BMAR-8

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Chapter 8

BISHOP MARTIN'S CRITICAL SOLILOQUY AND CONFESSION.

8,1. All by himself in the meadow, he begins the following soliloquy:

8,2. (Bishop Martin): "Where has he got to now, my guide? A fine guide he is! Vanishes just when one needs him most! But when one makes a mistake - he appears right away! This I don't like at all! If he doesn't stay with me to lead me on these insecure roads in the spirit world, he may as well clear out for good rather than come to me when I have already sinned in some way or another.

8,3. If he wants to lead me to salvation, he must stay with me visibly, otherwise his guidance is of no use whatsoever. Well, wait, you Lutheran hide-and-seek patron of a guide, you will find me a hard enough case and soon lose your patience! What worse could happen to me now? I am already a Lutheran - quite ripe for hell by Rome's standards! Maybe, even in hell already without having realized it.

8,4. Therefore, let the lovely lambs only return to me. I shall not be a wolf in sheep's clothing to them, but an ardent lover. I shall never raise my hand against them, nor read their names from this book, so as not to make them flee from me. I will not forget myself to such an extent with one or the other as I did before; but I will definitely not raise my hand or read their names! And should my guide then reappear from some hiding place, I will show him how a bishop from earth can speak, if he wishes to!

8,5. I wonder what could be keeping the dear little angels? Not a trace of them anywhere! As for me, I now feel much bolder. Just come along, you darling little angels, and you'll find the right man in me now, no longer a coward, but a hero! And what a hero!

8,6. But where could they be? It is quite a while since my guide left me, and still no sign of anyone. What could that mean? Is it possible that my guide has fooled me again? It almost looks like it! I have again the feeling as if scores of years have passed since he left me - maybe they'll even grow into millions.

8,7. Life in this spirit world is really beastly. Everything looks hazy, no proper light. And things are not what they pretend to be. Even the rock on which I am seated awaiting the sheep and lambs is probably not a rock at all. And who knows what the dear little angels are in reality? Most likely - nothing! Otherwise, they would be here by now. Oh, yes, nothing is what it seems, not even my guide, or he couldn't vanish into nothingness so suddenly.

8,8. This reminds me very much of dream life. How often I have dreamt of all sorts of silly things, of various transformations. And what were they really? Nothing but pictures created by the fanciful imaginative power of the soul. In the same way also, this life is nothing but an idle, empty, probably eternal, dream. Only my contemplations seem to have a real content, everything else is imagination. Now I must have been waiting for the lambs and sheep for nearly two hundred years, and no trace of them.

8,9. What still strikes me as odd is that in this world of imagination the book here, my peasant's clothes, and the whole landscape, including the Lutheran house and church, have remained unchanged. There must be something in this whole business, but the question remains - what?

8,10. Could it be that I was wrong in not following his advice right away? But if he is a real guide, he should have reprimanded me immediately instead of vanishing. Didn't he say that if I fell again, it would do me much harm and might cost me several hundreds of earth years? But have I actually fallen? With my thoughts and will, of course, but not with deeds, which is impossible since certain little angels haven't appeared at all.

8,11. Perhaps they do not appear because of my thoughts and will. That could easily be the case. If I could only rid myself of such thoughts. Why did the little angels have to be so attractive? Now I have really got myself into trouble. I shall just have to bide my time until my foolish thoughts and inclinations subside.

8,12. I do understand that if this is meant as a trial concerning my greatest weakness, I shall be in a most difficult position, for in this particular point I have been a beast in my temporal life. Whenever I saw a buxom girl . . . taceas [hush] ! And all the lovely young nuns I have . . . taceas de rebus praeteritis [do not talk about things of the past]! Oh, those blissful times - but now taceas!

8,13. How strict I was in the confessional with the penitents and how lax against myself! Most regrettable and very wrong! But who, except God, has the strength to resist the urge of nature?

8,14. If it weren't for the silly celibacy, then a bishop could be the husband of a good wife which, as far as I know, St. Peter expressly demanded. Then the fight against the flesh would surely have been so much easier.

8,15. Oh, blast! But then, things are this way and who can change them? The Creator, naturally, if He wishes, but without His aid, man, especially my kind, will at all times remain just a beast.

8,16. Lord, have mercy upon me! I do realize that if You do not help, I haven't a chance, for I am a beast - and my guide a stubborn wretch, maybe even the spirit of Luther! Patience, do not forsake me. I must have spent another thousand years in one spot."

8,17. At last he falls silent, waiting for the sheep and lambs.

Main Page Book Bishop Martin BMAR-8 Chapter