Heritage of Truth: The Story of the Seeker (A Post Flood Story)
Introduction To the Seeker World Legend of Nvard
Shemesh, the servant sun, had transversed the skies over the new face of the earth for centuries since the Great Flood, silent witness to its troubled resurrection. Generations would pass before the new rules of nature would conform to any appearance of stability. Even then, the world that unfolded contrasted starkly with the near paradise like character of the antediluvian world. Vast stores of human knowledge had been lost, forgotten, or ignored as irrelevant to survival in this strange new world. Most of the new ways were born of necessity, but others were simple foolishness disguised as knowledge. In time, that foolishness would manifest itself. Mankind lifted up shemesh from the position of servitude to that of a creator, trading the light of Truth for mere shadows. The absurdity of that glorification reached its supreme height of folly when the human race, united under the banner of the son of Kush, built for itself a mighty tower. Confusion followed that ill-omened human endeavor. The earth staggered from the chaos that followed. And legends took shape from the memory of the one who gave birth to that chaos, the Mighty Hunter.
He was the first Mighty One after the Flood, the Mighty Hunter of Men's Souls.
As it is said, behind every mighty man is a woman. It was she who instructed her husband in the ways of conquering the world's soul. Destined to be remembered for eons as the Queen of Heaven, and by a thousand other names and titles. Beautiful was she; adored by most. There was one, however, called Nvard, nicknamed the Seeker, whose devotion turned to horror as she recognized the deception subtly being spread by the Mighty Hunter and his wife.
Nvard did not start out as a seeker. Nevertheless, when Truth found her, she accepted the responsibility. Lifelong friendships were severed by that one decision. Others, priceless in value, were forged. Hard times followed that decision, but the blessings, evident in the sparkle and clarity showing in the eyes of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren surpassed all the dark memories.
More than twenty children crowded around Nvard, respectfully waiting for the stories to begin. To determine her exact age was humanly impossible, only that she was ancient. Still, within the old visage existed traces that whispered of the beauty that had been hers long ago, beauty that owed only a small part to that of her outer being. Cinnamon colored hair had long ago lost its stunning glory, to be softened by the encroachment of maturing white. Unable to wait any longer, one of the youngest children broke the silence. "Grandmother?" Anahit's small shy voice queried. "Tell us again about the downfall of the Mighty Hunter. The one they called Nimrod," adding hastily, the question that had been foremost in her mind since the salt traders had left earlier that day, "And, his wife. Was she his wife, or, his mother?"
Nvard shivered at the thought that the heresies of the world could find even a whispered voice in the minds of her cherished loved ones. Her thoughts slipped down the path of memories to her distant youth. Just as she had many times before, Nvard wondered if it would not be wiser to keep the children ignorant of the ways of the world, then remembered, that misled curiosity can be costly. One did not have to be ignorant in order to be innocent; best to be 'wise as a serpent, and gentle as a lamb.' Yes, much better that the children learn about Truth at an old woman's knee than the twisted version they would inherit from the world. Carefully the Grandmother answered, "The ones you speak of; crafty were they, like the Serpent of the Garden whom they worshipped."
From the mouth of proud Haik, now almost a man, came the incredulous words, " They worshipped the Serpent? Why?"
"They preferred lies over truth," answered Nvard, as simply as she could, images of the past forming in her mind's eye.
The ancient woman's thoughts once again crossed into the world of her past, to the night when she first acknowledged the duplicity of the leadership of those she had come to love and trust. Memories of strong emotions followed, so vivid that she was all but taken back bodily to that time. Shame enveloped her. Ignorance was to her a bitter herb. Truth revealed itself to be so obvious, so mysteriously simple. With her own eyes she had witnessed, her presence unknown, her friend and mentor, the lady Sammuramat, pass a newborn child through the sacred flame to her husband, the head priest, or 'kahna' of Baal. In shock, unable to look away, she watched the unholy ceremony progress, as the lower orders of the priesthood disrobed showing bodies covered in tattoos. One tattoo, covering the back of one of the priests, in particular caught her attention. It depicted a resplendent red serpent swallowing its own tail. Inside the circle this strange emblem formed was a tree. Her almost hypnotic concentration on that image was quickly severed by the next stage of the rite, more shocking than all she had seen before. The child was laid upon an altar. Nvard watched helplessly as one of the priests, she had noticed earlier as wearing the robes of an initiate, raised his hands . . . . Nvard never remembered how she managed to leave that place without being discovered. Surely, the wretched spasms that had overtaken her did not pass in silence.
Nvard slept not that night, as her reflections made attack on her naiveté without mercy. How could she have been beguiled into believing in the benevolence of her Lugal, Nimrod, and his lady, Sammuramat? The rumors had been true! As she realized for the first time that the horror stories of death and torture . . . the unthinkable was true, Nvard's heart broke. Had not she and Sammuramat been childhood friends? She remembered the childhood stories they had both listened to, of the Evil One who fathered chaos into the first world. How he cunningly spun an illusion of lies around the truth known in the heart of the first woman, the one who would in time become the "Mother of all Living", "the Lady-of-the-Rib". Nvard's soul cried out in trepidation for sake of the foolishness of her imagination. Those she looked upon as saviors, were no more than servants of the Master of Chaos, and she, Nvard, an unsuspecting pawn. The next morning, knowing what she must do, but not sure in the knowledge of how, Nvard searched out the man, Ara, who first called her The Seeker.
