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Chapter 102 - Roklus shines a light on Pharisaism.
102,1. Roklus says, “All my life, my heart, my feelings, my constant thoughts and strivings and all my will have always done so – and now all the more so since I have recognized the Lord and accepted all His being into my heart and into my desires forever and ever! I am now a significantly fairer person to talk and judge as far as old Stahar is concerned, for it is easy for a person who walks in the light to talk about the night. There are indeed also shadows in the daytime; but it is very much brighter under any tree than by night, however bright. But as in nature, it is the same in the spirit! Since for whomever it dawns in the heart and the soul, he can well become annoyed about the night of his fellow man; for his darkest thoughts are still a bright light compared to the night of brightest thoughts of heaven of a genuine Pharisee.
102,2. For do you know, among us Greeks there has long been the saying about a person who speaks or performs some great foolishness: He is indeed more foolish than a Jewish Pharisee! However I do not mean to say at all that most, or even all of the Pharisees are foolish; but very many of their great number are so in any case. But I do not exactly want to say so much about their foolishness; but that most of the Pharisees are extremely evil and irreconcilably revenge-seeking people, that is a decided truth, which finds an only too undeniable confirmation through a countless row of the saddest and bitterest experiences. And for this reason alone I am actually a most decided enemy of these people; for there can be no community or wheeling and dealing with them – there is nothing, nothing more!
102,3. Ah, it is easy to talk to and good to trade with the Samaritans, although they also live according to the teachings of Moses! Nor is it fully impossible with the Sadducees; but nothing at all can be started with the arch-Jews, as the Pharisees call themselves! They only respect you when you let yourself be talked round by them in the very most extraordinary way. Give everything that you have to the Pharisees and then die of hunger before their fat doors, and so you will then be a true child of God and named as a holy and highly respected person by the Pharisees! Woe to them where they notice even a little intelligence – he will always be watched with contemptuous glances and will never gain any reputation among those jealous people, unless he brings them a great sacrifice and then allows himself with his sharp brains to be used for the lowest purposes for the good of the Pharisees!
102,4. But what sort of idea does all that taken together give the investigator of light and truth about the arch-Jews, who carry the title of authority ‘Pharisee’? No other than that which I once heard myself quite unnoticed by two very well-fed Pharisees strolling together and with my very own ears! I will name them A and B simply for the sake of differentiating between them in speech.
102,5. A said to B in a rough voice somewhat coated with mucus, “Listen, the foolish fable about Moses, who never existed, is not bad at all! There is surely no trace of truth in it, and Jehovah is an empty, poetic thought, and everything that is commanded in our Scriptures is a work of man, just as he is a work of nature, which creates and then immediately destroys again! 102,06] God and gods, however, are only the people who possess enough strength and energy to make themselves such. Only the beginning is difficult; once the thing has been fully formed and developed after many years, everything is then simply child’s play. With a few false miracles the whole world can be convinced. Then one only has to build soon some temples that are as large as mountains and decorate them outside and particularly on the inside with all sorts of mystical rubbish and teach the blind humanity to recognize an all-powerful god that exists somewhere, whose servants and performers of his will naturally only the priests may be!
102,7. One must also, in order to be more respected, burden the people with all sorts of difficult or even impossibly observable laws, as if from God, with the severest penalty and punish the transgressors constantly without consideration! Thereby the obedience, fear and weakness of the people is created and maintained; and if one has once achieved that, then one can easily be lord of all everywhere.
102,8. But thereby one must nonetheless constantly turn one’s greatest attention to ensuring that the people never come to any further enlightenment than simply in as far as the person can only say as much in an emergency as he understands our words. Only one step further beyond that and immediately questioners will be found who will begin to inquire after all sorts of things! But if the people begin to ask, this proves that they have also already begun to think; but priests and a thinking people controlled by them morally can never go along with one another!
102,9. The people must not possess much more spirit than a dressed-up ox or an obedient donkey; go beyond these limitations – and the reputation of the priests immediately resembles a deserted ship! The nation must never receive even a glimpse of our inner knowledge; for if that ever becomes the case, at that our actual existence will soon be over!
102,10. Therefore particularly in these times, when all sorts of damnable enlighteners of the people are beginning to emerge, we must above all ensure that they are removed from the face of the Earth! Although one swallow by no means brings the full summer, it is nonetheless an indication that several will soon follow her. On its own, the swallows can come, as many as they want, at most they can be dangerous to the sparrows; but the enlighteners are becoming dangerous to us – therefore down to each of everyone immediately!
102,11. That was the praise-worthy speech of A, and B, a small, chubby fellow, agreed with A entirely; only he shrugged his shoulders at the same time and confirmed: This will now be very difficult because of the very enlightened Romans, through whom our Jews have already been unbelievably ruined for us! And as if that wasn’t enough, a true Satan had to put the extremely annoying Essenes on our trail, and in addition they stand under the protection of Rome! If we do not begin to worm our way back among the people once more through the very cleverest and very polished deceptions, things will soon be over for us!
102,12. We must now equip ourselves with all sorts of miracle-making, because in this manner even an already enlightened person can be talked round in the very easiest way; but the miracles must be quite exquisite and quite new and not easily have ever existed before, otherwise we will be cornered and the accursed magicians, flocking to Jerusalem from all sides, will make us look suspicious and in the end even ridiculous – particularly now, when as if that wasn’t enough even the Essenes are performing miracles before our eyes, so that it is a crying shame, and where also in Galilee a new, most extraordinary miracle-worker has appeared and somehow straightaway challenges us to battle with all energy and wants to destroy us at any price! But he must also be destroyed by us at any price, just as the familiar Baptist in the Jordan must also be destroyed; for he has already caused us incalculable damage! In short, such enlighteners must be destroyed, otherwise our old deceptions of the people will come to light in the most naked way and we and our well-being will have reached our eternal end. What do you think about that?
102,13. A said once again: I am quite in agreement with you, if the representatives of the temple who are too half-hearted and yet also extremely greedy, would like to sacrifice a part of their uncountable treasures! But they think: We have ours; let happen what may, we will exist with our treasures very well everywhere! As long as the cow gives milk, we will milk her; once she gives no milk any longer, we would prefer to slaughter her ourselves and finally make a very tasty roast from her flesh! They have allowed things to go too far, and now it will be difficult to temper the people enough so that they believe us alone.
102,14. Yes, if we had the Romans on our side, it would be an easy thing; but as it is out of several politicians we have only Herod more or less for us! Nothing can be said to Pilate; for he has the greatest Roman pride and does not allow anyone from even the high Jewish caste to come before him except in the very most serious Roman legal issues – and even then a Jew always draws the shorter straw against a Roman!
102,15. Both were continuing the discussion along these lines, while I walked behind them for some time, and it must be about three weeks since I heard such praise-worthy talk quite by accident, and indeed in the vicinity of Bethlehem, where I had things to do. And this conversation strengthened me even more in my atheism; for from this I took that even those who I assumed had the greatest faith in a god also had no spark of faith at all in a higher divine being. I found there my opinion that I had long come to, that several divine religions are nothing but a very most insipid and most malevolent deception, completely confirmed.”
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