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A Conversion of a better stoic
25,1. Look, down there in the valley are presently going three sent messengers to such a catch. We will follow them and listen with an open ear to their assignment. They are moving deeper into the valley and will speak to the Stoics at the third hut, which you see standing on a rounded, moss-overgrown rock. Look how they approach the hut with much caution and make themselves as small as possible. We will, therefore, go there quickly, not to miss out on the initial reception. We are here; take notice!
25,2. The initiator greets the so-called head of the little house, this means the most intelligent and the leader and teacher of the other ten people you see in his company. How does the greeting sound? Listen: Very wise lord, you have investigated matters from the right angle and have, with your sharp mind, exactly discerned what is righteous and unrighteous, fair and unfair, well-ordered and disordered. We have heard from afar of your wisdom and therefore we came here to ask your good advice about many cases.
25,3. The intellectual answers upon this: In that case are you completely welcome with me. As far as it is in my ability, I would want to help you, but not where it exceeds my ability. You would indeed have heard that my treasures do not consist of gold and silver and all kinds of noble stones; neither are any meals being served, nor tables laden with good tasting food. But what I have, namely the victory of the clear mind, of that you may get as much as you like. You can be assured that these treasures will make you happier than when you would possess all the dreamed-of so-called heavenly glories, being nothing but secretly expressed needs of a spirit which is not content with what is given to him. You know that space is infinite and that man thinks in this space. Whoever would let his thoughts go into infinity, would firstly forget that he himself is, in fact, a limited being; secondly, they do not think and thus does not become aware that these thoughts at the end are to him nothing but continuous discontentment. Out of this comes an even greater longing to unreachable things out of which finally grows a continuous discontentment, by which the human foolishness can only be satisfied blindly by unattainable and grandiose, yet empty expectations. As such is heaven then nothing other than such a dreamed-up thing, serving only to satisfy the imaginative power of spirits who are discontent with what they have been given.
25,4. Only the clear mind determines the true boundaries of the needs of its subject being and it longs in full objectivity only the correct measure of her own limitedness and this measure is called: complete contentment. Whoever is content with what he can recognize by the way of his clear intellect as the correct criterion of his own limitedness, have found the real heaven and will forever not wish for another, because he will clearly realize that, as a measure of his own limitations, nothing else will do than exactly that which will completely correspond with it.
25,5. After these wise words, the initiator says: We do already notice from your short introduction, that you have made the victory of the clear mind completely yours; therefore, we will dare, with the greatest confidence in your wisdom, to present our problem to you. The intellectual representative says: Whatever I can be in your service with is welcome to me, therefore, feel free to present your problem without restraint to me! The initiator says: Then listen! In the company by which we were delegated to collect good advice from you, a great strife has begun regarding the necessity orredundancy of light. The reasons for the necessity of light holds just as much as the arguments against it, therefore we cannot find an absolute conclusion of which party is right. The intellectual representative says: Let me hear some of your arguments and counter-arguments and you can be assured that I will hit the nail on the head with my verdict.
25,6. The initiator says: Then listen! An argument speaking for light is as follows: What would all things be without light? It would be as if non-existent. Light is furthermore the foundational principle of all activities and all thoughts, for without light as the all moving and generating power, nothing could have originated, therefore also no intellectual thinking being. Light is also the foundational principle of the mind and is in the purest spiritual condition, the clear mind itself. Look, this is the reasoning speaking for the light.
25,7. The counter-argument is as follows: After light have obviously originated out of darkness and have, before light, penetrated the whole of infinity in a completely light-devoid condition, the question arises whether infinity was, in a light-devoid condition, less infinite than in the current full light. The counter-argument continues: It is known to everyone that the inward parts of the celestial bodies are mostly completely devoid of light and yet is matter in such a light-less condition just as good and even more intensely present than on the surface of a heavenly body, which basks in the light. If the whole celestial body, regarding the inner parts, can exist just as well without light, the light seems to be to things in nature a pure luxury. It goes on: Everyone knows that he is conceived in the night of the maternal body and have received life in this night. For what reason has everything that received light in the night, step over into light? Whoever would think about this for just a bit, must see from the very first moment that light is not only completely obsolete but even harmful for these things, because they win by it and become clearly unhappy if they would by some or other coincidence, lose it. On top of this, they say: when man would have been born completely blind, they do not have to take care because of the lack of light; for it is for the eye which is used to light, the greatest misfortune to become blind. Here, the opponents indeed pose a counter-argument: In such a blind, happy condition, there would indeed be no difference between a human and a polyp on the bottom of the sea. If man would see nothing, he would also not be able to form some or the other imaginary image in himself. With lack of imagination, a huge question would arise, namely how it would fare with thinking, being in lack of all concepts and forms. By the loss of the ability of sight due to an accident, the defenders of light say: If one would regard it as an accident and use it as an argument against light, man can do it regarding the other senses not dependent upon light. To, therefore, prevent any accident, man must be born without any senses, in darkness. How the mind of man could be developed without senses, can best be asked to a rock! Look, very wise man, in such a confusion of thoughts, our big company is thrust to and fro. We hope in full trust that you would be able to untie this knot.
