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Chapter 54 - Roklus' experiences with and opinions on the Nazarene.
54,1. After a short pause Roklus says to Raphael, “Dearest, young, truly wise friend! I am now fully composed in order to tell you what I however have heard only recently from some traders from Nazareth and Capernaum, whom I have unconditionally truly given all faith as regards the facts, because they are people whom one can believe. But I do not know a single syllable more, of course, than what I have heard from these business partners of mine to be faithful and true – and so listen, if you will!
54,2. In the little town of Nazareth, situated on the upper Jordan, not in the area of the same name in the mountains, there lived a carpenter and had conceived a son with his second wife whom he named Jesus. This son was also a carpenter until his thirtieth year and always a quiet, great thinking but little speaking man. He was otherwise an extremely civilized man; one never heard him quarrelling and also never saw him pay homage either to any attractive Venus or just as little to the Bacchus.
54,3. A constant and most modest sobriety was the dominant character trait of his life. Besides this he was always very humble and compassionate towards the poor and for his always excellent carpentry he demanded only a very small payment, which he always delivered highly conscientiously to his parents. But on the day that he became exactly thirty years old, he laid all his tools aside and no longer touched either an axe or a saw.
54,4. His brothers and his mother, still living, all perfectly honest people, asked him for the reason and he is supposed to have given them the following highly mysterious-sounding answer: The time has come from which moment on I must fulfill the will of my Father in heaven, for which reason I came into this world!
54,5. At this he soon left the parental home, moved to the little desert not far from the effluence of the Jordan from the lake on which we find ourselves right now, took on disciples there and taught them to love God and one’s neighbor and warned them about the old sour dough of the Pharisees, something which made the man very dear to me, although I have not had the luck to meet the man personally yet; for an enemy of the Pharisees is always our friend and can have any support from us.
54,6. With such a highly respectable teaching he combines a fabulous magical strength of will and performs miracles about which no mortal has ever dreamed. He is supposed to raise every dead back to life, for example, without any earthly means, simply through word and will; as unbelievable and fabulous as it might sound, it is nonetheless completely true! In brief, he goes from one place to another, teaches the people to recognize himself and God in a very intelligible way, and every step is accompanied by miracles of the most extraordinary type!
54,7. His somewhat already very numerous and constantly following disciples consider him to be a god, since a real god with all his miraculous characteristics would not possibly be in a position to do more. But let’s leave that; for a god, as we imagine to ourselves in all sorts of shapes and forms, is in any case nothing but a most casual spawn of human fantasy with sheer accredited capabilities, which are nothing just as their even emptier bearers are, namely the poetic god!
54,8. But if things are so with the miracle man from Nazareth, which I do not doubt at all, then I do not see at all why one could not or should not consider him to be a god! I also think that this man, through his natural circumstances certainly more capable than any other on the whole Earth, has found the center of his life of love through his zeal in life, and then has cared for this center most carefully, nourished it, strengthened it and formed it.
54,9. With this true life, that totally penetrates him as fully built on, he connects himself with the general power of life of nature, and his will must then not only direct his own life, but all organs in all of nature, because he unites the guidelines of all other parts of life in the being through his life and thereby can do whatever he likes with all beings to his heart’s content.
54,10. I had already made the remark to you before as a full atheist how a person can reach becoming a real god and receiving eternal life only through the discovery of the principle of life in himself, perhaps several have already managed it throughout history, in the future even more may manage it; and since we have the man from Nazareth, who is no fable, and who is completely justified in my opinion! I also thought about him then when I made the remark to you. I would give a lot if I could find him somewhere! I would become his disciple myself and would, if everything with him is as I heard through some of my colleagues, even consider him to be a true god without any further thought, and love and worship him with all the strength in my life, and even if you held a thousand Jewish Jehovah’s and a hundred thousand Egyptian Zeuses against me!
54,11. I say to you: All Jehovahs and all Zeuses, the Egyptian, Greek and Roman, and all Athmas and Lamas of the Indians are nothing compared to the single Nazarene, who is a true miracle-worker, and whom we Essenes do not fear, in that even several of us are among his disciples and informed us already several times in letters about how the man is, what he teaches and everything that he does! Yes, if the man were by any chance here, then I would not even ask you how this miracle house was created; for I would say to you then: Behold, that is a true work of God!
54,12. For a god it is possible to even create a new world here; for he must have the threads of the centre of life in him, with which he must have all beings and all elements of the whole of nature perfectly in his power. He must only want something very much, and it must form itself according to his very clearest and most perfect intelligence. Archimedes, a great wise man, who was familiar with many such powers, said: Give me a firm point above the Earth, and I will unhinge the world! That was indeed a cheeky, but nonetheless great word; but he would have had much to do with his screw-levers, to unhinge the whole Earth.
54,13. But the Nazarene needs no material lever, but instead a force of will, and the whole world along with us lies dissolved into atoms before us, that is, in as far as we can think of an existence for us after our dissolution!
54,14. The Nazarene has found a correct lever and needs no fixed point outside the Earth, but instead only his will, and all visible nature will stop being! And behold, this Nazarene belongs in a way also to our institute, that is, the institute of the true, unselfish love for one’s neighbor, and we have therefore no greater and even truer miracle-worker to fear, since we are convinced that there will certainly be no-one like him on this Earth.
54,15. Or would you perhaps like to take up with him, you who wanted to make my hairs stand on end? Behold, my dearest and otherwise very valuable young man, just be modest! You can indeed demand very much, but everything else by no means; but the Nazarene can do everything! You would have great difficulties tangling with him, my dear! But I will meet the Nazarene somewhere else myself and will introduce him to you; but then pay attention to how you stand before him! Well, do you this miracle-worker from Nazareth then?”
54,16. Raphael says, “Well, should I not recognize him? I have been in his service for a very long time already!”
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