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Chapter 183 - Hiram's magical experiences.
183,1. John says, “Well, so hear me patiently! You see, you, as yourself a bit of a magician, like all your companions, undertook a journey a few years ago, before you had become acquainted with the pharmacist Aziona in Greece. You went to Egypt with a sorceress called Klia, at which opportunity you found only a very weak reward because of the too great shallowness of the magical arts of you and your helper!
183,2. In Alexandria even the urchins imitated your tricks – and among them also even better and more successful ones! Thus you did very little there and moved on to Kahiro. When you arrived there, you wanted to perform; all they said to you was: Let’s see everything that you can do! And you gave some samples of your art. They pitied you and said: Dear people, there you have some farthings for the journey! Do not let yourself be seen in cities; but perhaps in some small towns you might perhaps earn your supper.
183,3. Then you moved on to Carnac, where you also did nothing, likewise in Elephantine, and you even dared to go as far as Memphis. But there you were fully buried! If a Roman governor there had not saved you from your affliction, things would have gone very badly for you. However, the kind-hearted Roman governor gave you accommodation for three months for the sake of the beautiful Klia and made you acquainted there with a very wealthy Persian society of magicians, so that you could or should learn something from them.
183,4. Well, this society of magicians, however, did not want to make a deal with you unless you would remain as their immediate slave for a full ten years alongside the significant fee of education! Then you calculated the deal thus: Ten years their slave plus the great fee of a hundred pounds?! If I am their slave for nine years, in the tenth they can beat me to death as a slave, so that their secret is not betrayed in Greece, and then my hundred pounds would disappear along with me! The magicians would have eaten the hundred pounds – and me, the crocodiles of the Nile! No, I won’t do that to myself!
183,5. That was thus your good and firm decision very secretly in yourself. But to the magicians you said: ‘My highly wise artists, when I have seen occasionally almost all your greatest and most secret pieces as a guest, then I will perhaps enter into an even more advantageous contract with you!’ Here the magicians were taken in by you and brought you their greatest and boldest performances to view at their shows, which happened twice a week.
183,6. I will not mention the many other pieces that do not belong to our issue, for the sake of valuable time, but instead just those which actually brought you out of all composure. And these consisted of this: An active, somewhat thirty year old Arab came forward and announced with very serious and respect demanding words that he would empower a virgin simply with the power of his will and through the laying on of his bare hands so that she would guess even the thoughts and a number of secret things from anyone on demand. Also she would tell everyone’s age, and if anyone wanted, also his future happy or unhappy fate exactly and without any mistake.
183,7. That was true thunder and lightning for you. The virgin was now brought forward and set on a reclining couch. The magician laid his hands on her, at which she fell asleep. Soon after the virgin went into a sort of ecstasy and began to speak to the magician, at which he said: ‘Whoever now desires to find out something, may come forward, but only up to three people at once. With the comment that people whom she points at are to leave should also immediately follow her signal, because otherwise something unpleasant could happen to them! If someone should come with a not very pure conscience, he should not come near the virgin, but instead ask the question to me through an intermediary, and the answer will then come quite secretly through me! The condition of the virgin will last one and a half hours!’
183,8. At this revelation several people came and asked the strangest questions, and each received their wonderful answer. You also asked your age and your future fate. And what the virgin said to you has happened exactly to the point until now. And whatever has not yet happened, seems to want to be fulfilled in you now and for the future! Tell me whether things have not happened exactly so with you!”
183,9. Quite incredibly astounded, Hiram says, “No, that is more than too much, and more than a thousand of those bewitched virgins; for I even told you, friend Aziona, very little and actually almost nothing about this, and otherwise even less anyone else! How can you possibly know that in the most exact way! No, no! Listen, you are a highly strange person for me! I feel truly quite terribly uncomfortable in your strange presence!”
183,10. John says, “Hey, just leave that be; for we are not here to ever cause you the least harm, but instead only to make you as happy as possible, particularly spiritually! For without being first spiritually happy, no earthly happiness is of any good to you! Should I now tell you the dream-making of the aforementioned magician in Memphis, which dumbfounded you most of all, and which magical art you first wanted to blame on us with your light dream?”
183,11. Hiram says, “Oh dear friend, just leave all of that be! Although I indeed have no idea of how that magician was able to allow his sleeper to dream certain dreams, nonetheless I have been already convinced in advance that all that is exactly known to you and that you could bring the same thing into being in a thousand times more successful way, if you only wanted it. For like your eyes – or heavens knows which of your senses – read in me the most hidden things as if from an open book, that is and will remain a riddle to me until the grave!”
