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Chapter 163 - The materialistic faith of the Pharisees' leader.
163,1. (Cyrenius) “Here Mark tried to dissuade you through his most decent claims from your vague idea, but you said to him, smiling very friendly, tapping him at the same time on the shoulder: Yes, yes, dear friend, I do not hold it against you that you speak like that; for firstly you are yourself a very refined Roman, and secondly there is a certain compulsion there, against which it would be very unwise to speak and to act! Therefore just you stick to what gives you a clear advantage. We however, we will remain with what will give us a sure advantage and will only become fully untrue to it if different greater and permanent advantages are offered to us! We are not hell-bent on our issue which has already slipped into all sorts of bad reputation. But if on the other side greater advantages – as I said – are offered as permanent, then we could just as well, like already many of our colleagues have done disloyally to the temple as we know, turn our backs on the old, decayed institute, and if need be, like many others also worship the carpenter of Nazareth as a god!
163,2. But for that we would truly need no miracles, but instead only real earthly advantages, and we are then to be had and used for everything, and all the more so since we as worldly experienced people know only too well and too clearly from countless experiences what one has to think basically about every religion. Miracles are an old means to persuade the inexperienced children of the Earth. Why should they lose value in this time when there is an extremely large number of blind people, particularly if they are driven along a finer way than in antiquity, and even more particularly if the highest rulers take part in it too, certainly not without the very most secretive reasons?! For the firmest observed divine religion is always of more value to the regents than ten thousand of the greatest fortress prisons and twenty thousand legions of the bravest warriors.
163,3. The well-constructed divine religions animate the blind people to activity, through which a state and its regent can become very rich and powerful, while the many slaves and the sharp swords of all people who meet them must make them inactive. Thus a person living in a state union must convert to a divine religion for clever political reasons – if he is no idiot and enemy of himself – so in the end it is indeed indifferent whether one worships a Jehovah, a Zeus or even the carpenter from Nazareth as God; for the better laws in any case are given by the ruler under the title: God’s commandments! They in themselves can do then what they want, and in need can put themselves above all the beautiful divine commandments.
163,4. If I with my confession can make an advantageous exchange, then I will change, like every one of us, immediately; but should something be taken away from us in the still casually advantageous sphere in which we are now without compensation – ah, then we will know how to take up arms with all the means that stand at our disposal! For this is a matter of being or not being.
163,5. If we are of no particular use any longer with our establishment to the government, they will punish us correspondingly, and we will no longer look at the whole temple junk! It will then bother us little what the emperor will do with the temple. For the Essenes he would be of very good use. They could easily transform it with their new, Indian miracles into a ten times greater money maker! We in any case do not know any longer how to do that and are suspected by the Essenes of all sorts of the most despicable deception. But wherever a theocratic institute has once been suspected through and through by another party in its mysteries, the feeding cancer has already set in on its walls, no matter how firm, which, even if very slowly, nonetheless will and must certainly destroy and annihilate it.
163,6. Such an institute resembles a person who is a magician. Some other envious magician only needs to show up and whisper into the ears of some brighter heads: ‘The deceiving magician carries out his skills like this or that!’ but then also show them practically that his suspicion is a real one. The betrayed magician can soon take to his heels, before things get around everyone in general, otherwise things can go badly for him! Luck to him if he has some powerful person as his protector! Without him in a few days he will be done with all his magic and can begin to go begging if he is lucky. He will naturally defend himself as long as possible – but he will never save himself from going to the dogs!
163,7. For what has once been suspected never finds itself in a green spot again, which is also quite natural; for a magician can bring about his deeds only with natural means, in which type they however then also must necessarily appear to be fully worthless and are too bad for the very greatest fool to take pleasure in them, and naturally even less so a wise person. But he for whom the effective reason is not familiar, neither can be, must see it as a pure miracle and wonder and pay; for he must admit himself that according to his comprehension it cannot occur with natural means. But if he is then informed by someone more knowledgeable that his amazing miracle which he had paid for so expensively as something extraordinary, nonetheless was brought about in the most natural way, then the previous magician has stopped being a miracle-worker for him, and now stands as a very common deceiver before his previous admirers. Can he even wash himself clean again before the previous adorer? I say: No and never! It is the end of him for all time!
163,8. And since a theosophical and theocratic institute is basically nothing other than a well-conditioned magic, surrounded by all sorts of mystic, but in themselves meaningless ceremony and a legion of all sorts of wise sayings, lessons and laws, then the same certain fate also stands before him unavoidably, which a somewhat ineffective magician has to cope with every day. But from this, my old friend Mark, you will easy see the pure reason from which for my person every well-established religion is all the same, if I espy the better advantages for life in it; but if they do not step obviously into the foreground, as seems to be the case here, then no-one can hold it against me if defend my institute with every power and cleverness for as long as my good existence allows me. The reason in the face of the very most powerful Romans will hopefully not be difficult for you to understand why the defense must remain only within the limits of modest possibility. I also now think that you will not want to burden me with this story seriously any longer as a pure miracle?!
163,9. Ah, but can you offer me decided advantages if I believe you and very much flatter you, then you can say to me: Look, that Nazarene has called not only all this, but also this sea with all its fish in the very beginning simply through his will, and above all this Earth created two years ago! – and I will believe you! What I thereby want to say to you, you will also have understood very well without any further discussion.”
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