( COMMENTS BY ME)

THE KOLBRIN

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

THE BOOK OF CREATION

Extracted from the Great Book of the Sons of Fire

 

THE BOOK OF GLEANINGS

Being writings from Various Old Culdee books which were partially

destroyed in Ancient Times

 

THE BOOK OF SCROLLS

Formerly called The Book of Books or The Lesser Book of The

Sons of Fire this being The Third Book of the Bronzebook

 

THE BOOK OF THE SONS OF FIRE

This being The Fourth Book of the Bronzebook being all that remains

of the Sacred Writings formerly contained in The Great Book of the Sons of Fire

 

THE BOOK OF MANUSCRIPTS

Incorporating The Treasury of Life compiled from writings preserved by

Amos, an Egyptian; Claudius Linus, a Roman; and Vitico, a Gaul

 

THE BOOK OF MORALS AND PRECEPTS

Formerly called The Book of Establishment, this being The Third Book

of The Great Book of the Sons of Fire

 

THE BOOK OF ORIGINS OR FERILBOOK

As authorised by the Conclave of Venedas. Compiled from the three

Books of Britain which formed the Koalbook, formerly called the Hiferalt

 

THE BOOK OF THE SILVER BOUGH

Once known as The Book of Sacred Scripts. A collection of writings

preserved by the hand of Gwinder Apowin

 

THE BOOK OF LUCIUS

Rewritten from The Book of Pemantris of unknown origin

 

THE BOOK OF WISDOM

Being a revision and amalgamation of two books of later date which

were added to the books of The Bronzebook forming The Kolbrin after

these had been transcribed in the nineteenth century

 

 

 

 

DEDICATION

This work is dedicated to the men and women
who serve their God by activating
the good resident in their hearts.

To the promotion of the ideal of true love and the
consolidation of families through the fostering of
family ethics and traditional moral values.

To the furtherance of all things conducive to the
betterment of individuals and the
advancement of humankind.

To the enhancement of the spirit of goodwill inherent
in the human race and the preservation of all the
qualities from the past which continue to serve
the Cause of Good.

To this end, the sincere efforts of the
Publishers and Distributors,
and all profits from this book,
are dedicated.

 

 

FOREWORD

What is presented in this book is a reproduction of one of several versions which have existed in similar form since World War II, first in handwritten form and then in typewritten. What is given here was never intended for multiple or commercial circulation, and there are valid reasons derived from experience why this should be so. However, believing it to be in the public interest, it has lately been decided that it should be made available now, subject to explicit conditions. As far as is known it faithfully follows the authenticated copy of a handwritten version reproduced early in this century. This was resurrected in a very dilapidated condition, but has been transcribed fully as found.

Undoubtedly, in transmission some personal colourations may have crept in, but the whole, as it stands now, with its imperfections, is, nevertheless, a reliable and validated medium for bringing a body of spiritual truths into concrete being. It is the spirit behind the facade that is the all important factor.

The value of what has been salvaged and preserved here is not for the present compilers to determine, research or edit. Their obligation is seen as being true recorders of what is there, others better able may assess its worth. It is known, however, that some items, which at their face value and in their context seem of little import, contain within themselves something of intrinsic value to the spiritually aware. There are hidden depths which superficial reading will not reveal.

The Kolbrin is tendered for acceptance at its face value or, more importantly, for its content of spiritual truths which, in any religion, are presented in a form peculiar to particular faiths. It is the degree of spiritual content expressed in any religion which establishes its status on the scale of human spirituality. The lifestyle of its adherents, their accepted precepts and practices, their moral standards, ethics and social concern are what determines the worth of any spiritual philosophy.

There have been and may still be, associations of people who accepted the Kolbrin as the pivot point of their lives, and it is noteworthy, from what is known, that their lifestyle and the quality of their lives were enhanced through doing so. People who conduct their lives according to the precepts of the Kolbrin, in association with others of like mind, will know just where they stand in relation to these others. Relationships established among people who are committed to such precepts, whatever their religious inclinations, are far more firmly founded than others which are based on philosophies established on patronizing doctrines derived from cheap products obtained from the spiritual supermarket.

One difficulty has been the fact that the guardians of the Kolbrin have never been literary folk but simple craftsmen and people far removed from the scholastic and even commercial world. Although it formulates a distinctive spiritual philosophy, this book is not claimed to be anything other than a transmitter of ageless wisdom. It serves the common cause, the common good and the common man through presentation in a particular form.

The earlier preservation and subsequent compilation of the Kolbrin was the outcome of independent individual efforts. No one can claim authorship and the present reconstructors who have compiled the book in its present form are no more than transmitters who accept in good faith what has been passed on to them.

Sufficient funds have been received to ensure the production of the Kolbrin and its subsequent continuance. It is incumbent on the compilers to ensure the conservation of these funds and to take adequate steps to entrust them.

Irrespective of origins or contributors, the Kolbrin as a whole and in its present form has been adequately validated and endorsed by Higher Authorities as being a body of wisdom conducive to spiritual enlightenment. It embodies essential spiritual truths irrespective of the manner of presentation. If there are a few extraneous items they are not such as to affect the intrinsic value of the whole.

Ethically the Kolbrin holds its own with any other body of literature and it is now offered to persons or groups seeking a philosophical focal point. This book enters the arena of life at a crucial stage in humanity's progress towards its destiny, at a time when the average family is becoming dysfunctional; when traditional values and standards, the concept of true love and the development of spirituality are under siege. These are the days of decision, when humankind stands at the crossroad. The Kolbrin will prove a worthy companion to those who choose to follow the more inspiring and virile road leading to ultimate enlightenment in the realms of truth and reality.

May the God of Your Heart be with you along the way.

 

INTRODUCTION

The Kolbrin, in its present production, incorporates a body of enlightened teachings which are the treasure of the centuries, a light on the path of Truth, and as applicable to the world today as they were in the past. There has, however, been a considerable amount of reconstruction, as the original writings survived only precariously. Most of what is presented here was actually salvaged from a pile of discarded manuscripts and was partially burned and damaged by the weather before being reconstructed into a manuscript from which this is rewritten.

Undoubtedly, additional material has been incorporated with good intent, to fill gaps and elaborate on the original. Something may have been lost in the modernization of various parts. The important point, however, is that this is not intended to be a historical record, an intellectual work or literary effort, it falls short of these and is rather a coherent and consistent body of spiritual teachings. It is on this aspect alone that it stands or falls. The spiritual truths presented here are all that matters, the rest can be regarded as an embellishment, a vehicle for presentation and conveyance.

The message conveyed, whatever its form of presentation, is always the essential core, and ethically, morally and spiritually the Kolbrin concedes nothing to other works of a like nature. It should be seen as an inspirational work, the substance of which can be accepted with confidence and trust.

While great care was exercised in the past, to ensure that these transcriptions would be transmitted through the centuries in a form as unadulterated and unaltered as possible, little is known about the actual persons or body of people concerned. From what is known, the name 'Kolbrin' was originally applied to a collection of manuscripts which were salvaged from Glastonbury Abbey at the time of its burning. The fire, which was arson, was intended to destroy those manuscripts, but they were secretly housed otherwise than in the scriptorium and library at the time of the fire. In any event, it was believed that these 'heretical works' were destroyed, and as it happened the fire proved to be a good cover for their preservation.

Some of the manuscripts were transcribed, at some time, on to thin metal plates and, collectively, these were known as 'The Bronzebook of Britain'. This designation was carried forward when they were written out in book STITCH from in the seventeenth century. The subject matter was then divided into chapters and the paragraphs were numbered. The whole was modernized in the latter part of the nineteenth or early part of the twentieth century. Incorporated in the modern Kolbrin are manuscripts which were traditionally clamed to have been copied from salvaged manuscripts which were not transcribed on to metal plates and formed a work known as 'The Coelbook'.

During the second and third decades of this century these books were in possession of a religious group in England which was never very powerful, because requirements for membership were too restrictive. It would seem that throughout history the Kolbrin has always been on the brink of extinction, yet it has survived, safeguarded by a few who barely knew what it was all about, who were neither intellectual nor wealthy and for whom the practicalities of life took precedence.

Originally, there were twenty-one books, which were said to be twelve books of Britain, eight books of Egypt and one of the Trojans, but of their names there is little certainty. Only a portion of these books remains and it seems that much of historical nature has been trimmed away.

It is known that at the beginning of the fourteenth century there was a settled community in Scotland under the leadership of one John Culdy. The old Culdians, who were guardians of what they called 'The Treasures of Britain', were never numerous and loosely organized, membership being maintained by itinerant smiths and other craftsmen. They seem to have previously been loosely known as 'Koferils'. The Kolbrin makes mention of 'Wise Strangers' and there is a tradition to the effect that these were the original Culdians (Kailedy). There are other explanations, but the writer is in no position to express any positive or worthwhile opinion. Does it really matter anyway? We are told that the Ferilmaster (a word of uncertain meaning) was Nathaniel Smith, martyred in the beginning of the seventeenth century. This appears to mark the end of the Old Culdians as a coherent body, but steps were taken to preserve the Kolbrin. For a long time it was buried or otherwise hidden, but some time during the early part of the last century, copies were written out in 'biblical English' and two of the books were in existence just before the first World War. Since then the various books of the Kolbrin have suffered many vicissitudes and what remains is only part of the original.

During the last world war the old books were thrown out as 'worthless junk', saved and again discarded as 'heathen works of the Devil', but luckily, again salvaged before irreparable damage was done. It has not been easy to reconstitute them, even with the assistance of a more knowledgeable co-worker who filled in a few gaps with compatible references to modern works.

No doubt, in its present form the Kolbrin leaves much to be desired. The contents could perhaps have been condensed and much irrelevant matter deleted, but the compiler considered it his prime duty to preserve and retain every possible fragment and leave it to others better qualified to sift, revise and condense.

Obviously, some of the proper names are spelled wrongly, and some of the original correct ones may have been replaced by others, for it seems that in the past there was a biased selection of material to be included. No claim is made regarding historical accuracy, for the compiler is totally unqualified to voice any opinion in this respect; but, as stated before this is not an historical work but the corpus of a doctrine and way of life.

Whose hands originally wrote its many parts is unimportant and it is even less important to know who transcribed it later, though some details appear in the modern section. The phraseology may be cumbersome and even ungrammatical, because of the manner in which the biblical form of English has been modernized by one who has no scholarly pretensions whatsoever. It may be argued that this work should have been presented in its archaic form, to preserve its authenticity, but the compiler disagrees, and we concur. The criterion by which any literary work should be judged is its message and intent, not its format. The words, of themselves, are sterile, it is the spirit of the whole that give the Kolbrin meaning and life. What is presented here is an attempt to pass on, as near as possible in its original form, with all its defects and shortcomings in style and presentation, something which will be of benefit to all. The original writers attempted to make words convey something beyond inherent meaning, they endeavoured to build an edifice of glory out of common clay.

The importance of what is given here lies in what is projected out of the past into the present lamentable spiritual vacuum; in the help it can offer to the ordinary man and woman, not in what it offers to the literary world. On this basis alone these writings must stand to be judged. The worth of any knowledge is in its value here and now, in present day circumstances. We know, from the later books of the Kolbrin, that for centuries its contents had to be kept secret because they may have been misunderstood or found unacceptable. Perhaps they will fare better now.

This book is resurrected with the sole intent of ranging it alongside the Forces of Good. Its publication will undoubtedly be difficult, for such a work can scarcely be deemed to have popular appeal. It deals with goodness and virtue, courage and mortality, with spiritual ideals and human aspirations, all unpopular and despised fare in these the Days of Decision. It seeks to enshrine love in a place beyond clamour and craving of the mortal flesh, and this alone may be sufficient to call down derision upon it. The same effort as was put in the piecing together and reconstruction of the Kolbrin, put into a book pandering to the moral weaknesses of society and exploiting the jaded, degenerate appetites of modern life, would undoubtedly prove more popular. But can it be said, even in these morally unwholesome times, that the value of a publication depends solely on its popular appeal?

In the Kolbrin, the Masters can record only the outcome of their own searching. They found assurance but cannot convey it directly to others. If others want it they too must tread the path the Masters trod, a long weary road not for the faint-hearted. The first step along that road is the study of the moral code and standard of conduct required. The next step is to put these into practice, making them the rule of life. They are the disciplines which enabled the truly enlightened ones of the past to awaken inner perception and make direct contact with The Universal Source of Truth. Only by following in their steps can anyone be assured of a path certain of reaching the desired goal.

Originally, the Kolbrin was in two parts, 'The Open Book' and 'The Closed Book', the latter being more properly called 'The Great Book of Eternity', the former being "The Great Book of life". What is presented here is "The Open Book". Actually, this book contains nothing not already known, for mankind has never been without guidance. Truth and wisdom can be no one's monopoly, therefore many things expressed therein are to be found elsewhere.

Superficially the Kolbrin may appear to be just a jumbled collection of maxims and old stories, some incomplete, but to judge it from this standpoint is like analyzing the pigments of the paint in a painting and counting and classifying the brushmarks to discover what an artist wants to convey. To understand it fully one must stand off and view it as a whole, even then comprehension must flow from the heart and mind, not from the eyes.

A society progresses through social evolution, not revolution, but the woes displayed by present day society indicate that the evolutionary trend has taken a wrong direction. The standards of the past, formulated to stabilize society, have been spurned, without any adequate substitutes being put in their place. That is the tragedy of the times.

To get a more comprehensive view of where our society is heading, perhaps a better understanding of where we have been is needed. It is in this context that the Kolbrin is launched, to take its place in the greater scheme of things.


THE SALUTATION OR PROLOGUE
TO THE
BRONZEBOOK

(Now incorporated in the Kolbrin)

 

Greetings, Unborn Ones, now asleep in the dark womb of the future. Greetings from we who were once as you are now and like whom you will one day be. We too hoped and feared, doubted and believed.

Were you choosing a gift from the past to the future, what would it be? The golden treasures hoarded by kings? The bright jewels beloved by queens? Is worldly wealth still so important to you? If that would be your choice above all else, we are disappointed, for our labours have been in vain.

Would you prefer the secret of life, of eternal youth? Have you altered so little from those who live and laugh today, with no thought turned towards the future? This thing which seems so desirable, were it yours would you value it? Would it never pall? Would you still be grateful for it after a thousand years have passed? The answer would be "yes" if this life were all, the beginning and end, complete in itself. But might not this life be no more than a prelude, an introduction to something infinitely greater? Is the riddle still unsolved, the secret of the ages still well kept, known only by a few, even when these words are read? How many generations have passed without progress? Does mankind still lie passive like driftwood upon the sea of spiritual apathy, driven back and forth by changeable winds and conflicting currents, making no headway?

Could we leave you the knowledge enabling you to live a life without toil, surrounded by every luxury and pleasure; a magic stone granting every desire, an all healing potion, the ability to fly or know all things on Earth, would any of these satisfy the desires of your heart and fulfil your dreams? We who lie so far back along the road trust you have progressed beyond such petty aspirations.

It is beyond our power to give such gifts, and were they ours to bestow we would withhold them, for unless a gift confers a benefit, it were better not given. With the wisdom of your generation, tell us, which of the things mentioned would really benefit you or even prove less bad than good? Or do you still remain unaware of your true nature and needs?

Who you are, how you speak and dress (are you even like us in form?) we cannot know or imagine. This alone we know as truth, you are brother beings of ours and travel the road we once trod. We share one destiny and have the same true goal, though perhaps no more know in your day what these are than do in ours. Like to us life comes to you unbidden, it is fraught with problems and difficulties; it alternates between light and shade, and like us you wonder what awaits at the end. You, too, are victims of Earth's delusions; you, too, find Truth and Perfection beyond your grasp and you, too, aspire to beauty and goodness. These things we know about you, these things must be or you would not exist.

Your needs are no different from ours, but do you now know with certainty what they are? Your life serves the same purpose, you are part of the same pattern, you are ruled by the same impulses and urges, but do you know why and to what end? We know you are without certainty and assurance about what lies beyond the veil of death, for these cannot be given while man remains no more than man, and doubtless like us you remain suspended between doubt and belief.

Our Unborn Friends, whatever your circumstances of life you are the children of the past and heirs of those who have lived and died. We trust you have no cause to reproach those who once held stewardship over your estate. But whatever you think of the heritage, you cannot put it aside, any more than you can refuse the obligations of life. Maybe it brings you the happiness and security, the peace and plenty we never knew. If so, this will remain unread, for to you it would be a wilderness of words serving no purpose. If you have so much, if you have progressed so far, nothing we could give would be of benefit. To the traveler, information about the road behind is worthless. If this is your state we hail you, we are proud of you, our worthy children of light, conceived in the long dark years wherein we laboured and ploughed our own short furrow. You have done well and our greatest joy would be to stand beside you as you exaltingly reach out for the crowning glory of godhood.

But you may be no more enlightened than we, in which case accept our offering as a token of our regret, our desire to make amends on behalf of those who preceded you, for if you remain lost in spiritual darkness the blame is theirs and not yours.

This we give you, The Hidden Books containing the accumulated harvest of wisdom and Truth garnered over the generations, the bread and oil which sustained us and never diminished. May they serve you in your day as well as they served us. Above all, may you be sufficiently enlightened to receive them, for today we are persecuted because of our books, and most who treasured and guarded them are now dead. We can only consign these books to the ground and destiny, trusting they will be called forth at the proper time and in a receptive generation.

These books, which we hand into the keeping of time, were written under the authority of revelation and inspiration. Containing Truth, their message cannot be attacked by time, for Truth is an eternal youth.

We make no claim to exact and accurate statements beyond the possibility of error and misinterpretation, for words are frail messengers. They are fallible things unable to transmit accurately from mind to mind. Also, we cannot tell how they who resurrect the books will deal with the contents. They are written in letters known to the learned, but learning changes with the generations. These books are the glorious embodiment of Eternal Truth, but the words and expressions are unworthy garments so that misconception and misunderstanding are not possible. Words are servants of the fallible mortal sphere and when called upon to serve a realm of greater things prove inadequate. Therefore, be not like some petty-minded ones of our generation who say, "The letters are misplaced and the words ill used." They examine each blade of grass diligently, but fail to discover the purpose of the meadow. Such men lack insight and seeing only the bare letters say, "These tell me all, there is nothing more". We have a saying, "do not judge a place of instruction by its bricks". Wisdom, being eternal, doubtless this will apply no less in your generation.

So, Unborn Unknowable Ones, we humbly tender this, the gift of the past which we could not pass on otherwise. If you have advanced far along the road towards greatness, it will have no value; but if you still dally or have wandered away, lost in the illusive mists of worldliness and none answers your cries, then take this hand extending out of the past. It will guide you faithfully and well.

Down through the generations men have been persecuted, have suffered and died so that Truth and Goodness might prevail, remember them. If the world is good, then your peace and pleasures have been brought by their sacrifices. If it is not, then you must not quibble over the cost to yourselves in making it good. Surely no torments and terrors in your days could exceed those of the past!

Farewell, Unborn Ones, with these few words we have reached from the day of the present into the night of the future. We have planted the seed, will it grow or rot in the ground? What crop will it produce? We cannot know. Let fate deal with it as it will, we have gathered the seed, flailed and winnowed it and kept it with every care. We have planted well, we can do no more.

May life deal better with you than with us. May you never be denied the comforting hand of hope. Farewell!

 

 

THE BOOK OF CREATION
Extracted From The Great Book
Of The Sons of Fire

(An account of the beginning of things and why they are as we find them)

Chapter 1 - CREATION

Chapter 2 - THE BIRTH OF MAN

Chapter 3 - THE DESTRUCTION AND RE-CREATION

Chapter 4 - THE AFFLICTION OF GOD

Chapter 5 - IN THE BEGINNING

Chapter 6 - DADAM AND LEWID

Chapter 7 - HERTHEW - SON OF THE FIRSTFATHER

Chapter 8 - GWINEVA

 

Chapter 1

CREATION

Mortal knowledge is circumscribed by mortal ignorance, and mortal comprehension is circumscribed by spiritual reality. It is unwise for mortal man to attempt the understanding of that which is beyond his conception, for there lies the road to disbelief and madness. Yet man is man and ever fated to reach out beyond himself, striving to attain things which always just elude his grasp. So in his frustration he replaces the dimly seen incomprehensible with things within his understanding. If these things but poorly reflect reality, then is not the reflection of reality, distorted though it may be, of greater value than no reflection at all?

There are no true beginnings on Earth, for here all is effect, the ultimate cause being elsewhere. For who among men can say which came first, the seed or the plant? Yet in truth it is neither, for something neither seed nor plant preceded both, and that thing was also preceded by something else. Always there are ancestors back to the beginning, and back beyond to there is only God. This, then, is how these things were told in The Great Book of The Sons of Fire.

Before the beginning there was only one consciousness, that of The Eternal One whose nature cannot be expressed in words. It was The One Sole Spirit, The Self Generator which cannot diminish. The Unknown, Unknowable One brooding solitary in profound pregnant silence.

The name which is uttered cannot be that of this Great Being who, remaining nameless, is the beginning and the end, beyond time, beyond the reach of mortals, and we in our simplicity call it God.

He who preceded all existed alone in His strange abode of uncreated light, which remains ever unextinguishable, and no understandable eye can ever behold it. The pulsating draughts of the eternal life light in His keeping were not yet loosed. He knew Himself alone, He was uncontrasted, unable to manifest in nothingness, for all within His Being was unexpressed potential. The Great Circles of Eternity were yet to be spun out, to be thrown forth as the endless ages of existence in substance. They were to begin with God and return to Him completed in infinite variety and expression.

Earth was not yet in existence, there were no winds with the sky above them; high mountains were not raised, nor was the great river in its place. All was formless, without movement, calm, silent, void and dark. No name had been named and no destinies foreshadowed.

Eternal rest is intolerable, and unmanifested potential is frustration. Into the solitude of timelessness can Divine Loneliness and from this arose the desire to create, that He might know and express Himself, and this generated the Love of God. He took thought and brought into being within Himself the Universal Womb of Creation containing the everlasting essence of slumbering spirit.

The essence was quickened by a ripple from the mind of God and a creative thought was projected. This generated power which produced light, and this formed a substance like unto a mist of invisible dust. It divided into two forms of energy through being impregnated with The Spirit of God and, quickening the chaos of the void within the Universal Womb, became spun out into whirlpools of substance. From this activity, as sparks from a fire, came an infinite variety of spirit minds, each having creative powers within itself.

The activating word was spoken, its echoes vibrate still, and there was a stirring movement which caused instability. A command was given and this became the Everlasting Law. Henceforth, activity was controlled in harmonious rhythm and the initial inertia was overcome. The Law divided the materializing chaos from God and then established the boundaries of the Eternal Spheres.

Time no longer slept on the bosom of God, for now there was change where before all had been unchanging, and change is time. Now within the Universal Womb was heat, substance and life, and encompassing it was the Word which is the Law.

The command was given, "Let the smallest of things form the greatest and that which lives but a flash form everlastingness." Thus the universe came into being as a condensation of God's thought, and as it did so it obscured Him from all enclosed within His solidifying creation. Henceforth, God was hidden, for He has always remained dimly reflected in His creation. He became veiled from all that came forth from Him. Creation does not explain itself, under the Law it cannot do so, its secrets have to be unraveled by the created.

All things are by nature finite, they have a beginning, a middle and an end. An unaccomplishable purpose would be eternal frustration and therefore, the universe being created purposefully it must have an objective. If it ended without anything else following, then the God existing must slumber indifferent to its activities. But He has made it a living work of greatness operating under the changeless Law.

The creating word had been spoken, now there was another command and the power going forth smote the sun so its face was lit, and it shone with a great radiance pouring warmth and light upon its sister Earth. Henceforth she would live within the protection of her brother's household, rejoicing in his benevolence and strength.

The waters upon the bosom of Earth were gathered together and dry land appeared. When the covering of water was rolled back the body of Earth was unstable, damp and yielding. The face of the sun shone down kindly upon his sister and the dry land of her body became very hard, humidity and dampness were taken away. He gave her a garment of fleece and a veil of fine linen, that she might clothe her body with modesty.

From the Great Womb had sprung the Spirit of Life and it was rampant in the Heavens. It gazed upon Earth and saw her fairness, and was filled with desire, and came out of the heavenly spaces to possess her. It came not peacefully as a lover, but tempestuously as a ravager. Its breath howled along her corridors and raged among her mountain tops, but it did not discover the dwelling place of her Spirit. She had withdrawn, as a woman withdraws before force, for modesty must not be outraged in submission. Yet she desired its embrace, for among all the Radiant Company she was honoured.

The sun saw her perplexity and he wrestled with the Spirit of Life and overcame it. When it was subdued and the primal struggle had ceased, it was delivered by the sun to his sister. It was chastened and quietened and in silence brooded over Earth's waters, and she was stirred in response. Mud eggs of life potential were formed in swamps, at the meeting places of land and two waters. The sun gave quickening heat and life crawled forth upon the bosom of the Earth.

The land dust brought forth the male and the dark water mist the female, and they united and multiplied. The first brought forth the second and the two produced the third. Earth was no longer virgin and the Spirit of Life grew old and departed. Earth was left garbed in the matron's mantle of green, herbage covered the face of the land.

The waters brought forth fishes and creatures which move about and twist themselves and wriggle in the waters, the serpents and the beasts of terrible aspect which were of yore, and reptiles which creep and crawl. There were tall walking things and dragons in hideous form clothed with terror, whose great bones may still be seen.

Then came forth from the Womb of the Earth all the beasts of the field and forest. All the creatures of creation having blood in their bodies, and it was complete. Beasts roamed the dry land and fishes swam in the seas. There were birds in the skies and worms within the soil.

There were great land masses and high mountains, wide barren places and heaving waters. Fertile greenness covered the land and abundant life swarmed in the seas, for now Earth throbbed with the energy of life.

Metals lay hidden in her rocks and precious stones within the soil. Gold and silver were scattered and secreted. There was copper for tools and forest of timber. There were swamps of reeds and stone for every purpose.

Everything was prepared, everything was ready, and now Earth awaited the coming of man.


CHAPTER TWO

THE BIRTH OF MAN

The love of God penetrated the third veil and became the Seed of Souls within the Soul Sea. The body of man God made of water and things of the Earth, breathing into him the Spirit of Life, that he might live. But man, when young, lived only to eat and drink and to fornicate, for, being conscious only of the Earth, he knew only earthly things and earthly ways.

Now the Spirit of God Moved over the face of the Earth, but was not of the Earth. It held all things and was in all things, but on Earth could not be apart from anything. Without substance it was awake, but entering substance it slept.

Consider that which was told by the servants of Eban, of Heavenman who once wandered the Earth, He had no earthly substance and could not grasp its fruits, for he had no hands. He could not drink its waters, for he had no mouth, nor could he feel the cool winds upon his skin. They tell how the ape tribe Selok, led by Heavenman, perished by flames before the Valley of Lod, Only one she-ape reaching the cave heights above.

When Heavenman was reborn of the she-ape in the cavern of Woe, could he taste the fruits of the Earth and drink of her waters, and feel the coolness of her winds? Did he not find life good? It is not all a tale of the courtyard!

Man, created from earthly substance alone, could not know things not of Earth, nor could Spirit alone subdue him. Had man not been created, who would have known God's wisdom and power? As the Spirit fills the body of man, so does God fill His creation.

Therefore, it was that God saw something had to be which joined Earth and Spirit and was both. In His wisdom and by the creative impulse which governs the Earth, He prepared a body for man, for the body of man is wholly of Earth.

Behold, the great day came when the Spirit, which is God, was joined with the beast, which is Earth. Then Earth writhed in the labour of travail. Her mountains rocked back and forth and her seas heaved up and down. Earth groaned in her lands and shrieked in her winds. She cried in the rivers and wept in her storms.

So man was born, born of upheaval and strife. He came wretchedly and tumultuously, the offspring of a distraught Earth. All was in discord, snow fell in the hot wastelands, ice covered the fertile plains, the forests became seas. Where once it was hot, now it was cold and where no rain had ever fallen, now there were floods. So man came forth, man the child of calamity, man the inheritor of creative struggle, man the battleground of extremes.

Earth nurtured man with cautious affection, weaning him in the recesses of her body. Then, when he was grown sufficiently to be lifted so he walked in the uprightness of God, she took him and raised him above all other creatures. She led him even into the presence of God and she laid him on His Great Altar.

A man imperfect, of earthly limitations, a thing unfinished, ungainly and unlearned, but proudly was He presented to Earth's Creator. Not her first-born was man, the son of Earth, the grandchild of God, man the heir of tribulation and the pupil of affliction.

God saw man, the offering of Earth to her Lord, unconscious on the High Altar, a sacrifice to Him and a dedication to the Spirit of Fate. Then from out of the unfathomable heights and from behind the impenetrable veil, God came down above the Altar and He breathed into man the breath of Eternal Life. Into his sleeping body God implanted a fragment of Himself, the Seed of a Soul and the Spark of Divinity, a man the mortal became man the heir of God and the inheritor of immortality. Henceforth he would have dominion over God's earthly estate, but he also had to unravel the Circles of Eternity, and his destiny was to be an everlasting seeking and striving.

Man slept, but God opened the Great Eye within him and man saw a vision of unsurpassed glory. He heard the voice of God saying, "O man, in your hand is now placed the tablet of your inheritance, and My seal is upon it. Know that all you desire within your heart may be yours, but first it is necessary that you be taught its value. Behold, the Earth is filled with things of usefulness, they are prepared to your hand for a purpose, but the task is upon you to seek them out and learn their use. This is the tuition for the management of your inheritance."

"What you know to be good, seek for and it shall be found. You may plumb the seas and pluck the stars. You may live in everlasting glory and savour eternal delights. Above and below and all about there is nothing beyond your reach; all, with one exception, is yours to attain". Then God laid His hand upon man, saying, "Now you are even as I, except you sleep there enclosed in matter in the Kingdom of Illusion, while I dwell here in the freedom of Reality and Truth. It is not for me to come down to you, but for you to reach out to Me."

Man then saw a vision of glory encompassing even the Spheres of Splendour. Unbounded wisdom filled his heart and he beheld beauty in perfection. The ultimates of Truth and Justice were unveiled before him. He became one with the profound peace of eternity and knew the joys of unceasing gladness.

The eternal ages of time unrolled as a scroll before his eyes, and he saw written thereon all that was to become and occur. The great vaults of Heaven were opened up unto him and he saw the everlasting fires and unconsumable powers that strove therein. He felt within himself the stirring of inexpressible love, and unlimited designs of grandeur filled his thoughts. His spirit ranged unhampered through all the spheres of existence. He was then even as God Himself, and he knew the secret of the Seven Spheres within Three Spheres.

Then God lifted His hand from man and man was alone. The great vision departed and he awoke, only a dim and elusive recollection, no more than the shadow of a dream remained. But deep within the sleeping Soul there was a spark of remembrance and it generated within man a restless longing for he knew not what. Henceforth, man was destined to wander discontented, seeking something he felt he knew but could not see, something which continually eluded him, perpetually goaded him, and forever tantalized him. Deep within himself man knew something greater than himself was always with him and part of him, spurring him on to greater deeds, greater thoughts, greater aspirations. It was something out beyond himself, scarcely realized and never found; something which told him that the radiance seen on the horizon but dimly reflected the hidden glory beyond it.

