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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 200 - The customs officer examines the Lord, letting the group go. One tax collector follows the Lord
1. But the sergeant is suffused with Vienna, seeing and hearing only what his imaginary duty demands, getting humbler when abandoned by his assistants. We comes over to Me, asking who I, am what My name is and whether I have a passport.
2. I say unto him: “We come directly from the highest heavens; I am Christ the Lord and have come here to awaken the dead, seek what was lost, and heal the sick. Great blessings shall come over all men of goodwill.”
3. Says the sergeant joined by a few individuals from the guard house: “Well said; you are the cleverest from among all the previous fools, who feigned insanity to confound me. But I know where I stand now, and must let you all go for the sake of lofty authority. Ever since the Catholic Church was allowed freewheeling and dealing of the clergy, even a sergeant is vulnerable, and can but marvel when certain Jesuits run into him! It shall presently be raining indulgences and miracles again. Jacob’s ladder shall be set up from Earth to heaven, with angels, apostles and the most blessed Virgin and other saints, Christ not excluded, shall be climbing up and down - for money and other valuables of course. You are yourselves the experiment, and we knew indeed where we stand!
4. You can get going. Had I realized what spirit drives you, I would have placed no obstacle in your path, to which end I have secret orders. This combination can be looked on a real success, excepting Robert Blum and that Schwerzmaxl – Lenerl that every jolly Viennese is surely familiar with in every respect. The actual Blum shall of course be tormented with pain no more, but this pseudo Blum is a top invention, with the name still carrying much weight in Vienna! A disguised female hero of the barricades also adds authenticity, one needing a pretty, seductive mocking bird when on the prowl, justifying every means! And you are Christ, the Lord Himself? Beautiful! Well, if such Christs don’t help the Roman Catholic church unto its golden feet again then goodbye to pope, Rome and the clergy!”
5. Say I: Friend, I know you are a Protestant, and your thoughts on Roman Christendom are not unjustified, because same is an abomination before God, in its despotism, which shall not be succeeding henceforth. But you tremendously misconstrue My little flock, although I shall trouble you no more, as you are free and can believe and do as you please. But be advised once more that you most assuredly find yourself no longer upon the word of matter but in the world of spirits and that, apart from Myself and My entourage, everything is appearance, which however could become spiritual realities if you joined Me. In your heart however you are still too far removed from My kingdom and cannot therefore recognize Me in your blindness. Hence stay and remain where and what you are – perhaps we will meet again once!”
6. Says the Sergeant: “It will be my pleasure – if not in this then in another world! Wishing you success in the royal capital! The continuing state of siege could favour your undertaking; wherefore, once more, much success and greetings to Maria-Zell! Adieu!”
7. We now move towards the city centre without further trouble, watched by the sergeant and his flock. His reply to the collector at the taxation booth, joining them and asking what we strange traveller might be on about; : There are Jesuits in disguise posing as pious missionaries you know – from the time that the church in our dear Austria has again been liberated, the parsons have brought out the old Jacob’s ladder, leaning it against heaven itself . It is not quite as simple with the oldest penances of the crusaders, but we are bound to soon have dramatic news of grandiose miracles on every side!
8. According to their own testimony, these six were no less than Christ Himself, Who shall now heal all the sick, etc! Perhaps He is also going to help Rome’s finances back on their feet? – The first three were Peter , Paul and John the Gospeller, and they had a real clean hussy by the name of Schwarzmaxl-Lenerl, heroine of the barricades! That’s followed by death from astonishment: Robert Blum into the bargain: having fun? Then my team of feeble Roman spirit, lets me down and turns on its heel! Well friend, what achievements for 1848!”
9. Says the tax collector: Dear friend, on the surface this stuff looks funny for sure, yet I can’t shake off a certain seriousness about it! I will concede that with their regained church freedom the parsons will try sundries to revive their much sought peoples’ superstition, but they are bound to drop such methods! I certainly am no parsons’ friend, but don’t believe anyone would go for such business even for much gain.
10. I look at it differently: these decoys are either high-ranking persons, or they are what they hold out to be. Quite frankly, my entire life story in this “Vienna” seems somewhat strange to me, egging me on to the suspicion that I find myself either in a dream life or suffer from some form of swoon. I have not for instance for two years seen a cart, nor any carriage, which certainly is intriguing, and only a trickle of people are passing us. Nor is there evidence of groceries being delivered anymore. One usually has to laugh at strange roasts and herbs and smoked wolves, foxes and small bears and many another stupid thing carried past here. I can’t change as there is no tariff book. If I stop people for questioning, they don’t answer, continuing on regardless. Yet to also does not occur to me to stop them.
11. Lastly, in my mind, I noticed a large lump of gold on the ground a few paces on. But hastening to pick it up, it had disappeared and there was instead a trodden, pitch black viper. About to pick it up to fling it out of the way with my cane, it turned into an ugly bird of prey, which flew off with my swing. I was finally struck by an extraordinary phenomenon, looking out the window I watched a heavy down pour, and it only then occurred to me that until then I had seen neither rain nor snow. I hastened outside to feel the rain, but no trace of rain was left! The strange weather made me think. It struck me that I had never seen a sun and could not tell the source of lighting. Have you yourself experienced an actual night yet; or winter, spring, summer or fall? Everything continues in the same state and we don’t even notice these strange phenomena.
12. These peculiar things force me to conclude that we indeed no longer find ourselves upon the actual Earth, having died physically. Furthermore, the six men could easily be what they made out to be. You know what, I shall follow them! They must clear me up!”
13. Says the Sergeant: Well. . . , wait. . . I’ll join you!” Both hit the road hastening after us.
14. Catching up with us at a house where we had sent Peter to heal the sick, the tax-collector says: Worthy friends and above all You, arch-wise One from Nazareth, your speech intrigued me and thus awakened me to wonder about some other things. My spontaneous suffusion with uplifting feelings made me nearly follow you at once. I fought off the feeling for a while with my duties, but my feelings spoke loudly, forget imperial and forget royal; where God calls, there emperor and king have ceased for good! With such inner voice I turned my back on the customs house, following my inner drive and am now here with you, dear friends! Permit me to join you for long enough to find out through your goodness and wisdom what my condition is over here: is this reality or just an everlasting dream? Do I still live upon Earth? My doubts about it grow stronger. Kindle me a light in my skull if possible.”
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