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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 104 - Dismas and his former friends. All kinds of dissuading. Hunger-cure for the stubborn unbelievers.
1. Joining up with the group moments later, he receives a frosty reception. Mindful of this, Dismas addresses them thus: “You still are, over here, the way you were on Earth. Your true friends were bothersome to you, but that much more pleasant to you those barest enemies with the cunning to strew sand in your eyes to blind you. Whoever came to you with the truth was shown the door, but those who could flatter you as the fox does with the chickens, you received always warmly as your best friends. As long as I still blew into the same horn, you esteemed me as worthy of your friendship. But, perceiving the vanity of our condition – all praise be to the Lord, I turned away from you, facing the direction of eternal truth and loyalty; thus, hitting upon the way of light and life, returning to you to bring you all to that path – you give me a welcome frostier than the coldest polar night holds out to the coming day!
2. “Oh you great fools! What do you intend making of yourselves? What has your foolishness brought you so far – what advantage has it yielded? Look at yourselves, and then look at yonder friends of God. How blissful they look, and how unblissful your lot! Can you seriously hanker after this miserable state for the sake of your stupidity? For what reason do you seek to condemn yourselves if God wants to make you blissful? Open your eyes for once and make room for my words in your hearts, to enable God and myself to sincerely help you all. How relieved am I that the Lord helped me out of my misery! Should I not, as your old friend, wish you the same? Why then do you angrily turn your faces away from me, despising me? Read from my eyes whether I mean you well or not! If you find ulterior motives, then curse me in God’s name! But if you find me an honest friend, then receive me and let me guide you over to true bliss!”
3. Says one of the thirty: “Friend, you used to be an intelligent person, but have now been made into a fool! Who did more calculating, reading and research upon stupid Earth than I, and you with me at times. And what did we achieve with that? Nothing other than the impossibility, ultimately – in spite of all man’s striving of his finding out anything at all about the nature of the universe.
4. “In comparison with God, we men are endlessly less than is a louse compared to a man’s power. And we most lousy infusoria (amoebas?) of the Creation-droplet Earth want to grasp God and even humanise Him down to our level.
5. “Tiny brother, look how you have slipped! How can you even dream of dishing up the great Deity to us in yonder otherwise worthy Jesus? Go back to being the clever old captain Dismas!”
6. Says Dismas: “Friend, this body we possess here is not of flesh, but an ether-spiritual one, within which we become aware of all that the great Master Jesus proclaimed upon Earth. If however we find everything confirmed upon our lives to the greatest detail through continued life after physical death, through recall of earthly life and recognition of being the same ones we were in physical life, then we surely ought not to doubt that yonder teacher of life Who, like a sun, first opened mortal man’s eyes, making them aware of their imperishable Fatherland and their true Father, must surely be more than all people put together! All this, in that He was the only and first one who led mankind to their destiny, we as spirits now having the living conviction that it is exactly as He taught through words and deeds! If it is not He, then who is it?
7. “On top of that He performed deeds through His mere will! Whatever He wills is there instantly, and everything takes place according to His words! He needs none of our advice, and if He accepts men’s counsel He does so only to show what little use all men’s wisdom is before Him, the endlessly wisest, and how good it is to eternally depend on His wisdom!
8. “When you put all this together and look at Jesus in this light within your hearts more closely, then you surely must grasp with your hands that He is not only a most wise teacher, second to none, but also must be what He revealed Himself to us as! For one cannot possible assume that an otherwise insurmountably wise teacher is next to His unlimited wisdom imbued with the most vain portion of foolishness by introducing Himself to His disciples as God from eternity and also let Himself be praised as such, demanding also Satan’s obedience, service and worship. Which in my opinion says as much as: the entire created natural world has to subject itself to His almighty divine will in everything, if not wanting to be judged with the power and might of His word!
9. “If however a Being filled with the highest, unreachable wisdom can in all earnestness do so not only in front of people, but can elicit it from dumb nature, can there be any doubt left that such a Being – notwithstanding Its resemblance to our human form, can also be God rather than just a human like us? I maintain that the said, having clearly demonstrated itself upon Jesus, must remove all doubt, asserting within you the brightest truth of His being the highest divine Being. Raise yourselves up to such faith! I shall lead you over to Him, where he shall Himself show you that He is the One before Whose name all powers of heaven and all worlds must bow down most deeply.
10. “You are aware that I myself always was the last to lightly accept anything. I certainly guarded against it as long as necessary. But after attaining to the right light through a most difficult test, I accepted without further question everything that the clearest revelation about Jesus told me, and still does so, in the most brilliant light. If I as the most stubborn one among you now acknowledge Jesus as God, then I expect the same can take place even more easily with yourselves, in that you had been of firmer faith in the world than I!”
