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Chapter 22 - Speeches of despair of the possessed.
22,1. One of the five says, “Yes, yes, it is beginning to become clear to me! It seems as if I had a bad dream and out of this dream I remember something, as if I was once caught by a band of robbers and murderers, and another four with me. We were brought to a dark hole and given over to devils. They worked on our exterior at first, to make us like them. But since we resisted very much, the devils seized our bodies. We lost consciousness and a devilish longing and insistence overpowered our hearts and we were as good as lost to ourselves. What we might then have done in such a terrible condition is completely unknown to us; but I can remember only that we were recently arrested by Roman soldiers. But what happened after that is unknown at least to me, and I don’t know how I got here or why! We must have been heavily abused, for we are so full of wounds and boils, which don’t hurt us however. Oh God, it must have been very bad for us!?”
22,2. A second says, “Do you know what we were before? Look, we actually belonged to the temple and were sent as apostles to the Samaritans to win them back again for Jerusalem. But we were taught by a better person among the Samaritans and then returned and wanted to make converts for Gorazim in Judea; then we were taken by these certain devils on the border who put a spell on us so that we no longer knew who and what we were and what had actually happened to us. But how we got here, I have no idea! Yes, yes, we have to thank the temple for what has happened to us! It knows how to make people as unhappy as possible; but one knows no example of the temple ever making anyone happy! Only the highest people and the high Pharisee and the oldest scribes are the happy ones in the temple, but the others are the poor slaves and hungry traders of the temple!”
22,3. A third says, “Yes, now I can remember how we were plagued with fasting and other penances in the temple! Oh God, we can thank our parents for all our misfortune! It says in the Law of Moses: Honor thy father and thy mother, so that you may live long and fruitfully on Earth! We had honored our parents always through obedience to what they demanded from us; we became templars according to their will although we never belonged to the family of Levi. But that didn’t matter for one can become anything with money; but a lot of money is needed! By becoming templars we became unhappier day by day through all sorts of exercises and tests until we were ordered to Samaria as apostles and enchanted by evil magicians! But what happened, and what we did, how we came to this strange area across this lake and who treated us so badly, I don’t know a thing. Only dimly I can remember that, when we didn’t want to become robbers and murderers, we were given over to a terrible and dubious company by these evil magicians, through whose evil treatment we soon lost consciousness and didn’t regain it again until just now! But what will happen to us now? Should we go back to the temple or should we do something else? I would rather die; for this evil world has lost everything that could make life on this Earth worth living for me! Who can guarantee that we won’t end up in the hands of devils again? Who will save us from their claws?”
22,4. The fourth and the fifth say, “We completely agree! Just a good, quick death, and then eternally no more life! O how good is nothingness compared with an existence such as we have had! Simply, just stop being! But stop totally! For our experience has made existence unbearable! Why do we have to exist at all? We never uttered a desire to exist in our pre-birth inexistence! Or can any wise creator ever have the desire to see terribly unhappy beings change under his all-divine power? But what can we powerless worms do?
22,5. Every animal is better off than man who believes he is the Lord of Creation! You Romans can well fight lions with your sharp swords, and tigers, leopards and hyenas must flee from the loud clinking of your shields and lances; but if any of the terrible demons attack you, what have you got against these invisible enemies? You probably know little about them, although a saying from Delphi often had more power than a whole army! But we have such a secret power and strength and had no weapons to offer you! We were supposed to become devils, and since we did not want to, the terrible demons took all our consciousness, the body received a mechanical life and these machines were used for God knows what! The pitiful appearance of our skin is proof that it was used for nothing good! Thus give us only death; but complete death! No false death after the grave!”
22,6. The first says again, “Yes, if that were possible, he who would give us such a death with all certainty would truly do the greatest good deed! For why should we martyr ourselves any longer on this most miserable world! We definitely do not want to be devils for the greater curse of mankind. But whoever will not be that in one way or another has always the most accursed, pitiful existence on this world of dirt! Nothing can be done with this world! One hides oneself from people who are now pure slaves of Satan! What use is that?! The devils soon find their hiding place and they cannot resist. If he follows them he is then of the devil; if he doesn’t follow willingly then they do the most terrible things to him and he is still the devil’s!
22,7. Go on, let us leave such an accursed world and such an accursed existence! It is too bad for even the worst devil, not to mention for a harmless, innocent human soul! A god above all the stars can well laugh; but the poor, powerlessly created man must suffer, cry, curse and despair! Where is then the savior who gave us this miserable knowledge that we are free people? Truly, he should never rely on our thanks; for he only gave us over to a new misery! And for such a charitable deed we will never be thankful, assuming that we should enjoy such an accursed life! But if he can give us with certainty the eternal complete death we will be extremely thankful!
22,8. Who are you, splendid Romans? Things go better for you in this world than for us! You look good! Yes, yes, whoever knows how to serve Satan in magnificence and other splendor has it good! Whoever does not want to be bothered by devils must become a devil himself, and then he has rest from the devils! Be God’s servant, oh, the most absurd thing! Desire God’s help and love God with all our power! O beautiful words and yet not an ounce of truth in them! We were God’s servants in body and soul and shouted like the birds since our childhood: Lord God Zebaoth, help us and all people who have a good will! And look at us, how the God Zebaoth has helped us! You have power, namely the devil in your hands and can now do with us what you will, but we ask this much, treat us more humanely than the other devils who tormented us all at once! But if you want to make us into devils again, then make at least whole devils instead of half ones! We will see then if we survive better as whole devils than as forced half ones!”
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