Shemesh was half way through its daily journey in the sky when Nvard finally caught up with the hunter Ara. She found him in the market area conversing with a master metal worker. For the first time, since the discoveries of the night before, Nvard felt safe. She wondered at the strangeness of the feeling, and for a fleeting moment forgot why she had come in search of this man, as upon seeing her, dark-haired Ara's blue eyes took on that warm gentle quality Nvard found so comforting.
"May this day be a blessing to you, Seeker," he had said in greeting. "And, how does this wondrous day find you?"
In that moments' hesitation that followed, he must have sensed something amiss, for turning abruptly he concluded his business with the tradesman. With that accomplished, Ara again turned his attention upon her. "Walk with me, Nvard. Perhaps the shadows lurking behind your eyes will go back to the dark spirits that gave them birth."
With gradually lessening trepidation she told him everything that had been revealed to her the night before. To her astonishment, he listened patiently without indicating any sign of disbelief, only gently asking questions when she feared to go on. When she came to the end, he surprised her with a final question, "Do you know why I call you 'The Seeker'?"
Her tawny colored eyes looked into his blue ones, as she answered, "No", in a small voice. Nvard fidgeted with the hem of her draped wrap. The question seemed so strange.
"All who hold truth close to their bosom are Seekers. It is promised to those who seek, that they shall find."
Years went by before she understood what truly transpired that day. Life began to follow a different path; one more narrow, more sure, than any she had known before, bringing blessings, and affliction. Afflictions that were tempered and fated to be outweighed by the blessings that belong to those who know the One who is the real 'Seed of Promise.' Promised from the beginning, to enter His own creation by the seed of a woman to pay the price of all wrongs.
Shepherding her thoughts back to the present, Nvard asked her little ones, "Do you like mysteries?"
"Yes," they all eagerly chimed in at once.
Gently smiling, Nvard continued, "Most of us enjoy a good mystery. In his wisdom, The Creator, gave all of us the longing to understand things. The Deceitful One, he that is known as the Fiery Dragon, knew this, and devised a plan to make use of man's curiosity for his own purposes. This creature enchanted the first woman, tempting her to question the very Word of He who is Truth. In time, the distance between man and Creator grew wider. Man intentionally set out to push God completely out of the world, or at least to a position where they could control Him, as if they were the creators. They searched out ways to add to the confusion that imperfect minds lean towards. They called upon those Watchers, those created spirits, who chose to follow the Father of Lies into his exile. Great evil was brought into the world that was already groaning in travail for its fallen state. Patiently the All-Knowing-One waited, until no room for patience was left. Then the world that once was, disappeared under the waters. One family was spared, because of the father. Confusion, however, was not completely wiped from the seed of man. Not long after the Deluge, the ways of the Old World that perished were brought into the new, under the cloak of mysteries woven from the fabric of truth, bound by lies, and developed to seduce mankind away from Truth. In mercy, the All-Powerful-One divided the speech of man until the time of prophecy fulfilled, in order that the separation between Creator, and creation would not grow so wide as to be everlastingly."
Pausing for breath after such a long speech, Nvard looked into the faces of the young ones sitting at her feet. She noted the delicate face of little Anahit, her dear sister Biaina sitting quietly beside her, and as her glance touched upon the quick tempered Vahagn, the wizened woman swiftly closed her eyes in obeisance to her Lord. Silently praying that only those words which God would have her say would leave her mouth, she opened her eyes and continued, "It has been said that the Mighty Hunter was reborn after death. That he knew his wife; and lived again, more powerful than before, fulfilling the sacred prophecy of the Seed of Woman. This is not true."
"A man can not be reborn!" came the dubious exclamation from Vahagn.
"As you say, Vahagn, it is not physically possible. But our spirits must be reborn, of the incorruptible seed, which comes only from the True Branch." Knowing that she could explain this no better at this time, she continued.
"In my youth, wisdom was far from me. I was without purpose, without anything, except the knowledge of how to exist. . . . So I thought. The All-Powerful-One was always with me; the Father, who loves His wayward creation always watched over me, and the Spirit that led the one who lived in two worlds across the Flood always guarded my heart. I did not know Him in my youth, but He always knew me. Even the Queen of Heaven, and her consort, the Mighty Hunter, could not keep me from hearing the Eternal One. He knew my very depths, and in the knowing made good even that meant for evil.
As shemesh made a final descent in the sky, she told the children how Bel, the confounder fell, and of mankind's heritage of Truth.
DISCLAIMER: The previous narrative story is a work of speculative fiction based in part on Ancient Armenian legend and other legends of the Near East.
For Further Reading
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