11. Says the former speaker: “Friend, it was hunger that forced you to do so! But we are not as hungry as that! But when hunger demands it, then we too will regard yonder black magician as God, rather than starve to death!”
12. Says Dismas: “Oh you stupid half-polyp of the most stinking filth puddle! How did hunger force me to accept Jesus as the only true God? None of you has seen me eat or drink over here yet; and you say I did so from hunger? Now it is clear to me that you are of the devil! Hunger indeed led me to it, but not of the stomach variety, but hungering after the One Who gave me the life I loved, but which also was an imponderable mystery without Him! – This hunger and thirst after the great revelation of this holy mystery is of course now satisfied forever, and the sphinx conquered. But my stomach is still completely empty!
13. “But you say: ‘we have no hunger, not even the holy one of the heart.’ That clarifies your incurable condition and its cause. But just wait a little, and a most curious hunger shall shortly grip you, and we shall see how you like it.”
14. Says the group’s speaker: “Indeed, indeed, friend, the right hunger, and everything else shall look after itself! Because for the hungry, a God is He who gives them to eat. Those however who have no hunger, that is who have neither objective nor subjective need, ask little about God and His kingdom. If for instance someone is gripped by all-pervasive lethargy and overtaken by sleep – so as to be hardly conscious of his senses then preach morality and virtue to him, and he shall not notice, for his senses are lazy and his spirit asleep!
15. “If you want to accomplish something with such person, then first heal his malady. Create a living need in his soul for what you want to give him, and he is then sure to avidly take up what you offer him. But without this preparatory work you will not get far with your patient. – Say unto me, would there be propagation of the human race if the Creator had not laid such mighty procreation drive or hunger into his otherwise dumb nature?! What would woman be to a man if there was no such tendency breathed into man?
16. “From this you see that man has to be imbued with a mighty need before he is to show active interest in something.
17. “And just so it is with us right now. We have no feelings whatsoever for what you have presented to us. We are as half-dead, and we take no joy in this sleepy dog’s life. If however we are no friends of life, how should the life-doctrine of your unique life-master Jesus interest us? Create a hunger in us first, or leave us alone with your foolishness! As far as we are concerned, your Jesus can be a tenfold, higher divine Being. If however we have no need of Him, – if we are huddled together here without feelings like stones, then what should your Master Jesus be to us? Hence create more life in us, giving us a craving for Him, then it shall transpire how we behave towards Jesus – perhaps better than you!”
18. This talk gives Dismas something to think about, and he runs out of steam. But I put it into his heart that he should place a mighty hunger in their stomachs through his will in My name, after which these half-dead shall begin to gradually go over to life.
19. Dismas does so, and the group gets more animated. Some begin to touch their stomach area, saying to their speaker: “Friend, see to it that we obtain something to eat, or we shall consume you skin and hair!”
20. Says the speaker: “Fools, I am now getting hungry myself, like the ox fasting before the slaughter, having nothing with which to feed myself! What should I have to give you? Here stands Dismas in front of you, grab him! He will have something to eat and drink, for he has become an intimate friend of yonder Jesus, Who is supposed to once have fed five thousand with a few loaves! Perhaps there is something left over for us! Hence get unto Dismas!”
21. All start badgering Dismas for food and drink.
22. But Dismas says: “Friends, you demand something I don’t have. But at that table over there sits He Who possesses all satiation aplenty! Go over to Him, confess your transgressions, humbling yourselves and filling your hearts with love for Him. Then you are sure to be fed!”
23. Say the increasingly hungry and thirsty friends to Dismas: “Oh chief of rogues! If according to your own words you were able to give us hunger and thirst how should you not now be able to remove these two plagues? If you can do the one, you can do the other. Hence take away the tormenting hunger and burning thirst at once – or watch out!”
24. Says Dismas: “Dear friends, for your own good I ask you not to get brash! That I was able to give you hunger and thirst stems from the fact that no brother can give the other what he hasn’t got himself. I myself however have a hundredfold oxen hunger and can therefore share the immense surplus with others. If I had satiation I could also share that. – But if I have shown you where you can find full satiation eternally, then go over and do as I advised you! Then you shall in truth receive all fullness from Him Who feeds and maintains all of infinity. If this does not turn out to be the case, then you can still come back and rightfully do with me as you like, but not before! Should you however refrain from doing it then you can blame only yourselves for not being filled!”
25. Say the hungry and thirsty ones: “Did we call you to come over to us? You did not come by our but by your God Jesus’ commandment. If He could give you the power to hit us with hunger and thirst, why not with the power to satiate us?”
