Chiron, the wounded healer


Especially interesting for the 6th line beings (after Chiron). I found some background information about Chiron including the theme of 'perfection'.


In Greek mythology, Chiron is one of the Centaurs, a rugged genus of wild and uncivilized creatures. All possess the lower part of a horse and the upper part of a human. Chiron is a highly respected teacher and educator. He provides training for important Greek heroes including Achilles. He is skilled in medicine, music and martial arts. He knows the healing properties of plants and herbs, has knowledge of poetry and eloquence. Chiron is friends with Heracles, a son of God, who must perform twelve works to find his individuality. One day Heracles shoots poisonous arrows, and -by accident- hits Chiron. He is immortal, so the wound means a hopeless situation for him. He can't get well and he can't die. Despite his knowledge of medicine, he is unable to heal himself and suffers unbearable pains. Although Chiron was immortal and could not die from his injuries, he suffered so much pain that he wanted to be mortal. He therefore gave his immortality to Prometheus, so that he could die. Zeus thought this was such a laudable act that he put a constellation in the sky out of respect: the constellation Sagittarius (archer).


How can we place this story in our own lives? I think Chiron's immortality is a metaphor for perfection. Mortal people fail; doing things 'wrong' is part of our growth process. The pain of Chiron becomes bearable the moment he gives up his immortality, his urge for perfection. He becomes mortal, he accepts that he can fail. If we no longer fight for a perfect world or for the perfect conditions, then we can work constructively on change. When we die in peace, we can harmonize with our mortality, with our failure. The myth of Chiron does not end with his literal death. In mythical language, dying is a symbol of saying goodbye to an old situation and opening up to the new. Chiron was initially the moral educator and healer who spoke from rational theory, but he personally experienced what it is like to suffer unbearable pain. The moment he gives up his immortality, he accepts the lesson and thereby integrates his shadow. A change is taking place: theoretical knowledge is now linked to personal experience and rooted in its inner strength. That makes him a better educator and healer than ever, he no longer approaches people from his head but from his heart: with understanding, compassion, patience and peace.