Simeon was born in Argoth to peasant parents but (due to poverty) they decided to offer their child to the local monastery. In return they were assured that their son would be well taken care of. They knew that he would have a better life there than he would with them.
Simeon was trained according to the teachings of the Church. He was taught the basic doctrines and was trained to be pure of body and pure of mind. He was told to clear his mind and act according to instinct and reflex. He was instructed to empty his mind of thoughts and to only think the things he was taught. Each man at the monastery was meant to think the same as every other. Simeon obeyed. He emptied his mind of all but the Teachings and dedicated his thoughts to their study. Who created us? “God is the creator.” Who rules over us? “Our Lord Emperor is the ruler.” Why did God create us? “So we would obey Him and glorify Him. What do we obey? “The words of the Emperor are the words of God.” Why do we obey? “To disobey the emperor is to sin against God. What is sin? “Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.” What is meant by want of conformity? “Not being or doing what God requires.” Where are the sinful sent on the day of judgment. “They are cast into hell.” What is Hell? “A place of dreadful and endless torment.” What happens to the righteous? “They are taken up to heaven.” What is Heaven? “A glorious and happy place, where the righteous shall be forever with our Lord Emperor and our God.” …
He memorized the catechism but didn’t always understand it. “Does God speak directly to man?” Not anymore. “If the Emperor is a man how can he know what God wants?” … Through the scriptures. “Then wouldn’t anyone be able to read and hear from God?” Only the Emperor and those he elects are blessed with spiritual understanding. The Holy Spirit dwells in them and gives them understanding. They interpret the scriptures so that we can understand them. Do you have any other questions? “… No. Thank-you.”
Simeon decided to read the scriptures on his own. He realized he might not understand it all, but with what he did know he hoped he’d be able to learn the answers to some of his questions. However, the day he was about to sneak a peek at the holy texts, an older monk named Luxor Martín was apprehended after being caught for reading the very same texts. Several soldiers marched into the monastery in order to bind the man’s hands and escort him out. As he was being led away, the man boldly shouted a new doctrine to any who could hear: “In Acts chapter 5, Saint Paul said that we ought to obey God rather than men!”
One of the elders began to march toward Luxor to silence him. The man stopped—confused—when he heard Luxor’s next passage.
“In chapter 13 of his letter to Roma, St. Paul teaches that one should honor and obey the secular authorities. He includes this, not because it makes people virtuous in the sight of God, but because it does insure that the virtuous have outward peace and protection and that the wicked cannot do evil without fear and in undisturbed peace. Therefore it is the duty of virtuous people to honor secular authority, even though they do not, strictly speaking, need it. We must obey the Emperor, but we must obey God rather than man! If the Emperor commands something that God denies us—IT IS SIN!!! Paul says that the rulers are servants of God. This is the context of the submission that is mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. If these rulers are no longer servants of God, and if they contradict Scripture, they are NOT to BE OBEYED! Memorize the commands of God so you know when to submit and when to rebel!”
The elder finally reached the bound man and struck him with a great Flury of Blows. The elder’s holy anger had inspired him to act in this critical situation. The dissenter’s jaw had been knocked loose on one side, and yet, he spoke, “And God spake all these words before me: ‘I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee ou—’” Another blow hit the rebel just below the eye. “’Thou shalt have no other gods before Me!’” A blow to the other side of the jaw dislodged it completely. Luxor was in terrible pain yet he still attempted to be heard, “’~-ou kthalt not mahk untu hee—ahny—klagen inah—f.’” A final blow to the temple caused the insurgent to slump to the ground unconscious. The soldiers hauled him up and carried him off.
The elder then walked toward the wash basin and cleaned his hands of the affair. Once pure, he proceeded to address the immediate crowd. “This man spoke lies and taught false doctrines which could lead astray any weaker brethren. If the man spoke God’s truth then God would not have blessed my frail body to silence him. Meditate on the teachings of our great leader and do not fret with the rhetoric of false prophets.”
Simeon, however, was not so sure… about anything. He knew the Ten Commandments of the Lord and he also knew that the Emperor had cutthroats, spies and brigands working under his command. Originally Simeon believed them to be working penance, however, they lied, stole and killed according to the Emperor’s will. Also, the so-called false prophet who had been bound and carried—he had turned the other cheek and was willing to suffer for his words. The elder on the other hand, he did not treat the man as he would want to be treated and then he washed his hands of the deed—not accepting responsibility for what he had said and done…
A few months later, Simeon heard a rumor that the Emperor was sending commanders to each of the monasteries in order to draft the monks and train them to serve him as soldiers in the army. In those few short months, Simeon had attempted to study the commands of God and he memorized each one he heard, While Simeon was not the most intelligent of the brethren, he was dedicated to studying what teachings he did understand. So it was, that when he first heard the rumors that the Emperor’s men were on the way, he did not wait to see if they were true. He went out to the river to pick berries—a favorite supplement to the monastery meals. However, after he picked and ate a fair share of berries. He hiked on, away from the monastery. He continued off the main paths and prayed to God that he was heading in the right direction—wherever that was. It just so happened, that late in the night he stumbled upon the camp of a travelling band of troubadours. The bards and minstrels welcomed him into their camp and offered for him to share their fire and their meal. In return the storytellers requested a new story of his own. So it was that Simeon first told another about the new truth he had learned. The troupe admitted that they were not gifted with understanding about spiritual things but did suggest that he travel with them to hid from the militia. They too did not desire war and accepted the monk as one of their own. As they traveled from town to town—slowly leaving the heart of Argoth behind—one of the minstrels started to teach Simeon how to play the mandola. The four-stringed instrument produced a pleasant sound with a pitch just a hint lower than one might expect. Simeon probed to be a fast learner (Kinesthetic learner—not auditory. That’s why he didn’t understand some teachings.). He was soon able to play a few short ditties and was able to help support the troupe’s ensemble by playing a simple consistent harmony along with the other instruments and voices.
Unfortunately, that time with the troubadours had to end. Simeon was heading toward Azurestone in Gen where he heard that he would be able to learn more about this doctrine he sought. So it was that Simeon continued alone—with naught but a traveler’s outfit, several days of rations, a water skin and a gifted mandola.