Man awoke, the revelation and vision gone, only the grim reality of Earth's untamed vastness surrounded him. But when he arose and stepped down onto the bosom of his Mother Earth he was undaunted by the great powers that beset him or by the magnitude of the task ahead. Within his heart he knew destiny lay beyond the squalor of his environment, he stepped out nobly, gladly accepting the challenge.

He was now a new man, he was different. He looked above and saw glory in the Heavens. He saw beauty about him and he knew goodness and things not of the Earth. The vision of eternal values arose before his inner eye. His Spirit was responding to its environment, man was now man, truly man.

The nature of man on Earth was formed after the nature of things in Heaven, and man had all things contained as potential within himself, except divine life. But he was as yet an untrained, undisciplined child, still nurtured simply upon the comforting bosom of Earth.

Man grew in stature, but Earth was not indulgent, for she disciplined him firmly. She was ever strict and unyielding, chastening him often with blasts of displeasure. It was indeed the upbringing of one destined for greatness; he was made to suffer cold, that he might learn to clothe himself; sent into the barren places, that his limbs should be strengthened, and into forests, that his eye should become keen and his heart strong. He was perplexed with difficult problems and set the task of unraveling the illusions of Nature. He was beset with hardships of every description. He was tested with frustrations and tempted with allurements; never did Earth relax the vigilance of her supervision.

The child was raised sternly, for he needed the fortitude, courage and cunning of a man, to fit him for the task ahead. He grew wily and wiry in the hunt; he became adaptable, able to cope with any untoward happening. Overcoming the bewilderments of early days he found explanations for the perplexities of his surroundings. Yet the struggle for knowledge, the need for adaptation and the effort to survive were never relaxed. The Earthchild was well trained and disciplined, he was never unduly mollycoddled. He cried for bread and went hungry, he shivered and was cast out, he was sick and driven into the forest. Weary he was lashed with storms, thirsty he found the wasters dried up. When weak his burden was increased and in the midst of rejoicing he was struck down with sorrow. In moments of weakness he cried, "Enough!" and doubted his destiny; but always something fortified and encouraged him, the Earthling never forfeited his godlikeness.

For man was man, he was not cowed, nor his Spirit broken; a wise God knew his limitations. As it is written in the wisdom of men, 'over chastisement is as bad as no chastisement at all'. But man was rarely chastised, he was tried, tested and challenged; he was led, prodded and urged, yet nothing was done unneccessairily. The seeming imperfections of Earth, the hazards and inequalities of life, the cruelty, harshness and apparent indifference to suffering and affliction are not what they seem; as it is, Earth is perfect for its purpose. It is ignorance of that purpose which makes it appear imperfect.

Where is there a wiser father than the Spirit of God, or a better mother than Earth? What man is now he owes to these, may he learn to be duly grateful. Above all let him never forget the lessons learned in his upbringing.

 

CHAPTER THREE

THE DESTRUCTION AND RE-CREATION

It is known, and the story comes down from ancient times, that there was not one creation but two, a creation and a re-creation. It is a fact known to the wise that the Earth was utterly destroyed once then reborn on a second wheel of creation.

At the time of the great destruction of Earth, God caused a dragon from out of Heaven to come and encompass her about. The dragon was frightful to behold, it lashed its tail, it breathed out fire and hot coals, and a great catastrophe was inflicted upon mankind. The body of the dragon was wreathed in a cold bright light and beneath, on the belly, was a ruddy hued glow, while behind it trailed a flowing tail of smoke. It spewed out cinders and hot stones and its breath was foul and stenchful, poisoning the nostrils of men. Its passage caused great thunderings and lightnings to rend the thick darkened sky, all Heaven and Earth being made hot. The seas were loosened from their cradles and rose up, pouring across the land. There was an awful, shrilling trumpeting which outpowered even the howling of the unleashed winds.

Men, stricken with terror, went mad at the awful sight in the Heavens. They were loosed from their senses and dashed about, crazed, not knowing what they did. The breath was sucked from their bodies and they were burnt with a strange ash.

Then it passed, leaving Earth enwrapped within a dark and glowering mantle which was ruddily lit up inside. The bowels of the Earth were torn open in great writhing upheavals and a howling whirlwind rent the mountains apart. The wrath of the sky-monster was loosed in the Heavens. It lashed about in flaming fury, roaring like a thousand thunders; it poured down fiery destruction amid a welter of thick black blood. So awesome was the fearfully aspected thing that the memory mercifully departed from man, his thoughts were smothered under a cloud of forgetfulness.

The Earth vomited forth great gusts of foul breath from awful mouths opening up in the midst of the land. The evil breath bit at the throat before it drove men mad and killed them. Those who did not die in this manner were smothered under a cloud of red dust and ashes, or were swallowed by the yawning mouths of Earth or crushed beneath crashing rocks.

The first sky-monster was joined by another which swallowed the tail of the one going before, but the two could not be seen at once. The sky-monster reigned and raged above Earth, doing battle to possess it, but the many bladed sword of God cut them in pieces, and their falling bodies enlarged the land and the sea.

In this manner the first Earth was destroyed by calamity descending from out of the skies. The vaults of Heaven had opened to bring forth monsters more fearsome than any that ever haunted the uneasy dreams of men.

Men and their dwelling places were gone, only sky boulders and red earth remained where once they were, but amidst all the desolation a few survived, for man is not easily destroyed. They crept out from caves and came down from the mountainsides. Their eyes were wild and their limbs trembled, their bodies shook and their tongues lacked control. Their faces were twisted and the skin hung loose on their bones. They were as maddened wild beasts driven into an enclosure before flames; they knew no law, being deprived of all the wisdom they once had and those who had guided them were gone.

The Earth, only true Altar of God, had offered up a sacrifice of life and sorrow to atone for the sins of mankind. Man had not sinned in deed but in the things he had failed to do. Man suffers not only for what he does but for what he fails to do. He is not chastised for making mistakes but for failing to recognize and rectify them.

Then the great canopy of dust and cloud which encompassed the Earth, enshrouding it in heavy darkness, was pierced by ruddy light, and the canopy swept down in great cloudbursts and raging storm waters. Cool moontears were shed for the distress of Earth and the woes of men.

When the light of the sun pierced the Earth's shroud, bathing the land in its revitalizing glory, the Earth again knew night and day, for there were now times of light and times of darkness. The smothering canopy rolled away and the vaults of Heaven became visible to man. The foul air was purified and new air clothed the reborn Earth, shielding her from the dark hostile void of Heaven.

The rainstorms ceased to beat upon the faces of the land and the waters stilled their turmoil. Earthquakes no longer tore the Earth open, nor was it burned and buried by hot rocks. The land masses were re-established in stability and solidity, standing firm in the midst of the surrounding waters. The oceans fell back to their assigned places and the land stood steady upon its foundations. The sun shone upon land and sea, and life was renewed upon the face of the Earth. Rain fell gently once more and clouds of fleece floated across dayskies.

The waters were purified, the sediment sank and life increased in abundance. Life was renewed, but it was different. Man survived, but he was not the same. The sun was not as it had been and a moon had been taken away. Man stood in the midst of renewal and regeneration. He looked up into the Heavens above in fear for the awful powers of destruction lurking there. Henceforth, the placid skies would hold a terrifying secret.

Man found the new Earth firm and the Heavens fixed. He rejoiced but also feared, for he lived in dread that the Heavens would again bring forth monsters and crash about him.

When men came forth from their hiding places and refuges, the world their fathers had known was gone forever. The face of the land was changed and Earth was littered with rocks and stones which had fallen when the structure of Heaven collapsed. One generation groped in the desolation and gloom, and as the thick darkness was dispelled its children believed they were witnessing a new creation. Time passed, memory dimmed and the record of evens was no longer clear. Generation followed generation and as the ages unfolded, new tongues and new tales replaced the old.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

THE AFFLICTION OF GOD

This comes from the scroll of Kerobal Pakthermin who wrote, "The forbears of all the nations of man were once one people, and they were the elect of God who delivered all the Earth over to them, all the people, the beasts of the field, the creatures of the wasteland and the things that grow. They dwelt through long ages in lands of peace and plenty."

"There were some who struggled harder, were more disciplined; because their forefathers had crossed the great dark void, their desires were turned Godward and they were called The Children of God".

"Their country was undulating and forested. It was fertile, having many rivers and marshes. There were great mountains to the East and to the West, and in the North was a vast stony plain."

"Then came the day when all things became still and apprehensive, for God caused a sign to appear in the Heavens, so that men should know the Earth would be afflicted, and the sign was a strange star".

"The star grew and waxed to a great brightness and was awesome to behold. It put forth horns and sang, being unlike any other ever seen. So men , seeing it, said among themselves, 'Surely, this is God appearing in the Heavens above us'. The star was not God, though it was directed by His design, but the people had not the wisdom to understand'.

"Then God manifested Himself in the Heavens. His voice was as the roll of thunders and He was clothed with smoke and fire. He carried lightings in His hand and His breath, falling upon the Earth, brought forth brimstone and embers. His eye was a black void and His mouth an abyss containing the winds of Destruction. He encircled the whole of the Heavens, bearing upon His back a black robe adorned with stars".

"Such was the likeness and manifestation of God in those days. Awesome was His countenance, terrible His voice of wrath, the sun and moon hid themselves in fear and there was a heavy darkness over the face of the Earth".

"God passed through the spaces of the Heavens above with a mighty roar and a loud trumpeting. Then came the grim dead silence and black red lit twilight of doom. Great fires and smoke rose up from the ground and men gasped for air. The land was rent asunder and swept clean by a mighty deluge of waters. A hole opened up in the middle of the land, the waters entered and it sank beneath the seas".

"The mountains of the East and West were split apart and stood up in the midst of the waters which raged about. The Northland tilted and turned over on its side".

"Then again the tumult and clamour ceased and all was silent. In the quiet stillness madness broke out among men, frenzy and shouting filled the air. They fell upon one another in senseless wanton bloodshed; neither did they spare woman or child, for they knew not what they did. They ran unseeing, dashing themselves to destruction. They fled to caves and were buried and, taking refuge in trees, they were hung. There was rape, murder and violence of every kind".

"The deluge of waters swept back and the land was purged clean. Rain beat down unceasingly and there were great winds. The surging waters overwhelmed the land and man, his flocks and his gardens and all his works ceased to exist.".

"Some of the people were saved upon the mountainsides and upon the flotsam, but they were scattered far apart over the face of the Earth. They fought for survival in the lands of uncouth people. Amid coldness they survived in caves and sheltered places".

"The Land of the Little People and the Land of Giants, the Land of the Neckless Ones and the Land of Marshes and Mists, the Lands of the East and West were all inundated. The Mountain Land and the Lands of the South, where there is gold and great beasts, were not covered by the waters".

"Men were distracted and in despair. They rejected the Unseen God behind all things for something which they had seen and known by its manifestation. They were less than children in those days and could not know that God had afflicted the Earth in understanding and not willfully, for the sake of man and the correction of his ways".

"The Earth is not for the pleasure of man, but is a place of instruction for his Soul. A man more readily feels the stirrings of his Spirit in the face of disaster than in the lap of luxury. The tuition of the Soul is a long and arduous course of instruction and training".

"God is good and from good evil cannot come. He is perfect and perfection cannot produce imperfection. Only the limited understanding of man sees imperfection in that which is perfect for its purpose".

"This grievous affliction of man was another of his great tests. He failed and in so doing followed the paths of unnatural gods of his making. Man makes gods by naming them, but where in this is the benefit to him?"

"Evil comes in to the midst of mankind spawned by the fears and ignorance of men. An evil man becomes an evil spirit, and whatever evil there is on Earth comes either from the evil of spirits or the evil of men".

 

CHAPTER FIVE

IN THE BEGINNING

Now, the Children of God were moulded by the Hand of God which is called Awen, and it manifested according to their desires. For all things which have life are moulded by Awen. The fox, shivering in the coldlands, longs for warmth and so its cubs have warmer coats. The owl, clumsy in the dark, longs to see its prey more clearly, and in generations of longing the desire is granted. Awen makes everything what it is, for all things change under its law.

Men, too, are moulded by their desires, but unlike the beasts and birds their yearnings are circumscribed by the laws of fate and destiny and the law of sowing and reaping. These, the desires, modified by the laws, are called Enidvadew. Unlike the beasts and birds, this, in man, is something relating to him rather than to his offspring, though they are not untouched by it.

Destiny may be likened to a man who must travel to a distant city whether or not he wishes to make the journey, the destination being his destiny. He may choose whether to go by way of a river or by way of a plain; whether across mountains or through forests, on foot or horseback, slow or fast, and whatever befalls because of this decision is fate. If a tree falls on him because he chose the forest path, it was fated, for luck is an element of fate. Destiny leaves no choice, fate gives limited choice which may be good or bad, but it cannot be averted. What is fated must be, for at no point can there be any turning back.

The circumstances, Enidvadew, of the traveler conform to the law of sowing and reaping; he may travel in comfort or pain, happily or sorrowfully, with strength or weakness, heavily burdened or lightly burdened, well prepared or ill prepared. When the destination is set according to the degrees of a former life, then the circumstances of the journey should conform with the desire. For what use is it desiring a great destination when the law of sowing and reaping decrees that an intolerable burden must be carried on the way? Far better to have lesser aspirations. The decrees of fate are many, the decrees of destiny are few.

When the Earth was young and the race of man still as children, there were fertile green pastures in the lands where all is now sand and barren wasteland. In the midst of it was a gardenland which lay against the edge of the Earth, eastward and towards the sunrising, and it was called Meruah, meaning The Place of The Garden on the Plain. It lay at the foot of a mountain which was cleft at its rising, and out of it flowed the river of Tardana which watered the plain. From the mountain, on the other side, ran the river Kal which watered the plain through the land of Kaledan. The river Nara flowed westward and then turned back to flow around the gardenland.

It was a fertile place, for out of the ground grew every kind of tree that was good for food and every tree that was pleasant to the sight. Every herb that could be eaten and every herb that flowered was there. The Tree of Life, which was called Glasir, having leaves of gold and copper, was within the Sacred Enclosure. There, too, was the Great Tree of Wisdom bearing the fruits of knowledge granting the choice and ability to know the true from the false. It is the same tree which can be read as men read a book. There also was the Tree of Trespass beneath which grew the Lotus of Rapture, and in the centre was The Place of Power where God made His presence known.

Time passed and The Children of God were grown strong and upright under the tempering hammer of God, and Earth, The Anvil of God, became more kindly. All was pleasant and food plentiful, but life palls in such places, for it is against the nature of man to flourish in these circumstances. Earth is not for pleasurable dallying, it is a place of teaching, trial and testing.

The Children of God were not yet the heirs of God nor inheritors of godhood, but there was one among them who had almost completed the Pilgrimage of Enidvadew. He had unraveled the tangled skeins of fate and traversed the tumultuous seas of life to the many ports of destiny, and having paid the debts of sowing and reaping was one triumphant over Enidvadew.

He was Fanvar, son of Auma and Atem. He was wise and knew all things, he beheld mysteries and the secret things hidden from the eyes of other men. He saw sunrise and the sunsetting in their splendour, but longed for things not realisable in the place where he lived. So because he walked with God he was culled out from his kind and brought to Meruah, The Gardenplace.

He came to it across the mountains and wastelands, arriving after many days journeying. Weary and close to death because of the privations he suffered, he could just reach the refreshing waters from which he drank deeply, and filled with exhaustion he slept. In his sleep he dreamed and this was the manner of his dreaming: he saw before him a being of indescribably glory and majesty, who said, "I am the God above all, even above the God of your people, I am that which fulfils the aspirations of men and I am that in which they are fulfilled. You, having traversed all the Circles of Enidvadew and established your worthiness, are now made my governor on Earth and you shall rule all things here, guiding them in my ways, leading them ever upwards into glory. This will be your labour and, behold, here is your reward.".

A cloud mist seemed to gather about The Glorious Being, enfolding Him so He was no longer visible. Then the mist gradually cleared and the man saw another form emerging. It was that of a woman, but one such as Fanvar had never seen before, beautiful beyond his conception of beauty, with such perfection of form and grace that he was dumbfounded. Yet the vision was not substantial, she was a wraith, an ethereal being.

The man awoke and sought food from the fruits about him and having refreshed himself wandered about the garden. Wherever he went he saw the wraith, but was unafraid because she smiled encouragingly, bringing comfort to his heart. He built himself a shelter and grew strong again, but always, wherever he went, the wraith was not far distant.

One day, near the edge of the garden, he fell asleep in the heat of the day and awoke to find himself surrounded by the Sons of Bothas, not true men but Yoslings, kinsfolk to the beasts of the forest. Before they could take his strength and wisdom he loosed himself among them, slaying some in his rage and might before the rest ran away. When it was done he sat himself down beneath a great tree, for he was wounded and blood gushed out from his side and gathered thickly beside him. He became faint, falling into a deep sleep and while he slept a wondrous thing happened. The wraith came and lay beside him, taking blood from his wound upon herself so it congealed about her. Thus the Spiritbeing became clothed with flesh, born of congealing blood, and being sundered from his side she rose a mortal woman.

In his heart Fanvar was not at rest, because of her likeness, but she was gentle, ministering to him with solicitude and, being skillful in the ways of healing, she made him whole. Therefore, when he had grown strong again he made her Queen of The Gardenland, and she was so called even by our fathers who named her Gulah, but Fanvar called her Aruah, meaning helpmate. In our tongue she is called The Lady of Lanevid.

Now, God enlightened Fanvar concerning the woman, saying, "This woman was drawn from her compatible abode in a realm of beauty through the yearning aspirations of men. Her coming accomplishes something which would otherwise have taken countless generations, for Earth is more fitting for men to learn manly things than for women to learn womanly ones. This woman is not as other women, being in no way like yourself; every hair of her head is unlike that of a man, every drop of blood and every particle of flesh is that of a woman and quite unlike that of a man. Her thoughts and desires are different; she is neither coarse nor uncouth, being altogether of another, more refined realm. Her daughters will walk proudly, endowed with every womanly perfection and grace. Delicacy, modesty and charm will be the lovely jewels enhancing their womanliness. Henceforth, man will be truly man and woman will be truly woman, men being girded with manliness and women clothed with womanliness. Yet they shall walk together, hand in hand, towards the ascending glory before them, each the helpmate and inspiration of the other". So Fanvar and Aruah lived in contentment amid bounty and fruitfulness, with freedom from afflictions and sickness. They delighted in each other and because of their differences were drawn closer together.

Aruah brought but one thing with her when she crossed the misty frontier, the treasure of Lanevid, the jewel contained in the moonchalice, the stone of inspiration fashioned by the desires of men. Never owned by any but the daughters of Aruah, this, the Lengil, Aruah gave to Fanvar as her dowry and her pledge of purity and exclusiveness. She followed the ways of the cradleland, not the ways of Earth.

Within the Gardenland was the Sacred Enclosure, the domain of Fanvar and Aruah, forbidden to those of The Children of God who had now come to this place. It contained the Chalice of Fulfilment granting any who drank from it the realization of all things to which they aspired. None might drink from this save Fanvar and Aruah. Also there was the Cauldron of Immortality containing an essence distilled from the fruits growing in the garden, and this guarded against mortal ills.

Aruah brought forth a son by Fanvar and he was called Rautoki, and a daughter who was called Armena. Each knew the mysteries of magic and the ways of the stars. In the fullness of time Rautoki married among the daughters of the Sons of God and had two sons, Enanari and Nenduka. It was Enanari who first taught the weaving of cloth from plants, and Nenduka was a mighty hunter. Armena also married among the Sons of God and brought forth a son who was called Belenki and daughters called Ananua and Mameta. Ananua knew the making of pots and things of clay and Mameta the taming of beasts and birds.

Nenduka had two sons, Namtara and Kainan. Namtara had two sons also, Nenduka and Dadam, before dying in the fullness of manhood. Belenki married Enidva and had a son called Enkidua and a daughter called Estartha, meaning Maid of the Morning, and she became a great teacher among The Children of God. This was the Estartha who became the first Moonmaiden, being later called Lady of The Morning Star. Enkidua had a daughter and her name was Maeva.

Outside the Sacred Enclosure, known as Gisar, but forming a gateway into it was a circular structure of stones called Gilgal, and within this was a shrine wherein was kept a sacred vessel called Gwinduiva. This was like a goblet and was made of rainbow-hued crystal set in gold with pearls. Above the cup appeared a shimmering moon-coloured mist like a thin cold flame. At certain times, when the Heavens were in a proper position, the Gwinduiva was filled with moondew and potions from the cauldron within the Sacred Enclosure, making a pale honey-coloured liquor, and this the people drank from the goblet. However, there were different proportions in the vessel for those of the blood of Fanvar and Aruah and those who were Children of God but not of their blood. It was the potion from the Gwinduiva which kept sickness and disease away from those who drank it.

Dadam, the Firstfather, married Leitha and they had a son called Herthew. Dadam then married Maeva who had a daughter, not by him, and this was Gwineva, the cuckoochild fathered by Abrimenid of Gwarthon, son of Namtenigal, whom we call Lewid the Darkfather.

About the land of The Children of God was the wasteland where Yoslings, called The Children of Zumat, which means They Who Inherit Death, dwelt. Amongst these, Namtenigal, the wily hunter, was the most wise and cunning; he alone was unafraid of The Children of God and he alone dared enter the Gardenland.

In the days when Estartha was teaching, Namtenigal often came to hear her words and The Children of God were not displeased, for teaching the wild men about them was a duty with which they had been charged. Namtenigal, therefore, participated in their rites but could not partake of the elixir from the Gwinduiva, because this was forbidden. While it gave health and strength to The Children of God, safeguarding them from the sicknesses of the Yoslings, if given to others it caused a wasting away. It was also altogether forbidden for any of The Children of God to mate with the Yoslings, for this was deemed to be the most unforgivable of sins.

Now, the wily one learned much from Estartha and in the fullness of time brought his own son to her and he became as her son, living in her house and forsaking the ways of his people. Estartha called him Lewid the Lightbringer, for it was her intention that he should be taught the ways of those who walked in light, that he might in time enlighten his own people.

Lewid grew up tall and handsome, he was quick to learn and became wise. He was also a man of the chase, strong and enduring, a hunter of renown. But there were times when the call of his people was strong, then he would go out furtively into the night to indulge in their dark rituals. Thus he became knowledgeable in the ways of the flesh and in the carnal indulgences of the body.

Dadam became a servant of the Sacred Enclosure where the misty veil between the realms could be penetrated, for all those having the blood of Aruah had twinsight, an ability to see wraiths and sithfolk, ansis and spiritbeings, all the things of the Otherworld, not clearly but as through a veil.

Beside the place called Gisar was a pleasant parkland with trees of every kind and a stream, also thickets of flowering bushes and all manner of plants growing lushly. It was the custom of Maeva to wander there in the sunshine and Lewid also went there; so it came about that they met among the trees. Maeva knew the man but had shunned him in the past, now she saw he was handsome, possessed of many attractions, so her foot was stayed and she did not run away.

As the days passed they dallied longer together and Lewid talked of things Maeva had not heard before. She felt a stirring in her blood but did not respond or heed his temptations, because of the things which were forbidden. So Lewid went to the Moonmother, wise woman of the Yoslings, and telling of his desires beseeched her to help him. The Moonmother gave him two apples containing a vile substance which they had drawn through their stalks; this Lewid gave to Maeva who then became helpless in his hands.

They met again after this, for Maeva became enamoured towards Lewid, but it happened that she became ill with a strange sickness and was afraid. Then Dadam became ill and Lewid also, and Lewid said to the woman, "You must obtain the pure essences from within the Sacred Enclosure, and Setina, the Moonmother, will prepare an elixir which will cure us". This he said because none of his kind had ever been able to obtain the Sacred Substances, though they had always coveted what had been denied them. Now, because of her frailty, the woman was pliable in his hands and Lewid seized the opportunity.

To achieve his ends Lewid gave Maeva a potion which had been prepared by the Moonmother and she administered this to Dadam and those with him, by guile and deceit, so that they fell asleep. While they slept Maeva stole from the Sacred Substances and took them to Lewid who gave them to the Moonmother, and she made a brew.

Part of this was given to Maeva and the rest was drunk by the Yoslings, from their awful ankital during their night rites. When the morning came they were all smitten with grievous pains, and before the sun set that day all the Yoslings were stricken with a sickness such as they had not known before.

Maeva took what had been given to her and finding Dadam laid low in his bed gave him a draught from her vessel, though she had to use womanly wiles to get him to drink it. She drank the remainder and they both slept. But when they awoke in the morning both were suffering pains and this was something they had not known before. Dadam said to the woman, "What have you done, for what has happened to us cannot be unless the things which are forbidden have been done". The woman replied, "Lord, I was tempted and I fell, I have done that which is forbidden and unforgivable".

Dadam said, "I am bound by duty to do certain things, but first let us go into the Gisar to the place called Bethkelcris, where I will seek enlightenment". So they went there together and stood before the shrine beneath the Tree of Wisdom. There they were filled with an inflowing vision, seeing themselves as they were and as they should have been, and they were ashamed. He because he had not followed the proper path of a man and she because of her falsity. There, in the reflecting mist, the contamination of the woman was revealed, and the man's heart shriveled within him like a flower licked by flame.

Then they saw a great Spiritbeing materializing in the reflecting mist and he said to them, "Woe to you and your house, for the greatest of evils has befallen the race of The Children of God and it is defiled. The heritage of Kadamhapa is lost. The fetid flow defiling the woman results from the incompatible intermingling, but it is not all, for sicknesses and diseases are also generating from the ferments of the impure implantation".

Dadam said, "The fault is with the woman, wherefore should I suffer?" The Spiritbeing replied, "Because you two are now as one the conkerworms of disease and sickness strike both equally, but you shall not again defile this place. Henceforth, the misty veil becomes an impenetrable barrier severing our two realms from each other, so they can no longer be easily spanned. Between us there will now be no means of communication. Henceforth, man and woman, fated to unite in love divine, shall be divided and set apart, though ever yearning reunion. They may cleave one to the other, seeking the unity which will rekindle the flame, but unless their efforts transcend the limitations of earthly things they will be in vain. The spirit of man is now severed from the whole and cast again into unconsciousness, and it too shall long for reunion with the whole. The spark shall seek to return to the fire, for otherwise it becomes nothing. The web of fate is rewoven and the paths of destiny remade, the design of life is redrawn; again the progression begins in ignorance, birth and death, pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow, success and failure, love and hate, peace and war, all the light and shade, the many hues making the splendidly intricate pattern of life on Earth. This is a new beginning but a beginning not in purity and unencumbered, but one already weighted with debts and burdens".

The Spiritbeing continued, "Enough wickedness has been wrought by your willfulness and disobedience, for the decrees forbidding certain things were for your own benefit. Immortality was nearly within your reach, but had you achieved this you would have brought an even more grievous evil upon yourselves and your inheritors, for freed from servitude to change, you and they would have been unable to progress".

The Children of God were driven out of the gardenland by Spiritbeings, and then guardians were set at its gates so none could re-enter. Then it was withdrawn beyond the misty veil, the waters ceased to flow and the fertility departed, only a wilderness remained. The Children of God went to dwell in the land of Amanigel, which is beyond the mountains of Mashur by the sea of Dalemuna.

From this time onward man fashioned his own spiritlikeness. Some, who were loathsome in aspect even unto themselves, went apart and were mercifully veiled in dark depths, and they said among themselves, "Let us dwell here in the darkness and prepare a place for others like ourselves, so that when they follow they abide here and join us". Thus were the Dark Regions formed and inhabited by demons who are nought but the hideously fashioned spirits of evil men.

These things have been written into the record. In Siboit they used to say this was the manner of man's making, "God sent His creating Craftsman Spirit down to Earth and the reflection of The One was drawn into a spiritless body, and this became the heart of man".

These are the words written by Thonis of Myra in Ludicia in his day:-

"You ask me what is man and I answer: He is life becoming aware of itself. He is the intangible knowing the tangible, Spirit in matter, fire in water. When this first happened, none remembers and only the old folktales remain. There was the beginning and then the garden, and it was in this garden man found himself; before this he was not free, being one with everything about him. As he could not disobey, good and evil could not be, they were non-existent".

"Man became free through awareness of himself, and with this knowledge denied any kinship with the beast. As he was no longer in harmonious relationship with things of the Earth, he became discontented, dissatisfied and restless, he wanted to belong but felt his place of belonging was not there. He had been reborn as a mangod, and therefore it is truly said that man was born of Earth and Spirit, under a tree, the symbol of life, and in a garden".

"There the eyes of the man and woman were opened and, being above the beasts, they knew they were different and set apart from all else that breathed. They separated themselves, being now ashamed of their state and strangers to each other. The carnal satisfaction of lesser creatures now no longer sufficed, they had lost contact with the Source of Love; but, though knowing something was lacking, knew not what. They had fallen into carnal knowledge which only man can know, for only he feels the reproach of divinity. They were removed from The Garden of Content by an inhalation of the Divine Substance and could not return because of the barrier between man an non-man".

Kamelik has written: "The entwined were cut apart and since that day have never known content. They wander restlessly ever seeking to unite again and together find the jewel which is lost to Earth forever".

Lupisis has written: "This first woman, who came from the void, is the eternally glorified goddess, the inspirer of hearts, the ideal of womanhood honoured by all men, the priestess at the shrines of delicacy and tenderness. She was the ideal woman who, because of man's nature, is always tempted by his twinshade, the beast in his form. If the beast triumphs and she falls, the ideal becomes enshrouded in winding cloths of disillusionment, and something is lost to the heart of a man".

These words are also there: "They did not partake of wisdom, and fruit from the tree of knowledge is bitter. Men are denied their true birthright. The fall of man was a fall from loving contact with God into material carnality. The Soul that had shared the consciousness of God fell into unconsciousness by becoming ensnared in matter. The fall severed man from the source of his spiritual sustenance; thereafter his efforts were to struggle back. In his blind groping for God, after the fall he discovered demons and found it easier to worship them than to continue the search".

"God is always waiting, man has only to look up, but it is easier to go down the hill than to climb it. It is easier for man's spiritual beliefs to degenerate than to evolve. Who among men knows the truth and can write with certain knowledge? Would not this certainty be against the Law? No man was there at the beginning to see and write, but of one thing alone we can be sure, The Creating God knows how and why, and could the acts of One so great be without purpose?

 

CHAPTER SIX

DADAM AND LEWID

Maeva fled for her life and many kinfolk went with her. But Dadam was unable to follow, being laid low with the sickness. This loosened his tongue so it became uncontrollable, making him babble like a child, and the sickness covered his body with red sores from which came an issue. Lewid also departed for a place far out in the wilderness.

Those with Dadam, who looked back towards the place of the garden, saw bright tongues of light licking the sky above it, the whole being interwoven with flickering flames in many hues. Those who sought to return were repulsed with a tingling ache over their bodies which increased into severe pain as they approached, so they were driven away.

