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Teosophy: The Adept and the Salmon: analogy with a living symbol
Topic:Question & Answer
Question & Answer

Old Commentaries often use metaphors of animals to express particular abilities.

The Lion is an example; it is used to symbolize the boldness and the fighting courage.

Some Masters have veiled important teachings in images using animals such as the Elephant, big and small, the Tortoise, the Eagle, the Seagull, the Gazelle, etc.

In this tradition the image of the Salmon indicates the man who ‘searches’; like the others, it veils the sense of the initiatory postulate.

The salmon is a fish that like the adept, ‘searches by going up’, courageously facing the difficulties of a journey (Water element) that seems against all logic.

The adept as well faces a countercurrent journey; he rejects the outside in search of the inside. He will only come out to offer himself for an altruistic service. The inner way is considered nonsense and condemned to disbelief in the common view.

In the action of this animal we can see many analogies with the strong-willed adaptability of the man who ‘dares’ going to the Threshold of Initiation. The researcher should reflect on the meanings of the text and draw its esoterical sense. This exercise is made easier by the fact that an exclamation mark is placed next to each key word.

In old Commentaries all symbolical words were spread among others of a discursive kind.

The person who could recognize them was able to extract them from the literal context and use them as ‘seed-thoughts’. This kind of ‘initiatory transmission’ still occurs today.

The seed-thoughts are words or images that develop their meanings through meditation and their visualization makes them alive; this is true knowledge.

The transmission of the initiatory knowledge originates the ‘vivifying thoughts’ that open the mind of the physical conscience on the most complex and deep aspects of the initiatory way. Otherwise these meanings appear mute to the eyes of the people who are not introduced to the mysteries.


The Way of the Salmon
«The salmon swims in the impetuous (!) water in reverse (!) trying to re-ascend it (!).

With sudden (!) wriggles it tries to cross the rapids (!) to reach the goal (!).

A place where the water has become placid and peaceful (!) to die (in an initiatory sense!).

Many people start but many give up (!) or get lost (!) or are eaten up(!)

Wasting, therefore, the sense of their life.

It is not important that the Salmon swims elegantly (!) or straight (!).

The main thing is that even when it’s still (!) it keeps its face turned to the front, countercurrent (!).

Steady, strong and absolutely determined (!).

The current is strong (!), the water is deceitful (!) and the dangers are waiting on each side, both the right and the left side (!).

Eventually, through the generation, the sacrifice of self (!) awaits.»

This is the way of the Salmon; there aren’t any other rules and the existing ones can’t be changed.

The Salmon must concentrate all its strength in the re-ascent; no strength, though, will be as important as the will (!) to survive the trials (!).

The way of the Salmon is steep and short.

It is useful but not necessary.

Who is afraid for himself should take the large way and use another animal as his living symbol.»

Esonet’s Editorial Staff



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