26. Says Dismas: “Dear friends, which one of us has the power to force God? He is the only omnipotent one and can do as He pleases. He nonetheless through His apostles sends mankind all sorts of bitterness, that they may then come to Him to receive the sweet from Him. Mankind is to therewith realise that all human help is useless. Hence expect nothing good from me either! For if I am bad myself, how can I offer you good? – He however Who is true and exceedingly good, alone can give the good! Hence over to Him!”
27. Say the hungry and thirsty: “If everything out of Him is good, then why are we and you evil? Do we not all go forth from Him?”
28. Says Dismas: “We are not evil out of Him; we only become evil if on account of free will we turn away from Him, seeking to act as if we were free gods who will hear nothing further from the actual God. Since god cannot desire this, He allows such imagined gods to run up against walls until they come to the realisation that they are no gods after all, but only weak and stupid humans, without Him. Let you keep also this in mind, and you are certain to receive help!”
29. Say the exceedingly hungry and thirsty company: “We don’t know what you mean by ‘certain help’! Stupid devil, did you also go over to Him when challenged by Blum? Were you helped in that way? How much more do you have than you had before? Or are you perhaps more filled than you were before? Like with ourselves, hunger also looks out of your eyes! And this you call getting better?
30. “Oh you vapidly foolish scoundrel of an apostle, don’t be laughable! Come to us with a more satisfied face and make yourself a little more credible to us. But if you come to us with a most dissatisfied and wanting face, then no human spirit shall believe you to be a blissful and well-provided spirit!
31. “Hence get lost, Dismas, because in exactly the same state as ours you shall achieve little with us. Bring us instead something to drink and to eat and we shall also follow you elsewhere. But there is nothing to bite off your current wisdom. Think about how foolish you are; you recommend to others something you have not had yourself! Your father must have loved eating pork to have brought forth such a swinishly stupid son!!”
32. Says Dismas: “Friends, even if I could not prove persuasively to you about what I experienced in a brief time, you have to admit that I meant you only well. None of you shall be able to prove that I acted in an unseemly or rough manner towards you. Hence I should expect you to show me more courtesy. Am I pulling you over to the Lord by your hair? Go over if you please, but if not then no one shall force you. But you don’t have to be rough and uncouth. You yourselves and not I am to blame for your intense hunger and thirst. You desired hunger for your enlivening, and not I but the Lord caused it to come over you through my word. I did however immediately show you where you can quell both! Knowing this, why don’t you do it? You call me a stupid devil for following Blum, saying that this trip was of no avail to me! But I say that the trip over there helped me profoundly. Even if my stomach is still empty, my heart is nevertheless saturated with love for God the Lord. It is preferable to satiate the heart to satiating a hundred stomachs. No hungry stomach can be stilled next to a hungry heart except a t the price of the heart’s death. – Do now as you wish, but I shall not play the fool for you in future. If you want to remain beasts, so be it! If however you want to go over to the Lord then the Path of Life stands open to you!”
33. These words leave the company hesitant, and they don’t know what to do.
34. Upon their prompting, their spokesman comes forward, saying: “I have now given much thought to Dismas’ mission to us and his talk. I must finally confess that he is right after all. We should verily do what he advises us. Because we could joke and confer half an eternity and hardly attain to anything better than what the good brother Dismas recommended.
35. “What actually prevents us from going over to yonder man, of whom he says that He is the Deity, as do all the other now happy ones? I figure that if yonder Jesus really is God in spite of our unbelief, then our obstreperousness towards Him would truly be insane. And should He not be what Dismas and the other blissful ones say of Him, then we surely have lost nothing if we make Him our friend. For if the others are so well off at His side, why should we be badly off if it depends only on our going over and winning Him over with sincere friendship? If nothing comes of it then we lose nothing. It is a win-win situation, for whoever like us possess nothing at all cannot lose anything forever and only win. Hence let us go over to the Lord of this house; and we shall see what catch we make after speaking to Christ. What do you think?”
36. They all say: “Indeed, it is kid’s stuff, as it takes no effort. He is surely not going to rip our heads off. But it is also easier to act after your sensible talk than that swollen one of Dismas! We will not say that Dismas spoke foolishly, but stuffy speech doesn’t have the effect of a sober and sensible one!”
37. “This would be alright”, says another, “if only we were more presentably dressed! Our ten ladies look especially dreadful! Nothing but rags hanging down filthily from their indifferent bodies! And us men don’t look much better. Whence I think we should first try to get hold of something more decent, and then go over. For in His presence we would make a rather un-wedding-like impression!”
38. Says the first speaker: “Friend, no one can be forced beyond their means! Let the ladies therefore go behind us, whilst the more presentable ones lead us. This may give us a chance. The most well-dressed Dismas is in any case leading us.”
39. They all say: “Very well, let us have a go at it!”
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