Royal Rule- Life will bring problems to you
A story, for example, is told of the five sons of the Irish king Eochaid: of how, having gone one day hunting, they found themselves astray, shut in on every hand. Thirsty, they set off, one by one, to look for water. Fergus was the first: “and he lights on a well, over which he finds an old woman standing sentry. The fashion of the hag is this: blacker than coal every joint and segment of her was, from crown to ground; comparable to a wild horse’s tail the grey wiry mass of hair that pierced her scalp’s upper surface; with her sickle of a greenish looking tusk that was , and curled till it touched her ear, she could lop the verdant branch of an oak in full bearing; blackened and smoke bleared eyes she had; nose awry, wide-nostrilled; a wrinkled and freckled belly, variously unwholesome; warped crooked shins, garnished with massive ankles and a pair of capacious shovels; knotty knees she had and livid nails. The beldame’s whole description in fact was disgusting. “That’s the way it is, it? Said the lad, and ‘that’s the very way,’ she answered. ‘Is it guarding the well thou art? ‘he asked, and she said; ‘it is.’ Dost thou licence me to take away some waiter?’ ‘I do,’ she consented, ‘yet only so that I have of thee one kiss on my cheek.’ ‘Not so,’ said he. ‘Then water shall not be conceded by me.’ ‘My word I give,’ he went on, ‘that sooner than give thee a kiss I would perish off thirst!’ Then the young man departed the place where his brethren were, and told them that he had not gotten water.”
Olioll, Brian, and Fiachra, likewise, went on the quest and equally attained to the identical well. Each solicited the old thing for water, but denied her the kiss.
Finally it was Niall who went, and he came to the very well. “‘Let me have water, woman! ‘he cried. ‘I will give it,’ said she ‘and bestow on me a kiss.’ He answered: ‘for by giving thee a kiss, I will even hug thee!’ Then he bends to embrace her, and gives her a kiss. Which operation ended, and when he looked at her, in the whole world was not a young woman of gait more graceful, in universal semblance fairer than she: to be likened to the last-fallen snow lying in trenches every portion of her was, from crown to sole; plump and queenly forearms, fingers long and taper, straight legs of a lovely hue she had; two sandals of the white bonze betwixt her smooth and soft white feet and the earth; about her was an ample mantle of the choicest fleece, pure crimson, and in the garment a brooch of white silver; she had lustrous teeth of pearl, great regal eyes, mouth red as the rowanberry. ‘Here woman, is a galaxy of ‘charms,’ said the young man. ‘That is true indeed.’ ‘And who art thou? ‘he pursued. “Royal Rule” am I,’ she answered, and uttered this:
“King of Tara! I am Royal Rule. . .’
Go now,’ she said, to thy brethren and take with thee water; moreover, thine and thy children’s for ever the kingdom and supreme power shall be. . . And as at first thou hast seen me ugly, brutish, loathly-in the end beautiful—-even so is royal rule: for without battles, without fierce conflict, it may not be won: but in the result, he that is king of no matter what shoes comely and handsome forth.’
“Such is royal rule? Such is life itself. The goddess guardian of the inexhaustible well- whether as Fergus, or as Actaeon, or as the Prince of the Lonesome Isle discovered her-requires that the hero should be endowed with what the troubadours and minnesingers termed the “gentle heart.” Not by animal desire of an Actaeon, not by the fastidious revulsion of such as Fergus, can she be comprehended and rightly served, but only by gentleness: aware (gentle sympathy”) it was named in the romantic courtly poetry of tenth-to twelfth –century Japan.
It, over the years, has dawned on me that a person, when faced with difficult situation, has to struggle to achieve some sort of solution. There are times when there is someone fighting against you and the circumstances can be difficult to deal with. You get angry, you maybe curse and think of things which you can do. Sometimes you take it personal and wish to hurt the adversary. Since these occurrences take place every so often in life we have to develop some philosophy of struggle. When I first read ‘Royal Rule,’ it answered that question. At first I concede that I did not quite understand it.
Look at this which she said: ‘even so is royal rule: for without battles, without fierce conflict, it may not be won:’ There will be fierce struggles and without those the victories of life cannot be won. Now this applies to anyone, the politician fighting against a mean adversary who seems willing to do anything. Or the fight to keep your restaurant open when you know someone is actively trying to keep it closed.
Yes Royal Rule does recognize that some difficult times will pass through your life. I remember the movie when a man had been robbed and beaten and left wounded. He decided he was going to do something about it. He obtained weapons, and when the opportunity came he laid one of the attackers out; he was about to really damage the young man but paused. What had he become? That is the question he was asking himself. That it seems is what ‘Royal Rule’ is saying. You see it in the gunfighter who does not wish to draw and tries to walk away because it is not his desire to kill. He can fight but only when pressed to do so and will not when possible aim to kill. When we allow the fight to transform us into something which we would not have wished to be then we have lost even if we win the fight. That is what I take away from ‘Royal Rule.’ But please let me know your views on the matter.
The story ‘Royal Rule’ was taken from The Hero with a Thousand Faces,’ a book by Joseph Campbell. The book was of a high caliber but there were some stories which have left a lasting impression.