183,12. John says, “Not so, my friend! It does not at all depend on the fact that I wanted to explain you the Egyptian dream-making somehow for your knowledge, so that you could later earn your better bread as a particular magician – for there you only have to go to the Essenes, they will do the same to you and perhaps also show you! - ; but it is my intention to show you the great difference how we could truly spiritually appear to you in a bright dream, and how that magician, who later joined the Essenes and still is among them, made the dreams for that particular sleeper.”
183,13. Hiram and also the infinitely attentive Aziona say, “Well, we would truly be more curious about that than about our death! We beg you most seriously to explain it in a comprehensible way!”
183,14. John says, “Well then, good, so listen to me! You see, how we have called forth your dream from us and our arrival in you, I have explained that as very faithfully and truly as truly and faithfully my present tale of your Egyptian journey of arts with the blessed Klia, who allowed you then to travel home to Greece alone, because things were better for her in Memphis! I do not need to repeat it to you any more since you otherwise possessed a good memory then as now. It is only a matter of how the magician made the dreams for his sleeper!
183,15. You see, the whole society of magicians was very large! There were very few open performers, but there were very many of the guests who agreed with them, who however were never allowed to move into a great city at the same time as the main magicians. They only came gradually, partly as traders, partly as other travelers and partly as curious people who had already heard the strangest things about the great, wonderful artists, who were supposed to be performing in this city, and wanted to see them here. Those were the so-called people’s noise-makers who nonetheless lived all very well from one and the same industry, because they always carried away thousands of pounds from a big city.
183,16. Well, these secret members of the society of magicians were only very honest spectators of the great productions, but they knew exactly when, at a certain sign, they should allow themselves to be used to deceive the greater public. Among them were also several who had to perform their secret service at the dream-making. Each had long known what he would dream, if he stepped forward at the demand of the magician as if accidentally from among the onlookers and very solemnly and loudly claimed that he would bet a thousand pounds that the magician, despite his magical seriousness, would not make any dream for him.
183,17. The bet was usually accepted, and the blusterer ascended the tribune and had to take a sleeping draught for the sake of appearances, at which certainly not a drop of opium was found in it. In short, the man soon entered a deep sleep on the reclining couch, from which he was no longer to be awakened with all noise. Once our man was sleeping very deeply – but of course, only seemingly so – the magician stepped forward with a great awe-inspiring pathos and said to the people: Is there no-one among the many spectators who would desire to know what this sleeper, who wants to crush under his feet my skills, will dream?
183,18. Soon out of the number of the many initiated persons there present one person would step up, perhaps in the form of a gold-strutting, rich merchant from Rome or from Persepolis, or in the form of another always very respected guest, and said: Let me try whether he will dream what I think to myself and want him to dream about me!
183,19. At this the magician spoke with all suaveness, “Highly respected lord guest and visitor to this great performance of ours, now have the goodness and share very secretly your thoughts with the other highly-respected guests as evidence, but not with me; for I will suck them up out of the air with this magic wand and immediately then have them appear in a bright dream to this sleeper!
183,20. Then all that naturally happened under the very tensest attention from all sides. The magician stuck then his magic wand into his mouth and did as if he was seriously sucking something out of the air. Finally he placed the wand on his head and touched with the other end of the wand the head of the sleeper for just a few moments.
183,21. Then the sleeper, in order to make things even more striking, was awoken by a powerful blast of a trumpet, rubbed his eyes for a while, as if he didn’t quite know where he was now. But he nonetheless soon came fully to himself again and was asked with all suaveness whether he knew what he had dreamed; for there was a bet of a thousand pounds which he would clearly lose if he had only dreamed what the magician wanted him to dream. But if he had had another dream, the thousand pounds would be paid to him in an instant by the magician. But he was strictly reminded to tell only the purest truth, otherwise the miraculous virgin would be called and he would be punished before thousands for his lies.
183,22. Then the sleeper began to tell his dream, seemingly somewhat embarrassed, and when he came to the end, all the guests confirmed loudly that that was exactly the same dream that they had heard earlier before the magician had sucked it out of the air with his wand and then had the sleeper dream it.
183,23. At this the sleeper pretended like very humbled by the power of the magician and the magician generally played the benevolent one and gave the willful and inexperienced better the thousand pounds back again with the remark that he would not be treated so considerately the next time at such a cheeky stand, which naturally then incited even more well-disposed applause among the spectators.
183,24. There you have now the whole story about the Egyptian dream-making! How do you like the trick now and what difference do you find between it and our dream-making?“
183,25. Hiram says, “But Memphis happened exactly as you have now told very long-windedly! O my, that is an infamous deception! Oh, oh, - no that is too foolish that I did not understand it immediately then! Well, the story with the fortune-telling virgin will indeed also be based on quite the same way!”
183,26. John says, “Yes, quite in the same way – up to what she had told you in advance; but there was a very invisible magician hiding behind her, who had long directed his all-seeing eye to you! Have you now understood me somewhat better?”
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