A talk at Greenacres, Dublin.
Wilma Petters and Margaret Duberley, Dublin,
weeks ago we were invited to listen to thoughts that Denis
was going to offer on "Le Petit Prince", a charming
story, treasured in our memories, but not entirely present
in its details.
was able, through seeing things with his heart, to take us
on a journey, along with the little Prince, starting on a
far-away star "his planet" and falling
on to Earth, (in his story, the 7th planet).
little prince can be seen as an innocent soul, whose encounters
on other "Planets" and on Earth, are all first time
experiences. This unspoilt soul needs to ask his basic questions
again and again, and he never forgets them. Denis' own biography
led him mysteriously to his great interest in St Exupery and
"The Little Prince". He was able to bring us, in
his lively and graceful presentation, the story of St Exupery,
whose passion was to fly. When he was brought down to Earth
from the sky in a plane crash, the little Prince appeared
to him and began to speak.
was forced to spend 3 days in the desert after this crash,
in which he had hoped to fly to Arras in a competition. He
was found by a community of nomads, who took care of him,
and procured a taxi, as he still wanted to complete the race.
However, Destiny intervened, and the taxi also broke down!
He was then stranded in sight of the Egyptian Pyramids. Thus,
Denis pointed us to the Egyptian Mystery context of "The
Little Prince", and its imagery, e.g. the fox and the
snake. The Egyptian Mystery Centre was there outside him,
physically, and also, spiritually, deep within him. He has
transformed all this into a modern Christian initiation tale.
every true fairy tale, "The Little Prince" is full
of characters whom he meets and who each point to some aspect
of his, and our, inner self. We can look at every one in the
light of the journey of the soul and spirit through each incarnation
and far beyond.
Little Prince has come from a planet where his self-imposed
task has been to ensure that no wind, no sun, and certainly
no sheep will harm his rose! He has slowly come to understand
during his travels that he loves this one rose because all
his caring for her has given him a close relationship with
her. All the roses he sees on Earth are empty compared to
her, because he has no connection with them. When the little
prince compared the 100 empty roses with his rose and his
planet, he had for the first time a full realization of his
own insignificance. He was near despair when the little fox
greeted him. In any initiation process, it is in the darkest
hour that a small light may dawn.
the ensuing conversation between the little prince and the
fox, the little prince is able to learn about mutual trust,
which in the fox's terms is 'taming'. The Little Prince realizes
that the rose has 'tamed' him, by demanding of him self development,
in this case, a rhythmical and orderly life. Out of that work,
his loving relationship with her has grown, so that all other
roses seem empty and meaningless to him. He gets homesick
for his rose. The fox tells him a secret. "One can only
see well with the heart. The real essence is invisible to
the eyes. Human Beings have forgotten this truth. But you
must not forget it. You are forever responsible for what is
entrusted to you. You are responsible for your rose."
heart and the rose are akin, which imagery links with the
Rosicrucian Mystery School. This rose that must be tended
is surely the human soul, centred in the heart. It must keep
its purity and beauty, and not be 'nibbled at' by the invasive
earthly forces. (The little prince remembers late in his conversation,
to his great consternation, that he forgot to make a muzzle
for the sheep.)
artlessness of the story is quite captivating, yet beyond
that one feels the power of a modern initiation story, as
Denis made clear to us, with the help of a wide variety of
well chosen slides, along with his clear insights, garnered
through much devoted research. Denis was indeed able to illuminate
for us the profundity in the simplicity of those conversations
which punctuate the soul and spirit journey of "The Little