of the soul, the light field of the original spirit from above, where silence and listening to the soul and the spirit is a quality. Still the spirit hovers over the waters of the sea of life to descend where possible into human souls. The center is the crossroads between above and below, between heaven and earth where it sparkles and buzzes with activity, of pure energy, of wisdom and love, insight and understanding. The center turns out to be a high place, a mountain to climb, reaching into the light. Where the added value is experienced of coherence and fusion of opposites.

Where is the human being, where the people who dare to stand in this midst?

Isn’t what we commonly call selfishness, or dogmatic or polarizing behavior, the result of a position that shows ignorance of the truth of the middle? Doesn’t people’s love really only go out to the good, love, safety and peace and to nothing else? Do we call “evil” what we do not know, or the change of things that are familiar to us? Aren’t we, as finite beings, always inclined to limit our attention to our immediate environment and what our heart is after? Another person, a child, a party, a nation, some community, it could be anything, but does that mean we are egoists? The word “selfishness” is not enough. The cause lies deeper. Is it not much more the ignorance of the truth of the middle that hinders cooperation, strengthens duality and intensifies the struggle? Isn’t it the mistake of the standpoint we take from which we see things that so often produces disastrous results? Which makes us live in a ravaged world?

Where is the man, where the people who dare to go through the middle?

When in a storm all of Odysseus’ friends fall overboard and drown and the ship is smashed by the waves, Odysseus ties mast and keel together. He connects that which is below to that which is above and embraces the center where they intersect. He overcomes the violence of the sea of ​​life. When he comes home to his beloved land of peace, Ithaca, and unites with Penelope, his soul, he leaves again after one night. He takes his finest oar, in which are engraved all the experiences of the sea of ​​life, and plants it far inland, as a sign to mankind:

However ferocious and wild the sea of ​​life, it is navigable!

As soon as a man, “binding mast and keel together,” connects below with above, a center is formed in him. That is why it is also said that ‘man is the center of the earth’. Not that we are that important, but the center can only be formed by people with consciousness from above.

In that center lives the core power of the living spirit, with which we people everywhere, even to the deepest depths, can bring harmony, tranquility and peace. All strife, all enmity flowing from the twin forces of nature flows into the power and light of the middle. It is called in the Mysteries the marriage of opposites. They are carried in balance by the soul of the middle.

They find their solution in going through the cloister.

Man next to man, heart next to heart, soul next to soul, color next to color, together they build. The red of the one next to the blue of the other, yes together they form the rainbow of promise. This is answered by the irradiation of the one light from above.

For, says Hermes,

the love and the merging of opposites and inequalities have become light, radiating through the revealing power of God, the Creator of all good[6]



[1] Rijckenborgh, Jan van, The Egyptian Arch-Gnosis, part 3, The Twelfth Book – The Key of Hermes Trismegistos, verse 31, Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem 2017

[2] Harari, Yval Noah, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Random House 2018

[3] Mijsbergen, Joop en Hettema-Pieterse, Ankie, Zien wat blijftMythen in werk en woord [Seeing what remains, Myths in work and word], Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem 2020

[4] Ibid pg. 19

[5] Rijckenborgh, Jan van,The Gnostic Mysteries of the Pistis Sophia, Text of Book 1 of the Pistis Sophia, 15 The ReversalRozekruis Pers, Haarlem 2018

[6] Rijckenborgh, Jan van, The Egyptian Arch-Gnosis, part 1The second book: Pymander to Hermes, verse 30, Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem 2017

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share this article

Article info

Date: November 15, 2021
Author: Ankie Hettema-Pieterse (Netherlands)
Photo: Kace Rodrigues on Unsplash CCO

Featured image: