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Chapter 21 - Roklus' creed of denying God.
21,1. (Roklus) "That's why my thoughts now are as follows: I have not been believing in any deity any more, but in a secret, purely spiritual power of nature that manifests itself everywhere very austere and at the same time still benign and that constantly works in a certain order according to its underlying laws and never pays attention to what the fleeting people do. It does not know good and evil because that is something that only bad people bring about among themselves. Great, holy nature does not know anything about it!
21,2. Being a slave is a great misfortune for man; but who made him a slave? Certainly not holy nature, but the incidentally stronger man has turned the weaker one into his pack animal because of a pure wish for his own idleness and at the same time a good and comfortable life and he did the same with animals. Who threw the hard and heavy yoke around the oxen's neck, who burdened the donkey, the camel and the bold horse, and who even built towers on the back of the patient elephant? Who invented the sword and who the chains, the dungeons, and even the most shameful cross on which you Romans pin and let die in the greatest of pains the most disobedient and wayward people who want to rule and murder as well? - All, all misery comes from people!
21,3. Everything is free in great nature; only man is, so to speak, a curse for himself and for all the other free creations of the great mistress nature. Idle people started at one time to build castles of air and invent inane gods that they imagined and thus created after their own image, having all the evil human passions. With these gods man thus established new nuisances for himself, which by themselves would certainly never harm man; but man built temples for these self invented gods that in reality never were and never will be, and anointed himself their representative, supplied with all sorts of means to force, scare, and pester and by that introduced, in addition to his control over weak mankind, the most merciless tyranny of the invisible beings invented by himself. The ones, who in reality never existed, now exist on and on for the torment of poor mankind, but more for the benefit of the powerful ones because they hold mankind in blind obedience a lot easier through their feigned powerful leverage than through the lone sword. And thus one can use pure reason as one wants because the strong and powerful man stands everywhere for everything that could ever happen and soon rules as a king, well supplied with swords and lances, and immediately after as an already almighty representative of the gods. Woe to the one who as an uninitiated man would dare to look behind Isis' veils woven by people! Oh my, oh my, oh my, - the gods would batter him nicely!
21,4. This was my free belief until now, but it received a miserable dig in the ribs from this apparition and I am now starting to very faintly believe in a higher divinity because I realize only too well that no man can accomplish such work with his known powers and will never accomplish. This can only be a work of a god, who can only be a kind of man, but a man whom great nature's powers obey easily and certainly at all times, as common warriors obey a proven insightful general about whom they know that he never lost a battle.
21,5. But I now want to meet this god man! You, great Cyrenius, are definitely not him because if this was possible for you, the great Roman Empire would have been long ago surrounded by a wall high as a mountain, which even an eagle would dread flying over. Great lord, lord, lord let us know some of it and we will go home quietly!'
21,6. Cyrenius says, "It would be all right if this could be common practice just like that; but it is not like you imagine! You could ask a ranger what time it is and if the sun shines, he will give you the hour of the day exactly and without decorum according to his staff stuck in the ground, for which you will have to pay him a stater; but it does not work quite like that here! Be patient and maybe something will still come out in the end; but it will cost more than a stater!"
21,7. Roklus says, "Well, for something like this we can put on the line a pound of gold and ten pounds of silver, even more!"
21,8. Cyrenius says, "Yes, if one could buy something like this for a lot of gold and silver, it would be something else entirely! But I can assure you most definitely that this cannot be acquired with all the treasures of the world! You must first be taught how it can be acquired and through some tests be purified from within! Steeped and formally reared in the greatest disbelief in a manlike god and in other personal, godlike beings, you now want to learn from me for whom it was possible to bring into being all this in a moment just through His almighty will, so that you can crudely laugh at all of us in your privacy! I say to that: Hold on my beloved ones, we will first see if you are capable of any belief! If no belief can find a way inside you, then the information asked of me cannot be given to you! If, however, you are capable of any belief, with its becoming alive you will be able to receive everything else! - Did you understand me?"
21,9. Roklus says, "Definitely understood because none of us is narrow-minded! But your request is impossible for us for the time being. We partly explained to you our reasons for it and if you care to hear them, we can and want to explain further!'
21,10. Cyrenius says, driven by the words I put in his mouth, "Do that and I will learn from it how much you have distanced yourself from the way of the truth! Let me hear your reasons and I will certainly be able to infer from them if you are capable of a true, spiritual development and if your wish can be granted to you! Because if you are no longer capable of any true, spiritually pure development, you may leave from here in peace and live according to the teachings of your Epicurus, who to me is one of the very last sages!
21,11. Yes, according to Epicurus one can best get by in this world as a man who is rich and physically fit as a fiddle; the principle: 'One should be honest and agreeable towards everyone for one's own sake - but always most honest towards oneself!' sounds fine in worldly ears, but a man's soul awakened by God's breath shudders before it because an Epicurean is still just a cunning egoist and only takes care of his own skin! Why should he care about all people? If he cannot take advantage of them, they can all be killed by lightning.
21,12. These are the main characteristics of an Epicurean! How much spirituality has room in such a stony soul is hopefully graspable for every blind man. Yes, Epicurus' teachings are best for gaining wealth in this world, especially if they are mottled with stoic cynicism as it is the case with you; but they are least suited for gaining spiritual wealth because they completely exclude the pure love for God and for the poor neighbor. So much to your self-illumination! And now let us hear your reasons for your quite Essenian atheism!"
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