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Chapter 156 - A Pharisee talks about the responsibility of man.
156,1. At this everyone moves over to Cyrenius very cheerfully and asks him what should be done in these circumstances.
156,2. And Cyrenius says, “It is more fitting that you should wait a little longer, but draw nearer to Him internally in your hearts, and then He will come to you Himself and will tell you Himself who He is and what you have to do! Nonetheless for the moment I can tell you that you are on the right track! For you have already been able to tell from our presence that the great man of God must be staying here! For we would not have stayed here almost three days for the sake of something less!
156,3. Thus He is here, you can now be fully assured of that; but draw near to Him firstly in your hearts, and seize a serious desire to thoroughly turn away from all your old habits and sins, and then He will soon come to you Himself and give you the divine instruction of what you will have to do for the future!
156,4. But He is truly the one you yourselves were thinking that He was! Observe Him and consider: That is Jehovah Himself as a man among the people! This is the One who created heaven and Earth and everything that is in and upon it!
156,5. I tell you: He is the eternal original cause of all being and all life! In the never to be fathomed power of His will resides the whole infinity; all the angel’s power is only a slight breath from His mouth, and all light shines forth from Him!
156,6. In brief, consider that this is truly the same person that gave Moses on Sinai the commandments for the people of Israel; but this people have forgotten Him and once again fallen into all vices! And He has now come to establish His people once again and to make them free from all evils of the soul.
156,7. He wears therefore a beautiful pink tunic to show how much He still loves His people. But with the loose, blue coat He shows that He has also come to us heathens in order to turn us into His children as well! The coat covers the whole world and all the heathens belong there too.
156,8. Now just consider everything that I have now said to you, and it will only too soon begin to manifest itself that I have not told you any untruth!”
156,9. Stahar and all his colleagues express their great thanks for such an unexpected explanation on the part of Cyrenius and withdraw in reverence.
156,10. Having reached the seashore at a leisurely pace, Stahar says to his companions, “But it is strange; I feel very strangely happy at the almost open explanation by Cyrenius about the Messiah! A certain feeling of being cared for has overcome me, as if nothing in the least can be taken away from us all in this world any longer! At the same time however I feel a highly strange shyness and fear before the Lord of eternity; for we can now no longer deny, after everything that we have seen and heard, that He is truly what Cyrenius described Him to us to be! A conversation with Him will create in us a very strange sensation! Our otherwise very active tongue will certainly fail us!”
156,11. One very courageous one in the midst of the fifty says, “Yes, yes, you have spoken very correctly and truly; but nonetheless I think: We cannot help the fact that we are humans, because we certainly did not place ourselves in this world! Neither can we help our circumstances in life, through which we became what we were; our elders, our up-bringing and the needs of every shape and form which were awakened through it have made us this.
156,12. If we had been children of poor country folk, we would certainly have also been what our parents were; but it pleased God to give us to very respected and rich parents. They had us brought up in the temple and then totally dedicated to the temple. We cannot possibly do anything about that! The will of the All-mighty certainly had something to do with the fact they we became what we were!
156,13. That we then allowed ourselves certain things that were not quite in order according to the commandments was certainly our problem; but I always think: If your parents had brought you up to be a fisherman who had to earn his hard living, then some things must not happen which a well cared-for person would have been allowed because the well fed flesh and blood urged one on! Thus our crimes against the law are in part a consequence of the circumstances in which we were placed from birth and up-bringing.
156,14. If the great Messiah comes to us now, I could speak to Him in a way quite without fear and particular shyness; for I can be no less than I am, and He certainly no more than He is from eternity to eternity!
156,15. Tell me quite openly: Can a tree help the fact that he is moved quite violently back and forth by a storm?! Or can the sea help the fact that angry winds churn up the flat surface or make one wave engulf another as a predator devours its prey?! Or can the weak reed prevent being bent in all directions by the waves?!
156,16. We are no original force and depend on all sorts of secret forces acting upon us. What is the use of a good and serious will never to fall, if a bridge over which you have to cross has become fragile without you knowing and collapses at the moment when you are quite harmlessly strolling over it?! What is life, what support does it have, on which we can build with security?! Who knows the foundations of thought and desire?! Life is created by animals and men in one and the same way through the animalistic mute cohabitation, almost devoid of all serious thought! Neither the animal nor the person has a spark of consciousness of how through sensually mute cohabitation a living organism is formed, whose simple materially technical part has been put together so highly skillfully that a great wise man would have to study for a thousand years in order to see and recognize all the individual components and their connections even superficially! But then he would only have the machine before him; but where then is the principle of life itself, how does it function in the machine, and how does it make use of all the countless individual parts?!
156,17. We know, of course, that we now exist, that we live and think and desire, we also become aware of the most various excitements and driving forces in us; but how are they created in us, who calls them out of sleep, and where do they go to when we have satisfied them with what they forced us to do?
156,18. You see, these are important considerations, through which by every god at least four fifths of our lifetime could be excused according to pure reason, and I fear therefore no spirit and no god! I have never committed evil to anyone, except that now and then I as a man took pleasure in a voluptuous maiden; and my nature is to blame for that! Why did the voluptuousness of a maiden have to attract me so much? Did I myself place such an overwhelming desire in my being? I know nothing about it! Who gave me the feeling then of love that is hard to satisfy? Who is the creator of thirst and hunger in me? Why must I eat and drink? You see, those are all higher forces in us which we cannot counteract with any law! We can certainly deny ourselves to a certain degree, but after that not an inch more! If things are so, which pure reason and wisdom can be capable of dragging me before a court for the sake of my status and my actions? Not a human one – all the less a very highest and brightly divine one! Why should I then have a highly silly fear of a god?”
156,19. Stahar says, “But it is written that man should fear God, in that God is all-powerful and man is highly powerless, who can never stand against God with his power!”
156,20. The speaker says, “Quite right! He should fear God; but that is only said to moral people – but not to complete people in all their functions of life! But even this fear is actually only a fear through love, which should be a similar leading ball of string in life to the free will of demure people as the loving fear of a child to his parents. But let God give you a commandment which forbids breathing or digestion or the pulse or growing old, the growing of hair and nails or smelling and tasting and feeling desire and pain! What anyway wise god could do that?! Where do we have the yardstick against which we could exactly measure where man has taken his positively determined viewpoint in all his thoughts, desires and actions in his moral absoluteness free of all necessary functions of life?
156,21. Who knows the threads with which the natural life with the purely spiritual and free life are connected, and to what extent it can move completely independently from the threads?! Yes, you can really see that every man is free in a certain way – he can go where he wants, he can stand or sit, he can look with his eyes in every direction – but all that presupposes a necessity which comes from the limited natural life!
156,22. It begs the question where the actual free moral viewpoint of a person between the necessary natural life and the free, spiritual being in a person is placed! As long as this has not been conveyed, there can be no talk of either a sin or a virtue!”
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