Anity, The Dragon of Fire

Part 10 of 11 in the series Types of Bliss

Choice is about deciding between life as a wild, precious resource of loving in joy, or allowing your spirit to be enslaved by a dragon…
A dragon called Anity has lived since the mists of ancient times.
Anity is both male and female, and its weapon is fire, which enflames and consumes all the people it breathes upon. Over time it had consumed most people, and the remainder lived in fear of Anity’s fire. The townspeople were unable to defeat the dragon, though many courageous warriors tried. They sprayed water to douse the fire, but it washed off the dragon’s covering scales. As each tough scale overlapped the other, no weapon could get through them.
One day a beautiful child, Faith, full of innocent desire to end the terror and fear, went to the dragon’s lair to ask for mercy for the others. Most who had tried this had been immediately burned, however the dragon did not destroy Faith because the little girl triggered a deep memory of innocence and love from when the dragon was born.
The dragon roared “You must leave here, for though I will be merciful this once, I will not repeat such kindness. If you return you will die!”
Faith sadly walked away, past the vastness of the dragon’s body. She paid attention to the scales, and noted that they were all marked with the letters TSUM or DLUOHS..
“That is strange,” she said to herself, remembering the letters.
Being curious, she touched one of the scales and Anity roared with pain. Faith had not considered that a dragon would experience pain.
The people of the town were astounded that she returned alive, and the wise men asked for her story. They were particularly interested about the words on the scales, but they could not interpret any meaning. The story spread throughout the land, and an inquisitive schoolboy wondered if the letters were a riddle. The question led him to see in a different way, then he approached the wise men and asked them to view the letters in a mirror, where they saw the words MUST and SHOULD.
Meanwhile, Faith felt for the dragon. Wondering if there was a cure she approached the medicine woman and explained the dragon’s sensitivity. “Could this be like a sore tooth?” she asked.
The medicine woman considered this was possible and provided Faith a potion that she used to help people accept the pain when a tooth was pulled.
So Faith , despite the danger to her life, returned to the dragon’s lair. Instead of confronting the dragon she placed the acceptance potion on the ground nearby and called out from as far away as possible, “Anity, Anity, please drink this potion to ease your pain.” The dragon heard her voice, but did not respond. Faith called again  “Anity, Anity, please drink this potion to ease your pain.”
“Go away! I told you I would not be merciful, and I will not be tricked into a poison,” Anity snarled. The dragon however was interested that Faith seemed compassionate.
Faith one last time tried again; “Anity, Anity, please drink this potion to ease your pain, it is no poison, I will share it with you if you try.”
Now the dragon became interested, for no-one had connected with such a kind offer since its birth. Anity emerged from the lair, and together Faith and the dragon drank the potion of acceptance. Once this was done, Faith could touch the scales without Anity wincing in pain, in fact when she pulled on a scale, it came off in her hand!
Anity signed in relief, though blood poured out of where the scale had been. In compassion, Faith took away more scales from Anity’s back and sides, and as she did so, the bleeding increased, along with the sounds of celebration from the townspeople in the distance. Strangely, though the wounds and bleeding increased, Anity seemed more relaxed, and encouraged Faith to continue. The whole day Faith worked, removing the scales as floods of blood poured from the thankful dragon, till there were no scales left. Faith felt sad that now the dragon had no defence it would be killed, but as she returned to the town she saw no soldiers, just celebration.
“What is happening?” asked Faith of the wise men.
“As each scale was removed, one of those who had been consumed by Anity’s fire returned to life!” exclaimed the men. “We are restored by the wounds of the dragon!’
The medicine woman explained that this was to be expected, that all wounding that is accepted with thanks provides healing.
The dragon then became the new symbol of the people of this awareness, and they renamed the dragon HumAnity, and they remembered the fire and renamed that Fear.
As they celebrated new life, HumAnity healed and released them from Fear, for that fire had ceased once the scales were removed.
HumAnity has always honored the friendship of Faith,  who saw the pain behind the scales of MUST and SHOULD, and then in compassion removed them, because LOVE is what we are born with, FEAR is what we learn..
This story is original, but based on a similar story about the myth of the dragon “Thou Shalt/You Must” (see excerpt fromThus Spake Zarasthutsra below)
In the very popular series “The Power of Myth”, which is an interview of Joseph Campbell, by Bill Moyers, Joe, explains:
“When you are a child, when you are young and a young person, you are a camel. The camel gets down on its knees and says, “Put a load on me.” This is obedience. This is receiving the instruction, information that your society knows you must have in order to live a competent life. When the camel is well loaded, he gets up on his feet, struggles to his feet, and runs out into the desert, where he becomes transformed into a lion. The heavier the load, the more powerful the lion. The function of the lion is to kill a dragon, and the name of the dragon is “Thou Shalt.” And on every scale of the dragon there is a “Thou Shalt” imprinted. Some of it comes from 2,000 years, 4,000 years ago. Some of it comes from yesterday morning’s newspaper headline. When the dragon is killed, the lion is transformed into a child, an innocent child living out of its own dynamic.”
Joe Campbell
In the above video, Joe talks about the difference between vitality, the joy and bliss of authentic life, versus the internal dragon of obligation and the adherence to other people’s opinions.

See also: The book Thus Spake Zarasthutsra by Frederick Nietzsche from which this story originated.

Three radical changes of the spirit I declare to you:
Your spirit becomes a camel, the camel a lion, and the lion at last a child.

“You Must,” is the great dragon called. But the spirit of the lion says “I will.”

“You Must” lies in the lion’s path, sparkling with gold—a scale-covered beast; and on every scale glittering the golden letters, “You Must!”

The values of a thousand years glitter on those scales, and this mightiest of all dragons declares:

“All the values of things—glitter on me. All values have already been created, and all created values—do I represent. It is true, there shall be no ‘I will’ any more.”

My brothers, why is there a need for the lion in the spirit? Why not just a camel, a beast of burden, which accepts all and is respectful?


That, even the lion cannot yet accomplish: but to create itself freedom for new creating—that can the might of the lion do.

To create itself freedom, and give a holy NO even for duty: for that, my brothers, there is need of the lion.

Why has the preying lion yet to become a child?

The child represents innocence, and forgetfulness, a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy YES!

Yes, for the game of creating new life, my brothers, there is needed a holy YES towards life: YOUR OWN will/dreams/bliss.

(Modernized from the original)

“I want to sing like birds sing, not worrying who listens or what they think.”  -Rumi

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”  -Joseph Campbell

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