25,8. The intellectual representative says: Listen, esteemed friends, this is an extraordinary critical case, for each party has everything going for it. Since there does not exist in the insight of the clear mind only one right side and both could not be right, it becomes rather difficult to decide between these two who is right. This will only be possible if we would keep our own individual being inside its limits; therefore, listen well! We will establish foundational rules here and from these rules, we will come to the right conclusion. But to achieve this, we first must define a non-existence, a consuming existence, and a free-thinking existence. A non-existence does not need anything, therefore, no consumption. With an only naturally consuming existence it is assumed that it can only exist if the necessary consumption is present. All matter that can exist in the night as well as in light, has such an existence. Because man is a thinking being who is free to determine himself, a higher existence also assumes a consumption relative to the existence, where the consuming matter can be nothing but light! Non-existence, therefore, needs nothing; a singular, consuming existence as a product of the night, does not need anything else as his corresponding food; and a clear, free-thinking existence similarly essentially needs the food that is the principle of its existence. Consequently, does the non-existence comes forth from non-existence, from the existence of the nocturnal existence a nocturnal existence and from the existence of the light, an existence related to the light. As man then would understand with his pure intellect that he essentially is coming forth from light, he needs also to understand that the light is a necessary substrate to him. As far as he would consider himself to be only an animalisticconsumer and denies himself the higher free-thinking life and can, on top of it all, reshape himself into an embryo in the motherly body, he does not need the light. A non-existence does need neither the one nor the other. Now look, best friends, with this is the indisputable necessity of the presence of the light presented before your eyes and ears as clearly as possible.
25,9. The initiator says: Listen, wise man, we can clearly see from your explanation that you are in possession of a brilliant mind and we now know exactly what we are presented with. There still is one more thing that is not yet completely clear to us. This is the following: Why do all the innumerable vegetative products upon the celestial bodies, inclusive the animalistic kind, need light for their vegetation and their animalistic development? It is well known to the natural scientists that there happens to be no vegetation in a completely light-devoid space and that animals in a light-less space become sickly very quickly and perish completely. Yet they do not seem to be, according to your verdict, in need of light consumption, because they are not thinking beings and according to the result of our thorough investigation, also cannot be. We do not utter this consideration because we would want to doubt your clear insight, but to safeguard ourselves against the eventually expected trap.
25,10. The intellectual representative says: This consideration is very much welcome. We will immediately present her before the judgment seat of the pure mind; listen, therefore! Because of the essential dumbness regarding its own existence, these things should need just as little light as the dark middle of a celestial body has. Because also we coexist with them as products of the light, we can impossibly arrive at the opposite conclusion that we would exist on their behalf, just as little as a human can say: I exist for the sake of the house to be inhabited and taken care of by me. The house exists for the sake of man, but not man for the house. If light then has brought us forth, it out of necessity should create out of itself the prerequisites necessary for our light-related existence. These things you mentioned are therefore essential to the light, to serve us regarding our light-related needs. I do not mean here the consumption of the higher animalistic stomach, which can also be satisfied in a dark environment, but the higher consumption of the spirit, which can only satisfy itself with concepts and form which, just like himself, has its origin in light. A tree in the middle of the earth will with all his fruit not serve to satisfy the spirit, as long as it is not brought into the light and become related to the light. Look, my dear friends, with this, is your doubtable case solved. Should there still be anything in the dark with you, then openly share it.
25,11. The initiator says: Esteemed, very wise man, now that you have stated your opinion regarding light, you would surely graciously grant me a question regarding yourself. This question is as follows: What then is the reason that you, being a very wise defender of the light, have chosen a dwelling in this completely secluded corner!
25,12. The intellectual representative says: The reason is much wiser than you could grasp. If we want to see things in the light and want to discern pure light, we must, according to the correct mathematical rules of optic observance, not going to stand in the light ourselves, but in a place of complete darkness. Through this, our optical abilities become strengthened and we can discern the opposite subject sharply emphasized. But if you consider the light, you become blinded by it and you can only see the subject hazily and obscurely and must be content with only its shady side. Therefore, is my dwelling far from the light-giving object, but not turned away from the practical light. Out of this, you can deduct that my dwelling is not aloof towards the light, but rather towards the very serviceable, well-calculated light. If you would have any more objections, you will always find in me the most untiring, most willing man, wanting to satisfy you with everything within my ability.
25,13. The initiator still has another question to the intellectual representative and says: I can now see how you think, speak and act about everything with well-calculated principles. Therefore, I would like to also learn from you why you have settled yourself, being an advocate of the food of light, in such an uninhabitable region, producing as little for the animalistic stomach as it does for the spiritual. Is it not sorely pitiable that you did not settle yourself in a richer region, to be a true blessing to many people who still have very little intellect? There would find even more food for your spirit, where you would be able to prepare a powerful food for the weak spirits from the abundance of light rays that would meet your spirit.
25,1. My dear friends, about this question you will immediately be given sufficient light.
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