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Monday, May 1, 2017

The Little Prince is a Human Being

Within six weeks' time, a deranged individual's 'pet' cobra got loose in my neighborhood (attracting the attentions of a big-city media helicopter, causing a lot of noise and panic), and I happened to run across a first edition English language copy of The Little Prince (c1943), a book I'd been planning to read and about which I knew nothing at all regarding the cobra character in it.
I started reading the story a few pages each evening at bedtime (falling asleep quickly), and by the time I finally got around to the deeply profound passages about the yellow snake, I had (earlier that particular day) experienced my own surprise encounter with a very frightened and nervous but friendly Black snake coiled up on the sidewalk next to the fence in front the Romanesque Revival mansion down the street from my place. A pair of crows were harassing it until my approach precipitated their reluctant and protesting retreat.
And as I was on my way to the grocery store at the time, I didn't have my camera with me. So, I hope you don't mind taking my word for it. I would never deliberately deceive you.
The Little Prince is the Inner Child within the soul of a man. His little planet where he lives is his world, his Self or ego. The volcanoes represent his passions and fiery temperament. The Baobab trees represent evil or destructive forces in his world. His flower, the rose, represents the anima portion of his own psyche. For many real men, their anima is deliberately relocated externally -- in the personage of their 'significant other or others'.
The love he had for his anima was tested by the discomfort he felt in her presence. In his confusion, he displayed avoidant behavior by running away from it. After leaving and realizing the separation was permanent, he experienced regret over having misunderstood it.
I love the words spoken by the wise fox, when he said, "One only understands the things that one tame means to establish ties...Words are the source of misunderstandings...It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye...It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important...Men have forgotten this truth...But you must not forget it...You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."
And I love what the Little Prince said, "There is a flower...I think that she has tamed me..."
One of my favorite lines spoken by the author of the book, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: "My friend never explained anything to me. He thought, perhaps, that I was like himself. But...Perhaps I am a little like the grown-ups. I have had to grow old."
The yellow cobra snake represents two things: death and Satan. Satan brings death while under-rating its significance. The snake deceived the Little Prince into believing that death was the only answer to his dilemma. Listening to the snake was yet another big mistake for the Little Prince. That part of the story made me weep mournfully.
While physical death is an unavoidable destiny for everyone, intentionally hastening death jeopardizes the soul.
The sheep symbolically represents Christ, the sacrificial lamb who rids the world of evil while sparing the good. The Little Prince was worried that the sheep would spare nothing, not even the good flower. But Christ is not a real sheep, the carnal kind that mindlessly eats anything it can get ahold of. And in some curious way the narrator represents God, the father, who provided a muzzle for the sheep in order to protect the flower. So the whole natural process of life is divinely governed.
"I do not much like to take the tone of a moralist. But the danger of the baobabs is so little understood...Children, I say plainly, watch out for the baobabs!"
"It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears...I felt the need of protecting him...his loyalty to a flower...My home was hiding a secret in the depths of its heart...Why are you talking with snakes?...I shall not leave you...I shall not leave you...I shall not leave you..."
"We have wakened the well, and it is singing..."
"They are asleep...Only the children know what they are looking for...They are lucky..."
Matthew 18:3-6 ~ Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

Death is not the answer to pain and suffering. The true answer to every one of life's riddles, to every conundrum -- is agape love: divine love.

(By the way, I have not seen the movie...That would require a separate critique.)