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Chapter 168 - The confession of faith of the supreme judicial city officer.
168,1. Now also the supreme city judge, who sat next to Me at our table, stood up and said: “Lord and Master, You know that I am a Roman who is very familiar with all sciences. Otherwise they would not have appointed me as supreme city judge of one of the biggest communities of the mountain Auran. As I had to dedicate myself since my youth in all kinds of knowledge and science in order to, after performing severe tests, become what I am now and still can promote, it is in a certain way obvious that already in my earliest years I was able to sufficiently know the complete emptiness and meaningless of our idolatry and despise it. And I preferred a wise man a thousand times more, whether he was a Greek or a Roman, than all our Egyptian, Greek and Roman demigods and full gods.
168,2. Also the great emperor August greatly contributed to exterminate that old idolatry as much as possible. Instead of that, he himself greatly honored the true sciences, and at his palace in Rome he surrounded himself with scientists from all countries. And he banned the known poet Ovid from Rome for life, for he wrote in that same time under the name of ‘Metamorphosis’ a kind of teaching about the gods for which the priests secretly urged him against payment.
168,3. August’s successor, under whom I was born and educated, had the same attitude, and since I rejected the gods so much, which was pleasing to the emperor, I already received such prominent position in my young years as I occupy now while I am still not even 30 years.
168,4. But by throwing away all those idols, I also threw away the faith in the immortality of the human soul after death – and I thought that it was completely right.
168,5. I did not become an epicure by that for what my way of living is concerned, but all the more for what my faith is concerned, which did not become completely clear to me by the reading of the books of many philosophers, neither by my various experiences.
168,6. Yes, I also read with great attention the works of a Socrates and Plato, but their proofs of the survival of the human soul was as mute as they became themselves, for they could not find it in the whole known nature. If it were different, then these very highly esteemed writers would have given a very clear sign of their ideas that, as it were, continued to exist in the beyond and so that it could be recognized that they did not die or perish. Such sign would certainly be for us, searching and thinking men, a great benefit, for I believe that a soul who continues to live after death would at least take care to let the spiritual works which he produced in his body have a positive influence on us men who still live on this Earth.
168,7. But these great men who were highly esteemed in the whole world have died according to the worldly laws of nature, and after the death of their body they never gave the least of sign of what they taught and claimed to be true. Every hour of the day there are all the more and significant proofs to every man that the life of the soul will not continue to exist after the death of his body, because what we can see exists only for a certain time – for a longer or shorter time, this is actually not important.
168,8. That which has once died and perished, has died and perished and will never again appear as the same. A plant that has died, withered and decomposed – although it will fertilize the soil – will never more appear as completely the same plant. And the one who says the dead are mute and give no more sign of life are right, and also he is right who says that everything that has died call out to us from the graves of decomposition the meaningful words: ‘We were, we have perished and will be no more, except as an atom that fertilizes and multiplies this soil for a short time.
168,9. I became so familiar with this viewpoint, which is truthfully very obvious, that I now have no more fear of death in the least but am only looking forward to it, because my present awareness tells me that before this existence of mine, eternities upon eternities have passed, and I never felt sadness or sorrow in myself for the fact that I was not a continuous witness of those endless long periods of time.
168,10. However, the fate and the powers of nature called me to a self-conscious existence of which I never knew the reason and the purpose. They probably wanted to create in me, as well as in other creatures, a momentary admirer of their existence and works. But to what advantage is that finally to me and to what advantage is it to them? If the admirer ceases to exist, then together with him, all the rest cease also to exist, for whether one world exists or numberless worlds with their wonders, for him, who never existed himself or will never more exist, they do not exist anymore and they also practically never existed.
168,11. For that reason I absolutely do not despise what I found in the world, but I consider it as something which is almost completely without meaning and value. What I value most is what is real, realistic and a complete non-existence, because when I am not, then I also do not think, do not want anything and am doing nothing, have no awareness, neither good or bad, and I therefore will eternally not owe anything to anyone, will not have to keep any law nor to fear any punishment from men and certainly not from the non-existent gods.
168,12. Look, great Lord and Master, this was my – and also of my parents – complete confession of faith since my young years for which we have found irrefutable proofs and reasons in nature which says the same everywhere. The one who will fully keep these basic principles in his short active life will stay an honest man until his last hour, for he knows that he is a complete nothing and so he also knows that everything that surrounds him shares the same fate with him.
168,13. When I came over to the Jews with such basic principles of faith and saw them praying and make them do penance, I felt really sorry for them because they were so shortsighted. Just like among the gentiles a lot of superstition must be in them which makes their mind maybe somewhat happy but will on the other hand mostly greatly destroy it. And the creators of this superstition, as well as for all other nations on Earth, are certainly the group of priests who let them be well served and fed by the people for the deceit that they invented themselves, who are not concerned in the least for a people’s salvation that comes from somewhere else, and think by that: ‘When death has devoured you, then together with us, you will have enough of everything for eternity.’
168,14. But I was not satisfied with that and I myself acquired the books of the Jews, read through them very attentively, and I must honestly confess that they were too mysterious to me and could not understand them. The best part of it was that they spoke about only one God who is very good and righteous, but several threats with eternal punishments that can be expected in the beyond are also not lacking, just like in the ancient teaching of the myths of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. So I put the books aside and said also: ‘You also are a work of weak men of this Earth just like our idols, gods and the many books about them of which a lot can be found in the great library in Alexandria.’
168,15. Great Lord and Master, this was my belief up to now, but now, in Your presence, for the first time I feel in myself – although caused by Your deeds and few words – that my belief is wrong after all. Therefore I ask You to give me a true light, especially for what You truthfully meant with Your awakening for the eternal life on a certain youngest day.”
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