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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 54 - Jellinek demonstrates God’s existence from nature, but man could not grasp more about the Deity
1. Says Jellinek: “I agree on everything excepting fate: there is a snag about that!”
2. Asks Messenhauser: “In what way? Be more specific.”
3. Says Jellinek: “Patience, dear Messenhauser. This can’t just be shaken out of the sleeve. But I shall nevertheless try to dislodge your fate from head.
4. “Look, you never in your life were a person to concern yourself much with the sciences. You were so-to-say satisfied with simple times tables, never troubling about ‘higher mathematics’! You were always a shell erudite, never bothering much with science’s kernel. That way the inner nature of things had to elude you. Hence you missed a deeper insight into the marvels of well-founded order in all things, and their effects. You clung to the outer bark, which of course often, on the surface, appeared to you as the work of random chance. Things are however quite different.
5. “Have you ever seen a house and its interior set-up arise by chance? You say ‘never’, and I say ‘good’! If chance cannot bring about even a house, how should it create an entire Earth, upon which surely we encounter numberless wonders, of which the simplest already exhibits a wisdom of construction that prevents any thought of fate’s blind work! Brother, you admit that I am right, which pleases me! But her me out!
6. “Consider the amazing structure of plants! - How, strictly within one species, for thousands of years, these occur in their given, primordial form, not changing their species by even one atom! How incalculably artful must be the construction of a seed already, for it to just draw its homogeneous nutrients from the soil, to then consistently propagate manyfold. Not to mention the supernatural nature of a seed; for who can grasp that divine calculation, due to which a single seed contains countless myriads of its own variety?
7. “Or take an acorn, placing it in the soil; soon an entire oak tree will emerge, which for many years shall produce countless acorns. Casting all these into the soil, you shall already have a forest of millions of oaks, all producing the same fruits, of incalculable multitudes. And whilst this remains miraculously hidden from our view, it nevertheless is undeniably there! Tell me whether fate can arrange an acorn that way?!”
8. Says Messenhauser: “Brother Jellinek, I must say you are a fully-fledged theosophist! Your simple and conclusive substantiation by acorn has told me more than all learned discourses. I am now convinced of the nothingness of fate and need no further proof. But another thing now comes up:-
9. “There indeed has to be a God of the highest, arch-primordial power and wisdom. This I can no longer intellectually and reasonably deny. But where and Who is this divine Being? Can it ever be seen and comprehended by a created being? I well remember, as a student, having to learn the biblical story and finding a passage in one of the five books of Moses that read: ‘You cannot see God and live’! This portent text is supposed to have been called down to Moses from a fiery cloud, when he requested the speaking Deity to not only be audible but to make Itself also visible. I have to admit that I still half believe in a God. But when it comes to the supposed fullness of the Godhead residing within Jesus – there my dear friends I must confess I was and still am a complete non-believer.
10. “Jesus’ pure doctrine verily contains the most noble and truest principles in fullest agreement with man’s nature, not capable of arguing in any way. But that the initiator of these principles should hence also be God – due to putting together and teaching moral principles that most coincide with mankind’s overall nature – this goes beyond the horizon of my knowledge and faith!
11. “The doctrine itself therefore can derive from a mere human, and not necessarily from a divine Being. Because if every originator of orthodox doctrine were to be a God, then the Earth would have to be teeming with all kinds of deities. Euclid, the discoverer of geometry, would have to be a god! The discoverer of garden-tools, of inestimable importance, would already have to be a kind of father god! The discoverers of numbers and of ships likewise, and ten thousand other discoverers of diverse useful things also! But just as the discoverers of important things never demanded worship, so I also believe that the originator of the best and simplest morals could have renounced same. To my knowledge He never aspired to ridiculous deification. Short-sighted and superstitious people of yonder time probably made Him into a God, because He exceeded them a thousandfold in intelligence. But this should not laughably sway us into taking Jesus for a God, but only for what He really was. I believe that contemporary mankind will realise that the infinite cannot become the finite; that God remains God everlastingly, and limited man only a man.
12. “But it is not worth wasting too many words on what today is an agreed position among scholars. – Back to my earlier remark however; where and Who is the actual Deity, Whose existence I definitely can no longer question. Let me have your opinion, my friends!”
13. Says Jellinek: “Indeed, dearest brother Messenhauser, this is a ticklish question. We are not likely to ever work out the where and Who! Because if we, limited beings, were to grasp the infinite nature of God, then we would first have to make It limited – which of course is impossible. It likewise seems impossible to know more about the infinite nature of God than about the acorn of my example! I think that we should now shift our considerations to something else, because we shall work out mighty little on the subject of the deity.”
14. Says Becher: “You are fully correct! Wanting to fathom the Deity would be like constricting the sea to a nutshell. Let us therefore leave a discourse that has neither end nor foretelling, and let us talk away on something else, such as what our friend Robert Blum is now doing in this world, or our arch-enemy on Earth, and whether same shall perhaps shortly join us, whereupon we could give him an appropriate welcome!”
15. Says Jellinek: “Brethren, I am with you concerning our friend Blum! But spare me Windischgräz, for I have no desire to ever see this tiger again! But hearken, I seem to hear several human voices outside the door. Lets rise from the table and check what’s going on outside!”
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