As the light of the Sun returns, a dark gloomy twilight fills the sky as the Sun has become blood red and
enlarged against the horizon as it slowly sets. Looking up you are able to look directly at the much dimmed
and disappearing orb of the Sun, though it is a little intense upon your eyes. Looking at a fiery prominence
arching and looping above the Sun's surface, you see a vision of a vast explosion - a horrible intense burst
of burning light.
Curiosity
It reminds you of the terrible deeds of humanity, deeds that are darker than simple death. Human mistakes
are bound to happen, and as the science and power of humanity increase so will the magnitude of its failings.
You ask yourself if humanity's quest for knowledge is worthwhile. Maybe they should have never eaten the
forbidden apple of knowledge of good and evil, but then the serpent was the most cunning being in all
creation, such that no creature could resist its guile. Why?
"With heavy heart I must make thy heart heavy,
In bonds of brass not easy to be loosed,
Nailing thee to this crag where no wight dwells,
Nor sound of human voice nor shape of man
Shall visit thee; thy hue, flower-fair, shall suffer change;
Welcome will Night be when with spangled robe
She hides the light of day; welcome the Sun
Returning to disperse the frosts of dawn.
And every hour shall bring its weight of woe
To wear thy heart away; for yet unborn
Is he who shall release thee from thy pain.
This is the wage for loving humankind.
For, being a god, thou dared'st the god's ill will,
Preferring, to exceeding honour, Man.
Wherefore thy long watch shall be comfortless,
Stretched on this rock, never to close an eye
Or bend a knee; and vainly shalt though lift,
With groanings deep and lamentable cries,
Thy voice; for Zeus is hard to be entreated,
As new-born power is ever pitiless."

The words of Hephaestus, Prometheus Bound, Aeschylus (?) c. 430 BCE.
Then, in your mind's eye, you see another vision - of a man hung upon a tree and pierced by his own
javelin, but the tree upon which he hangs is the Tree of Life.

Continuing to explore the ruins of the temple you see a horse feeding. Approaching the horse you see a
pilgrim nearby sat upon a column stump and preparing a fire. He wears a blue robe and hat and his flowing
white beard speaks of great age. Beside him is his staff, adorned with ravens' feathers. As you approach he
looks up, but his left eye is missing and the eyelids have closed over the old wound. You think he must have
lost an eye on his many travels, perhaps when hit by a thief's arrow. He beckons you to join him and share
the food he is about to prepare. As you sit down you notice the glint of his sword scabbard - he is armed.

He shares his mead with you, a flavoursome drink of fermented honey that warms you from deep within.

"So you know the tail of Prometheus the Fire-Bringer", he says, as if he had read your earlier thoughts.
"Prometheus felt pity on humankind as they lived in holes like rats, cold, hungry and afraid and very
ignorant. Prometheus stole fire from the gods and gave it to humankind, but the fire he gave them was both
physical and intellectual. He taught them science, he taught them how to cultivate the land and how to use
medicines to combat illness. He saved humanity from the destruction that Zeus had abandoned humans to.
However, he gave them another gift that was very great indeed ... he gave them blind hope."

Yes, you think, blind hope to stand against the certainty of pain and death. Never give up hope, even when it
is all you have... easier said than done! But why must we lean on hope, why so many ills in this World? Was
it the price of eating the forbidden fruit of knowledge, or was it the opening of Pandora's Jar? But what of this
old man, what is his tale?

As if reading your thoughts he speaks again, "My curiosity cost me an eye, and I suffered much as I drank
from the Spring of Wisdom. As I drank I saw all the woes of the World and of the Heavens, but I also saw why
these must be so. Look at your science - it has wrought much suffering, but it has also raised humanity,
made them more than the beasts they once were. Scripture says 'Ye are gods' and yet ye are beasts also.
Which way shall ye then turn - towards the sky or back into the earth from whence you came?"

Pondering the old man's words, there is still one question that dogs you - one thing that you still can not
grasp, so you ask the man what use is humanity's progress to those that suffer and fail and fall by the
wayside? Why should some sacrifice so much so that humanity may learn and grow wiser through its
suffering? Why so much inequity?

"Ah yes, why indeed? Many choose not to bear their cross and many have no choice but to carry it. The
answer that you seek lies in the Azoth - that hidden Light that contains within it all things. I would tell you the
answer, but it would avail you not, for unless you can see the answer you shall not receive it, and when you
receive it you shall understand. Seek and you shall find."

You awake in darkness to find that the old man has already moved on - it shall be dawn soon. Dare you
seek further, or are you too afraid of the unknown? Or perhaps you are afraid of the Truth?

Curiosity is not a sin, but one must
proceed with caution...