|"Friend, can you give me a piece of that meat?"|
“Φίλε, μπορείς να μου δώσεις ένα κομμάτι από αυτό το κρέας.”
I smiled and looked more carefully around me to see where the voice was coming from but all I could see was this gray shaggy dog staring at me; mouth salivating with its tongue hanging out, while its tail raced like car windshield wiper on high speed. I started to chuckle, looking all around me once again to see who was toying with me, trying to determine where this ventriloquist was hiding. I called out, responding in Greek: “Εάν μπορεις να γαβγίζεις δυνατά δύο φορές.” (If you can bark aloud twice?) Sure enough, the dog barked twice; my jaw dropped!
In the foreground, I could see God Hermes, saying something at God Apollo, while great God Zeus and the other Gods, looked on from the distance. As soon as the two Gods became aware of my presence, God Hermes turned to me and said, “Φορέας του Φωτός, αυτό δεν έχει καμία σχέση με την αναζήτησή σας, μην παρεμβαίνετε ούτως ή άλλως.” ( Bearer of The Light, this has nothing to do with your quest, do not interfere in any way!) I held back and was puzzled by it all. The dog must have sensed my vision, startled by this sudden sensation, it began to pull away while barking at me. It too had been stunned as much by the imagery or perhaps the warning I had just witnessed. Immediately thereafter, I heard this woman from the house porch, calling out to the dog, in Greek: "Διογένη, αγάπη μου, έλα εδώ. Σε παρακαλώ έλα εδώ." ( Diogenes, my love, come here. Please come here.) Her voice was soft and almost apologetic, that the dog had barked at me. Soon after her calling, the dog stopped his bark and whisked away.
I tried to assure Kiria Maria that there must be a good explanation for all this. That, Plato, or rather Diogenes, had been spoken to by Mrs. Kaliopi, so many times, that he is beginning to mimic the human sounds. Kiria Maria would have none of my explanations, insisting that the dog was possessed by evil spirits. This encounter also explained to me, why ever since I moved into her building, most weekends, and some weekdays, the entire building would be smoked with incense, as is done in churches to chase away the evil spirits.
After my barbecuing was done, I went to my apartment to have dinner and relax. That afternoon's experiences, would not let my mind rest, I had to consult the Elysium:
"Φορέας του Φωτός, μην λάβετε υπόψη την προειδοποίηση των δύο γιων μου, Appolo και Hermes. Είστε υπό τη φροντίδα και την προστασία μου: Οι γιοι μου πρέπει να καταλάβουν ότι, η γλώσσα και η διάνοια, δεν είναι οι μεγαλύτερες αξίες που έχω δώσει στον άνθρωπο. Διδάξτε αυτή την αισθαντική μορφή που φέρει το όνομα εκείνου που κατοικεί σε αυτό το βαρέλι, αυτό που έχετε μάθει από μένα εδώ και καιρό για την ύπαρξη της ανθρώπινης ζωής."
Diogenes and I spent many afternoons in the backyard exploring the philosophy of philosopher Diogenes. He was puzzled why Diogenes the philosopher, would display "dog like" behavior when he was born into a human body. He found it very amusing when I told him about, his namesake, having challenged Plato about the definition of a man as "featherless bipeds" and Diogenes brought a plucked chicken and said, "Behold! I've brought you a man." I introduced him to other philosophers like Socrates, Lao Tzu, the Chinese Taoist Philosopher, Christ, and others. The main theme which ran through all these great men was what was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, "gnothi seauton" (Greek: γνῶθι σεαυτόν, transliterated: gnōthi seauton or "know thyself". Diogenes was very puzzled by this phrase and repeatedly asked me to help him understand. The more I tried, the more frustrated he became. He personally struggled with this subject because having been born a dog, he now had to struggle with qualities of being a human. He desired to learn as much about the human world, about obtaining such skills as being able to read, write and use such devices as my cell phone, to acquire further knowledge, but that did not lead to any revelation or guidance on “how to know, thyself”. After a period of time, however, I noticed considerable frustration with Diogenes: He now was exposed to so many human qualities and strangeness that it was affecting his sleep and ability, to "enjoy a good bone" as he described to me. One day, Diogenes arrived at our meeting very excited, uttering the word "Eureka"! "What, have you heard about Archimedes", I asked with a smile? "Do you remember the image we saw when we first met", asked Diogenes? "Vividly", I assured him. “Well, the Gods were not arguing as you thought. God Apollo was simply giving a message to God Hermes to deliver to me, I know it was, "Know thyself!" “Ever since I received human qualities, I have been in agony and puzzlement. I have felt strange feelings and corrupted needs, which are not part of my nature. It is only through this experience that I have come to know myself, I am content to be and live the life of myself as a dog. That is why my namesake, Diogenes, the philosopher sought the life of a dog, thinking that it was superior to that of being his nature, of being a human. Human’s are given the gift of the Gods, to have imagination, to want, to be other than themselves and to experience other lives and realities, I am blessed with that of being simply a dog, that is why my master, Diogenes the elder, praised me each day, “Mam, kaka, nani”. Many humans seek, quiet, emptiness and meditation, the way of the dog, I am a dog, I am content, I have come to know myself! Thank you for serving as my mentor, bearer of the Light, and helping me on my path to the Elysium fields. Diogenes, after bowing his head turned and walked away.
From then on, Diogenes, the dog, refused, nor acknowledged the human language. His way was the way of his nature, that of the dog. Both God Apollo and Hermes with the intervention by their father Zeus had come to a draw, neither was in servitude to the other nor was mankind or dogs, for, in all this experience, imagination had enlightened them all. My mission was complete, I had now come closer to my destiny and my just reward toward, my rest in the Elysium Fields.