When Dadam recovered so he could stand, only a few remained with him and they all moved further into the wilderness to a place where there was water and pasture. There Dadam left Herthew, his son, and the boy's mother, with Habaris the Learned, and set out to find Lewid.

After many days Dadam and those with him came upon Lewid and his Yoslings who were full of sickness, and slew many, but Lewid was not slain though mortally wounded, and he lay against a great rock. When Dadam came near, Lewid raised an arm heavily and said, "Hail to the victor and benefactor who was come to terminate our wretchedness". While Dadam stood sternly contemplating him, Lewid said, "To kill me now is your prerogative, for even we lesser being who are far removed from godmen have the law of husbandly pride. What I did has been done before and will be done again, but I erred by crossing an unknown barrier which could not be discerned, for we, within ourselves, are no more contagious to each other than are your people. If then I must die, let it be for my part in spawning the cankerworms of disease which have stricken both our peoples".

"Back in the dreamingtime, when the Great Gods strove among themselves for dominion of the skyspaces, and the wide expanse of Earth was rent apart by unearthly wildfire, Bemotha was cut apart by the bright arrows of Shemas. Then this land was given to my people as their dominion, while yours was in another unearthly place far distant. Our domain was a pleasant place and though you teach that because of this we remained as we are, yet we were content. We know of no great design, nor of any barely attainable objectives to which men must aspire. Such striving as you know is to us no more than purposeless vexation".

"I have my God and you have yours, and as they strove one against the other beforetimes, so will it always be; but now there is a new battleground with new battlechiefs. I will go to my appointed place and you will go to yours, and from thence, as leaders of the fray, we shall wage a never ceasing war. Such is fated and must be, but who will win the fair prize of Earth for their king? We shall not strive with clubs and lances, the hurling stone and flying dart, but with more subtle weaponry. This thing is not our choice, we are but playthings of fate. That you and I should head the fray is not because of our qualities but because we were where we were, when we were. Now we are but two precarious points of life in a hostile wilderness, but what might we be in a hundred generations?"

Dadam said, "These things I know too, for my eyes have always been opened. I too have looked out into an endless plain without any horizon, but I shall lead those who have grown strong through seeking and striving, while those in your ranks will be weakened through indulgence in the fleshpots and pleasure places of Earth. We are the disinherited but not the disowned, we have the seeds of victory within us. You and yours were never more than you are, sons of the easy path, followers of the downhill road".

Then, when these things had been spoken, Lewid died and Dadam and those with him burnt his body. Dadam and those with him wandered the wasteland for many days, then turned southward towards the mountain. Then it happened that one day Dadam was seated apart, in solitude among rocks, with chin on chest, and a hunter of the Ubalites came upon him from behind. The hunter slung a smooth stone as the man turned, and it struck out his eye. Then the Ubalite slew him by smashing in his head with a stone.

The hunter was the son of Ankadur, son of Enanari, king of the Ubalites, by Urkelah, daughter of the Chaisites. This is known because those who were with Dadam came out of the barren places and learned the ways of builders, becoming great among the Ubalites and raising cities along the rivers. Among them was Enkilgal who built Keridor, which stands between the two great rivers, and Netar and Baletsheramam who taught men the ways of writing, setting the letters upon a pillar in Herak.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

HERTHEW - SON OF THE FIRSTFATHER

The Book of Beginnings tells us all things began with Varkelfa, therein called Awenkelifa, from whom flows gwinin, the energizer which stabilizes all things so they maintain their proper form, and awen which responds to the moulding desires. This is well enough, but men concern themselves more with the beginnings of their race, and ours is rooted in Herthew the Sunfaced, son of the Firstfather.

While Herthew was still young he was expelled from the lushlands where he was born, and he journeyed across the hasrshlands in the company and keeping of wise Habaris. After many days they came to Krowkasis, cradleland of our race, land of mountains and rivers, which is beside Ardis, and they encamped there in a valley. With them were retainers and flocks.

Herthew grew to manhood there and always Habaris was at his side, instructing him in all the things he should know. He taught Herthew the Nine essential disciplines of Imain, and the secrets of the three sacred vessels. Herthew learned that there was a place of gloom, where the air was foul and malodorous breezes carried pestilence and poisonous particles. This was the source of all maladies and ailments and of the things which cause putrefaction and decay. This place had been closed off from Earth, for it existed in another realm beyond the ken of mortals; but it had been brought into attunement with Earth when a forbidden act was accomplished. Thus the bodies of mortals became susceptible to influences from the baleful place.

To this and similar parts of the Otherworld the wicked would be drawn when they passed through the grim gates of death. But Habaris taught a different conception of wickedness, one where lack of effort, indolence and indifference to duty and obligations, the taking of the easy path, were just as wrong as actual deeds of wickedness. He taught that men reach the true goal of life by transmuting lustlove into truelove. That true victory is gained only over the defeated bodies of their vanquished passions and baser selves.

These and many other things were taught by Habaris, but many of his teachings displeased the people of Krowkasis who were then as they were before Herthew's forefather was led away. So Habaris concealed many things from them and taught, by simple tales, things within their understanding. He taught them the mysteries concerning the wheel of the years and divided the year into a Summer half and a Winter half, with a great year circle of fifty-two years, a hundred and four of which was the circle of the Destroyer.(ASSUMING 360 DAY YEARS = 52 x 104 x 360 / 365.25 = ~ 5330 YEARS) He gave them the Laws of Weal and Woe and established the folkfeasts of harvest-tide and seeding-tide. He taught them the ritual of Ulisidui.

But Habaris instructed Herthew in the ways of the Otherworld. He taught him concerning the three rays from the central invisible sun, which manifest all things, upholding them in stability of form. Also concerning the Oversoul which filled everything in creation, as the Soulself filled the mortal body. This Soulself, he declared, would develop from mortal sensitivity and feeling transmuted into divine sensitivity and feeling, through suppression of the baser instincts within mortals. It was strengthened by development of feelings of love between man and woman and between these and their kindred; by the appreciation of beauty and devotion to duty; by the development of all qualities that pertain to humans and not to animals.

Herthew learned that the Soulself is quickened by soul substances outflowing from the Godhead. That the strong soul is transformed and moulded to the soul's desire, but the weak soul is not its own master, it is flabby, unstable and is pulled into a state of distortion by its own vices. In the afterlife there is unbounded joy for the entry of a noble soul, it will glow with splendour and stand out proudly. The mean soul of the wicked is dull-hued, twisted and drab, and, being drawn towards its own compatible state, it shrinks into the dark places.

When Herthew had barely crossed the threshold of manhood, black-bearded spearmen began to ravish the borders of Krowkasis, and Idalvar, king of that country, called his fighting men together and when word came to Herthew he prepared to depart. But Habaris bid him stay awhile, for he was unprepared for battle. Then Habaris prepared a strange fire with stones, unlike any fire seen before, and when it burnt low he plucked out that which is called 'child of the green flame' and he beat it out so it became a blade. This he fitted to a horned handgrip and when it was edged and blooded gave it to Herthew, saying, "Behold, Dislana the Bitterbiter, faithful servant of he who strikes hard and true". Then he made a shield of wicker covered with ox-hide and a cap of hide which came down over the face and neck. So equipped Herthew went to the encampment of Idalvar, taking eight fighting men with him.

In those days men fought with hand-thrown spears and clubs, with flung stones and sticks sharpened by fire and weighted, but they did not close in the battle clash. So when Idalvar saw the battleblade of Herthew, he wondered and it passed his understanding; but when he saw Herthew close on the battleline and the foeman fall before him, he was amazed.

No man about the king could understand the making of such weapons, offspring of fire and stone, but Habaris made others and Herthew became the king's right hand man and the first hero of the Noble Race. The king offered Herthew his daughter's hand in marriage, but Herthew declined saying, "The days of my manhood are not yet fulfilled".

When the war-filled days had passed, Herthew withdrew to the place where Habaris made the bright battleblade, and already he had taught the mysteries of their making to others, sealing their mouths with magic. But Herthew was less concerned with the weaponry of war than with the mysteries of life and the battles of the Spirit beset by mortality. So while his workmen drew bright blades from the thunderstones, Habaris taught Herthew and his battlebrothers, and these were the things they learned from his mouth.

"Beyond God there is an Absolute which no man should try to understand, for it exists and has always existed in a state beyond man's finite comprehension. It is from this Absolute that God, The Ultimate in all Perfections, was engendered".

"To create, God first visualized in thought, then He produced an outflowing wave of power which, in a manner of speaking, solidified what might be called building stones. The outflowing power also produced the Celestial Hymn which brought the building stones together in harmonious forms. So it is truly said that all creation is the harp of God and it responds to His song and manipulations. It is an everlasting unfoldment. The voice of God can also be heard in the voice of His beautiful daughter who endows all growing things with life and beauty".

"There is a divine purpose in creation which may be known only to the few, this knowledge is the key to all unanswered questions. Acquiring it is like the drawing back of heavy curtains which have kept a room in gloomy half light, so all things suddenly became clear and distinct. He who gains this knowledge knows the Grand Secret, the answer to the riddle of the ages, and knows beyond a shadow of a doubt. This divine purpose, and the divine secret concerning it, is called Gwenkelva".

"Apart from Gwenkelva God gains nothing from His creation, except that as a Being possessing infinite love and goodness He must have something to receive the gift of love and respond to it. Even among mortal beings, who is there that could find satisfactory fulfillment in self-love? Also, He needed something wherewith He could contract Himself, some medium wherein He could perform, and this is creation".

"Creation is also, for mortals, the school of life. The training ground for godhood. There are Three Circles of Reality, three realms, three stages of existence. They are: Heaven, where perfection visualized on Earth may be realized and desires and ideals materialized; where hard-striven-for aspirations are attained; it is the place where all the properly developed spiritual potential latent in man reaches maturity and fulfillment. Earth, the place of training, development and preparation, the testing ground, the battlefield where men discover their true natures when confronted by life's challenges, contests and contentions; where competition and controversy are the rule. It is here that aims and objectives are conceived and thought-out for realization later in the proper place. It is a starting point, the beginning of the journey; it is here that the proper road must be wisely chosen. Then there is the Realm of the Misty Horizon, the intermediate place, the place of spirits, where those above can commune with those below and where free spirits wander within their limitations".

These things which Habaris taught in those far off days have been rewritten in transmission to accord with our understanding, but it is unwise to voice them in these troublesome days, when words become snares to entrap the unwary.

Now, Idalvar desired to learn the secret of the bright blade engendering thunderstones, but no man who came with Habaris or laboured for him would disclose any part of it, and the king was afraid to put them to the test. So, having thought the matter out the king sent for his daughters and told them what he expected them to do, for he had devised a plan to learn the secret. Then he sent an invitation to Herthew and Habaris. When they arrived at the king's encampment they found a great gathering in their honour and the king's daughters favourably inclined towards them, one smiling upon Herthew and the other upon Habaris who was at the age of hoaryheadedness. Though at first Habaris was indifferent and wearied her, the king's daughter pandered to him, encouraging even his follies, setting out to charm him with her wit and beauty.

It was no great length of time before her womanly wiles ensnared the heart of Habaris and though he was almost ripe for the surrender of secrets, the damsel's efforts had taxed her and the game became tiresome, so there came an evening when she could not endure his company. In the midst of the merrymaking, when the alebowls had made many rounds and the sound of song and story was at its height, she slipped away with a young battleman who attended upon her father. Many who sat among the benches saw this and whispered to one another, nodding knowingly in the directions of Habaris who was not unaware, though he appeared to have drunk to his capacity.

Habaris had learned to love the young woman, so he was sorely heartsmitten, but within himself he knew the tree of Winter love bears only Winter's fruits. Yet he made excuses to himself for her, thinking perhaps it was just some girlishness with no more weight than a floating feather, nothing of serious import, for it was true the merrymaking was better suited to the natures of men than the natures of women. Maybe, he thought, it is just an innocent indiscretion.

So when the day came to its fullness and those who had made merry went heavily about their tasks, Habaris approached the king and asked for his daughter's hand in marriage. He said, "Your daughter Klara has delighted me with her winsome ways, she has charmed me with her gaiety and beauty; she has displayed much pleasure in my company, surely I have not misread the signs". The king was not overpleased, for though he greatly desired to know the secret of the bright blade he had not intended giving his daughter's hand to Habaris, but neither did he wish to offend him. Therefore, he was wary in his reply, saying, "It is the custom for any suitor for a high born woman's hand to be himself highborn and worthily battleblooded. Yet such is my affection for you that I would not let even the custom become a bar to this marriage, and you may be a battleblooded man among your own people. But let us not enter lightly into this thing, for the girl is still young and it would be well if you established yourself favourably with her. She will be a worthy wife indeed, for she is one who is ever ready to learn, one with an enquiring mind. Nothing gives her greater pleasure than the acquisition of knowledge". So the matter was left.

Now, some days later Idalvar and his retinue, accompanied by Herthew and Habaris, went to the gathering place for folkfeasts, some five days journey away. People were accustomed to meeting here every thirteen moons to celebrate the season of fruitfulness, many coming a great distance. Beside the gathering place was the compound of a far-framed seer and warlock called Gwidon, who, in the fullness of the moon on the third night, would prophesy events for the forthcoming year.

Idalvar and those with him presented their gifts and took their places before the compound. Presently, Gwidon came out cloaked in the skins of wild dogs, with a horned crown and skull-headed staff. He seated himself before a small fire into which he threw prescriptions, making a cloud of smoke which completely enveloped him. When this had drifted away he seemed to be asleep, but after a while he lifted his head, then raising himself up he started to prophesy.

He talked awhile of small matters, then told of dangers to the people through enemies who would bear down from the Northlands. He prophesied a great bloodletting, telling people they could be saved by a great war leader, a king knowing the secret of the bright blade, himself a war-wielder of one. He exhorted the people to bestir themselves and prepare, wasting no time in finding their leader.

No man among the people knew the mysteries of the bright blade except Habaris, but he was not a man of battle and Herthew was not high born among them. So, though they talked long they talked in tangles, failing to resolve the issue. It was then decided each should go his own way, but they should meet at the same place again at the next full moon, when Gwidon would be able to help with their decision.

When Idalvar returned to his encampment he was no longer hesitant about the marriage of his daughter, ordering that it should take place forthwith. But he stipulated that Habaris must initiate him and his sons into the mysteries of the bright blade immediately. This being agreed, arrangements for the marriage were put in hand.

Habaris and Klara were married and Idalvar and his sons partially initiated into the mysteries of the bright blade, for the king was told it would take some time for the initiation to be completed. So when they next went to the meeting place, Idalvar was proclaimed the war leader, with his sons to follow according to their ages, should he fall in battle. But Habaris had spoken to Gwidon in secret and matters were so arranged that should the sons of Idalvar fall, then Herthew would become the battle chief.

The king and those with him returned to their homecompound where they were to prepare battlemen, but Herthew was to go back to the gathering place and there train fighting men in the battle tactics which brought them clashing into the fore.

Now, on their wedding night, when they had retired to their bower, Klara burst into tears and fell weeping with her head on the knees of Habaris, confessing she was not a virgin and had deceived him, begging his forgiveness. Habaris raised her up and said, "Even the wisest of men becomes a fool when his heart blinds him to reason. The older the fool the bigger the fool". He did not question her regarding love, for he knew she could not love and deceive him, she had given her heart and with it her virginity to another. Yet he made an excuse for her to himself, thinking that she had not willfully deceived him but had acted out of duty to her father. Also, truly loving someone and wishing to demonstrate that love, she necessarily had to sacrifice the happiness and content, the self-respect of her husband-to-be, the choice had been hers to make. It is ever so. Habaris asked if her father had known how things were and she said, "He suspected, for am I not his daughter?" Thus Habaris found himself tied to an unloving wife, for he chose to disregard the custom of the people. He wondered, was she also to be an undutiful and unfaithful one?

A woman reserves herself for her husband or she does not, according to her marriage criterion. A woman reserved for marriage is one unlikely to be unfaithful; a woman easily come by before marriage is no less attainable afterwards, for if she says love is the criterion, then she measures by something unstandardised, which may figuratively vary from one inch to a mile. A man declaring his love may have seduction in mind or a lifetime of protective devotion, the marriage proposal determines the difference and establishes the intent.

After the marriage the king showed little concern for Habaris, for he kept Klara's young battleman in his retinue when he should have dispatched him elsewhere. Nor did Klara maintain the restraint and decorum, which dignifies wifehood, except in their outward manifestations, which is no more than a deceptive crust disguising the polluted love beneath. Thus Habaris bore the shame of belittlement in the eyes of men, for Klara was furtively unfaithful.

Habaris visited Herthew and on his return told the king that he and his sons would now receive their final initiation. So, having made preparation, they set off, accompanied by Klara, to the place of the thunderstones, this being a deeply cleft mountain wherein there was a large cavern from which flowed a river. Entering the cave Habaris told those with him to bide where they were, for only Idalvar, his sons and Klara were to accompany him into the place of initiation, a small cave entered through a long narrow passage closed off by a heavy door and lit by fire already prepared, a fire which burnt tardily with a blue flame.

When a length of time had passed those who waited without grew uneasy, but it was long before they approached the door and when they did their throats were seized, so they were affrighted and fled, and one among them died. Then those who knew the mysteries of the thunderstones came and cleared the way, and all within the cave were found dead. Habaris did what had to be done, for though it is well for men to conform to the laws of men, there is a superlaw by which men who are men should live and which sometimes decrees that they must die.

Herthew married the daughter of Idalvar and they had a son who died in his seventh year. Idalvar's daughter died in childbirth. The invaders came and were defeated with a great slaughtering, and Herthew became the first king over all the people of Krowkasis.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

GWINEVA

Maeva, one time wife of Dadam, found refuge among people of Ardis where she gave birth to Gwineva the Cuckoochild, but as the child grew it was seen that she had red hair. Though all knew there were fair-haired and dark-haired people, none had ever seen anyone with red hair. Also, Strange maladies had manifested in Ardis for which the strangers were blamed; therefore, because of these things, Maeva and her child were driven out.

They came to a pool near the border of Krowkasis and built a habitation of reeds, living there for many years. However, Maeva was killed by a wild beast and Gwineva was left alone, but she learned much from familiars who came to her, and so she became a sorceress.

Time went by and the half-folk called Yoslings began to gather around her habitation and they thought she was a goddess and worshipped her. As her fame spread, word came to Herthew concerning the strange woman, so he sent men to find out about her and report. Gwineva knew about Herthew, but he did not know who she was or that any child of Maeva lived. When Herthew heard the report he was intrigued and sent men to escort her to him, and she came at his request. They brought her into his presence wearing a cloak of feathers and a garment of doeskin, her hair unbraided like that of other women, falling outside the cloak almost to her knees. He was amazed at the cascade of red hair and his heart was stirred by her beauty.

Herthew gave Gwineva a bower and attendants, but she preferred to be attended by Yoslings whom the people about Herthew despised. They gossiped about the strange woman, for it was seen that Yosling men freely entered her bower, yet her bearing was modest and maidenly, the Yoslings showing her every form of respect.

It was the season of fruitfulness and when Herthew went to the gathering place he took Gwineva with him, but the Yoslings could not be taken there. So they remained behind, but the people removed them. When they arrived at the gathering place and Gwidon saw Gwineva, he was startled, for he had seen such a woman in the darkened waters; but he welcomed her and was surprised at her wisdom and skill at sorcery. When the time came for Gwidon to prophesy and all who came to hear him were gathered about, they became apprehensive, for his coming forth was delayed and the moon began to disappear, eaten away by the blackness of the night. Then, when they started to jostle and flee there was a great shout and Gwidon appeared; as he did, a great fire sprang up on either side of him. The people remained, for each was rooted to the place where he stood.

Gwidon spoke at length, telling them that the nightsky sign heralded a new era. That as the moon grew again in brightness, so should their race wax strong and virile, spreading wide across the face of the Earth, driving lesser races before them. That a son of Herthew would lead their sons out of Krowkasis, and his sons and their sons would continue westwardly, towards Hesperis, meaning Land of Spirits. That there they would meet their final destiny. He told them that there would be a great bloodletting, when brother would fight with brother and father with son, but that this would be the planting of the centrepole around which the framework for the structure of their race would be woven. He said, "I shall go before the vanguard in spirit".

Later, Herthew asked Gwidon to cast the omensticks and read the ashes, as he wished to know things concerning Gwineva. This Gwidon did, telling him that she was his fatemate, one destined to be his wife; that she was indeed a true maiden and he would not be foreridden. He said, "She acts as she does through innocence and not through brashness". But what Gwidon told Herthew was no more than a grain in the grainsack among all that which he knew and saw.

When Herthew returned to his homesite he paid court to Gwineva and asked her to marry him, and this she consented to do after one year. The people, hearing what was intended, were displeased and murmured against the marriage, saying it was unseemingly for their king to marry a sorceress and one strange in so many ways. Also, there was a custom forbidding the intermingling of blood, but there was no doubt as to what she was, some thinking she was one who could be acceptable.

Gwineva was not the bloodkin of Herthew, so as the marriage would not be incestuous Gwineva decided she would say nothing of their relationship, for she was in love with him and love is ever ready to make excuses. Yet, despite her knowledge and wisdom her heart was full of fears because of her background, but she displayed none of her anxieties. She did not feel at ease among the people, but never asked that the Yoslings be allowed back. She tried to become acceptable by ministering to the sick with simples and remedies, but the more she cured and healed the more people feared her, and fearing they shunned her, except they were in dire need of her help.

However, Herthew remained firm in his resolve to marry, though many advised that if he simply took Gwineva as a concubine or as something less than a wife, it would be more acceptable. They said, "None would object if she were treated as a woman with no standing, mate but do not marry, for marriage would grant her undue status, and is marriage so necessary? Does a wise man buy the pie whereof he can freely eat at any time?"

Such sayings enraged Herthew, for he knew Gwineva to be a woman reserved for marriage, and this he tried to tell the people, but they laughed, saying, "She has bewitched you, put her to the test". But he replied, "This is unworthy, for it displays doubt and distrust; a virgin is a virgin, whether named so by horn or wand and remains so whatever the conjectures of carnal-minded men who are more familiar with women of lesser repute". Yet whether the marriage bar applied was still a thing of doubt in the minds of many, for none knew the lineage of Gwineva, nor did she enlighten anyone, though it was customary to recite this at the betrothal. But Herthew and Gwineva remained unbetrothed, though the forthcoming marriage was made known.

Now, the nephews and kin of Idalvar nurtured seeds of discord among the people and because it was a time of peace, when the skills of a warchief were not needed, many heeded their words. So it developed that there were those for Herthew and those against him. Then Herthew said to the people, "Let this not be something to cut people apart, but something which can be decided at the next folkfeast".

The seedsowing time had passed, but it was not yet harvest-tide and the young men held spear-throwing contests and tested each other in many manly skills. At such times, seated on a platform against the palisade, Herthew gave judgement and awarded merits. Inside the palisade was a walkway and places from which great stones could be hurled, and from one such place came a murderous weapon which cut down through Herthew's head to pierce the shoulder of his shield arm, striking him to the ground. Immediately there was a great tumult and confusion, fighting broke out and men died, but Herthew was carried to safety in the bower of Gwineva. There he was protected by his retainers, but within the palisade all was taken over by those hostile to Herthew.

Before the cowardly blow, those for Herthew had been more numerous and powerful, but after he was so sorely wounded they were less, and of these many were inclined to waver, for such is the nature of man. But to contrast with the frail reeds who wavered those who remained loyal were resolute, for this too is the nature of man.

Now, when Gwineva and the wise men attended to Herthew they saw that while the shield arm had been injured it was not unfeeling, for it grasped the hand of Gwineva, but this the sword arm could not do, though it was uninjured. Therefore, they knew the slaughter-bent weapon had been charmed and no woman could remove such enchantment, nor could the wise men, for they were unblooded. In the days that followed, the enchantment caused demons to enter through the wound and take up their abode, so Herthew was tormented and his body wracked before subsiding into the quietness which precedes death. The demons had abused Gwineva and called her foul names and cried out in loud voices against people, so that they should abandon their king.

The place where Herthew lay was near the lakeside and in the lake was an island called Inskris, meaning Isle of the Dead, where those about to die were taken, as well as the dead, before being consigned to the waters. For the people believed that those given into the lake went straight into awareness in the Otherworld, while anyone buried on land was only half aware upon arrival and remained half awake and half asleep for many years. So those loyal to Herthew carried him down to the boats and accompanied him and Gwineva to the Isle and they were not molested, for none interfered with those mourning the dead. On the isle were priests and nine holy maidens who attended to the rites while other women ministered to the newly dead, but Herthew was dead, though halfway across the threshold.

When Herthew arrived he was placed in the hospice house where Gwineva attended to him. Gwidon opened Herthew's skull where it had been cleft and let out the demon which had taken up habitation there, and he brewed powerful potions which removed the enchantment. When, after many days, he departed, Herthew was no longer at the door of death, though weak and in many ways like a baby.

While Herthew lay so sorely stricken, the kinsfolk of Idalvar were disputing among themselves, and this led to fighting and battles. But none came near the isle to harm Herthew, because it was a sacred place and gave him sanctuary. When it came to the time of the folkfeast there was a great battle at the gathering place and Gwidon was slain. There came a day when Herthew, though still not whole, could move about and then he and Gwineva departed with those who remained with them. They were married before leaving their isle of sanctuary.

They fled to a place afar off where, as the years went by, Herthew became whole again and Gwineva gave birth to sons and daughters. It was a good place, fertile and well watered and so they prospered. But there came a time of drought when the waters dried up and their flocks died. So Herthew sent men to Krowkasis and these came back saying that there, too, the land was stricken and the people distressed. He also sent others to the West and they returned saying that there the land was not stricken, but the people would not accept them except with spears.

Herthew then sent men back to Krowkasis to tell the people there of the plenty which lay to the West and they came back with a warband led by Itilis, and many people followed. Herthew could no longer bear weapons and his sons were as yet young and unblooded. Therefore, he gave his two sons who were of sufficient age into the keeping of Ithilis, so they might learn the art of war, and they followed him loyally, becoming men of valour in the conflict which ensued. Many people left Krowkasis and settled in the land lying to the West, and Herthew and Gwineva also settled there.

Time passed and Herthew became renowned for his wisdom, and Ithilis king of Arania, honoured him with lands and servants. Herthew's two sons, who had followed the king and were twins, married the king's two eldest daughters who were also twins. This caused problems, for the king, though having three wives, was sonless, therefore the twin sons of Herthew became his heirs. The king was perplexed, for the two men could not rule together and both were of equal standing in his eyes. Yet it was the king's duty to nominate his heir and proclaim him to the people so there should be no division after his death. Therefore, Ithilis consulted Herthew as to how the judgement should be made, and Herthew said, "Let fate decree who shall be king".

In Arania the people gathered four times a year for the folkfeasts. At such times it was customary for new laws to be proclaimed, judgements given and all contentious issues settled. So before the next folkfeast Herthew prepared a manmade stone from sand, clay and other things, and while it was still soft he set the hilt of his great sword, Dislana the Bitterbiter, into it and when the stone was hardened Dislana was fast. The sword-implanted stone was then set down near the place where the king gave judgement. Around it was drawn a wide circle bisected across.

On the day when the people were first assembled to hear his words, Ithilis told them of his perplexity over the problem concerning the twin sons of Herthew and his daughters, he said, "So the people are not divided and the kingdom rent by strife, it is well this matter be settled now. Therefore, I am setting a fair test involving no men other than these two whom I hold equally dear. Whichsoever of them shall remove their father's great weapon from this stone, so he frees it and grasps the hilt, shall become my lawful heir, with the other being to him as a younger brother. They will each try in turn during the duration of the fall of a feather, the first trier being he who casts his bracelet over the blade. Then each of Herthew's sons was placed in a spot where the bisecting line joined the circle, so they stood opposite each other, and each had three bracelets. They threw until one encircled the blade with his bracelet.

Then this one tried to withdraw the weapon with his hand but could not, because of the sharpness, The other tried by placing his two palms on each side of the blade, then pressing them together while lifting, but he could not move it either. The first one tried again, copying what had just been done more powerfully, so the stone almost lifted off the ground, but the sword did not leave the stone. Then the other approached the stone, but this time he put his hands under the edges of the stone, so he could lift it in his arms and he dashed it down over a rock which was nearby, so it broke asunder. He then picked Dislana up by the hilt and brandished it over his head. The people acclaimed him while his brother grasped his arms in congratulations. Thus, by wisdom was the problem overcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BOOK OF GLEANINGS

Being writings from Various Old Culdee books which were partially destroyed in Ancient Times.

Chapter 1 - MAYA AND LILA

Chapter 2 - ELOMA

Chapter 3 - THE FLOOD OF ATUMA

Chapter 4 - THE DELUGE

Chapter 5 - THE BIRTH OF HURMANETAR

Chapter 6 - THE COMPANIONSHIP OF YADOL

Chapter 7 - THE DEATH OF YADOL

Chapter 8 - HURMANETAR JOURNEYS TO THE NETHERWORLD

Chapter 9 - ASARUA

Chapter 10 - THE DEATH OF HURMANETAR

Chapter 11 - THE TEACHINGS OF YOSIRA

Chapter 12 - THE RULE OF YOSIRA

Chapter 13 - THE WAY OF YOSIRA

Chapter 14 - THE TRIBULATIONS OF YOSIRA

Chapter 15 - THE VOICE OF GOD

Chapter 16 - THE SPIRIT OF GOD

Chapter 17 - THE SONG OF THE SOUL

 

CHAPTER ONE

MAYA AND LILA

This was formerly called The Book of Conception and said to be The First Book of the Bronzebook. It concerns man's conception of The True God in olden days, during the struggle back towards the light.

Once all men were dark and hairy and in those days woman was tempted by the strength and wildness of the beast which dwelt in the forest, and the race of man was defiled again.

Therefore, the Spirit of God was wrathful against woman, for hers was the responsibility to reject the beast within and without, that she might bring forth children of the light to walk in the light; for in man there is beast and god, and the god walks in light and the beast walks in darkness.

Now, because of the wickedness that was done, there are among men those who are the Children of the Beast, and they are a different people. The race of man alone was punished, for the beast acted according to its nature. In man the beast and god strive to decide whether he shall take his place among the gods that live or the beasts that die, and woman, in her weakness, betrayed him to the beast.

Men struggle daily with the beast and wrest their living from the soil, their day being encompassed with strife and toil. So women bring forth children with suffering, and because they are frail their husbands rule over them. Man is conceived in the womb of woman and she brings him forth to life. Therefore, when God raised man up from among the beasts, choosing him as His heir and endowing him with an immortal spirit, He placed a veil over the portals of life. This, that woman should not forget she is unlike all other living creatures and the trustee of a divine mission. For a woman not only gives life to a mortal being, she also bears a spark of divinity to Earth, and there can be no greater responsibility.

The eye that sees earthly things is deceitful, but the eye that sees spiritual things is true. Then, because of the things that happened, the Great Eye that saw Truth was closed and henceforth man walked in falsity. Unable to perceive Truth he saw only that which deceived him, and so it shall be until his awakening.

