BMAR-54

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Chapter 54

BISHOP MARTIN'S SOLILOQUY. - CRITICISM OF THE CHURCHES. - DISCOVERY OF AN AFTERNOON TEA NOOK.

54,1. After properly studying the spiritually artistic earth-globe for twelve earthly hours, and when no one has come near him, Bishop Martin begins the following soliloquy:

54,2. (Bishop Martin): "So, now I have had another good look at the earth and must say it is a shame what is going on there! The fraud, the deceit, the malice, the disgraceful politics, and the unspeakable atrocities that are being committed everywhere! This really surpasses all comprehension!

54,3. If you look more closely at all this vileness on earth, life appears loathsome. In the midst of the greatest wonders of God, millions seem to have no idea of Him, and their actions are so peculiarly tyrannical as if they expected to live forever in a world upon which the seal of death has been impressed everywhere. How most peculiar this is! I, too, am still rather a beast, but this is really too crazy!

54,4. My Roman colleagues sit in conclave and the church councils meet; however, the reason for these meetings is neither the Lord nor the spirit of the teaching of the Gospel, but solely lust for power conferring furtively about the shameful means best suited to achieve its end.

54,5. The Protestants, too, are endeavoring to conquer the earth with pure reason and to make new laws which would be rather in favor of the legislators than the people.

54,6. Also the Anglican Church makes every effort, by the foulest of means, to propagate the doctrine of giving among its parishioners. But the Church itself does not give anything at all!

54,7. In short, conditions on earth are such that even in hell it could not be any worse. Away with you, shameless world! Even to look at you would make a person evil! How much more this must be the case when one has been a Roman bishop for fifty years.

54,8. I am really a low scoundrel of a spirit in this illusory kingdom of heaven; but what can I do? Maybe my wickedness will peter out in about two thousand years when everything earthly in me may have evaporated. Oh, what a beast I am!"

54,9. After this soliloquy, Bishop Martin is again silent, pondering on what he can do now, but unable to think of anything worthwhile.

54,10. Quite a while passes before he remembers that he has not yet inspected the beautiful galleries of his house. So he starts looking for the stairs leading up to them, but without success, for they are hidden. He goes outside, looks around, but sees no trace of them there either.

54,11. He finds it altogether most peculiar and incomprehensible that his house consists of a very large hall inside, yet from the outside it does not look any bigger or more impressive than a small hermitage on earth. He also wonders why he cannot find any trace of the twelve cabinets on the outside of his house, when they play such an important role on the inside.

54,12. Having been outside his house for some time and unable to find what he has been looking for so eagerly, our bishop starts walking around in his little garden. There he finds some small berries, a few of which he eats, as he is beginning to feel hungry. But this fare is not much to his liking, so he does not eat much of it. For a while he still keeps looking around, but when he cannot find anything, he re-enters the house, resigned to the fact that he will not be able to investigate the galleries.

54,13. Inside, he once more inspects the white tablet from all sides but finds everything unchanged: on the front side it is still blank, and on the reverse side, facing the astronomical mechanism, there are still the same Latin phrases. As we know, they are of no interest to our Bishop Martin! So he once more walks toward one of the doors - the door of the sun. He opens it and looks at the very distant sun, and since he cannot see anything else, he at least enjoys the sunlight.

54,14. Thus he spends what he feels to be several hours, and then he begins to talk to himself.

54,15. (Bishop Martin): "Although the earth is on the whole a madhouse, it is not quite as silly as this so-called celestial world. For what is on earth is real, and stays so, or at least reappears as the same real thing.

54,16. The stars in the sky do not change ever, and a house remains the same until it is demolished and a new one built in its place. But here, everything is like a silly dream: you see something, and then, when you want to see it again, maybe from another angle, you turn round to it and there is no trace of what you had originally seen from the first position.

54,17. Take, for instance, this door through which I am looking now into a distance of millions of miles. Where is it when I seek it outside the house? Not a trace of it visible anywhere!

54,18. Here, immediately beyond the door frame, there is an infinite dark blue empty space in whose depth the dear sun is shining, no larger than a small plate. However, at this same spot, outside the house, there is not a trace of a door, nor the sun for that matter! Whatever can this mean?

54,19. To understand this, one must evidently have more than a rudimentary knowledge or, perhaps, be an even greater ass than I am, who at least seems to realize that this is nothing but illusion. Thus the scientists on earth would be amazed if they were told that here you can live in houses which are much smaller on the outside than they are on the inside.

54,20. Oh, what a state of things! And what shall I do now? Stay here? What an awkward situation - alone and nothing to eat!

54,21. Isn't it peculiar that even as a spirit in this so-called celestial spirit world, one can suffer from hunger and thirst? But this is how it is! I am hungry and thirsty, and have neither to eat nor drink, and still there is nothing I can do but stay here, for in the little garden there are at least some small berries as food in an emergency.

54,22. But wait! I just remembered something! Through this sun-door there is only vast empty space. What could happen if I jumped out into it, as there is nothing in any direction?

54,23. When I put my head out through the door, I do not see the house at all, not a trace of a wall, a roof, or any foundation. There is just nothing there! When I pull my head back inside, I again see my hall, unchanged. Therefore, I couldn't possibly hit my head against anything, even if there were something there, for I am a spirit, and as such should be light enough. So let me jump! Who knows what I may experience on such a journey through the air?

54,24. No stop! I remember something even better! Through door number one I saw the familiar field. So why should I jump into this empty sun-space when instead I could go for a walk in that field? I might even meet the beautiful lambs! Yes, that is a much better idea. So let me be off to door number one!

54,25. Here I am, already at door number one! But what has happened to the field? It has vanished and I can see only a dense grey fog. Could it be that this earthly late autumn feature appears sometimes here also in the world of spirits? And why not? There are celestial clouds, so why shouldn't there also be celestial fog? However, I shall not go outside the door, for who knows what or whom I might meet in such a fog?

54,26. What would happen, I wonder, if I tried a salto mortale through the door of Mercury? I might eventually get nearer to that planet and, perhaps, even meet that fair Mercurian who, God forgive me my sins, has roused a real animal passion in me. Oh, oh, just to get a little kiss from her, and some bosom-fingering! What divine delight that would be! So, off to the door of Mercury, which must be next to this one!

54,27. Here I am. It is the right door, but it is closed. I will open it - but what is this? Instead of the view into the vast sphere of Mercury, I see nothing but a cupboard, well-stocked with food! On the lower shelf I see quite a number of wine bottles. If things are like this, I shall naturally stay here. Farewell, fair Mercurian, farewell endless solar space - I prefer by far this rich table!

54,28. This really changes my whole attitude! Oh, my beloved Lord Jesus, for this I have to thank You! Now we are again reconciled, my dearest bookseller! Come to me that I may embrace you! You do not come - but it does not matter, I still love you dearly! And now I shall hold a communion right away, in the name of the Lord!"

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