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Chapter 57 - Roklus' speech on the importance of an educated mind.
57,1. Here Raphael admonishes Roklus to first take care of the valuable lump of gold which he (Raphael) gifted him (Roklus).
57,2. Roklus, somewhat incensed, says, “Friend, whenever I am in the grips of a search for the highest good of mankind, then I leave the most dangerous filth of this world be! Do you understand, you somewhat meddlesome young friend?! I can give you the fullest truthful assurance that I will not touch this pile of dung with my littlest finger ever again, and you can turn it back again into what it was before for your private pleasure!
57,3. Do you believe then that I thirst for gold because I am a Greek and an Essene? Oh, there you are powerfully wrong! Firstly, I possess at home a hundred times as much of this yellow dung of the Earth as an earthly inheritance as this awkward lump here, and I can therefore well do without this new creation, and secondly my heart has never hung on such things; for if I had ever longed for the treasures of the Earth, I would certainly never have reached my sharpness of understanding, which, if not capable of understanding the very highest itself, still is a good way towards it and also therefore alone of a thousand times greater value than a hundred thousand of such lumps of gold.
57,4. I indeed know now that man will never suffice in the investigation of the highest spiritual things of life with pure reason, even if this is very pure and sharp; but lacking the full light in the soul, man will reach the higher and deeper lying truths of life with even greater difficulty! A well-formed reason of a person is in my opinion still a very competent piece of the way to the eternal and everlasting fullness of the truth of life from God, and is, seen from this standpoint, certainly also of a very great value, and it is therefore not just that you, young friend, speak so lightly of the sharpness of my understanding!
57,5. Behold, in the burnt-out city many people are still milling around, about whose sharpness of understanding you certainly would never complain; why do they not come here, these sheep and lambs, in order to search for the deeper truths of life? They all looked over here and could have also discovered this new miracle house; but it matters nothing to them!
57,6. What can distract any interest in a person who is purely incapable of thinking? I say: Nothing at all, except that his hungry stomach will run feverishly after a bite to satisfy it! If you place meals before this ever-hungry human beast and perform the greatest miracles beside him – these uncomprehending people will eat and not pay the slightest attention to your miracles! And once they have filled their stomachs, they become lethargic and sleepy and will once again not pay any attention to your miracles! Such a thing only occurs to the formed understanding and he begins to think and to make all sorts of comparisons and never rests again until he has come to some explanation of the miracle!
57,7. But if things are undeniably so, why do you then make sharp remarks against my sharpness of intellect? You see, there you are despite all your miraculous powers purely on the most incorrect track in the world!
57,8. If I truly want to recognize a god, then I must, and indeed first of all, also think and only then feel! What should awake a better and more spiritual feeling in my heart however, if I stand there as an uncomprehending ox?! You direct me to seek and to find the divine Nazarene with only my sharpness of intellect; but I will do it, in order to show you that a correct understanding is also good for something! Short and sweet and superb, I owe you very many thanks, and I like you very much – for you have taught me to know a true god and have therefore given me an immeasurable treasure not outweighed by a whole mountain of gold, - but what I don’t like about you is that you still have something to jeer at my intellect!
57,9. For even the highest wisdom of God must recognize approvingly in me that the reason is as necessary to a person for the sake of the recognition itself and mainly for the sake of the recognition of God which proceeds from this, as his eyes are necessary to him for seeing! I know indeed that a person can and will not understand endlessly many things with his even very awake reason of what the divine, highest wisdom has decided that was created and whatever is there and happens; but without a certain sharpness of understanding, which is capable of checking and differentiating, the person understands eternally nothing!
57,10. One says that only faith is the light for man! Oh, dear heaven, what is then faith without understanding? It is the wisdom of the cradle of immature children who long for the moon in the opinion that it is a round piece of honey bread! And there are really adult people on this dear Earth, who consider the moon to be a loaf of bread swimming around in the air, which is eaten every month by birds of paradise, but then immediately begins to grow again! Yes, friend, tell me what use is it to you or me or a god with such a faith? Is it not better and more worthy of a human and divine spirit in a person to consider, and in time to find that the moon then must actually be something other than a loaf of bread for the birds of paradise?
57,11. My principle is: check everything and keep the good and the truth at least for the next while, until one has received from somewhere a better and stronger light on the matter. Indeed, even a shining little worm in a pitch-black night is better than no light at all; and thus the tiny light of the soul - called intellect - is then indeed better than a pitch black superstition which is devoid of all remote likelihood!
57,12. However I decide the case that I should believe a fullest truth that was told to me, without being able to convince me however in the slightest that that is really a truth, because intellect and the necessary experiences are lacking for this. But what is such a faith other than the blindest superstition? For what good can the truth in which I believe do me if I do not understand it, yes, cannot convince me at all that it is a truth? What would gold be useful for if the human understanding could not differentiate between it and another common and worthless metal? If man believes something, then he must believe it with some understanding, otherwise lies and truth are all the same to him!
57,13. If you say to me: Far beyond that blue mountain is a city which is built of sheer very most valuable jewels, and the people who live within it are sheer giants! Then if I am blind and foolish enough I will believe your every word and will even justify it to myself; but if another then comes and says to me: listen, behind that blue mountain there is no city and even less some giant-like huge people! What will I do as an uncomprehending foolish obscurantist? I will stick to the first one, although it is a screaming lie, and will drive the truth of the second from me with cheeky condescension! But can that be of no importance to a highly wise god?
57,14. If the Nazarene is a god, full of the highest wisdom, which I no longer doubt, because I recognize it with my reason, then it would be almost foolish of him if he taught the people to recognize lies and falsehoods and to accept the light of truth and its goodness without any sharpness of understanding!
57,15. You see that you cannot assert yourself against me in this, not even with a thousand performed miracles; therefore do not make jokes in the future about my Intellect, but instead let it be what it is and just show me where the divine Nazarene is so that I can bend my knee before him as is seemly and also worship him!”
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