Not knowing God, man worshipped Earth who mothered him and supplied his needs. God was not displeased, for such is the nature of children; but when no longer children they must put aside childish things. Nor, having blinded them, was He wrathful that they could not see, for God is, above all else understanding. The face of a good father is stern and his ways are hard, for fatherly duty is no light burden, but his heart is ruled by compassion. His children walk in Truth and uprightness, their feet do not wander, nor are they willful and wayward.

Man is born of mud, sun and Spirit. In the days of conception the Spirit of God impregnated the receptive Earth, and she brought forth her children. Then came man who walked like a little child, but God took him in hand and taught him to walk in the uprightness of God.

A race of men came out of the cold northlands. They were under a wise father and above them was The Grand Company which later withdrew in disgust. This race was The Children of God; they knew Truth and lived in the midst of peace and plenty. The Children of Men about them were wild and savage; clothed in the skins of beasts they lived like beasts. Even more wild were the Men of Zumat who lived beyond them. Among the Children of God woman had equality with man, for her counsels were known to be wise. She heard with understanding and her speech was considered; in those days her words were weighed, for then her tongue did not rattle in her head like seed in a dried pod.

Woman knew that though man could subdue her with his strength, he was weak in his desire for her. In his weakness lay her power and in those days it was used wisely, it was the foundation of people. The race was good, but because of its goodness it was destined to be smitten, for only the good vessel is worthy of the fire. It is burnt, that its shape may be set and its design endure. This path of peace is not the path of progress.

The people were not governed by princes or by statutes, but wise men sat in council. They had only a code of conduct and moral tradition binding each one to the others in symmetrical web of life. Those who transgressed the code and tradition were deemed to be unworthy of life among the people and were banished into exile.

Among The Children of Men woman was a chattel. She was subject to man, an object for the satisfaction of his lust and the servant to supply his needs. He subdued her and kept her in servitude, for her betrayal of man was known even among them, and it was never forgotten, nor could it be forgiven.

The Children of God valued woman highly and protected her from crudeness and cruelty, and her standing was such that she was awarded only to the most worthy of men. They held her in respect, for to them she was the fountain of life within their race, the designer of its future. Yet even so they had to restrict her, for she was inclined to be wilful and unheeding of her responsibility.

The people flourished and, from generation to generation, grew in stature and comeliness. They were the rising tidewaters of mankind surging towards its destiny. The right of a man to mate was decided according to his standard of thought, his uprightness, the manner in which he upheld the code and tradition and his dealings with man and woman. The fittest men could choose a mate among all woman, but lesser men could seek only among the less desirable, according to a known standard. To some, having only the outward appearance of men, no mate was given, while the noblest men could take additional ones from among the ranks of lesser women. Thus, the race ever tended to improve, to accord with its design.

The council of the people knew well the strength of man's desire for woman. The force of the urge was not wasted, for their forbears had harnessed it to the vehicle which carried their race to greatness above others. The race which could properly channel the forces contained within itself was ready to control the forces beyond itself. The greatest forces man can harness to his benefit are those lying within himself, but the underlying strength of the people lay in the morality of its women, for this was the strength that governed, because it was the safe guard for something of value. Men strive for gold, and value it because it is something not easily attained. If gold would be gathered by the handful, men would scorn it, its power is in its scarcity.

Then it happened that one man became arrogant in the strength of his manhood and pride of place, his thoughts inclined towards himself rather than towards the welfare of the people. He scorned the old ways, declaring the code and tradition an unnecessary burden laid on the backs of men. He said, "Why should we carry the burden of things which have come down to us from our fathers? How do we know they walked with wisdom? How can we say that what was good for them is good for us?" Because of his unruly speech and wayward ways, the council banished him for a time and had he remained apart, his heart would have been humbled in wisdom. But among The Children of God there was a woman, one of the most desirable and fair, who interceded for him so he might return to dwell among them, it being in their code that the wayward could always regain their place.

The woman sought him out in the wilderness and, coming upon him,. said, "Though, because of my heart, you appear to me as the finest of men, in the eyes of the elders you are unworthy to claim me. Therefore, I have spoken for you; now come, go before them yourself and say the wilderness has changed your ways. By so doing you will find favour with the council and, perchance, I may become your mate. The strength and courage I admire place you high in the regard of men and in favour with the elders, but your wayward and inconsiderate spirit is unworthy of your body. Though you find favour in the eyes of the young and foolish women who see only the outwardness of your body and thereby become more foolish, the eyes of the wise women see your naked spirit and are not deceived. Therefore, disregard the glances of foolish maidens and carry yourself well. Act in such manner that you find favour in the sight of the wise women". And, said she, "Am I not Maya, the most desirable of women, one whom all men seek? Yet will I remain reserved only for you, therefore be not unworthy of me".

The man came out of the wilderness and wastelands. He went before the council of wise women and said, "What must I do that I may have this woman for a mate? For I desire her above all things, even above my own life. For her I will become the most worthy of men among the people, her standard being high I may not possess her otherwise". The wise women answered him, saying, "For so long shall you conduct yourself in this manner", and they set him a time and a task. That it should be well, the task was to be done with heart as well as deed, but the man accepted it gladly, his heart not in that day but in the days to come. The council and the elders said, "what the wise women have done is good, it will be well and to the people's benefit".

The man rose manfully to the task and was magnificent in his manhood, his new ways gladdening the hearts of all the maidens, many of whom were disturbed by strange stirrings within their breasts. Among these was one less comely and desirable whose heart burned hotly for him, her thoughts resting upon him continually; but she knew that in his sights she was of little account. Here name was Lila.

It happened that, arising early one day, she saw the man depart into the forest by the swampland, going about his task, and she took counsel with herself and followed him. She came upon the man while he rested in a place of solitude and approaching spoke softly, saying "It is your servant Lila. O my Lord, are you not weary with the task burdening your days, also that you lack companionable gladness to lighten it? Where is she who set the load upon your strong back? Where is my kinswoman who, without doubt, is more comely and very much more desirable than I and therefore a very fitting reward for your heavy labours? Does she rest in the shade or is she gathering fruit back in the gardens? Without doubt her thoughts are with you, but is she not unduly hardhearted in that she fails to comfort you, for is it not in the nature of woman to come to man and lighten his burden with her softness? Is it not in the nature of woman to be yielding and submissive, that man may rejoice in his strength? Is it, perhaps, that despite her loveliness the heart of this woman of your desire is not the heart of a woman? Is it like the mock orange, sweet to look at but bitter to bite?

"Or is her heart in the keeping of the elders, that she prefers the ways of the old to the ways of the young? What has she done to you, has she not humiliated your manliness by harnessing it like an ox to the customs of the people? Can it be right that the decrees of old men long dead should come between living man and woman? Is it not more fitting that the customs of men submit to the law of Her who gave us our natures? This desirable woman is yours, providing you toil and wait. She is yours, but not without conditions. She does not come without reservations as a woman should, but like a man who comes to an ass bridle in hand. Alas, that I lack the loveliness which places the yoke upon you, but beneath I lack nothing and am as much a woman as any. My heart burns for you with a flame that comes nigh to consuming my body. Take me, accept my humble offering. I give all freely, I will be yours without any conditions. O my Lord, which of us women truly offers the most? She who concedes nothing, or I who will even be accursed by God and men for your sake? I who am nothing in your sight require no sacrifice from you on my behalf. I ask nothing and I offer all a woman can". Then Lila knelt at the feet of the man and placed her head on his knee.

The man was sorely troubled in his body and he wrestled with it, but his spirit brought before his eyes the vision of the more desirable maiden, and he was strengthened. He arose and said, "Begone and tempt me no more!"

Then Lila departed and went her way, but within herself she brooded and in the course of days her thoughts hatched a dark scheme. She mixed a forbidden potion from herbs and, putting it into a pitcher of water with honey, took it to the man as he toiled in the heat of the declining day. Seeing her, the man said, "Wherefore have you come again?' And she answered him, saying "My Lord, your servant brings a much lesser offering, one you need not fear as you did the greater one, a humble gift of refreshment". The day being hot and the toil arduous, the gift was not unwelcome. The man drank heavily from the pitcher and because of the potion his spirit slept while the beast entered his body in strength.

When the fire of his passion was quenched by the waters of lust, his spirit returned and he reviled the woman, saying, "What have you wrought? Would you destroy me in this manner?" The woman replied, "The deed is yours, my Lord, for you are a man and I am a woman". Then the man became afraid, for he knew the code and custom. He became angry after the manner of frightened men and shouted, "Begone from my sight, you viper, lest I crush you!" Lila answered quietly, "My Lord, why be wrathful or afraid without cause? For this thing shall be a secret between us, none will ever know of it. Behold, my Lord, are you not free again and the yoke removed from your neck? Now you may know the joys a woman can give, without submitting to the task; therefore, take your ease, for life is good to you".

The words of the woman were not sweet to the ears of the man, for he was filled with remorse for what had been done. He said, "You are not the maiden of my tender desires, in whom my heart delighted and for whom I gladly undertook the task. What now of her whose beauty compares with the glory of the sun, whose gentleness caresses as the sunbeam, beside whose brightness you are no more than a gloomy shadow? Lila replied, "She is indeed as the sun, you may worship from afar but never touch lest you be burnt and destroyed".

"I am the woman of your body whom your flesh has chosen. What has this other woman done for you? Did she not sharpen the sword on which you cut yourself? If one lights a fire among reeds, knowing a man sleeps there, who is to blame for his burning? The fire, he who lit it or the reeds? It is beneath your manliness to turn on me thus, am I not shamed for your sake? And who among women would invite the wrath of gods and men as I have done? Be content with the wrong your lust has already wrought. This is an evil deed you have committed, but because we are now united in the flesh no harm shall befall you through me".

Thenceforth, among the people they went their separate ways, but flesh called to flesh, bringing them furtively together in secret places. Each dwelt with the reproachful whispers of their spirit, and each walked in the shadow of fear because of the code and tradition.

Now, the elders were not without shrewdness and they saw that the man was no longer diligent in the task and had returned to his former ways. Also he avoided the eyes of Maya and was no longer reserved with women, having sampled forbidden fruit he now sought other varieties. He was not a man with an end in view towards which he strove, his bearing was not that of a free man. The glances between the man and the woman, and their uneasiness, were not difficult to interpret.

The elders and wise women said among themselves, "Such is the manner of those carrying a burden in their hearts, whose shadowy love is a feeble furtive thing blooming shamefully in dark and hidden places". Therefore, they set a watch on the pair. The watch came upon them as they lay together in nakedness upon their skins and mocked them with ribaldry, for their passion was profane and a thing for jest. It was a fungus upon the tree of love.

They were brought before the high council, which was the council of elders, and the council of wise women, which questioned them, saying, "Wherefore have you done evil unto us?" The man answered, "The woman put my spirit to sleep with an evil brew, and my body became weak because of my manhood". They replied, "Truly you have little manhood now and are a lesser man because of this woman".

The woman stood up before the high council and answered them boldly, "Am I then the stronger of the two? Can I lift the biggest stone or run the fastest race? Do not the strong always prevail against the weak, and is not this man the strongest among men? Is this even a matter for your concern? For in what way have we caused harm to any but ourselves? Shall we be punished for that which concerns us two alone and wrongs no other?"

The high council replied, "The deeds of any person affecting the lives of others are the concern of others. Though it were done in secret between yourselves, were not the effects displayed in your eyes for all to see? Does the man serve the people better because of this thing, or does he serve them less well? Has something been added to the people, or has something been taken away? Have not the people lost?"

"Therefore, is not that which you did the concern of the people and not of yourselves alone? The deed of itself was not wrong, except in the manner of its accomplishment. A woman who places no value on herself steals something from all women, for they are then less valued in the eyes of men. Would men value gold were it gathered by the wayside? Above all this, what of God-given love? Have you elevated or degraded its means of expression among men and women? Among people who value gold above all else, he who debases or adulterates it commits a wrong against them. Here, where love is valued above all else and woman honoured as its custodian, those who debase it are regarded likewise".

"We dwell in a pleasant place, amid peace and plenty, an inheritance from our fathers. The Children of Men have inherited the wastelands. Are our fathers less wise than theirs, that the customs of our fathers should be spurned? What you have done relates to your two selves and by your two selves shall your punishment be carried out. This is not a punishment for any wrong done to us, for we are old and it affects us little. We punish because we have a duty to the young, to the unborn of our race. We have an even greater duty to the hallowed things which inspire mankind and enthrone man above the beasts".

"Your wrongdoing affects no one man or woman, yet it affects all men and women, and if left unheeded would not be without effect on children yet unborn. The code and tradition is the pillar of our people, and the pillar may not be struck with impunity. Though it be strong and one blow will not damage it, many blows will bring down even the stoutest pillar. A blow left unheeded encourages another. A deed disregarded is a deed encouraged".

"A people can be judged by the things it punishes and the things it permits. The swine revels in filth and therefore attacks anyone who enters his pen. Were we wholly of the Earth, we need only protect earthly things".

"Thus we banish you for ever from among us, unless in your old age you are permitted, in mercy, to return".

In this manner were the man and woman banished from the tilled land to wander the wilderness beyond. They dwelt in a cavern in the wasteland, against the outer border of the tilled land, and they ate weeds and wild creatures. There they were in a place defended from hostile men and made safe from ambushes. In the first days of their banishment the man was wrathful against the woman and spoke to her spitefully, saying, "Like a lamp that gives no light you are a woman without womanly virtue, no longer deserving of the honoured treatment accorded women of our race. You spoke truly when you said that I am strong and you are weak. So be it, henceforth your weakness shall be my strength; no longer will the weakness of man be the strength of woman and the backbone of a people clinging to things without substance. Henceforth, I am obligated to no one and owe a duty to none but myself. Man is weak only in his desire for woman, but the weakness of woman shall henceforth assure satisfaction of the desire".

So the man subdued the woman after the fashion of The Children of Men; she was the wife who ministered unto him, saying "My Lord, I am but a woman and your handmaiden".

The beast of the wastelands were the keepers of the woman and she was in bondage to the barrenland, for the wilderness was beyond reach of the waters, a place of desolation yielding only weeds and thorns. The man hunted afield for wild creatures while the woman delved for roots, seeking sustenance among the weeds.

Thus it happened that one day, being overcome with hunger, the woman went among the reeds growing on the edge of the tilled land, for flowering plants grew there, the roots of which could be eaten. While engaged in gathering she was seen by a husbandman tilling the fields, who, coming upon her stealthily, said, "Woman I see you, are you not the one who was banished? If so the custom decrees you will have to die, for it is forbidden to re-enter the fertile land, having been cast out".

Then the woman, being still in the water, loosened her girdle and, letting down her hair, said, "honoured I may no longer be, perhaps die I must, but am I not still a woman while I live? If you see me otherwise than as a woman who can please a man by the ways of women, then I say you cannot be a man. Yes, I am the woman your brother seduced, the frail victim of his lust. Perhaps it is better that I die quickly by your hand than starve slowly in the wasteland. Death can hurt me no more than life which has revealed me to the evil of men. Let me die now for the wrongdoing of your brother". So saying she came out of the water.

The husbandman did not slay, but instead he dallied with her until the evening. The woman said, ere he departed, "This shall be a secret between us, for there is none other nearby to see us here. Give me food, that my flesh may be firm and my heart gladdened, that I may come often to this place".

Thus, in the days that followed the woman went many times to the waters and in other places where there were other men. Therefore, she no longer had to delve for roots, nor did she toil in the wilderness.

Then The Children of God banished other men into the wastelands because of the woman, and the man, seeing how this came about, said, "Is my affliction because of you never to end?" The woman answered, "My Lord, this thing I did for your sake; see these others, are they not outcasts in the wilderness, men without a chief to rule over them or a hand to guide? Gather them together, that they may hunt for you and serve you, rule over them and become powerful. What I have done I have done for you alone. To your strength will be added their strength, and the loss of the people in fertile lands will thus become your gain. What is there that strength cannon obtain? If your desire is for other women, will not strength obtain them? Therefore, revile me not, because I have now placed in your hands the means to that which you desire".

"Now I say to you, and speak truly of things only a woman can know, that you are a better man than those who live bound to the tilled lands, whose women secretly despise them for their servility to the code and tradition".

The man was stirred up by these words and went out and about to the others, approaching them, saying, "Behold, we have been cast out because we have followed the ways of men according to the nature of men. Our manhood is good within us, let it therefore assert itself so our strength may be greater".

So it came about that the men who were outcasts entered the fertile tilled land stealthily at night time, burning the houses and overthrowing the water towers, saying, "Let this land rejoin the wilderness".

They slew menfolk and carried the women and children away. They stole sheep, goats and cattle. Then they withdrew to the fastnesses of the wastelands. There they built an encampment and fortified it about with walls and ditches, and they made war upon The Children of Men and prevailed against them. They ruled their women sternly and made them chattels, buying and selling them like cattle. When man said "Come", the woman came, and when he said "Go", she went. On her yielding back and on her submissive head he dissipated his wrath, on her servile body he satisfied his lust.

Lila was a true daughter of the woman who betrayed the first race of men. It is written of her that when her sons grew to manhood, she caused then to kill and eat their father, so they might gain lifelong strength and wisdom.

Man kept woman in bondage, for he knew from his own knowledge of her ways that she was not to be trusted. Henceforth, she could not walk freely among men, for they knew that though woman was weak and man strong, by womanly guile she could exploit his weakness. Among the outcast people and The Children of Men woman was subject to man, and he imposed his will upon her and dominated her.

In this manner woman wrought her own downfall and the destruction of those who held her in high regard. Her charms she cast at the feet of those who trampled them underfoot. Woman was not yet fitted to be the free guardian of the portals of life. She was never wise enough to choose the fathers of the race, for she was ruled by womanly waywardness, not by wisdom.

 

CHAPTER TWO

ELOMA

It came about that the sons of The Children of God mated with the daughters of The Children Men, who knew well the ways of men and were not reserved. The covenant had been broken and strange women were taken into the households, some even as wives, but though the daughters were lesser women, the sons were wonderfully big and mighty fighting men.

These new people came out of the wastelands and crossed to Kithermis, which they divided in three parts between them, and there were rivers on the boundaries. This was when the years of man's life were lessened because he became fully Earth-sustained, but he remained full of vigour though filled with hostility, particularly towards those who loved.

To the East was the land of Ubal which was mountainous and the Ubalites were herdsmen. Westward was the land of Chaisen and it joined Ubak on the North. Southward were the land of Utoh and the land of Kayman, whose peoples dwelt on the plains and tilled the soil. Some from the households of The Children of God went into the land of Chaisen and gave the people laws and taught them to build with brick. Netar and Baletsheramam, the sons of Enanari, taught them writing and set their letters on a pillar in Herak. Enkilgal, son of Nenduka, built Keridor which stands between two rivers.

Then came the lengthening of the years, when the time of sowing was confused and seed died in the ground. In those days, Enos came up out of Chaisen and spoke for the god of The Children of Men. In those days, there were many having the blood of The Children of God who inclined their ears towards his words, for they thought the Great God of their fathers had abandoned them. Therefore, the enlightening word of God came to Eloma.

Eloma, daughter of Kahema, heard the voice of God and was carried into the wilderness unto a place where there was a cave and clear running waters, and she dwelt there for seven years. Eloma had three sons and they all heard the voice of God and walked with Him. Her firstborn son was Haryanah and he carried the word of God to the Children of God who dwelt in the Northlands, for they had forgotten His Ways. He married Didi, daughter of a great king and became an even greater king; he had many sons who all became kings among men of renown. Yahama, her secondborn son, carried the word of God to those who dwelt towards the sunrising, and Manum, her thirdborn son, carried it to those towards sunsetting.

When the ear of the Spirit was opened in Eloma, she returned to her people and became The Interpreter of God. In the days when some men left to dwell among The Children of Men, others came to Eloma and said, "Behold, men leave and we become weak, while The Children of Men become strong. Can this be the will of our Father?" Then Eloma called upon God and He heard her cry and said unto her, "Let your spirit be at peace, for things happen as they will; it is the grain being winnowed from the chaff. It is always easier for men to follow the ways of the flesh than the ways of the spirit, yet the deeper man descends into the vale of earthly things, the harder the climb out to the heights of glory. A generation to go down, ten generations to rise again. Man must struggle or degenerate, but the path of pleasure is pleasant, while the path of progress is beset with pain and strife".

God said to Eloma, His servant, "Behold, I have been good to My children, they have been given everything that is pleasant, everything has come easily to their hand. The lot of The Children of Men is more harsh and yet they prosper. Childish things are expected from a child, but when it grows up more is anticipated, yet still My children come to me as children".

God then said, "Go, return to the place from whence you came and remain there for seven years" and she did so. The seven years passed and Eloma returned to the people and, behold, the fertile fields were unsown, the water channels were dry and there was desolation in the midst of the waters. Eloma sought among the fields and when she came upon the habitations her heart was rent apart. For she saw the daughters of The Children of God consorted with the sons of The Children of Men and were become unlike true women. Then Eloma said to them, "Wherefore has this thing come about?" And they answered, "Behold, men came from out of the wilderness and our men were like sheep before wolves; see, even now they labour within a pen of servitude". Eloma then went unto the men and said, "Wherefore has this thing come about?" and they answered her, "Behold, the god of The Children of Men is, unlike ours, a god of battles and we were delivered into their hands".

Then Eloma was heavy of heart and called upon God, saying, "Behold the plight of Your children" and God heard her and answered, "I am not indifferent, for their sufferings are My sufferings. They are not under the whips of men but under the flail of God, the grain is being separated from the chaff. They toil not under the blows of men but under the hammer of God, they are not imprisoned but are upon an anvil. I am not the God of battles, not the God of nations, not even the God of men. I am the God of Souls, The Keeper of the Treasures of Eternity. I have not turned away from My children, My children have turned away from Me, disobeying my laws. This cry will echo down through the generations of man: "My God, why have You deserted me?" And it will come from those who have deserted their God".

"Arise, go seek among the people and you will find a maiden who is pure at heart, but she is mocked and degraded by being made a swine attendant. Take her with you and go to Shinara, guard her well, for she is the daughter of a new dawning". Eloma sought among the people and found Nanua, Maid of the Morning, and they went into Shinara.

The Voice of God came to Eloma in Shinara, saying, "This is the way things shall be with those who aspire to godhood. They must follow only the paths which I have shown through the words of My interpreters. The unfolding spirit residing in those who have the blood of The Children of God and the greatness that dwells in men shall be magnified in the blood of their children. Their wisdom shall be greatly multiplied, if the tie of blood be strong. As good wine become bad if diluted overmuch, so is greatness in the blood of man. There is a virtue in the blood of those whose forbears were The Children of God, and if two people having this blood marry, then this virtue is increased in their children, so it is greater than either parent. There is a law of inheritance from which no man is exempt, for man is governed by the laws of earthly creatures as well as by greater laws. Is not the best ram chosen to sire the new flock? So let women choose the best among men that they can and let men choose the best among women, and they who heed My words will know which is the best. Let the truly great ones rule".

God said, "The creative words remain on this side of the veil, but their echoes resound on your side. The real remains here, but its reflection is there; creation is My mirror, though it is not without distortions. I have created in spirit and in matter, My thoughts have ranged from the unseeable smallest to the incomprehensible largest. My greatest thoughts formed substance for the spirits of the sons and daughters of Earth".

"Truth and justice, perfection of beauty and goodness remain with Me, and these you can know on Earth only by their reflection. In the universe of Truth all things are free from illusion and are seen in reality, but on Earth even the reflection is distorted. I have crated light and called it substance; it is illuminated within by the light of an ever present love potential".

"Men call on many gods, though above all there is but One; yet whatever they call Me I will hear them, for I am The God Above Names, The God Embracing All Names. Whatever men believe, if it serves Good it serves God. But gold necklaces are not for sheep and outward forms of worship must suffice for the spiritually undeveloped. The rituals of men may often be empty ceremonials, but they may also guard the Great Mysteries behind them".

"If a man seeks to enter My presence by prayer and says, "God grant me this or give me that", the thing will be neither granted no given, unless it be for his spiritual good or benefit another. I am no huxter bargaining blessings in exchange for worship, nothing man can give can add to what I have. Also me do Me little honour when they fail to recognize that I am above concern for mere bodies which decay and fall apart when the enlivening spirit leaves them. Yet man is but man, know that I am a God of understanding and compassion. If man cries out to Me, in genuine stress and suffering, he will not go unrelieved and uncomforted. Yet understand that suffering and sorrow are the lot of man, that he may become Mangod. There is also the Great Law to which man must conform; there are intricacies of enidvadew to be unwoven and the challenging paths of destiny and fate to be followed. Too often the price to paid for things done or not done is pain and suffering, sorrow and distress, but where would be the benefit to the debtor were I to wipe out such debts? Yet will I see that never, be even a single grain, will they exceed that which is absolutely necessary and just. On earth, joy and gladness will always outweigh pain and sorrow".

"Earth is Earth, take it as you find it, do not expect to find heavenly things there. It is a place of tuition and the purpose of life is learning. All things of Earth are limited and mortal, immortality will not be found there. When the things of Earth have fulfilled their hidden purposes, each passes away, returning to the dust from whence it came".

"Behold, in the days to come Truth shall be unfolded to all peoples, revealed in a degree and manner which will accord with their needs and capabilities. It will be passed on from generation to generation and from man to man. The purity of its flame will accord with the quality of the oil of spirituality with which it is fed and replenished; hence there will be many differing degrees of purity and revelation. The food which one man enjoys may sit heavily on the stomach of another, yet it would be foolish to say that the food enjoyed by one should become the food of all. So it is with the spiritual things which men believe".

"I will not send prophets, nor will I appoint spokesmen, but such will arise through their own efforts and enter into conscious union with Me. They will point the way, which will be followed by the spiritually sturdy, but others less strong in spirit must take a slower path, and many will advance only by faith and service, by justice and kindliness towards others".

"The spark of divinity in man generates inspiring dreams which will ever lure him onward and upward, yet the road is long, the journey wearing and often unpleasant. Man has unnecessarily encumbered himself, he has enshrouded his spirit under a winding sheet of earthly passions. With his Great Eye blinded by indulgence in vice and his spirit corroded by corruption, his fallible senses only are left to him, and these deceive him into believing the mortal vehicle is his total being. Affliction and decay are now the lot of man and he has passed into a long, dark night of ignorance. Now only by journeying the long and painful road of earthly experience can his soul be cleansed and awakened to the realization of the glory within him".

"Man may conceive Me as he will and it will be well. I am not a God of pettishness. As I brought forth the creation, so shall he bring forth the revelation of his God. Unto you, Eloma My child, I grant the keys of Communion and Union".

Then Eloma went out among the people and taught them about their Creator in this manner, "I bring you the soul-whispered words of God, The Eternal Tower of Strength, The Fathomless Ocean of Compassion. He has hung the Earth in the void, surrounding it with nothingness, yet by His power it remains in its appointed place. He veils His glory behind the shield of illusion, lest it overpower the spirits of men. He is obscured by the dark cloud of mortal ignorance. He is the inspirational spirit ever entering the hearts of man, striving to arouse them to reach out towards greatness and achievement".

"He has moulded the sky above us and bedecked it with splendour and awesome beauty. He taught the stars their song of joy and the winds their wondrous music. All the widespread Earth proclaim His creativity, while the high vaults reveal His skill and handiwork. His messages go out to men, not in the speech of men but in wordless whispers to their hearts. His finger prescribes a course for the fertilizing waters which nourish the desolate sands, making tender buds burst forth from the dead soil. The soft waters caress the ground and pastures arise to become the habitations of great flocks and herds".

"The rose unfolds its beauty to honour Him and the woodbine delights Him with perfume delivered upon the wind. The cornfields bow in humility, then the wheatstalks raise upwards in praise. The trees spread wide their worshipping branches and the barleyheads whisper together of His sungiven bounty. He is the Fountainhead of All Life, the Overseer of the Fertilising Waters and the Captain of the Stars".

"Men stand beneath the great dome of the nightskies and are overawed by the work of their architect and by the bright mysteries displayed in such a pattern of beauty. They become dismayed at their own smallness, but are reassured by His words which have come down to them from ancient times".

"God has crowned man with life and set the scepter of intellect in his hand. He has given him the flail of mastery over all other living creatures and set him on the throne of creation. He disciplines us when young and stretches out a welcoming hand when we near the end of life's journey. He accompanies men on their pilgrimage along the road of life, mitigating their misfortunes and rejoicing with them in its pleasant surprises. He balances the lives of all men, so they continually encounter conditions and situations meet for them".

"The widespread, mysterious Heavens are His throne and bountiful Earth His footstool; no structure man could build would contain Him. Did He need a residence, no place built by the hands of man could compare with that which His hands could erect. There is nothing on Earth that man can give God which could add to God's glory or increase what He has. The only acceptable sacrifice man can offer is service to the will of God, and God's will is that man should spiritualise himself and improve the Earth. To offer goods or money as a sacrifice is an insult to God, it is shirking the needful effort, evading the necessary duty and obligation; it is the easy way and not acceptable".

"God is the refuge of the poor and the comforter of the needy. His compassion encompasses men when troubles weigh heavily upon them. Yet tribulation and adversity, sorrow and suffering are not to be thought of as needless burdens imposed upon the difficulties inseparable from earthly life. They are things of value which open the eyes to Truth, tempering the spirit, as iron is tempered in the flame".

Eloma taught many things and she forbade any man to fornicate with unwedded matrons whose silver tongue beguiled and whose winsome ways led men astray. She also decreed that men should not fornicate with any maid or another's wife , for none so doing could call himself an honourable man, and such deeds canker the spirit.

It was Eloma who taught men the wisdom of the stars which journeyed according to their destinies. She taught them to interpret the pattern of each man's life, which is woven from the threads of fate and destiny and interwoven with the many coloured strands of enidvadew. These things were learned and written down by Ishkiga.

 

CHAPTER THREE

THE FLOOD OF ATUMA

Behold, was this not written in the days of our fathers' fathers and of their fathers before them, and given unto us that we should pass it in to you, the children of days yet unborn? That if the ability of the scribe remains with you it could be read in your generation.

Read, O children of the unborn years, and absorb the wisdom of the past which is your heritage. The enlightening words from a past which is to you, in days so far away and yet in Truth so near.

We are taught that we live forever, and this is true, but it is equally true that no moment of life must be wasted; for each hour and day on Earth is a shaping for the future. We are the inheritors of a portion of time, we can dissipate it on futile things or utilize it to our everlasting benefit. In the days of our fathers, before barren teachings clogged the thoughts of men, and vain, formal ritual built a wall which obscured understanding, men walked in the light of Truth. Then they knew there was One God alone, but because they allowed their higher abilities to fall to disuse, they saw less clearly. Because He appeared in different aspects, they thought He was many.

Now, in our days, God has many varied forms in the eyes of men and each declares he alone knows the true name and likeness of God. Here all men fall into error, though all have spoken truly according to their understanding. But Truth can never bow to the limited understanding of man, the comprehension of man must expand to grasp it.

In olden times there were spawned great monsters and beasts in fearful form, with frightful gnashing teeth and long ripping claws; an elephant was but a cat in comparison with them. Then, because of heavenly rebellion and turmoil, and the terror overwhelming the hearts of men, The Great One hardened the face of the land, which had become unstable, and the beasts were changed to stone. This was beforetimes, when the Destroyer still slumbered in the upper vaults of Heaven.

Thus, it is written in the record of Beltshera; In those days the people were wicked and though the wise men among them gave many warnings of the wrath to come, they would not listen, such is the way of the wicked. So it came about that the Chastening Spirit became stirred up against them because of the odour of wickedness arising from the Earth, for her nostrils abhor the smell of evil. This is a smell no man can know, for as the hounds know the smell of fear, which no man can detect, so can other beings know the smell of wickedness.

The great floodgates which are above Earth were all opened. Thus, the floodwaters rose up to cover the land and great rainstorms lashed down. The winds could no longer discover their destinations.

The people left the plain of Shinara and fled up into a great mountain rising above the flatlands below, and here, near the summit, they camped. Feeling themselves secured, the wicked mocked, saying, "No water can ever reach up here, for there is not enough of it in Heaven or Earth". Still the waters rose ever higher and the mouths of the wicked were silenced. The priests of the people danced and chanted in vain, and many rituals were performed to appease the wrath above.

There came a period of quietness, then the people built a gateway to Heaven wherein the Chief of Interpreters might commune with the Other Realm. He entered into the silence and cast his spirit, and when he had done so it contacted the Chastening Spirit which men call by other names. Her voice was heard within his heart and it said, "I am that which has been called forth by the odour of wickedness arising from the bodies of men, which no incense can disguise. For as the smell of putrefaction assails the nostrils of men, so does wickedness give forth something which assails us in this realm. Wickedness is, therefore, an offence against us. If a man threw filth over the wall into your courtyard, would you not consider this an act of hostility? Could any among you live in harmony with those who were insensitive to your own sensitivity? Thus, I am awakened to happenings in the world of men and am now clothed in a performing substance".

The Spiritbeing said, "I have no desire to unduly punish men. Go out to the people and tell them that if they will but mend their ways and walk no more in the path of wickedness, I shall depart". But when the Chief of Interpreters returned to the people he found them fearful and distraught, clay in the hands of false priests, devotees of the baleful gods. The false priests were crying out for a sacrifice to their gods and had seized Anis, a young man more handsome than any other, a messenger and runner between cities. Then, though they whispered fearfully among themselves concerning the deed, the people had seized Nanua, handmaiden of Eloma, the Enlightened One, whose life was dedicated to Illana, for she had cried out curses upon their heads when the young man was taken.

Nanua and Anis were held by the false priests and about them surged the great mass of the people, and though the Chief of Interpreters raised his voice it went unheeded. Then the mass of the people moved down to the water's edge and there they stopped while the priests shouted prayers to the gods raging above. All the Heavens were darkened with great rolling clouds and there were high winds and lightning about the mountain top. The people rent their garments, the women wailed and men struck their forearms. Anis was beaten with a club and delivered to the waters.

Then, as he who wielded the club turned towards Nanua, she said to those about her, "Let be, I will deliver myself to the waters, for if I must be sacrificed I would be a better sacrifice so given". Then she went down to the waters, but as her feet entered she drew back from the cold dark watery depths before her. But as the one who wielded the club moved forward, a young man, Sheluat the Scribe, a man of quiet ways, neither handsome nor strong in body, pushed forward and, taking her by the hand, went down into the waters with her.

The waters had risen high and men shared the place where they stood with wild beasts and with sheep and cattle, but now the tumult quietened and the waters drew back. Seeing this, the people shouted praises to the baleful gods and cried out, "Great are the mighty gods, and great their holy priests!"

The Chief of Interpreters went sorrowfully apart, hiding himself, for now he was fearful for his life. When the waters had subsided, he cast his spirit and entered into communion with the Chastening Spirit, and he said, "Shall I also enter the falling waters as a sacrifice? For life is now futile, as I am without God or honour". The Great One answered, "Men see in events the things they wish to see, they can interpret only according to their understanding. The waters rose to their limitations and did not fall because of the needless sacrifices. The Powers above may ordain events to chasten men, but more often such events are challenges and tests. However, divine intervention is rare indeed".

"These priests follow another, a longer path, but they too condemn wickedness and they too point the way to Truth, though that way may be indirect and beset with hazards. So whether they or you reached the ears of the people the odour of wickedness will be diminished. Divine ends are achieved by diverse means, and the eyes of few men are opened to see either the means or the end".

"Life is never futile, but your sacrifice would be. No man can lose his God, for He is always there; but the prestige of a man because of that God such prestige is a worldly thing of little real value. How do you know whether you have lost or gained? Events of the moment cannot be weighed in the moment, but can be assessed only by the judgement of the years. Only eternity knows whether this or that was good or bad, a gain or loss".

Then the Great One opened the eyes of the Chief of Interpreters, so he saw beyond the earthly border into the realm beyond. Behold, he saw Anis who had been strong and handsome on Earth, and now he was something not pleasant to gaze upon. He saw also the true beauty of Nanua who was now a being of dazzling loveliness, and beside her was Sheluat who had always loved her secretly, and he was now glowing with youth and handsome as Helith. The Chief of the Interpreters then understood that evil could be transmuted into good, and that men had little knowledge of the true nature of things.

Upon the mountain there is now a grove of trees and a temple built in the form of a circle of white stones, where the people remember the day of their deliverance. But what they recall and what happened are not the same, nor is the cause in their minds the true cause. They say, "We are the children of Atuma who saved us". Many who have gone often to the Temple of Deliverance say they have seen two shades, one radiantly beautiful and one gloriously handsome, wandering hand in hand through the trees or sitting in the sunlit glades. All about is now a place of peace.

Men walk under the shadow of dread and fear of unknown powers fills their hearts. They have fashioned images in the likeness of the things which frighten them in the gloom of their ignorance, and they spurn the real for the unreal. Did they see more clearly they would know that the things they fear are but gentle and sturdy hands which can lead them to fields of contentment.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

THE DELUGE

It is written, in The Great Book of the Firehawks, that Earth was destroyed twice, once altogether by fire and once partially by water. The destruction by water was the lesser destruction and came about in this manner.

The people of those times spurned all spiritual things and men lived only for pleasure, caring little for the good of mankind or the future of the people. Lewdness and lies were upon the tongues of all men and brother could not deal justly with brother. The princes and governors were corrupt and proper tribute was not paid, the statues were held up to scorn. The lives of men were ruled by their desires and they spent their days in gluttony, drunkedness, fornication, dancing and singing to instruments of music.

The land was unattended, for men dissipated their strength in unproductive lusts and pleasures. Women lacked shame, for many would cast their glances after one man. Men fought among themselves and even slew one another because of their lusts for worthless women, while the chaste women were not sought. They were even rejected, for men declined the effort of being worthy of them in the eyes of their fathers. Wives were unhonoured and only the women of pleasure commanded the attentions of men. Women were unclean and immodest and men lay with them shamelessly in the presence of one another. Old women were more lustful than the young ones, while virgins were seduced and corrupted in their childhood. Fathers fornicated before their sons and were admired for their prowess. They made no distinction between their sons and other men, or between their wives and other women. Deceit and violence were seen on every hand.

To the East and North were high mountains upon which dwelt a tribe called The Sons of Nezirah, The Men of the Mountains, who were hardy men and mighty hunters, skillful in the chase and valiant in battle. The men were upright, their wives were faithful and their sons noble. In their hearts were no unworthy thoughts, no envy or hate, no malice or deceitfulness. They did not smile before a man's face, uttering smooth words, then when he turned his back reach out to stab him. In their wives and daughters there was no impure longing, and neither cursing nor lying was heard among them. The womenfolk respected their men and maintained decency and decorum.

Yet they were men with men's ways, abhorring all forms of unmanliness and degeneracy. Therefore, the treasures in the cities of the plains and the weakness of the people to whom these belonged did not go unnoticed by The Sons of Nezirah. So they said among themselves, "Let us go down and do a good deed among these people, let us show them the ways of men who are strong, making them slaves and possessing ourselves of their goods". This talk continued among the men in the marketplaces and gatherings, until they were stirred up to deeds, and they gathered together a warband of fighting men. The Mountain Men chose leaders from among themselves, after their custom, and prepared to fall upon the soft-living people of the plains and become their masters.

When the chiefs of The Mountain Men saw what was happening, they became wroth and ordered their men to return to their flocks and pastures. The chief of chiefs stood up before the gathered warband and said, "It is our decree that this thing shall not be done, you must not go down from these mountains bringing the sword to these people. Leave them alone, as rotted fruit is left on the tree to whither and die. Leave them to follow their own ways a little longer and in the fullness of time they will destroy themselves. Make no widows among your own people. If you go down there carrying fire and sword, you may find a trap laid for you among the fleshpots. The attraction of their pleasure and the temptations of their luxury is, to strong men such as you, like the lure the flame has for the moth. Do not lay yourselves open to destruction, even though the manner of its accomplishment be pleasant. If you must destroy this people, then destroy utterly so nothing remains. They are many while we are few, and though by the keen hardhitting sword we may prevail in battle, yet might we not be lost under a deluge of soft feathers? Will you be wise enough to sup on milk and honey without being drowned in it?"

For a time the fighting men heeded the words of their chiefs, for they were neither willful nor reckless, but there were some among them who went down to the plains in peace. They returned with tales of treasures and pleasures awaiting below, reporting that the time was ripe for an attack, the warmen hired by the lowlanders having departed. For in those days the gods of Sharapik strove against the gods of Elishdur and Ladek. Then the fighting men disregarded the commands of their chiefs and, choosing war captains from among themselves, went down and fell upon the people of the plain.

The people of the plain bowed before the strength of the men of the mountains. They did not fight, for among all their possessions they regarded their lives as the most valuable thing, precious above all else. They said, "Take whatever we have, our riches and harvests, the treasured things from our dwellings, even our daughters for your amusement, but leave us enough that we may live under your shadow". The sturdy men of the mountains were sickened by these half men who had lived for three generations without fighting, and they despised them.

The battlehardened men who had come down from the highlands took whatsoever they desired. The plainsmen demurred, but because their stomachs turned to water before the virility of their conquerors, their protestations were words of wind. The victors clothed themselves in plundered finery and indulged themselves in the wines and delicacies of the food tables. They slept in beds of luxury and dissipation, every want being attended to by the vanquished. They learned the ways of sensuality which goes with soft-living, and when sated with natural pleasures some lightened their boredom with unnatural ones. The Mountain Men saw that the women of the cities were beautiful but they were not modest, casting their charms before the masters, unashamed; so it followed they were taken when required and treated as chattels. The women did not complain, though hitherto they had stood equal with their menfolk, but woman's equality with half men is not something of value.

With women like this the men placed no restraint on their lust and went from excess to excess. The women, rejoicing in the strength and vigour of the men, said among themselves, "Here are men indeed such as we have not known before". Then, in the manner of women, they turned away from their own men and from the households of their husbands and fathers, for now they despised them. They threw off all womanly restraint and grappled with the victors like ravening beasts, and the strong were vanquished by weakness. Always do women behave thus when their menfolk are defeated in battle, it is for this men fight.

None came to do battle with the victors, for they who had fought for the gods had destroyed themselves and in the fullness of time the victors, too, were destroyed by the fleshpots, by fornication and drunkenness, by ease and luxury. Their fighting strength and valour departed with the passing years, they grew fat and slothful. They who had come down in manly array to fight and win, who could not be challenged in battle by the lesser men of the plains, were eaten up in the mansions of pleasure, in the drinking booths, with music, wine and fine linen.

Upon the mountain and in the mountain homes there was weeping and sadness among the women. Fields were untilled and cattle strayed away, sheep went unplucked. The best craftsmen were gone and few remained willing to learn their skill, the teachers of learning taught no more. The gnarled hand that had wielded the sword and terrorized the foe now plucked the strings of psaltery and lyre. The rough jerkins and corselets were cast off and now garments were of fine linen dyed purple and crimson. Men arrayed their softening bodies in gaudy attire and bathed in scented waters. They rejected their own women for those of the cities whose hands and feet were stained with bright colours and whose faces were marked with blue.

One day, from afar off came three men of Ardis, their country having been stricken by a mountain burst. They were worshippers of The One God whose light shines within men, and when they had lived in the two cities for a number of days they were stirred up in their hearts because of the things they saw. So they called upon their God to see these evil things. Their God sent down a curse upon the men of the cities, and there came a strange light and a smoky mist which caught at the throats of men. All things became still and apprehensive, there were strange clouds in the skies and the nights were hung with heaviness. Many days passed before a northwind came and the skies cleared; but then, when women conceived they bore devils. Monstrosities came forth from their wombs, whose faces were terrible and whose limbs were unproportioned.

In those days men knew the art of working clay and making linen in bright colours, and also the use of eye paint. They had knowledge of herbs and magic, of enchantment, and the wisdom of The Book of Heaven; the knowledge of signs and omens, the secrets of the seasons, of the moon and the coming of the waters.

The remnants of the Sons of Nezirah remained upon the mountains which are against Ardis, by the land about the encampment of Lamak. In Ardis there were wise men filled with the inner wisdom, who read The Book of Heaven with understanding and knew the signs. They saw that the deeds of men in all the lands about the mountains had brought them to their hour. Then the day came when The Lady of the Night changed her garment for one of a different hue, and her form swept more swiftly across the skies. Her tresses streamed out behind in gold and copper, and she rode in a chariot of fire. The people in those days were a great multitude and a loud cry ascended into Heaven.

Then the wise men went to Sharepik, now called Sarapesh, and said to Sisuda, the King, "Behold, the years are shortened and the hour of trial draws nigh. The shadow of doom approaches this land because of its wickedness; Yet, because you have not mingled with the wicked, you are set apart and shall not perish, this so your seeds may be preserved". Then the king sent for Hanok, son of Hogaretur, and he came out of Ardis, for there he had heard a voice among the reeds saying, "Abandon your abode and possessions, for the hour of doom is at hand; neither gold nor treasure can buy a reprieve".

Then Hanok came into the cities and said to the governors, "Behold, I would go down to the sea and would therefore build a great ship, that I may take my people upon it. With me will go those who trouble you and they will take the things which cause you concern; therefore, you will be left in peace to your own enjoyment". The governors said, "Go down to the sea and build your ship there, and it will be well, for you go with our blessing". But Hanok answered, "It has been told to me in a dream that the ship should be built against the mountains, and the sea will come up to me". When he had gone away they declared him mad. The people mocked him, calling him Commander of the Sea, but they did not hinder him, seeing gain in his undertaking. Therefore a great ship was laid down under the leadership of Hanok, son of Hogaretur, for Sisuda, king of Sarapesh, from whose treasury came payment for the building of the vessel.

It was built on the Lake of Namos, close by the river of gold, where it divides. All the household of Hanok was there and the household of his brother who directed the men at the task. Dwyvan, captain of ships, from the land beyond Ardis, was overseer of the craftsmen. The women and children carried and the men built. The length of the great ship was three hundred cubits, and its breadth was fifty cubits, and it was finished off above by one cubit. It had three storeys which were built without a break.

The lowermost was for the beasts and cattle and their provender, and it was laid over with sand from the river. The middle one was for birds and fowls, for plants of every kind that are good for man and beast, and the uppermost one was for the people. Each storey was divided in twain, so that there were six floors below and one above, and they were divided across with seven partitions. In it were cisterns for water and storehouses for food, and it was built with askara wood, which water cannot rot or worms enter. It was pitched within and without and the cisterns were lined. The planks were edged and the joints made fast with hair and oil. Great stones were hung from ropes of plaited leather, and the ship was without mast or oars. There were no poles and no openings, except for a hatch beneath the eaves above whereby all things entered. The hatch was secured by great beams.

Into the great ship they carried the seed of all living things; grain was laid up in baskets and many cattle and sheep were slain for meat which was smoked by fire. They also took all kinds of beasts of the field and wild beasts, birds and fowls, all things that crawl. Also gold and silver, metals and stones.

The people of the plains came up and camped about to see this wonder, even the Sons of Nezirah were among them, and they daily mocked the builders of the great ship; but these were not dismayed and toiled harder at the task. They said to the mockers, "Have your hour, for ours will surely come".

On the appointed day, they who were to go with the great ship departed from their homes and the encampment. They kissed the stones and embraced the trees, and they gathered up handfuls of the Earth, for all this they would see no more. They loaded the great ship with their possessions and all their provender went with them. They set a ram's head over the hatch, pouring out blood, milk, honey and beer. Beating upon their breasts, weeping and lamenting, the people entered the great shop and closed the hatch, making it secure within.

The king had entered and with him those of his blood, in all fourteen, for it was forbidden that his household go into the ship. Of all the people who entered with him, two understood the ways of the sun and moon and the ways of the year and the seasons. One the quarrying of stones, one the making of bricks and one the making of axes and weapons. One the playing of musical instruments, one bread, one the making of pottery, one the care of gardens and one the carving of wood and stone. One the making of roofs, one the working of timbers, one the making of cheese and butter. One the growing of trees and plants, one the making of ploughs, one the weaving of cloth and making of dyes, and one the brewing of beer. One the felling and cutting of trees, one the making of chariots, one dancing, one the mysteries of the scribe, one the building of houses and the working of leather. There was one skilled in the working of cedar and willow wood, and he was a hunter; one who knew the cunning of games and circus, and he was a watchman. There was an inspector of of water and walls, a magistrate and a captain of men. There were three servants of God. There was Hanok and his brother and their households, and Dwyvan and six men who were strangers.

Then, with the dawning, men saw an awesome sight. There, riding on a great black rolling cloud came the Destroyer, newly released from the confines of the sky vaults, and she raged about the Heavens, for it was her day of judgment. The beast with her opened its mouth and belched forth fire and hot stones and a vile smoke. It covered the whole sky above and the meeting place of Earth and Heaven could no longer be seen. In the evening the places of the stars were changed, they rolled across the sky to new stations, then the floodwaters came.

The floodgates of Heaven were opened and the foundations of Earth were broken apart. The surrounding waters poured over the land and broke upon the mountains. The storehouses of the winds burst their bolts asunder, so storms and whirlwinds were loosed, to hurl themselves upon the Earth. In the seething waters and howling gales all buildings were destroyed, trees were uprooted and mountains cast down. There was a time of great heat, then came a time of bitter cold. The waves over the waters did not rise and fall but seethed and swirled, there was an awful sound above.

The pillars of Heaven were broken and fell down to Earth. The skyvault was rent and broken, the whole of creation was in chaos. The stars in the Heavens were loosened from their places, so they dashed about in confusion. There was a revolt on high, a new ruler appeared there and swept across the sky in majesty.

Those who had not laboured at the building of the great ship and those who had mocked the builders came quickly to the place where it was lying. They climbed upon the ship and beat upon it with their hands; they raged and pleaded, but could not enter inside, nor could they break the wood. As the great ship was borne up by the waters it rolled and they were swept off, for there was no foothold for them. The ship was lifted by the mighty surge of waters and hurled among the debris, but it was not dashed upon the mountainside because of the place where it was built. All the people not saved within the ship were swallowed up in the midst of raging confusion, and their wickedness and corruption was purged away from the face of the Earth.

The swelling waters swept up to the mountain top and filled the valleys. They did not rise like water poured into a bowl, but came in great surging torrents; but when the tumult quietened and the waters became still, they stood no more than three cubits above the Earth. The Destroyer passed away into the fastness of Heaven and the great flood remained seven days, diminishing day by day as the waters drained away to their places. Then the waters spread out calmly and the great ship drifted amid a brown scum and debris of all kinds.

After many days the great ship came to rest upon Kardo, in the mountains of Ashtar, against Nishim in The Land of God.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

THE BIRTH OF HURMANETAR

Hanok had three brothers by his mother and one by Sadara, two were with him on the great ship and one was saved in Megin. Hanok ruled all the land of Bokah, and his sons, Labeth and Hatana, were born at Nasira, after the great ship became fast.

His brothers divided the water-washed land between them. One went to Tirdana and built a city there, and he ruled the western waters. One ruled the eastern waters and the swamps down to the waters of the sea. The other raised up Eraka in the midst of them, and he was the greatest. The city of Eraka stood for a thousand years, but in the days of King Naderasa the people made great images with faces of gold and bodies of brass. Children were offered to these demons conceived in wickedness. Then God in His wrath unleashed the winds and they were swept through the city as a whirlwind. The gold-faced images were thrown one against another and were broken, they fell and were buried under their temples. Eraka was then removed from the eyes of men.

All the cities were rebuilt and the kings were dead; the people had multiplied greatly when Lugadur, he who taught the working of metals, was born. He was the mightiest of kings and his deeds are known to all men and written in his books.

Wisdom came to the land by the hand of our father Hurmanetar who was called Hankadah, born at Egelmek in the land of Khalib under Eraka, of Nintursu, Maiden of the Temple, by Gelamishoar, Builder of Walls, son of Lugadur the Metalworker, son of Dumath the Shepherd, son of Gigitan the Tiller of the Soil.

In the days when the mother of Hurmanetar carried him under her heart with pain, the king, his father, had a dream. He saw a woman and knew he had just lain with her but could not see her face clearly, for whenever he almost recognized it the likeness changed to that of another. The woman was purifying herself over a bowl of incense, and while so doing she made water. Then a great cloud of smoke arose up from out of the bowl and filled all the room, and it went out through the doors and filled all the city and all the temples of the city.

The following night the king was disturbed by the same dream. Therefore, knowing he had received an omen, upon his arising he hastened to send a messenger to the Temple of the Stargazers. Two wise men came and he told them concerning his dream, requesting that they read its meaning. Having heard the words of the king they, thereupon, left, going away to consult The Book of Heaven to discover what was written in the future concerning such a matter. In two days they returned, coming in unto the king as he sat within the hall of judgement, and they bowed before him saying, "Woe unto us your servants for what we have to say, for thus it is written. One is to be born of a woman whom you have ravished and he will be a slayer of kings, a destroyer of temples and a contender with the gods. He is one born to be great among men and his hand will be against you".

Hearing this the king bethought himself of the women he had taken by force, but they were many and scattered. So he sent again for the wise men, requesting their aid, and the wise men received his words.

Now, the wise men knew these things were written of a son to be born to Nintursu, but they were perplexed not knowing what to do, for she was a Maiden of the Temple of the Seven Enlightened Ones, which had been built in the days of Sisuda. If the blood of one thus born were shed or its breath stopped within the boundaries of the land, the corn would perish within the furrow and the blossom would fall from the trees, so that they yielded no fruit. Yet the wise men were not loath to bring down the wrath of the king upon this temple, for it was one whose god had but small estate yet it paid no tribute to the god of the land. Nor did they desire to deceive the king in this matter, for if by perchance the deceit were uncovered they lost their protection.

The wise men, therefore, went before the king and spoke thus, "O king, light of our lives, we your servants have discovered this child, though it is yet unborn. It is to be born of a maiden bound to the Temple of the Seven Enlightened Ones; therefore, its blood may not be shed on land worked by the hand of man, nor may its breath be stopped. So now we say unto you, send those who are your most trusted servants and let them take this maiden and carry her away to a place afar off. If it be beyond the boundaries of this land, the child when born, can be slain there and no evil will befall the lands of our god." Hearing these words, the king remembered the Maiden he had taken for his pleasure, for while hunting he had come upon her as she bathed. Neither the temple nor its god were known to him and he had no fear of its priests.

The king called his chamberlain to his side, a man most trusted, and charged him, saying, "Go take this Nintursu, this temple maiden, and carry her into the land of Kithis, entering by stealth. She is with child and when it is born slay it letting its blood fall upon the soil in the land of Kithis".

The chamberlain prepared and departed, taking with him men of blood and their captain. They traveled so they came upon the temple at first light in the morning. Nintursu was taken and they left ornaments of gold and silver.

Now, Nintursu was not delivered of the child when they came to the boundary of the land, so they camped there and in the days that followed men went out to spy. The captain was a man skilled in war and courageous, a man of many battles, and Nintursu spoke often with him. But between her and the chamberlain few words were spoken.

It happened that when Nintursu's time was upon her and the child to be delivered, it was the days of full moon; therefore, the child could not be slain, so they bided until the dark of the moon. Then, when the order of things was right, the chamberlain called the captain and said, "This is a task for a man of blood and I am not such a one, therefore you take the child and slay it over the border. Seven men will go with you, that all these may bear witness to the deed and swear to it".

Now, the men of blood were grim men of battles, strangers to soft beds and gentle ways of women, but some among them were the companions of Nintursu during the first days of her motherhood. Also there was one whose father had been a worshipper at the Temple of the Seven Enlightened Ones before it was abandoned by all who followed the king. There were those who murmured, saying, "This is a task for those in high places who speak with honeyed tongues and carry concealed knives that stab in the back, this is not for fighting men".

It was true. This was no task for men of clashing metal, it was a deed more suited to squeamish-stomached courtiers; but, lacking backbone, these have ever needed others to do their dirty work spawned through intrigue and conspiracy. Lord, hasten the day when real men are no longer manipulated by half men!

The captain put the child into a basket prepared by Nintursu. It was placed upon an ass. Then he and his men went over the boundary to a place where neither tree nor grass grew; but about ten bowshots distant a stream ran through it to water fields and pastures in the valley below. When they stopped, the captain took down the basket and opened it, but when he gazed upon the face of the child his heart held his hand. He was a man of battles who slew in war, a slayer of men in combat, not a weak-kneed man of intrigue and slayer of children. He closed the basket and said to those who had come with him, "We will bide our time here until nightfall. If we loose the blood of the child here it will be absorbed into dead soil and do no harm, but if we carry it further, down into the valley, it will fall on living soil". None with him answered, for they were but simple fighting men knowing not that the blood could have been let into the waters. Or maybe they understood the heart of their captain.

The captain said, "It is hot, we have time enough before those who dwell below are asleep; therefore, let us drink wine and rest awhile". So they drank wine which had been brought and rested; becoming drowsy they eventually fell asleep. Darkness fell.

Now, the ass had not eaten since the morning, nor had it drunk at the stream and the captain of men bided his time, for he had a plan and this was a place known to him. In the gathering darkness he put the basket, with the child inside, back on the ass. It was a good place of concealment, under an overhanging rock, with thickets of thorn all around while below the ground fell away steeply, being covered with rocks and loose stones. Only the captain knew how, in the darkness, a large stone was loosed from above, bringing down many others with it, so that stones fell all about the place where the men lay under the overhang. They were heavy with wine, they shouted, they stumbled and fell; one was struck by a dart, another by a spear; there was a clash in the darkness though none was killed. The ass, loosed from its halter, fled and none could stop it.

Wrathfully the captain shouted, "What kind of men have I been given, why have you not brought trumpets to announce our coming? Who can see the ass among the bushes or hear it among the stones? Then, as lights appeared below and the voices of men were heard in the night, they withdrew.

Coming to a place of safety the men took counsel among themselves, for the captain of the men said, "If you would go unpunished for this night, then you must slay me now; even then, can you return without me? Also, who knows where the blood will flow? Therefore, shall we not all say, with mine own eyes I beheld the blood of this child and know it is dead? Are we men of wisdom who live, or are we foolish ones who die? Thus, borne on the back of an ass Hurmanetar came to the land of Kithis.

 

CHAPTER SIX

THE COMPANIONSHIP OF YADOL

Concerning our father Hurmanetar, these things were written in the scroll of Pakhamin, scribe of the Firehawks. Generation had grown out of generation and the Lord of Light and Life had hidden Himself, for He knew the Nature of man and none could find Him. Time passed and they sought Him no more.

Then high riding, ass borne, came one who was to reveal the Light to men, praises to the Lord of Light and Life for Hurmanetar the Lightbringer! He wandered the hillsides among shepherds who tended their flocks with care, and he learned their ways. This was the wisest of men and his body was filled to overflowing with manly powers; wide striding he measured the mountains broad pastures. In anger his face burned like the sun at noontide, while in benevolence it shed the calm glow of the moon in the night quietness. In courage and skill none could match him. He was a child like no other, before others crawled he stood upright; he learned his letters at three years, he could read and write at five, he taught those who attended the temple with him when he was seven. He was ten when his foster-father joined his fathers and the estate was divided through the women. At twelve he changed the course of the river falling down from the mountains to lead it through new pastures, and thus his mother became rich. At thirteen he was sent to the Shepherd of the City and trained with spear and shield. At seventeen he slew the king's right hand man and fled to the mountains of Akimah.

Like a beast of prey he wandered at will, he was the mountain dweller, firm of limb and swift-footed, taking according to his whim from those who passed his way. Mighty was his bow of anshan wood, sinew-strung it sped swiftly his straight-shot arrows.

High on the mountains wandered another, Yadol his name, one who lived on herbs and wild honey, tall and long-haired, for no knife had ever touched it. His hand tamed a wild wolf cub and it was his companion, wherever he went it followed. The wild beasts did not molest him and he walked freely among them.

Hurmanetar was a trapper of wild breasts and he dug a pit at the place where they came down to water, and other traps were set. Yadol passed that way and the pit was filled in and the traps broken, the ensnared deer was set free. When Hurmanetar returned and found the pit filled in and the traps broken, his heart was seized by a whirlwind, he raged against the skies, he swore against the trees. He sought, for days he sought but could not come upon Yadol the evasive one, the cunning one. His traps were useless, his pits a vain labour. He hungered and because he hungered became less cautious. When he lay in wait among the bushes to waylay men who passed, he was not held back by thought of their number but loosed his arrows and leapt among them. Hurmanetar attacked stormy-hearted; like a whirlwind he attacked, but when they saw he was one alone they stood fast. Hurmanetar turned back into the bushes, but arrows sent after him found their mark.

For three days he lay in his place upon the mountain and his leg swelled up and he thirsted, for he could not get water. He lay in a body of pain and his spirit prepared to depart from him. A wolf came and his hand sought a stone, but weakness held his arm, so it could not be cast. Then lo, the wolf licked his hand and departed. Then Yadol came, in his hand was a skin filled with fresh water and he knelt beside. Hurmanetar and gave him a drink. Yadol dressed the wounds and brought herbs to eat, and so it came to pass that Hurmanetar grew strong again.

Thereafter, Hurmanetar and Yadol dwelt together within a cave among the mountains, but Yadol would neither slay for meat nor eat of it. Yet they roamed the wide mountains together in joyous companionship, and their days sped swiftly by. But Hurmanetar longed for other things and therefore was tempted to attack men who passed, for he desired fine meats and garments and ornaments for his body.

These things were brought to the ears of the king and those about the king said, "Let us take men and go up into the mountain and slay this wild hill wanderer, this manslayer and robber". But the king bade them hold their hands, for he desired to see the man for himself, he wanted him taken alive and he said, "Should any man slay him, that man is mine". The king, therefore, took counsel of the wisemen, saying, "How shall we take this man, if man he be and not a spirit of the mountains. I would look upon him with my own eyes, for I know of none such as he. One such there once was, but he is no more". Then one among the wise men said, "This man of the mountains, if man he be, will follow the ways of men, therefore let us procure a harlot from the temple, a woman of pleasure, and let her go and take him; ensnare the hunter in the well baited trap". The king said, "This is no new thing, and perchance it can bring the wild man of the mountains down to me in chains of silk, even into the city; therefore, go and put your words into deeds". Then a man was sent to the temple and he brought back Hesurta, a woman of pleasure, in exchange for gold, and she was taken to the hunters who knew the ways of the mountains.

They set off, journeying for some days, the hunters and the harlot and those with her, until they came to a place where there was a waterhole, close by the way of Elamki. They passed beyond the waterhole to the spring above, sending men into the surrounding forest. The day came when one returned saying, "The wild man comes". Then the chief of the hunters said to the woman. "O woman, bare your breasts and sit beside the waters, use the wiles of your calling, have no shame but welcome him boldly. When he comes up close reveal your secrets, drawing him to you; teach him the art of the harlot that ensnares men".

The woman was not loath to take him, responding well to the task, sitting by the waters, singing. However, Hurmanetar circled warily about the place, but discovered nothing and no harm came to him. He drew closer and when he did the harlot revealed her secret charms and was well pleased by the eagerness he displayed. She instructed him in the harlot's art and they dallied there for several days; but the hunters did not come to take him, for they found no way to come upon him furtively. Then, after seven days Hurmanetar departed, passing up the incline of the mountainside without looking back. The harlot was afraid because the hunters murmured against her, but it was not her fault and the chief of hunters said, "Wait and see, let us bide a while yet".

Hurmanetar returned to the place where the wild deer grazed, but Yadol was not there and when he crossed the wind of the deer they fled away. He went to the cave where they shared their rest, but Yadol was not there. The wolf alone lay close by and Hurmanetar called out to it, but the wolf stayed afar off, it would not come near because Hurmanetar was not purified from contact with the harlot.

For a day and a night Hurmanetar stalked the mountainside wide striding along its paths, but he did not find Yadol; therefore, he returned to the place where he had left the woman. She greeted him warmly, making him welcome with cooked meats, rejoicing in her heart. They remained there for three days and she tamed him to the need for a woman. Then the day came when she said, "You are wise, you are strong even as a bull, why run wild upon the mountainsides with one who deserts you at will? Come with me unto the king, for he has heard tales of your might and would close his eyes to your deeds. He will give you a house and gold, and I, Hesurta, will become your servant. The temple of love will be opened for you and I will show you the delights within. Come and dwell under the shadow of the king, for he is mighty, he is the wild bull which roars over men".

Hurmanetar thought and said, "No, I will not go before the king, for he does no good in my sight. Do not the people murmur against him, saying, "Woe for these days, the hand of the king rests heavily upon us, his pride knows no bounds and no maiden is left virgin for her husband. Neither the daughter of a man of blood nor the wife of a prince walks freely in the city. Are not all its doors shut like the doors of prisons?"

The woman thought awhile, then said, "Who tells these things of the king, are their words established? He is the great king, a mountain licked by ten thousand tongues, the king whose whisper fills the judgement hall, whose voice echoes a thousand leagues away. He is the glorious king, a man perfect in strength and proportion, his body is one to delight the eyes of any woman. None other has his wisdom and knowledge. Therefore, men talk against him, for it is the nature of men to be jealous of those who so much excel them".

"Let us go, let the king see you face to face and rejoice, for you are alike. O come with me to where each day brings new delights, where the young women are gaily robed and the young men wonderful to look upon. Come to where breezes are filled with sweet smells, where beds are soft and rooms perfumed. Come to the place where life is enjoyed. Come, serve the king, as you are now so was he in his youth, but youth departs, albeit slowly. He is the never resting one, the son of The Lady of Battles. Come and do not fear, all will be made ready for you; even now the wise men tell of your coming, and men wait to escort you in peace".

Hurmanetar was swayed by her words and said, "So let it be, where you go there go I". Then Hesurta gave him a necklace she had brought and led him to the tents of the hunters. But when they saw him face to face they were afraid, such was the light held in the eyes of the stalwart, wide striding one. Yet they recognized him as a man like themselves and their fear passed. So it was that Hurmanetar went with them and with the woman, and came to the city and went before the king, and the king looked upon him with favour. He gave Hurmanetar wine and he was drunk; and oil for his body and he was anointed. He was arrayed in three robes, he became a man of rank; he was given a house and servants, he was given a watchman. He became captain of the guards and none was like him.

To the woman of pleasure, the harlot, the king gave bracelets of gold and sent her away, saying, "Go to your proper place, for you have completed the thing required of you. There you will be great among women, while here you will be degraded among them". Hesurta departed in sorrow, for even a harlot can feel faint stirrings of affection through the oft soiled winding cloth which enwraps her sordid spirit.

Hurmanetar learned the ways of the palace and walked as he willed, but soon he became restless, for his thoughts turned towards Hesurta. He missed her ways. Yet many women cast their glances towards him, but behind these was the threat of the sword. He was not a man of smooth and subtle ways, being unskilled in the deceit which flourishes under the shadow of kings. Though favoured by the king and safe under his mantle, he was a man alone in the palace and courtyards. He set out to find Hesurta, seeking her at the temple of pleasure within the temple gate where she had served as a harlot, but the priest said, "The woman is no longer here, for a harlot, given gold, thinks herself a queen, and the women have driven her out". Hurmanetar sought her throughout the city, but she was nowhere to be found. Persisting, he eventually found her at a harlot's post beside the river, among wineskins and men of the waters. There was one who sat with her and he was a man of blood, therefore armed. So when Hurmanetar came up to them seeking to talk with the woman, he drew his sword. When the man of blood saw that Hurmanetar was undismayed by this and prepared to settle the issue he mocked him, saying, "Why should men fight when women are plentiful and we have half a measure of corn?"

Hurmanetar bought the woman from those who grow rich on the defiled bodies of women and established her in his house. The men about the king murmured against him, speaking poisoned words in the ear of the king. The women of the palace also turned from him. Meeting Hesurta on the street they caught her and tore her veil off her face, while men of subtle ways who served the king mocked behind their hands. The men of blood serving the king set their faces against Hurmanetar, while in the city men said, as he passed, "There goes the great one who bathes in dirty water". Therefore, Hurmanetar departed from the city, going to dwell without its walls among men who tilled the soil.

It was not long before the day came when the woman saw that Hurmanetar was downcast and so she said to him, "O man of might, when my eyes rest upon you I am raised above all women and now my heart is cleansed of all that polluted it, my body rejoices in freedom and my life is a song of gladness. Yet I am saddened because my heart tells me you are sorrowful and not at ease within yourself, that half your heart remains in the mountains. Therefore, hear what I say, go there once more while I remain here to await your return, perhaps this time you will find Yadol". Her words made Hurmanetar sad and he said, "How can I go away and leave you here, who will protect you? What man can I place over you who will not know you? Yet go to the mountain I must, therefore you shall come with me".

They departed, crossing by way of Hamrama, and came to the mountains high standing and steep-sided. They searched many days, but Yadol could not be found, neither would any bird or beast approach them. They wandered the mountains, they searched the valleys and they grew weary in the search. They returned to the foot of the mountains, below the place where shepherds dwelt and into the tillage where there was a city. It was the time of Akitoa, and Sharah, chief of the city dwellers, was to be married. Being invited to remain in the city as guest, they stayed there. When the days of feasting commenced men came in from the mountains and tillage, and there was much dancing and singing. Hurmanetar and Hesurta were made welcome, taking their places among the guests and storytellers, eating and drinking their fill. There was strong drink brewed from corn and wine from the palm, and Hurmanetar became overfilled with these and, drunk, he fell asleep. While he slept a man came upon Hesurta and seized her, saying, "Come, let us be together, so I man have pleasure and you may have silver. I know you are a woman of many pleasures, a servant to the vices of men". When she denied him his desire he sought to take her by force, but she drew a knife and slew him, for a woman cannot be taken by man except she surrender herself to his needs.

Hearing the clamour, men came and seeing what had happened they seized the woman. Others took Hurmanetar and both were brought before the headman who delivered them to a place of confinement. When the feasting was over they were brought before Pitosi, one who sat in judgement. Pitosi said to Hurmanetar, "You have come among us as a guest and a man of good standing, therefore we know not whether you have been wronged or whether a man of this city has been slain unjustly. If you have been wronged, then also establish the standing of this woman. It is said that she is a harlot without standing; this being so, then you shall pay the price of he who is slain to his kindred and no more will be required of you".

Hurmanetar answered Pitosi thus, "You are one filled with the essence of wisdom, who justly occupies the seat of judgement. I ask with due humility that you give ear to my plea for this woman who may not speak for herself. Denounce her I cannot, instead I will claim her as wife under the of Hudashum, for she has dwelt with me for twenty months and in that time has not known another man, nor have I cause for complaint".

Hearing this, and because Hurmanetar made claim to the law of Hudashum, Pitosi sent for Enilerich, priest of the Great Temple, that he should say whether or not Hesurta stood before him as the wife of Hurmanetar. When the priest came he enquired of the woman whether she were a virgin when Hurmanetar took her. Had she say "yes", then the passage of three months would have given her the standing of a wife; but she answered "no". The priest asked her if she were a widow when Hurmanetar took her. Had she answered "yes", then the passage of twenty months would have given her the standing of a wife; but she answered "no". Then the priest asked if she were a harlot when Hurmanetar took her and she answered "yes". Therefore, as seven years had not yet passed since Hurmanetar first took her, she could not have the standing of a wife. Nor could she claim to be a harlot of the temple, for she had left its protection.

Now the mark of a harlot was upon her and Hurmanetar had forfeited his standing in the place of judgement. So Pitosi gave judgement upon them and it was decreed that when Gaila came they would be led to the enclosure of death and there tied back to back. The woman would be strangled with cords, after the manner of harlots, while Hurmanetar would be left to carry her as a burden within the enclosure for seven days. Then, if the gods willed; all he might take with him being three handfuls of corn and a gourd of water. The judgment was fulfilled, Hurmanetar lived. He departed and went his way and the kindred of the slain men failed to catch him.

Hurmanetar passed across the land, coming at last to the temple of the Seven Illuminated Ones, and his mother was there. She dwelt alone with only an old serving woman, for now the temple was desolate and without walls. For two years Hurmanetar dwelt with his mother, but then his heart went out again to the companion he had left upon the mountainside. He said to his mother, "I must depart, for my heart cries out for one who saved my life and whose ways are mine. Great is the love of man for woman, but greater the love of man for man".

So Hurmanetar came again to the mountains and lo, he had entered the forest but half a day when he came upon Yadol. How warm was the greeting, how strong the embrace! Hurmanetar said, "Long have I sought you and found you not, yet I come again and you are here". Yadol answered, "It was because of the harlot, I was here but you saw me not, nor could I make myself known to you".

Hurmanetar returned with Yadol to the place where his mother dwelt and they remained there, none knowing what they were, for they were garbed as priests. They tilled the ground about the place, enjoying its fruitfulness, and both were nourished by the wisdom of Hurmanetar's mother.

Nintursu was the last of the line of Sisuda. Ten thousand generations had passed since the beginning and a thousand generations since the recreation. The Children of God and The Children of Men had passed into dust and only men remained. One hundred generations had passed since the overwhelming deluge and ten generations since The Destroyer last appeared. Once man lived for less than two score years, now his years were three score and ten. Once God had walked with men and men knew only God. Now He was hidden behind many veils and few saw Him, and then but dimly and with great distortion. Where once there was one God now gods were as numbered as the stars. Yet the Great Key remained in the midst of men and it was here, at the Temple of the Seven Illuminated Ones, the Key of Life, the Key which was given into the keeping of our father Hurmanetar. It is a secret thing, something exceedingly great. It is not lost but has come down to us and is known in our times.

Now, one day, as Hurmanetar sat beneath a tree, enjoying its shade at the height of noon, he saw a stranger approaching. The man was weary and staggered, so Hurmanetar sent his servant to bring him into the shade. The servant hastened out and brought him in. He was given refreshment and his feet washed, and when this had been done Hurmanetar asked him where he was bound and the stranger replied, "I go to Tagel, for in that place there is a mighty man and a just one who will give ear to my plea, for untoward things are happening in the great city, things which should not be, The people cry out in the place of assembly, but they cry to the wind. Gilnamnur has seized the heart of the king and now rules. In twelve days I am pledged to marry, but there is no lightness of a bridegroom in my heart, for the king elects to be first with the bride. This is the custom come down to us from the gods of old, but my heart is wrung like a grape. I cannot find it within me to give her into his keeping on the wedding night. Therefore, I go to find one who can challenge him at the door of the bridal chamber, as the custom permits, for this is no low born woman. But this is a thing none has heard of as having been done before in our times, for men fear the gods. I know of none other who may stand before the king as one sanctified".

Hurmanetar heard him and replied, "Be of good heart and go no further, for I am that man". Hearing this the stranger, filled with gratitude, fell upon his knees before Hurmanetar and said, "How can I thank you, how can I repay you, what can I give?" But hurmanetar answered, "When a man does what has to be done, then payment and reward sully the deed". Then he called Yadol and said, "Prepare, for we go into the city of the king, and because he was sanctified Hurmanetar claimed the protection of Erakir. Then they offered prayers in the antechamber between Heaven and Earth.

They dwelt with the brother of the bridegroom until the day of the wedding feast came, for the bridegroom was not of this city. When the feast was over, and before the guests departed, the bridal chamber was made ready with the bride within, and the young messenger of the temple went about making his call. Then the king came to the antechamber, passing by the husband who was to wait without. But there, standing before the door, was Hurmanetar, his right hand on the pillar, for none might otherwise challenge the king, and in his left hand were the reeds.

Those who were gathered there, the men and the women, drew back and men of the king's guard came forward, each claiming the right to enter the combat on behalf of the king; for one man could precede the king but no more. Such was the custom. The choice of whom to fight from among those who came forward lay with Hurmanetar, and because he chose the captain of the guard, a man skilled in war, the people were amazed. But Hurmanetar knew the man's weakness. No more than five blows were struck when Hurmanetar, leaping to the left hand side of the captain of the guard, drove up under his armpit, so that he fell to the ground and died.

Then Hurmanetar and the king girded themselves and fought in the high courtyard, and it was a fight such as men had not seen before. The young and the old, agility against experience, stamina against cunning, they were both equal in the fight. They slashed at each other until their weapons broke and their shields split. They grappled, they stamped, they rolled in the dust, they lashed out at each other, and the combat went on until the water ran out, and still they both stood. Then they could not fight with weapons but stood disarmed, and this time neither might cause the death of the other. They circled each other warily, keeping away from the balustrade. Then Hurmanetar jumped aside and with a swift movement caught the king to him, twisting him so they both fell down into the courtyard below the ground, and the king fell over his shoulder, so that his breastbone broke and he remained on the ground. Then the king's guard gathered about him and a man skilled with medicines came forward; though grievously hurt the king would not die. Hurmanetar gave his seal and right to the husband and with Yadol parted the men who stood about in silence, for they could not harm them. So Hurmanetar and Yadol departed from the land, for it became closed to them and, mounted on mountain asses, they set out on the way of Anhu.

Hurmanetar crossed the wide plains with Yadol until they came safely to the stream of bitter waters, brought there by Mamanatum, and so they came up to Machur close by the forest of cedars and dwelt there. This is the place where there was a temple to Humbanwara the Guardian.

 

 

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

THE DEATH OF YADOL

 

Hurmanetar married Astmeth, daughter of Anukis, governor of all the Western parts of Hamanas, and the mother of Astmeth was Neforobtama, daughter of Hahuda, prince of Kerami. In those days, Daydee, daughter of Samshu, king of all the lands to the North, even to the land of everlasting night, ruled all the Eastern parts of Hamanas, and of all women she was the most beautiful.

Now, as time passed Hurmanetar grew rich and he built himself a great house of cedar wood and had many servants and concubines. In these, the days of his greatness, he forgot the teachings of Nintursu, and the Great Key lay hidden, for the hours of his days were filled with worldly matters.

The overseer of Hurmanetar's cornfields was Noaman, a man of Loza, a man whose word was not worth an obal of sand, for he falsified the measure. Therefore, fingers were removed from him and he was driven forth out of the lands of Hurmanetar, and he became the servant of one Sabitur. This Sabitur dwelt on the road to Milikum, outside the city of Kithim where Daydee ruled, and Daydee was a great queen.

In the days when men came to Kithim and Lodar to buy and sell, before the feast when new-milled corn was offered to the Bull of Yahana, Hurmanetar went up into the city of Kithim to pay his tribute.

Now, Gilamishoar, the king, had died because of the thing hidden in an earthenware box, and the new king, wishing to know where he stood with the gods, sent for wise men who threw bundles of cedar wood before him. They saw he was destined to reign in greatness and prosperity, providing that he never quarreled with a queen or killed a child. Therefore, the king deemed it wise to strengthen his peace with Daydee and sent his son to her with many gifts.

The prince journeyed some days then stopped at an inn a day's journey from Kithim, and supped there; and while he ate word was brought to him that someone wished to speak with him. It was Noaman, and he spoke poisoned words regarding Hurmanetar, so these should be brought to the ear of the queen. Thus, when Hurmanetar entered the city of Kithim he was seized and brought before the queen. But when she saw him and spoke with him, Daydee found no fault with him and looked upon him with favour. Therefore, though the prince departed, Hurmanetar dallied at the court of queen Daydee.

Time passed and Hurmanetar came frequently to the court and he was well favoured, but it came about that strife arose in the lands about, for the Mother of the Gods strove with the Father of the Gods. It was a time of turmoil, when the hand of brother was against brother, and all the while Hurmanetar rose in the esteem of the queen. So it came about that a son was born to Hurmanetar and Daydee. While the lands about had been ravaged by war there was peace in Kithim, but when the son of Hurmanetar and Daydee was scarce one year old, men came bearing tidings of war; the hosts of the king had gathered and voices were crying in the market place. "Prepare to die, for those who are mightier than the Humbala are upon us. None shall be spared from the fire of the pit, neither old men nor women and children". For those who came were The Children of Githesad the Serpent, the Cunning One, whose mother was one of those who brought defilement into the race of men. These people knew neither justice nor mercy.

The priests and the people went up into the mountain to gather before the cave of Yahana. They cried out to be delivered, they were overpowered with weakness and their teeth shook, their knees became weak. But Daydee remained in the city and she appointed Hurmanetar captain of her war hosts, and he gave the orders. The armsmakers bent to the task, making spears of willow wood and casting axes. Hurmanetar freed Turten who, because he had renounced his father, had become a slave, and gave him command of the bowmen. For Turten was a man of might and a bowman of renown.

In the days when men feared because of the bull of Heaven, the war hosts of The Children of Githesad gathered on the plain and the fires of their encampment were, at night, numbered like stars. The men of Hurmanetar encamped against them, and when he led the war hosts of queen Daydee out in the morning light the men of blood faced one another. Turten, the bowman, had been made a war captain and he went out before the host of Daydee to see how those who stood against them were arrayed. When he returned he spoke thus to Hurmanetar, "Behold my Lord, great is the host of The Children of Githesad and well set in their order of battle. Behold the long-limbed spearman, Kami the Mighty, far famed among men, leads them. See the powerful bowmen whose wide ranging arrows speed from behind tall shields which stand before them. What has Hoames failed to teach these people? Behold the hosts of the Husigen who are with them, led by Aknim of the firm standard. See to their left the spearmen of ever mighty Marduka, they stand firm in line; they are like the point of a nail, ready to thrust inward. See, already the horns of the bull spread out for the encircling clash. Slingers already harass our foreguard, while bowmen sting us on either side".

"Still let us take heart. Have we not ourselves many mighty men ready to give their life's blood for you? Are they not all armed with every kind of weapon and masters of war? There are far throwing slingers and keen-eyed bowmen, there is tall Lugal with the flashing weapons of fire. Yet we can number our host, while the number of those who stand against us seem countless as the sands".

Then Hurmanetar raised his voice, calling upon his men to stand firm-footed in line to await the clash and bear up before it. He said, "Think of your duty and do not waver before the thrusts. To step back in battle is to step back from manhood. To take flight would cause men to tell of your dishonour now and in the days to come, and to an honourable man the disgrace of dishonour is worse than death itself. If any of you run, the staunch ones who stood firm will say you have fled the battle through fear, and your comrades who expected your support will treat your name with scorn. Those who stand against us on the field of blood will speak of you with contempt and derision. They will mock your courage, and for a true man there can be no more shameful fate".

Then, to encourage those who were faint-hearted, Humanetar sounded the loud thunderous war cry. It resounded like the roar of ten bulls. Then he caused his companion of the shield to blow the far sounding war horn. After this came a rolling boom of war drums, the ringing sound of clashing cymbals, the loud shrilling of trumpets and even louder trumpets filled the sky above with thunder.

Turten, of the powerful bow, and Lugal, of the bright weapons, prepared their men to meet the clash. The war hosts drew closer and the flight of arrows and slingstones began, followed by the hurling of flight spears. Heaven and Earth trembled under the fearful sound of war cries and the clamour of war horns; even the hearts of stout fighting men shook before they commanded themselves. Yet those with Hurmanetar stood firm, eager for the clash and saying, "Let us smite those who come full of fight and fury to do the evil will of their dark king".

Now I, Ancheti, stood behind the slingers' wall and my limbs trembled and my mouth was dry, my tongue craved for water. My scalp moved in fear and my hands loosened their grip through moisture. My heart thumped in confusion and I saw a mist of redness before my eyes, for this was my first battle and I was but a youth. Beside me stood Yadol, the wild tender man, and he said, "I see no gladness in victory, if victory be granted. I crave no kingdom that I may rule over other men. What would be its pleasures to one such as I? For what do men slay one another? Which man seeks spoil and its pleasure and which man the joys of life? Against us stand men of living flesh and blood, men who have mothers and wives, men who have children, men who are good, even if those who lead them are evil. These good men I have no wish to slay, better would it be were I to be slain myself. Not a man will I slay with these hands, not even for the kingdom of the three spheres would I do it, much less an earthly kingdom. Were those who stand against us all men of evil, it would perhaps be a good deed to slay them; but in the clash of war the good slay the good and the evil ones live safely behind the shields".

"Can we slay men made in our own likeness, brother beings? What peace shall we henceforth enjoy in our hearts? Will not the memory make our hearts heavy, so that life becomes an unbearable burden? Even if there are others among these great war hosts who are so overcome with greed for spoil that they see no evil in the slaying of men, shall we not withhold our blows from this awful deed of blood?"

"O doom of darkness, O day of sorrows, what evil has moved the hearts of rulers that men be slain in thousands for the gain of treasure and the rule of an earthly kingdom? What do we here on this field of blood, we who are men of peace and goodwill? Better by far that I stood unarmed, my breast bared, unresisting, and let them slay me, that I might lay in my own innocent blood". Thus spoke Yadol as the clash drew nigh, but only I, Ancheti, heard him.

Then the lunge and thrust was upon us and I heard another voice beside me, that of my uncle, Hurmanetar, who was there, red sword in hand. The press of the foe drew back and in the lull Hurmanetar stood beside Yadol, the companion of his wanderings, and placed a hand on his shoulder in compassion, for Yadol was a man without fear, a man of more courage than Ancheti. On the field of blood the craven-hearted are truly separated from the men of peace and goodwill.

The foe swept upon the thinning ranks again, they came like waves breaking upon a beach. They swept in, then sullenly, tardily, they rolled back, only to reform and crash again. As they cam I heard Hurmanetar open his mouth and cry out, "They come yet again, they are upon us, arise and greet them; arise above this field of blood like men, for this is the day of heroes. This is the final test, this is the last trial of strength, the last effort to cast back. Why this lifeless rejection of all that is manly? Strong men cannot despair in their hearts when facing conflict and death, this gains neither victory on Earth nor peace in Heaven. Stand as you have done, firm-footed, rising to the battle clash like the whirlwind that carries all before it. We are but men who know nothing of the causes of gods and their ways. I fight for the cause of loyalty and honour, I know not whether their victory or ours be best for the true cause of God, but I fight. Come, rise to the clash".

Then the remnants of the war hosts came together in the clash of arms. The cruel weapons struck on against the other, blow and counter blow. There were dull cries of death, the shrieks of pain and the shrill shout of victory, the last efforts of weary bodies, the last cries of dry-throated voices. The men of Hurmanetar stood firm in the line and the war hosts of those who sought to overwhelm them broke like a wave upon the seashore, they came no more. Hurmanetar stood blooded and proud in the exultation of victory, but it passed in a moment when he saw Yadol lying among the dead and dying, wounded to death but not yet dead. He had taken upon himself the spear thrust meant for Ancheti.

Hurmanetar lifted him up, his knee under his head, and Yadol opened his mouth and said, "The Great One has given you the victory, and for you, behind and beyond the victory, I see a great destiny, and therefore a difficult one. Be not heavy-hearted, nor let your spirit grieve, heavy-laden with sorrow because of me. Weep not, for this I know, he who thinks he can slay another or be slain by him is devoid of enlightening truth. The spirit of man cannot perish by the sword or be overwhelmed by death".

"The sharp weapon of war cannot harm the spirit, nor can fire burn it. Waters cannot drown it and soil cannot bury it. My spirit departs to its abode beyond the power of sharp sword, beyond the reach of thrusting spear, beyond the range of swift arrow. Now, face to face with what must be and cannot be altered, face to face with the ultimatum of destiny, cease from sorrow".

"What is this passing thing called life? This fragile flower so tenderly cherished, seen in its true frailty here on the field of blood. Does it have any real meaning? Here on the field of blood the dead sleep to awake to glory. To the victorious ones remaining alive there is glory on Earth. So do not dally here with the dying. Arise, go to your proper reward and lay me down to mine. Fear not for me, already I see the welcoming light beyond the veil. We shall meet again".

Thus Yadol departed from Earth and he was laid to rest in glory. He sleeps among the hills and trees, among the wild birds and beasts which were his friends. These words are cut on his tomb, 'He was a man of peace and died because other men were not as he'.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE HURMANETAR JOURNEYS TO THE NETHERWORLD

Perhaps no man of his day properly honoured Yadol, for he was beyond their understanding, but Hurmanetar loved him and Ancheti never forgot him. Long days the thoughts of Hurmanetar rested upon Yadol, his friend, the companion in the joyous hunting on the mountains. Long he thought, "What manner of sleep is this, if sleep it be, that fell upon Yadol? Has he decayed into dust to become nothing, as my eyes declare? Or does he live in some strange way? Did not the worm fasten onto his body before it was laid to rest, yet he knew it not". Long hours had Hurmanetar sat at the feet of Nintursu the wise, yet faced with the blank stare and deaf ears of his companion he had begun to fear the certainty of death. Like many before him he sought to penetrate the veil.

Therefore, having claimed audience, Hurmanetar came before the queen to state his intention. Daydee, having been victorious, was exalted in her own eyes and cared little that the battle had been won for her by Hurmanetar and others. Now the danger was past she dallied with new favourites, not knowing the day of retribution would come, as come it surely did, for she was carried off captive in chains, to become the plaything of a cruel king.

Having come before the queen Hurmanetar spoke thus, "O great queen, exalted above all others, great lady of battles, though dwelling here under your great shadow I am as a cat among pigeons, as a wild boar among a docile herd. Therefore, I would spread my wings, going to a distant place to communicate with my God. I would seek entry into the Place of the Dead. My heart is consumed with sorrow because of the uncertainty that grasps my heart, my spirit is restless. I shall seek to discover if my friend and companion yet lives in the Land of Shadows, or whether he is no more than mere dust, the plaything of the winds".

Queen Daydee answered, "Wherefore must you go to some distant place to communicate with your God? Is He some little god to be found only in one place? Hurmanetar replied, "O great queen, no little god is this but the Greatest God of All. It is not because of His littleness that I seek Him out but because of His Greatness. The handmaiden goes to the dressmaker but the dressmaker comes to the queen". Then Daydee enquired from Hurmanetar as to the nature of this God, for she was curious, he not having previously discussed such things with her. She asked him for which God he fought, but Hurmanetar said he had fought only for her.

Hurmanetar said, : "We have a god you and I, and you have a god and I have a god. The people have their gods and the strangers within your gates have their gods; but bidden behind all these is another God. These lesser gods are no more than His members. It is this God whom I seek. How can I, a mere mortal, describe Him? Only this do I know, as I learned it in a remote temple. This God came into existence before all else. He ever was, so none could know Him in the beginning and none knows His mysterious nature. No god came into existence before Him. How can I even name One who had no mother after whom His name might have been made? He had no father who could have named Him and said, "This is I, your father". None can display His likeness in writing, nor can it be cut with knife in wood or stone. He is too great that men should even enquire about Him. With what words could He be described to their understanding? No other god knows how to call Him by name, even the greatest of them being less than a servant before Him. Yet this I have been told, that the spirit of man can know this Great God and can even know His nature, therefore perchance the spirit of man is greater than any of the gods".

At this those who stood about queen Daydee murmured against Hurmanetar, but she gave no heed to them, gazing long upon him. Then she spoke, "Perchance, too, this Great God does not exist. Who besides you knows of Him? If He be so great, is it not more likely that He would be worshipped by gods rather than by men? Is it not more likely that lesser gods stand intermediate between Him and men? If a shepherd or husbandman comes to the palace seeking justice or grace, does he see me or an official under me? You say your God is approachable by anyone, does this enhance His stature? Which is greater, the ruler who judges disputes between swineherds and listens to their complaints, or the ruler who appoints effective officials to deal with swineherds? Surely the former rules amid chaos while the latter rules with efficiency. Do not both of us believe, as all men believe, that there is One Great God above all gods, but we believe that being so great this Being is beyond approach by mere mortals. Only in this do we differ you and I".

Hurmanetar answered her, saying, "I know Him not as He is, all I know is that He exists. Look about you, you who are enthroned so mightily high that your eyes are bedazzled by your surroundings, so you cannot see the Truth lesser beings discover for themselves. Why, even the lowly worm crawling beneath your palace proclaims that nothing less than an almighty God could have created it!"

"Wise were our fathers in olden times, and wiser our fathers' fathers. Whence came their wisdom? Did it not come from the Great God who holds the key to the meeting place of the two kingdoms which now stand apart? Who lifted the lofty vaults of Heaven and spread Earth out in wide expanse?"

Daydee said, "Does it matter whether it was this God or that? Your God or mine? Suffice it was some god named or unnamed. These are labyrinthic arguments unsuited to those to whom time is precious".

Then those who stood about the queen set a snare for Hurmanetar, asking him whether the Great Being of whom he spoke was The Mother of All or The Father of All. But Hurmanetar answered, "Let he who has examined the Great Being answer, for I am but a mere mortal man, one not even claiming to be wise. Let the wise among you answer for me".

Then Hurmanetar departed from the presence of queen Daydee. In a few days he left her land, driven by the God-given restlessness that marks the true seeker after light. With him went the youth Ancheti. Tame goats guided them to the border of the land and from thence they followed the Way of the Chariot until they came to the land of Mekan where they rested. In this place dwelt Formana, the strong-limbed, who gave them shelter.

Formana asked Hurmanetar whither he went and Hurmanetar replied, "I go to seek the abode of Hamerit, which is set atop a mountain in the midst of this great forest, just beyond the river. There is a door therein which I would open, to which I hold a key". Formana said, 'This is an enterprise doomed for failure, for none may pass that way and return. I who have dwelt here for many long years know the truth of this; nor do I understand this talk of a key, this is a thing new to my ears". So Hurmanetar drew forth the Great Key shaped like a sword but like no other sword, for it could not be gazed upon for more than a moment without blindness striking the beholder. Yet within its strange scabbard it harmed none.

Formana said, "This many-hued weapon is a strange thing indeed and I have no knowledge of its like or its power. But this I do know, it is an unequal struggle when men alone, however weaponed, have to face dread Akamen the Terrible One. This is not all, for first they must pass the fearsome watchman at the gate, and he never sleeps". Hurmanetar said, "I have set my heart on this enterprise because of my friend, also if there is an evil thing lurking within the forest it must be destroyed. I am one whose destiny is already written, I must die that men might live. What a man cannot escape he must face manfully".

Then Hurmanetar left Formana to go apart into a place of solitude where he prayed, "O Father of the Gods, hear me. Hear me O Father of the Gods, for there is evil abroad in the land and men die of despair. Even the tallest of men cannot reach the Heights of Heaven, or the swiftest of them encompass the Earth. Yet men must struggle against things beyond their reach and overcome evils which overshadow the whole land contained within the bitter waters. My destiny is decreed, I alone will enter the gate at the abode of Akamen. O Father of the Gods, when I return I will set up Your Name where now the name of other gods are written, little gods of no standing before you. I will raise a great straight monument to your sacred Name, if I could but know it".

"Why did You move me, Father of the Gods, to embark on this enterprise unless I were destined to accomplish it? Why fill me with the restless desire to perform it? How can I, a mere mortal, succeed without aid? I sought no more than to know the lot of my friend, yet a greater burden has been allotted to me. If I die it may be without fear, but if I return may that return be glorified by the knowledge of Truth. O Father of the Gods, stand by my side, help me overcome the lurking thing and show it the strength of a son of Sisuda".

When Hurmanetar returned he felt strengthened, but Formana tried to turn him away from his intention, saying, "Desist from this thing, put this enterprise from your thoughts. You have courage and it carries you far, but does it not also sweep you along as one caught in the swift river current is swept to destruction? You cannot know what this means, the Guardian at the Gate alone is like nothing on Earth, his weapons are like no others, for they are invisible and strike down from afar. Why strive to do this thing? It is no equal struggle". Hurmanetar replied, "My heart is set on this matter. Though I must journey along an unknown road, perhaps a road of no return, and fight a strange battle, go I will. I fear not the Terror at the Gate, nor that which dwells within the abode of Akamen".

Formana said, "If go you must, then I who have seen many pass this way will go with you to the gate. Even through the forest I will accompany you, for am I not one who has been purified before the Sacred Flame? But is it wise that any other should go with such as we? Surely this youth, your attendant, this young man of few years, inexperienced in things such as we must face, should not accompany us. Is it not more fitting that he remain here to protect my daughters? Is it not better to exchange his inexperience for my experience, his youthful strength for my wisdom and cunning, his endurance for my steadfastness?"

Though Ancheti protested it was agreed that he should remain behind at the dwelling place of Formana.

So, making things ready, Hurmanetar and Formana departed in the morning light, while Ancheti remained behind, a guardian of young women, and his heart was sore. He raised his voice to Heaven, saying, "O Father of the Gods whom Hurmanetar knows, why did You give him this restless heart? Why did you bestow it upon him? You have stirred his spirit so now he goes into unimaginable danger. O Father of the Gods, of whom I am ignorant, overlook my shortcomings and hear my voice; from this day until he overcomes the Evil Thing and returns, let him ever rest in Your thoughts. Stand by him when he faces the Watchman at the Gate. Strengthen his arm when he strikes at the things that lurk to devour. What these might be or their nature is beyond my imagination. I know them only from the talk of men, each of whom sees them from a different stance. Yet, have any truly seen and lived to return? I know not, but I pray sincerely for him whom I serve".

When Hurmanetar and Formana came to the edge of the forest they were attacked by lions, but they slew the beasts. Then they entered the forest and saw great trees such as they had not seen before. They went sleepless, for dread things lurked in the murky light of the forest. They pressed on, coming to the foot of the mountain where they camped and slept, for it was an open place.

Then, as the sun rose next day they climbed the mountain until they came to a cleared place before the cave known as the Portal of the Dead. Here Hurmanetar took leave of Formana who remained in a hut just beyond the cleared place.

Now, Hurmanetar looked about, seeking the Guardian, for he knew what had to be done before he could enter the cave. Then he saw, to his right and beside the cave, a stone hut and seated before it was a very old woman. Going up to the woman he greeted her and said, "I am one who would enter the dread place, the Abode of Death, the Threshold of the Otherworld, the Door Replacing the Misty Veil. I am one sanctified, one knowing the Lesser Mysteries, I am an Enlightened One".

The woman replied by asking the three questions which all who would span the spheres must answer, and when this was done correctly she invited Hurmanetar into the hut. Inside she indicated a stool, and when he was seated she spread a cord around him in a circle. Then
she placed a firepot before him, onto which she poured the contents of a small leather bag. She also gave him a pot of green water which he drank.

Some time later, after he had slept awhile, Hurmanetar was conducted to the cave and left there at a spot known as the Devil's Mouth, for there an evil breath came from an opening in the ground. He remained there for awhile and again he slept. Awaking he moved forward into a dark passage, but bis movement was strange and he saw as through a narrow tunnel, while his body appeared light and airy.

He came to the place where the Watchman kept guard at the gate and beside him the Terror squatted. Hurmanetar drew his sword and faced the awful pair, he advanced cautiously towards them. Then, when they met the air was filled with a loud clamour, great hissing noises beat at the ears, shouts and screams tore overhead. There was a howling such as no mortal has heard outside of that awful place. Hurmanetar drew back a pace then advanced again and, behold, both the Watchman and the Terror suddenly vanished and the hideous clamour was stilled.

Hurmanetar passed through the portal and came to a wider, more open place wherein there was a pool of water. It was deep, dark and still. He gazed into the water, and surely no mortal has ever seen such sights as he saw pictured in its stillness. He passed it by. Terrifying shadows leaped and quivered over the walls as he entered a narrowing passage, cast by some bidden ruddy light which seemed to dance as though alive. Then he saw daylight ahead.

He came out into the daylight; on one hand the mountainside reared up, on the other was a vast chasm, between the two ran a narrow path and up this he went. Great birds attacked him, eagles and birds with strange heads. He fought them off and continued upward until he came within sight of the abode of Akamen. He came to it after the long journey upward and stood before the great brazen doors, the seven-bolted doors.

Hurmanetar saw no Guardian before the doors, but he heard its voice as it asked the seven questions. He who had sat at the feet of Nintursu remembered well the replies to make, and as each was answered a bolt slid back. Seven questions were asked and seven answers rightly given. The great doors swung apart and Hurmanetar passed through, entering the courtyard of Akamen.

Within the courtyard Hurmanetar fought and overcame the four great beast Beings which feast on the bodies of men, but the sword of Hurmanetar laid them low. He passed through the Hall of Contest where good and evil spirits fight an eternal battle for the souls of men, coming into the Chamber of Death. Now weary he sat himself down on the stone called the Seat of Makilam, for it was then in this place, and he waited.

Then Akamen the Terrible came and Hurmanetar strove with him for half a day and prevailed, and so he entered into the place where stood the Door of the Spheres. This, Hurmanetar opened with the Great Key, he passed through and entered the Abode of the Dead. He held fast to the Great Key, for without it there was no return, nor could it be held by his own powers alone, but only through the additional powers of those who might come to his aid.

A mist gathered before him, gradually thickening, and as it thickened it gave off an ever increasing brilliant light, at the same time shaping itself into a glorious form of brightness. When the shaping was complete a Being stood there, radiant as the sunlight and lovely as the moonbeam. Hurmanetar heard a voice coming out from the Glorious Being which said, "Who are you that comes hither, wan of cheek and with lowered countenance, heavy-hearted and dejected in spirit, weary from a strange fray? There is lamentation in your heart and surely none such as you has entered here beforetimes. Brave indeed is the one who seeks entry by force of arms". Hurmanetar answered, "O beautiful vision, indeed my heart is not light, for I have fought an inhuman contest. I have been assailed by hideous things unknown on Earth, things which haunt the night dreams of men and are spoken of only in whispers. I have come seeking a friend, a companion of the hunt, the loyal one of my wanderings. His death lies heavily upon my heart, therefore I have dared to come even unto this place".

The Form of Beauty said, "He whom you seek lies beyond the Waters of Death, but you who have passed the Guardians are permitted to go thence. One thing, however, you must not do. In the midst of the waters grows the plant of eternity, the forbidden tree of which you and all men may not eat, a fruit of which was stolen by the serpentof ancient times. Partake of it now and you will suffer everlasting changelessness, the most dreadful of all fates. Go, tarry awhile, then return this way".

Hurmanetar passed over the still sullen waters to the Land of Waiting where all spirits shine redly. He passed through the Great Doorway and came to the Place of Glory, the Land of Eternal Living. He saw his friend, his companion of the hunt, the loyal one during his wanderings. Behold, there before his eyes was Yadol. Hurmanetar knew him though he stood forth in a form more glorious than can be described to the understanding of men. He was here, life was in him, he was here in a bright and flowering place, a place of trees and waters, a place such as no man can describe.

Yadol spoke with Hurmanetar and he spoke of things long forgotten by men and revealed truths unknown since the days when men walked with their Father. They spoke one with the other, they rested in pleasant places, they embraced and they parted. Before Hurmanetar left, Yadol said, "As you have passed through the Portal of Death while yet uncalled from the embrace of the flesh, for no purpose other than gaining assurance that the dead do not pass into dust, it is decreed by the ordinance of this place that your life shall be shortened. Time enough you will have, therefore record the things of which we have spoken, that they may be guiding lights to men. Set them down in two books, one recording the Sacred Secrets, more precious than life itself and for the elect alone. The other recording the Sacred Mysteries for those who sit at the feet of the elect. One will be the Book of Truth Unveiled and the other the Book of Veiled Truth, the Book of Hidden Things".

Yadol continued, "Once men could pass easily from one sphere to another, then came the misty veil. Now men must pass a grim portal to span the spheres and, as the generations pass, this, too, will be closed to men. The secret of the substances which, compounded together, become the horse which can bear men here, will remain with those who know the mysteries, but these will become even harder to reach. As the ages roll by there will be many false mysteries and perhaps the path will become closed or the way lost". These things Yadol said and they talked of other things.

Hurmanetar returned. He passed over the Waters of Death, he was upheld by the Guardians of Form, by those who safeguarded the powers of the Great Key. He saluted the Glorious Being, he passed through the manifold chambers, through the courtyard and the many-bolted doors, down the winding path lit by strange torches, through the cavern and out through the cave. At the entrance Formana still waited; he arose from his watch and greeted Hurmanetar warmly, saying, "I saw you as one dead, lying stiff between the twin flames, and I feared for you. Now, behold, you come forth with shining countenance as one in whom life has been renewed. My heart rejoices for you, but let us not delay, let us depart from this dread place, for I have spent the whole long vigil in fear-enshrouded watchfulness".

They departed the mountain, they passed through the forest. They fought with things that lurked in the gloom beneath the tall overhanging trees. They came through the Gate of Many Cubits and back to the pleasant pastures of Formana.

 

CHAPTER NINE

ASARUA

Ancheti had been left with the daughters of Formana who, having just reached maidenhood, were wilful and vexed him sorely, so that he sought places of solitude, being an unbearded youth unlearned in such matters. Beyond the place where they dwelt there was a river, and from the hillside, away from the forest, a small stream flowed down to join it. Upward of the stream was a valley in which lay a small lake fed by an unfailing stream of sweet water. Here, in a house of wattle, dwelt a maiden whose name was Asarua, and she lived with her mother, Mamuah, who was a wise woman and blind.

The young woman had barely reached maidenhood and neither hunted for food nor dug in the ground. She dwelt in a garden of trees, her implements of toil being pruning hook and knife. Her days were spent in joyful tasks and a song was ever on her lips. She worked happily among the trees, loosening the soil about their roots, cutting away the overgrowth and pulling up the weeds. She knew the art of fostering twigs so that fruits grew on trees strange to them. She grew vines, the fruits of which were not used for wine, and these she twined around bowers and over the branches of trees.

The women dwelt under the protection of Asarua's father, but the mother of Asarua was not of his household, for he was a strange king though a mighty one. The place wherein they dwelt was fenced about and guarded by seven fierce hounds, tawny-coated and long of body. The maiden was supple and firm-breasted, she was tall and graceful, red of cheek and light of skin. Her sole garment was plainly woven and unadorned, for she lacked all the things with which women bedeck themselves. Upon her head she wore a garland of leaves and her only ornaments were flowers. She was shy and restrained of glance; nevertheless, she was not unobserved, for the eyes of men had fallen upon her from outside the place wherein she dwelt. They did not enter the place, for to them it was sacred ground upon which men feared to trespass.

One day, a hunter passed by and became smitten by her beauty and modesty. He thought also of what she had to offer, fine fruits and green growing herbs, a garden of plenty where, in her embrace, he could find rest from the rigours of the hunt. He came to pay his court, garbed as for the chase with bow on back and spear in hand. He brought with him two wild geese and a young piglet to lay at her feet, but when his steps brought him within the fence the hounds were loosed upon him. The hunter, seeing that he was unwelcome, took counsel with himself and thought, "Perhaps if I am uncouth in her sight, my brother the shepherd, will seem better in her eyes".

Therefore, the shepherd came and sat on the grass outside the fence, paying his court with music from the pipes, but she paid no heed to him. Still he remained, until wearying of his piping she called out, "Go, for what want I with one who sits blowing wind all day? Go learn music from the flowing waters".

In the days that followed others came, among them a merchant, a rich man, a lord of grainfields and vineyards. Word of her beauty had been brought to him and he was challenged by her inaccessibility. So he thought, "If indeed it is as men say, then I will have this woman for my own. Have I not riches enough to provide all that gladdens the heart of a woman? So he came wearing a mantle of scarlet with brooches of bronze. He wore buckles of silver and ornaments of cornelian and gold. He was a man possessed of a smooth, well oiled tongue, the owner of a storehouse of fine words. He came with attendants who drove off another who sat outside the fence. The merchant came boldly through the gate of the fence, but Asarua met him. When he paid court with bejewelled words she said, "What have you to offer but gold and treasure? Think you that such unfeeling things can capture my heart? Am I to be bought as a woman bound within her father's household? Am I to be another counted among the many women you have known? An occupant of a cornerplace within your heart, O man of many lovers". Then he was wrath with her, but she took no heed and the hounds drove him off, even the lordly one, for the ground here was sacred.

One day, not much later, the young Ancheti came that way and in passing he saw the maiden Asarua, but because of bis unfamiliarity with women he hesitated to speak, though he, too, was smitten by her beauty and maidenly bearing.


Passing that way again Ancheti stopped by the place and seeing an old woman seated beneath the tree he said to her, "Mother, may I have some water, for I am thirsty from journeying". The woman replied, "My son, there is water in plenty below on the other side of this place, which young ears should hear, but I am blind and cannot see. I, too, thirst and therefore I beg that you enter and bring me cool water from the pool below the waterfall". So Ancheti entered and drank, and he gave water to the woman. Though Asarua espied him from afar she did not come near, but neither were the hounds allowed near him.

Hurmanetar had returned from his strange journey, but was puzzled when he saw Ancheti was silent and spoke little, that his thoughts were not inside him. So Hurmanetar questioned him, "Wherefore are you sick? What ails you? " Then, when Ancheti spoke to him of the maiden he had seen, Hurmanetar said, "This is a delicate matter and one not for the heavy tactics of men. Does not the fawn take flight at the sight of the hunting hound? While the moonflower that closes its petals at the touch of a man opens them at the touch of a woman. Your heart has guided you rightly when counselling caution, for you are ill equipped to catch this rare bird of beauty when unaided by wisdom. For a woman's errand let us send a woman, the nightingale sings in the presence of the owl but hides in silence when the hawk roosts nearby".

Then Hurmanetar spoke with the maidservant of she who had mothered the daughters of Formana, and the maidservant agreed to do the things he told her. Thus, on the morrow she went forth unaccompanied, and coming to the place where Asarua dwelt sat down outside the gate. When the eyes of the maiden eventually fell upon her Asarua saw the bent old woman, weary and travel-stained from the journey; and out of kindness, for she was gentle and compassionate by nature, brought the old woman in, that she might sit under the shade of a tree to rest herself and eat some fruit.

After the maidservant had rested in the shade and refreshed herself, she spoke to Asarua and said, "How lovely is your garden, how well watered, how bright and refreshing its many fruits. I have heard much of this place but more of you and your beauty; but no words of men have done justice to what I see with my own eyes".
Asarua said, "The words of men often differ from the thoughts of their hearts, while flattering words are bait above a well set trap. Let us not talk of men and their wiles but of more pleasant things. Come, let us walk around the garden".

They walked and came to a place where grew a tamarisk tree, and about the tamarisk entwined a vine holding many bunches of grapes. The old maidservant said, "Behold this tree, of what value would it be were it not for the vine? Would it have any value except as firewood? And what of the tree to which it clings, would it not straggle along the ground, laying in the dust to be crushed underfoot by any passer-by? It would be a helpless thing unable to raise itself up, a barren creeper bearing no fruit. So see what benefit comes from their union and learn wisdom. Is not the tree named as a man is named and the vine as a woman is named? We who are old see lessons in such things and in learning from them gain wisdom. The young are ever loath to even read to their benefit from the book which is always open before their eyes".

Asarua listened but said little and as they walked the maidservant spoke of the young daughters of Fonnana whom she had nursed, and of the ways of man and woman. She spoke as such women speak, her tongue following a winding road. The speech of men comes out like an arrow, but the speech of women comes out like a puff of smoke. Men talk with the naked tongue, but words from the mouth of a woman are veiled and devious. The tongue of a woman is a sword sheathed in silk. Not for nought are women called the twin-tongued. Perchance these words were added in the days of Thalos, for not all men think thus of women.

The maidservant had an inexhaustible supply of words and Asarua was so taken aback to hear the things of which she spoke that she could find no words to answer. Thus speaking, they came to the small dwelling place where the mother of Asarua was preparing a meal. She invited the maidservant to eat with them and to sleep there that night, and this the maidservant gladly accepted.

After they had eaten, the maidservant spoke with Mamuah, the mother of Asarua, and the talk was of unfortunate women whose daughters were fair yet refused to be married, daughters who closed their ears even to good advice on marriage; whether such women were true women or unnatural women, The words which mattered were few while the words in which they were buried were many, but the former were not lost on Mamuah whose ears were not closed to such talk and they entered her heart. She gave attentive ears when the other spoke of Ancheti who, though but a youth, was wise. Though he had not yet drunk deeply from the waters of wisdom, nevertheless the well from which he drew them was a never failing one. "Be wise", said the maidservant, "choose this young man, for surely none better will come this way. He does not wander from his place of duty; he is not slothful in manner, nor does he spend his days in futile pleasures. He does not go from woman to woman, and while it is true that this could be because of his age, yet he speaks of women only with respect, which is not the way with budding fornicators. He is manly, he is of the blood of kings and above all he is wise, because he has a wise instructor. He is a youth of good promise and one who would not bestow his love lightly".


The mother of Asarua heard the words of the maidservant with both ears and when the maidservant was departing said, "Come again when the moon is new, that we may speak more of these matters". Ancheti visited the place again and when the maidservant returned at the new moon Mamuah said, "It is well, my daughter will marry the youth Ancheti. But first he must bide in the place where he now serves for one year, then he must labour in this place for one year; after this he may marry Asarua with my blessing". This seemed good in the eyes of Ancheti and so it was that he laboured two years in order to marry Asarua.

 

CHAPTER TEN

THE DEATH OF HURMANETAR


In the days when the Elshumban were gathered in war hosts, Hurmanetar departed with his household and the household of Ancheti to dwell in the land between the Great River of Sweet Waters and the Bitter Waters of the West, and they built an encampment there. They were in a land where some men spoke as Hurmanetar spoke and though there were men of blood with them the people of the land let Hurmanetar and those with him dwell in peace among them, because in those days men were inflicted with Inahana.

When the task set upon him was nigh finished, Hurmanetar knew that his days in the land of the living were not to be many more, therefore he betook himself into a place of solitude. There he fasted for many days casting his spirit that it might commune with the Father of the Gods, but the voice of God remained silent. Then he left that place, going into a cave where he dwelt in the half light for many days; but again there was no response from the Father of the Gods. So Hurmanetar departed from the cave and returned to his people where he was heard to say, "Woe, for truly my God has forsaken me and remains dumb against my pleadings. Yet I have done all the things told me beforetimes and written in the great Book, wherefore have I failed?

Then he went apart from the people and slept alone, for his heart was heavy. But behold, in the night he had a dream. In it he saw the Sacred Symbols spread out upon a cloth of white linen and each was displayed according to its form. As he gazed upon them and numbered them, each by its own number, an ass came and ate up the Sacred Symbols, and lo, the ass became a falcon. Then as he looked the falcon became a cow and between its horns was a crown of silver and a crown of gold, and the cow spoke to Hurmanetar, saying, "Drink of my milk and anoint your eyes with it, thus they will be opened and you will see". Hurmanetar drank the milk and anointed his eyes, and then he awoke. Remembering the dream and being wise he needed no other to interpret it for him. So then he straightway did the things which had to be done, about which those with understanding will know, and departed from the people.

Hurmanetar went out towards a place of solitude, about one day's journey distant. Having gone about half the way he became weary under the noonday sun and so sat down beneath a tree to rest in its shade. Then, as he drowsed, behold, a great flash of light came down from out of Heaven and it smote the ground before him. He heard a great noise like a mighty whip crack, and he was blinded. Then he heard a voice saying, "Behold I am here, the God of Gods and the God of Men in the beginning". Hearing this, Hurmanetar fell upon his face and cried, "O Great One, I am Your servant".

Then God said, "Wherefore would you open a door unto me? Because the race of man has been defiled and men are no longer with Me, am I not the withdrawn One, the Hidden One?"

Hurmanetar, still on the ground, answered, "O Father of the Gods, I Your servant would know Your will. I have a task nigh finished and seek to know whether it is well in your sight, or whether it is a thing done without your blessing".


God answered Hurmanetar, saying, "Is this not a Sacred Thing, a heritage saved and handed down from the days when men walked with Me? Therefore, it is a good thing, though care must be taken to ensure it is not disclosed to the eyes of profane men. The concoctions which, when properly compounded, will enable men to span the spheres can also, used otherwise, give men near unlimited potency and extreme pleasure with womankind. Therefore, such things must be carefully safeguarded, for in the hands of lesser men they will certainly be abused. But let it all be as it is written, do with it as you have been instructed".

"You call upon Me as the Father of the Gods, nor do you err in this. Yet I am the Hidden God, the God of Secret Manifestation, the Wronged God, the Betrayed God, the Disappointed God. I am the God who sought to give love Divine to men by making them My heirs, making them partakers of divinity, co-creators with Me. But men spurn their birthright, not through wickedness alone but through their weakness and love of pleasure. Therefore, the love once offered cannot now be displayed in all its glory; it cannot be revealed in its beauty, it must now be leavened with severity and chastisement. This, so that those who are the inheritors of divinity may return to it with undiminshed powers, but purged of their weaknesses and love of unprofitable pleasure. This you should know, that men may know: Divinity of itself is not a created thing and cannot be bestowed as a gift. It comes as the crown of achievement. I, the Almighty God who, by taking thought can create ten thousand worlds, say this".

"Men have said, as they will say throughout the ages, "Why, if God be almighty, can He not create perfection immediately? Why does He not create beings having the knowledge of divine love forthwith? Why have Earth with all its trials and tribulations?" Know this, what appears to you as ages in time is, to me, but a flash of thought in a moment of eternity. I breathed in, the hosts of earths and the spheres were not. I breathed out and the hosts of earths and spheres were. I breathe in and they are no more. All things exist within the Eternal One and that which men know as the span of time is the act of creation".

"Mark the flight of an arrow from the hands of a bowman. It flies from the bent bow, time passes, then it finds its mark. But to Me the arrow leaves the bow, and strikes the mark together. Distance, time and change are not with Me. Once I, your God, was not apart from man, My offspring. Now I am veiled from his sight, not because I have willed it so but because man has chosen to bring this about. The barrier between us grows ever more dense, as man wantonly spurns his birthright; henceforth, it may be penetrated only by long and arduous preparations, and even then those who would do so must know the key. I come to you, not because of your preparations but because your God is ever ready to incline towards men. Though there is this barrier between us, it is not impervious to the sincere prayers of a pure heart. This, men should know. As for you your days are numbered, you are now no more than the basket holding the seeds which will be strewn and sown by another hand. Many things of which I have spoken are not for the ears of men, for such knowledge, freely bestowed, would not benefit them. Other things are beyond their present understanding, let these, therefore, be recorded unto the generations of men yet unborn. Men are now as children and must learn again as children, being taught childish tales".

"Therefore, go hence, go to Ancheti and tell him of these things. Say also that his God, I Who Am, chooses him as the sower of seeds. Let him know that I Who Am will guide his steps and will open a door in the barrier, that he may hear my voice. Let your eyes now see again and, behold, I Am Who I Am".

Then Hurmanetar left the place where he had seen the face of the Father of Gods, returning to the encampment of his people which had been set up in the midst of pastureland. When he drew nigh he saw cattle lying beside the running waters and men were moving among them. The cattle were dead and their bellies swollen. Men came up to Hurmanetar and cried, "Behold, the sustenance of our children is taken from their mouths. The cattle have eaten a herb that burns as fire in their bellies so they crave water, drinking until they become overfilled and their bellies burst from within, therefore they die. Who is this whom you call Father of the Gods? Perchance the gods do have a father, but where is the god who protects men? Where is the god who is the Father of Men? While you leave us to pay homage to the Exalted One, who may concern Himself with the affairs of the gods but has no concern for the welfare of men, our cattle die. Because of your words we have neglected to build an altar to Shemakin or to pay homage to Yahana; truly we are men who have been deceived and led astray. We are men who have walked with their eyes turned upward and fallen into a quicksand. Tell us then, O wise one, who are the gods of men and of cattle?"

This filled the heart of Hurmanetar with ire and he cried out to the wrathful people, "Wherefore do you cry out to me and seek some god to come to your aid? There is but one God and these that you call gods are but manifestations of His members. Why do you seek to cast blame on God for your own neglect? Has He not relinquished His hold on all creatures that serve man and given them into your hands? Behold the beasts of the forest and wilderness, do they eat of the herb that poisons? Are they not able to know the herb that is harmful and the herb that nourishes? The herb that heals in sickness and the herb that brings death? Who taught them this wisdom? There are creatures under the care of God which know not the slothful care of man, therefore they are safe from the deadly herb and pass it by. But you, having taken these poor beasts to benefit from them, are solely responsible for their wellbeing. They are your responsibility".

"The Father of the Gods made cattle as He made all creatures, and while He ruled their ways they were protected from the deadly herbs. Then men took them unto themselves so they might serve them. They yielded milk and cheese to nourish them and firm meat to sustain them, their hides covered them warmly as they slept. These things the cattle gave, not unto God but unto man. Therefore, who should protect and care for them, he who benefits or He who does not? Do you expect God to herd your cattle? To keep them from the deadly herb while you slumber in the shade? Is this not a just reward for your slothfulness? You know that the herb is deadly, but these cattle, the dumb servants of man, know it not, for they are delivered into your care. Would you take all they give while denying them the diligence of your protection? What kind of men are you who cry, "Woe unto us whom God has forsaken". Who wring their hands, saying, "What god shall we seek to aid us in our self-wrought calamity? Arise like men, to shoulder the burden of your own slothfulness and lack of diligence. Never fear that God will fail man, for if man does the duties of man God will do the duties of God, for it is man who falls short. It is man who seeks to take more than he gives. Surely whatever man takes for his benefit, also becomes his responsibility. God decrees that man may take whatever he will for his own use, but in so doing he must also assume responsibility for its care and rightful use. Is this unjust?" The men said no more.


Hurmanetar then made the men draw the cattle up out of the water and some which had eaten of the deadly herb were saved. He then divided the pastures and sent men to seek out the places of the deadly herb and cut it from the soil.


One day, Hurmanetar was going about the encampment and he came upon a man burying bis newly born daughter, and Hurmanetar was wrathful at the man for such a deed. It was an abomination performed by the sand wanderers and the wild men who dwelt in the wilderness. Taking the child, Hurmanetar brought it to the wife of Ancheti who saved it so it lived. It was named Mahat, meaning pure of heart, but because of the sand which had filled her eyes she was blind.

The strangers about the encampment became enraged against Hurmanetar because of what he had done. Also, because he had struck the father of the child so he bled they demanded that the blood be requited. They said, "This is an unjust deed, for he who buries a daughter because he lacks sustenance for her does no wrong in our eyes. Is it not better that she be buried in the ground out of sight than kept with disgrace? Is it not for the father to decide whether a daughter should live? Has a woman a soul of her own? Is she not no more than the maker of the body, while the soul is given into her keeping by man?"

The strangers about the encampment were not so many, while those with Hurmanetar were many and strong, but he dealt justly with those claiming payment for the blood. They were given a piece of silver and a calf that was ready for the slaughter. Thus Mahat came into the household of Ancheti.

Hurmanetar was sitting with Ancheti and said to him, "I have spoken to you of the happening while I sat beneath a tree in a place of solitude, and of matters which you should know in order to be wise. Into your keeping have been given the treasures I have wrought by my own hands, and you are well instructed in the Sacred Things and the Mysteries. You have a destiny upon you which may not be fulfilled in this place, while the sustenance obtainable here declines day by day. Therefore, let us depart and go along journey by way of the bitter waters, for should we go by way of the forest or through the great wilderness, we may not live. Our flocks and herds can be driven before us, for the road is wide and well watered. Let us not delay in this place, for already there is a restlessness among the people here".

So they departed from that place, journeying towards the bitter waters and when they came there they turned southward, continuing until they came to Basor. There they encamped, for the death sickness had come upon Hurmanetar. As he lay upon a couch of sheepskins he called for Ancheti, but he did not come, for he had gone before them to spy out the land. However, Ancheti did come before Hurmanetar passed from Earth, and Hurmanetar knew he was there and called him to his side. Then Hurmanetar said, "My hour is at hand, but I am without fear, knowing I go not to a place where men eat dust, where all is darkness and gloom. The fears of my youth are but shadows having no substance, they flee before the pure light of Truth."

"Upon you there is a great destiny, may you reach out and grasp that which your heart desires, and having attained it use it to deliver all men from the darkness of ignorance. Go forth like the sun who throws his rays down like a net over the land to enlighten it. Go to a land where the honest man will be made rich and the dishonest man impoverished, for the balances must be adjusted so that riches cease to be the reward of dishonesty and deceit. Go to a land where those holding places of power and position will stand forth as examples of goodness and honesty; where none but the worthy occupy high positions; where those who have possessions and estate use these to succour the needy and resist the strength of those who oppress the weak and unprotected".

Ancheti said, "But where is this land and how shall I find it? " Hurmanetar answered, "Were there such a place, what good purpose would you serve by going there? What you will have to do would have been done already by another".

Hurmanetar died and was buried deep within the ground and none knows his tomb. May he live forever and dwell with the Father of the Gods whom he served!

These things concerning Hurmanetar have been rewritten many times, but the copies have always been true. That which follows has been added on, but when made and by whom it is impossible to discover.

Hurmanetar is buried in the land of Philistia. Is this Okichia?

The father of Hurmanetar was Nimrod of the Twin Bows. This, I doubt, and it is not stated.

The stone of Makilim is at Bethgal even now. The words on the tomb of Yadol are: 'He died because he was not as other men'. I, Frastonis, have seen it.

Could this be when eighty generations have passed?

Men of this race are unsound witnesses. The Samarites say Yadol was not mortal man.

This we know in truth: the deeds of Hurmanetar and Yadol are more fully told in The Tales of the Hithites.

The shield of Ancheti was called the Big Shaker, and painted upon it was a likeness of the mudhopping bird. It was this bird that taught men writing, for it left mud marks which men first read as omens, later forming them into signs which could be read. They are not as ours, though men among us can read them.

Ancheti taught the mystery of metals in Okichia, a land of beer, bread and milk. He was renowned in the Twinlands of light.

Mahat, the blind one who remained virgin, guided Ancheti to this land while yet a child. She was filled with the inner light of wisdom and saw with the spirit. When he knew not which way to go her father sat her on the ground and held a breast feather before her, upon which she blew. He went whichever way it inclined and was never led astray. Later she used this method when settling disputes and giving judgements. She was greatly honoured, for in the whole land there was no wiser woman.

We who make these writings indestructible have abandoned the Book of Ancheti, for it has nought of value to those who follow us, and this is a work of much labour. It contains laws for a people living in a land called Okichia who must have been less than barbarians, for he forbade such things as the eating of children newly born, the mixing and drying of their blood for eating in uniting brothers and the hanging up of women in travail. Also the cutting of a woman's private parts and the deballing of men.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE TEACHINGS OF YOSIRA


These are the words for the Sons of the True Doctrine, written in the temple of Sacred Mysteries at Yankeb in the Days of Darkness, by the Unnamed Lord of the Secret Belief, who then lived. The true knowledge of the teachings and mysteries of Yosira concerning the spirit within the body, taken from his books and rewritten truly after the custom of writing.

Yosira spoke to his sons in this manner, "I am the Viceregent of the God of Gods. I am the custodian of the Books of Power. I am the Voice of Heaven. I am one sent into Tamerua as a lightbearer, that a call may go thence throughout all lands. Let every man be watchful of his deeds and ways. Whosoever be watchful of himself is a man of wisdom, for he shall be saved from the terror of everlasting darkness".

"I am the torchbearer running before the chairlitter of Truth. I come to reveal the greatness of men, to tell them of their immortal selves, of their spirits which have to be ransomed from the doom of devouring darkness".

'The God of Gods spoke unto me, saying, "Long have you dwelt under my shadow and listened to my words. Now arise and go hence to a land where these things of which we have spoken can be established. To a place whither I shall lead you, for it is not proper that those who dwell there should remain uninstructed. Behold, I have given you the secret of immortality, but know that though all men are born into a heritage of immortality, not all enjoy it. The God of Gods, in His infinite mercy, plunges many into the waters of forgetfulness. Yet even from there they may return to be renewed, not of themselves but through the supplications of others".

When Yosira came into Tamerua he gathered his sons together on the stones beneath the place called Homtree and spoke to them in this manner, "I am the Dawnlighter and a torchbearer for the God of Gods. These are my words which you will do well to absorb, as the dry sands soaks up water. Though they are words of wisdom, they are useless unless accepted by men who have control over themselves. They have no value to men who are unable to feel compassion for others or who close their ears to Truth".

"You are the few chosen ones, my sons, light of my light, who shall hand the light on down through the generations. To you I give the true conception of God. To you I give this standard, that it may be a rallying point for those who will accompany us; for we stand on the borders of a land which has found favour in the eyes of our God".

"With us are fighting men, but they are few while those who stand ready to repel us are many. Therefore, we will not set ourselves against them in battle array, but go among them with guile, to gather many who will fight with us. You shall be the light of the fighting men, even as I am your hght and the God of Gods my light".


"The light that is with me was kindled at The Supreme Source, which is the God of Gods. Therefore, my hght shines with such brilliance that it must be veiled in part, lest it blind you. It is even as the sun be seen through a veil of cloud, it may be gazed upon for as long as desired. Seen thus it is a thing of beauty and mystery, not something which bums and consumes the eyes of the beholder".

"Therefore, even as I veil my light from you, so shall you veil your lights from the eyes of the uninstructed. Yet in all matters not pertaining to the light you shall instruct them in the fullness of Truth. In all matters concerning their bodies you shall instruct them in Truth. But in all matters concerning the Lord of the Body you shall instruct them with a light that is veiled".

"Behold the nature of man. Within him is a spark from the Divine Source and this is the Lord of the Body. This alone is everlasting, this alone of man is his true self. This spark is enwrapped within a heavy mantle of matter, it is enclosed in a covering of earthly clay. This spark alone is the seat of life, it alone has understanding and thought. Such things are not with the clay of the flesh, neither are they kin to the stones from which the bones come. The life within man radiates out from the enclosed spark, and through the blood endows the body with life and heat. life gives forth heat and the greater the life the greater the heat".

"As the sun gives light and fire spreads heat, as the flower radiates perfume, so does the Central Light give forth a vaporous unseeable glow, and this our fathers called the Breath of God. This Breath comes forth in two manifestations: there is a heavy form and a hght form, and from these all things are compounded. From The One comes the Sacred Glow in its two aspects, which men call the Breath of God, and from this are made all things which are in Heaven and Earth".

"Above is the God of Gods and below Him are Heaven and Earth. Heaven is divided in twain, there is a Place of Light and a Place of Darkness. Within the Place of Light dwell the spirits of Good and within the Place of Darkness dwell the spirits of evil. Between them the boundary is not fixed but flows back and forth according to their fluctuating strengths. But they who abide in the hght shall always prevail, for light will ever dispel darkness. Therefore, those who dwell in darkness withdraw before the brilliance of those who dwell in the light. This light and darkness are not such as men can understand, for it is not the light and darkness known on Earth".


"Before the Gates of Heaven is the Land of the Horizon, whence go all who depart from their earthly body. From here there are two great gates, one leads to the Place of Light and the other to the Place of Darkness, and the Lord of the Body is admitted into its appointed place according to its likeness. He who is filled with the light and is a Brilliant One cannot go to the Place of Darkness, for it would draw back before him. Neither can he who is a Dark One go into the Place of Light, for there he would shrivel before the light, as the white worm coming forth from the damp darkness of its hole shrivels in the light of the sun".

"Between Heaven and Earth there is a great gulf across which the dwellers in Heaven may not return, but Earth is not wholly beyond their reach. Man receives, from the Place of Light, that which influences him for good, and from the Place of Darkness that which affects him for evil. These things may be written, but the secret things concerning them may not be recorded in such manner that they come to the knowledge of the unenlightened men".

"That which comes from Heaven, whether influencing for good or evil, comes forth as shades in the likeness of men, which is rare; or much more often as lukim, which are like unto motes. It may also come as waves of air, but not air such as we breathe and feel. It is something altogether different in nature. Things come forth which are not stable, and these are the formless Ones. All things are held in form by the Breath of God, which changes formlessness, but the formless Ones can alter form into instability".

"There are three great spheres and that containing the Earth is held together by the Great Glow outflowing from the God of Gods. That part of the Great Glow which is light and contains life is called Manah, while that which is heavy and contains the flesh of things of the Earth is called Manyu".

"The One Who is the God of Gods is so great that He cannot be defined in the speech of men. Neither can they conceive Him in their thoughts, for He is beyond then-understanding. Mortal man has limitations, therefore let men conceive Him as they will. It is of no importance, providing their conception serves both His purpose and
the glorification of man".


"Man is not yet great and until he becomes so it is well that he worship the many Godf orms conceived within his thoughts, providing they be such as tend to raise him above himself. Nor do ritual and worship do harm of themselves, unless they, too, thickly overlay the truth so it is buried from sight. Ritual and outward forms of worship can be aids to purification of thought and provide a kind of sustenance for the Lord of the Body. What are the Lesser Gods beloved by unawakened men but thought-conceived friends and guides? Yet this is a dangerous path men tread, balanced between light and darkness. Therefore, when man wanders towards the abyss of darkness, reveal a little more light, that he may see and so return to the path. Beware, too, lest he follow gods that are false guides and would lure him into the quicksand of carnality, or into the wilderness of ignorance".

Before crossing into Tamuera Yosira chose captains to be over the fighting men, and they sent forth men to spy out the land. He also sent some from among his sons into the land of Tewar, that they might talk with the people there, and these came back bringing hostages from the governors of the land of Tewar. Then Yosira spoke with the sons of the governors and they gave ear to his words, they were receptive to his speech.

Yosira spoke to the people, "These are the words of the God of the Gods. Henceforth, no child shall be sold into bondage by its father or by any man who has ward over it. Such may not yet be the custom of all the people in this land, but if they become mighty, this they may do, for such is the nature of men".

"If a man have a woman in bondage he shall not cause her to become a harlot unto men, for this is a great wickedness and he shall not go unpunished. If she become with child unto her master, then neither she nor the child shall be given in bondage to another. But if she be given to a freeman who takes her in marriage, then it will be well".

'The greatest wickedness m the eyes of the God of Gods is all incest of the first degree, which is that between mother and son or father and daughter; or between the mother's mother and the son of the mother, or between the mother's father and the daughter of the mother; or between the father's father and the father's daughter, or between the father's mother and the father's son. This is a wickedness unto the God of Gods, for it calls forth the strongest of the Formless Ones, causing it to enter into an earthly body to become an abomination before the eyes of God and man. Therefore, they who commit such an act shall perish by fire. If it be committed with a child, then the child shall not perish, but it shall be branded with the mark of incest".


"Adultery is a foul and evil thing which you shall abhor, for it permits the lukim to pollute the fountain of life. In a far off land there lived a queen more beautiful than the Dawnflower, who, because she was powerful, disregarded her heritage of womanhood. As powerful kings had many wives she thought she could do likewise with men. The God of Gods and Creator of Life created men and women intending that each should play a different role. They are in no wise alike, for as men have their function so do women have theirs. What is meet for one is not meet for the other, and because the Creator made them as they are, each should follow their own path, never seeking to journey along the other's. Now, while the seed of one man was yet with her this queen took the seed of another, and the seed of one man strove with that of the other so that both perished and became a corrupt pasture. Thus, the way was cleared for lukim to enter into the antechamber of life and the sacred shrine of life was polluted, becoming the breeding place of foulness. So it was that when other men came unto her, the flesh of their bodies was seized upon by the lukim and corrupted, for foul lukim had made their abode within the woman. So the wellspring of life became a fountain of polluting evil. Adultery is an abomination to the Bestower of life, therefore let it not go unpunished".

"None shall sleep in the bed of another, unless the spell of his presence be first removed. For he who goes into any place or takes up any thing while it is under the spell of another's presence, shall surely suffer. They who are of the same kin living under the one roof, will not suffer unless sickness already be there".

"None shall eat from the platter of another or drink from his drinking vessel until the spell of his presence has been removed. None among those who know the God of Gods shall walk in anything poured out for a libation unto strange gods, neither shall he touch any part of the Libation. If it come upon him he shall go forthwith to the Master of Mysteries and be cleansed".

Yosira said unto the people, "These are the words of the God of Gods. None among you shall wash himself in water used by another and contained within anything made by the hand of man. None among those who know God shall touch a woman while the days of her heritage are upon her. No man shall go unto a woman with unwashed hands, and when man and woman have lain together both shall purify themselves before going about their tasks".

"Among the lukim none is more subtle than the nableh which seek sustenance among the food of men. Therefore, if you have bread within your dwelling, then it shall not be hung up; but if there be meat or fish, then it shall be suspended within the dwelling. If you have bran or meal which has been pounded, then it shall be kept in a capped container with nowrata flowers, thus the lukim will not come upon it. Neither crushed corn nor the crumbs of any repast shall be left within the sight of man or within the boundaries of the dwelling, lest the nableh seize upon them for sustenance. All things that have held life but have not been used for food shall be buried within the ground. All vessels which have held food but hold it no longer shall be made clean with sun and sand".

"When the flesh of any beast or of fish or fowl becomes dark in your keeping or has the smell of rottenness upon it, then it is a sign that the nableh have come upon it and it shall be taken out and buried where no beast can come upon it. Thus, the nableh are left without sustenance and will be forced back into their dark abode. But if you permit them to sustain themselves, then they will come in their hosts and, being fattened and strengthened, will afflict you with many terrors during night watches".

"If the pouring place or the spout of any pitcher or pot have a blackness upon it, then that pitcher or pot shall be broken, for it has been entered by the fiery lukim. If any who know God eat with strangers, they shall purify themselves at the rising of the sun on the following day. If any among you eat with a hand uncleansed by water or sand, then be prepared for attack by the lukim of the night. He who draws the blood of any beast must cleanse himself of all blood, lest he be attacked by the dark lukim. Neither food nor drink of any kind shall be kept under a bed or against a sleeping place, lest the lukim of the night come and take up their abode therein". These are words of the God of Gods spoken through the mouth of Yosira.

Yosira said this also, "All things which may sustain the lukim are to be buried or burnt. Anything coming forth from the nostrils or mouth of any man or woman is rejected from within and becomes sustenance for the lukim. Still waters that lie upon the ground are their drinking places and forbidden to men. Water shall not be used as drink unless it be drawn from within the ground, or be in a place where it is shaded by trees".


"Eat only food known to be wholesome and which gives contentment to the stomach. In taste it should be soothing and refreshing, never bringing pain and discomfort. Eat not of anything that is too dry or oversalted, or which brings sickness upon you. Any food of which men eat and has become rotten or mouldy has been seized by the lukim for sustenance; this you can see, for the rottenness and mould upon it is the excreta of lukim".

"Anything that has blood in it and is dead, having died of itself, shall not be eaten, for the lukim have made their abode in it. No man shall eat uncooked meat, even that which the sandfarers carry shall not be eaten".

"The slaying of any man or any woman is forbidden, but it is not unlawful to slay in war or in self-defence, or to uphold the purity of the household and home. To kill deceitfully or to strike from behind is murder and shall not go unpunished. If blood be shed it shall not cry out from the ground in vain, and unto the kinsmen of each one slain shall be the order of revenge"

"If you swear an oath one with another, saying, "Great God bear witness" or before any strange god, to deceive another man, then consider, for only the most foolhardy turn their back on such an oath. For it is sworn on the life of the Lord of the Body, and if it be broken the Lord of your Body will be everlastingly disfigured with an unremovable scar. Man has many trials to overcome in his life and not the least of these, tests is oathkeeping. Though an oath may diminish and become nothing with the passing years according to the memories of men, it is everlastingly impressed on the Lord of the Body. Wiser far is he who never makes an oath".

"If any man say, 'The whirlwind and the sandstorm, the floodwaters and the burning fire, these do I fear because these I see, but the lukim which I see not neither do I fear, that man is a fool, for he knows not the deficiencies of his own eyes. The lukim, he will learn to know by their manifestations, for they will seize upon his body and torment it, sometimes even unto death. It is likewise with the God of Gods, none may see Him, but by His manifestations is He made known unto men".

Yosira spoke to the captains of the fighting men and to those who were with them and said, "When we come into this new land all things that the people who dwell
therein hold sacred you will neither defile nor mock. Neither shall you stir up strife with any man, for we come to them as friends not foes". Therefore, when Yosira and all those with him came up into the land of Tewar and dwelt there, peace was in the land.

Then Yosira taught the people of Tewar the weaving of cloth and the working of metals, and showed them how to make tools and weapons of metal cast in a mysterious manner. But the secret of the sharp-edged weapons he revealed only to his own.

The people of Tewar built a habitation for Yosira and a temple of brick bound with reeds. There were skins upon the walls and on the floor, and the door were of wood. Then Yosira spoke to his sons in this manner, 'These are the things in which the people of this place shall be instructed: The dove is the most sacred of birds and shall not be eaten, but if people say, "Forbid it not to us for sacrifice to our gods", then it shall not be forbidden them".

"The milk of all beasts which do not have horns and part the hoof is not for the sustenance of man, but if the people say, "Forbid it not, for it is our custom", then it shall not be forbidden them".

'The sacrifice of breast children at the burial of the dead shall be forbidden, for the blood of the young cannot provide life for the old, each man being the fashioner of his own destiny. He that has life shall bear it with him, and none can possess the body and life of a breast child except the God who gave it life. He who buries a living breast child with the dead shall himself die".

"All things buried with the departed one, whether they be weapons or dishes, instruments or ornaments, shall have the form released from them before they are placed within the ground".

'This shall be the law unto all those who work with metal, whether it be gold, silver or copper: One day in seven shall be a day of rest for the fires herewith the metals are wrought. On this day no fire will be lit and no metal touched or moved from its place. On the even of this day all things of metal that have been made since the last day of rest shall be placed in a trough of sanctified oil, remaining there until their appointed time. Nothing shall go out from the workplace of a craftsman in metal until it has passed through the oil".

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

THE RULE OF YOSIRA


Yosira gathered his sons about him and spoke to them thus, "These are the days of the dawnlight and I am the Dawnlighter from beyond Bashiru. I am the Torchbearer for the God of Gods. These are the laws which I made for my people in the land of Tewar, the laws of one speaking with the mouth of the God above all gods".

"He who places a spear or arrow within a dead body shall be accursed and his hand and arm will become things of evil. They will swell up and become consumed by fire. Likewise shall be accursed who looses these weapons against another, but if it be a man of Tamuera who looses the weapons, then he shall die by them himself, for he is beyond the reach of the curse".

"A tree that reaches up above twice the height of a man shall not be stricken for burning or to take away its land. But if it be dedicated to the adze and is then used by a craftsman in wood, then it may be stricken and cut. Trees are not things to be lightly dealt with, for they move the winds which cross the face of the Earth and generate these in great forests of the North and South. The slaughter of a tree is no less wrong than the slaughter of an ox or a sheep, for the same breath of life is in each. Therefore, never bring them low wantonly. Are not trees held sacred by the people of this land? Is it not more reasonable to dedicate a mighty tree or a grove of trees to a god than a mute stone or object cut from wood?"

Therefore, when Yosira moved among the people he did not forbid them their grave groves, nor did he silence the words of the women who tended them. But Yosira said, "These things are for women and not for men, let the women bide, but men should follow the callings of men and their place is not among the grave groves".
Now, when Yosira came among the people they dwelt away from the river, fearing the god of moving waters who molested them at night. But Yosira bound the god of moving waters, so he no longer troubled the people. Then Yosira bade them build their dwelling places beside the moving waters, decreeing that none should dwell beside still waters unless the still waters be filled with the life of fishes.

In those days men sought to appease the Formless Ones and the Spirits of the Night with offerings and worship. But Yosira forbade them this and he surrounded the whole land with a protective wall which no Dark Spirit could penetrate, while all those within were dissolved. Every Dark Spirit being neither male nor female and every Dark Spirit which clothed itself in the shape of a beast or bird was bound and cast back into the Place of Darkness.


All men who were blood kindred with the beasts of the forest or with fowl or with serpent, dwelt together according to their kinship, and were divided thereby. Yosira forbade them not their kinship but did forbid the rule of blood. He spoke to the people in this manner: "Great are the ties of that thing which binds men together and joins them with their forefathers, but greater still is each man in himself, his destiny lying within himself alone and not within his kindred. Man is not a drop of water in the stream of life, but a fish that swims within the stream. Yet insofar as these things have ever been, the twenty-four great kinships shall remain secured in their establishment".

Before the coming of Yosira a man could not take to wife a woman of his own blood, but Yosira redeemed the land with blood, safeguarding it against barrenness. So henceforth men could take wives from among their own blood kindred, and the land remained fruitful. This, the Spirit of Life, became strong among men, for it was not spread out to become diluted and weakened.

Until Yosira came none in this land knew of hokew, and it filled men with fear and awe, but Yosira revealed all its secrets to his sons, and the secrets are known even in these days. Hokew is that which sustains the Dawndwellers. It is but thinly spread throughout the Earth and before the days of Yosira men could gather it, storing it in stones and in sacred objects. It may be drawn upon by the spirits of men, as women draw water from a well. It is hokew which bestows fertility, causing flocks to multiply and crops to increase. Its secrets are known by the Twice Born.

Though in the days of his distress Yosira called upon his Father in Kanogmahu, he forbade his sons to call upon Him likewise, for Yosira was their father on Earth and their advocate in the Hall of Admission. Therefore, none can call upon Him with impunity, for if He dealt with them He would neglect His task among the Dawndwellers. Nor is any man justified in calling upon the spirit of a Departed One, for they are beyond concern for the everyday affairs of men.

When the sons of Yosira had established their rule over the people, the leaders of the people came to Yosira desiring to make him their king, so he would rule over them. But when they came before him, Yosira replied to their wish in this manner, "I am the mouth of the God of Gods and the light of my people. I will be the father of your king and the director of his footsteps, but your king I cannot be, for I am dedicated in service to the God of Gods". Saying this Yosira then took his son, who was grown to manhood, and led him forth by the hand, giving him to the people to be their king.

Later, while the leaders and governors of the people still remained gathered after the anointing of their king, Yosira spoke to them as the mouth of God. He said, 'To judge justly between man and man is one of the greatest obligations of a king and those who stand in his place. So from this day hence judgement shall not be given by those who sit under the trees, listening to the words whispered among the leaves. However, if three men sit far apart and each gives a like judgement, the words from their mouths being the same, then the judgement shall be good. However, if it is a matter where a life can be forfeit or property taken away, a family divided or a man or woman enslaved, then judgement shall be given only by the king or by one who wears his mantle and bears his burden".

"Sacred waters are living waters filled with the power of hokew and shall no longer be used for any purpose other than sanctification and purification. No longer shall they be used to decide whether a wife be guilty of adultery; henceforth she shall be tested by the bitter draught alone".

"He who eats the flesh of swine shall be accursed, for to eat the flesh of swine is to eat something dedicated to the fathers of men and an abomination. Flesh of the ass shall not be eaten, for it diminishes the vigour of men".

"Henceforth, the bodies of the dead shall not be broken or burnt, for the hokew within them departs with the Lord of the Body. Therefore, nothing can be added unto a Victorious One by rendering up the essence of his earthly mantle through the flames of the fire".

"The people shall not be denied their feasts, nor shall they be forbidden the rituals of fruitfulness. Their offerings to any god shall not be taken away. As the gods of the people are today, so shall they remain, for they serve their end. They may depict their gods after their own fashion, for the likeness of such gods is of small consequence. But the likeness of the God of Gods shall not be fashioned by any man, for He is beyond the understanding of men. No man shall seek to find His likeness in water".

"The festival to the god who draws up the land is not to be denied the people, but no longer shall they eat the flesh of asses, for now this is forbidden. The days for the feast of the forefathers shall not be diminished, lest the gift of long life be thereby curtailed. With them alone is the distribution of the life forces and in their keeping are the powers granting fertility and good fortune. Unto those who control the sprouting of com, the increase of herds and the harvests of fishes, the potency of men and the fertility of women, success in hunting and victory in war shall be given all due honour and worship".

"He who causes injury or death, sickness or suffering by drawing the likeness of another in sand and piercing it with a fire-hardened stick, or who makes the likeness of another in wax to burn in the fire, or in clay to be pierced by stake or thorn, is henceforth accursed. He will be delivered to the lukim of disease or death".

"He shall be accursed who mixes living grain with fat to enslave the earthshade of another man or woman. He shall be accursed who calls up the nightshade of another or the nightfrightener. All who are so accursed will be delivered to the lukim of sickness or shall become the prey of Formless Ones".

"It is not wrong to make an image of a breast child, that a woman may conceive, but to make the hkeness of a man's private organ so that a woman may conceive, is wrong and any woman making or lying with such a likeness shall be accursed. She who is so accursed will be delivered to the lukim of sickness and pain".

When Yosira came up into Harfanti he found there people with strange customs which displeased him, but he forbade them none except those which were evil in the sight of the God of Gods. While there he laid a great curse upon any who transgressed his laws.

These were words spoken through the mouth of Yosira, which he caused to be recorded: "Henceforth, no maiden shall be enclosed in bark and kept in darkness for seven days before marriage, but she may be kept in seclusion among women. If she has to be purified, it must be done with water and not with fire. A woman shall never be mutilated to purge her wickedness".

"Henceforth, the private parts of young women shall not be sewn up to preserve their maidenhood. This shall remain in their own keeping and in the keeping of the young women's kindred in good faith and trust. To sew or cut the private parts of any woman is a great wickedness, for this is the portal of life and woman is not an unworthy guardian. It is best that women remain maidens, until their marriage day, of their own free will and choice; but if, because of the maiden's weakness, this seems doubtful, then the obligation shall be on her kindred".


"The custom of the Habshasti whereby the legs of young women are bound together, after which young men may enter their chamber to lie with them, is a thing of wickedness and no longer permitted. Now, if any man discover the nakedness of a maiden, he shall not go unpunished".

"Man shall not see the nakedness of woman in childbirth, even though the woman be bis wife. The hut of childbirth and all within its circle is a place forbidden unto men. Henceforth, no woman shall be suspended at childbirth".

"If the wife of a hunter he with another man while her husband is absent so that he be slain or wounded during the hunt, then no wrong is done if her husband or the kindred of her husband slay her. Neither shall it be cause for bloodslaying if the kindred or husband slay he who lay with her".

"The foreskin of a man is cut to defy the lukim of impotency. This is not forbidden to the people, but they shall not preserve the foreskin in fat and use it to endow stones with hokew. The binding of foreskins is forbidden".

Yosira laid the greatest of all curses upon those who captured and enslaved the Lord of the Body belonging to another. Since that day none has done so and lived. He also laid a curse upon women who baked their new born children and ate them because of the barrenness of the land. He also cursed the chief of the women's kindred.

Beforetimes, that which grew to fullness within the wombs of cattle and sheep was sustenance for men alone, but when the beast cast it forth before its day it became sustenance appointed for women. Yosira forbade this and cursed all that came forth from the womb of beast before its time.

Yosira had these things recorded in Yapu: "No child shall be slain wilfully, saying, "Our god has denied it proper sustenance". Above all gods is the God of Gods who is the God of Life and they who proclaim these things proclaim a falsehood against Him. Yet they shall not be accursed until after the day when they have heard the laws of the God of Gods spoken unto them. Before then they have been led astray by those who should guide them, and on the leaders shall be the curse".

"Henceforth, the empty body shall not be bound tight against itself, but stretched out, for the earthly body cannot be reborn when once its Lord has departed. The people shall not be forbidden the carrying of it, nor shall they be stopped from elevating it, but it shall not be hung over the living waters, lest it call forth a Formless One in the darkness of the night".

"If the kindred of a man come up to molest him at night, the nightshade shall be bound by the power of hokew transmitted into a hollow log filled with fire-retaining substances. The log will then be burnt in purifying fire and the ashes buried after the fashion of your fathers, but the hokew shall not be given back. That hokew which comes from a man whose crops and trees yield abundantly is best".

"The spirit of the life of men does not dwell in the moving waters and therefore it cannot enter into a woman from the waters, neither does her own water bear it up from the ground. Even as a tree springs out from a single seed and the barley from a single grain, so is it with the seed of men. That which forms within the womb of woman is not built up from many outpourings of man, once will suffice. If the blood of a woman be not stopped, then she carry no child, for the life within is blood of her blood".

"No man shall fashion the likeness of any beast to lay with it so that his flocks and herds be increased, for henceforth he who does so, and all his beasts, shall be accursed so they sicken and perish. Nor shall any man spill his seed into an object of wood or stone and bury it. If he does so, then be he accursed, so that he is forever molested by the nightshades of terror".

"It is foolishness to resort to the charmers who make likenesses of beast so their kind may be brought to the arrow and spear. Unless he who seeks the wild beasts be empowered with the hokew gathered by the kindred of his habitation, nought can guide his steps or strengthen his arm, neither will his eye see keenly. The success of the hunter is not to be found with the charmers, but lies in the goodness and uprightness of the kindred within his habitation".

"If a woman take seed from a young man and deliver it to the charmers so that barrenness be removed from her, then she and the youth, and if she bear any children they also, shall be accursed. The young man will be seized by the lukim which feasts on the hearts of men, and the woman by those which tear open the bowels".

"It is an abomination in the sight of the God of Gods for men to deball themselves, and all who do shall be accursed. Those who would deball themselves for the sake of their god may instead make an offering of their foreskin, and this will be acceptable by any god. The prayer of thankfulness that they are not born women shall be made at the time of sacrifice upon the altar".

"The excreta of man and woman shall never be left exposed to the eyes of anyone, nor in a place where its smell can come to the nostrils. Nor shall anyone pass water where another can smell it, for they whose nostrils the smell enters thereby gain power over the other. The smell from human waste draws up the formless lambata which afflict men and women at night and turn their bowels to water".

"No offering of meat shall be eaten raw. It shall be roasted before a fire and the bones pounded into flour and eaten with meal. If the offering be consumed within a dwelling place, then the blood which has been spared must be smeared upon the door posts, so that the dark shades of the night haunters and the death bringers be repulsed by the power of life".

"It is the duty of a son to provide sustenance for a Departed One who was his mother or his father, and he shall not neglect his brother or his sister or any of his kinsfolk who lack children. If he be neglectful of his duty he shall not escape molestation by the earthshades of the Departed Ones, which will wander relentlessly until satisfied. If Formless Ones be called forth by neglect so that they reach stability on Earth, they will haunt the dark watches of the night and suck life-filled blood to sustain their awful forms. No man may keep them from his dwelling, for they will slide in stealthily even as snakes".

"It is wrong for charmers to call forth Dark Spirits. Any charmer so doing within the borders of the enlightened land shall be accursed, so he be seized by the nightfiend. If such be done, and the Dark Spirits wander out of control, then one of the Twice Born shall be called upon to return them to their dark abode".


"It is not sufficient for men to shun the ways of wickedness, for unless the Lord of the Body be clothed in brightness they who watch for him in the Land of the Dawning will wait in vain. Those who lack that which would bring them into the Place of Light will fall prey to the Lords of the Dark Places and be forever lost to those who love them".

"All those who are Awakeners of the Dead shall be accursed and delivered to the lukim of madness. If any of my people deal with them, then they too shall be accursed so that they become prey to the terrors of the night. It is futile to consult the Departed Ones, for what can they do but advise on matters of little import? If they have anything of importance to impart they will come unbidden to men of understanding and made it known".

When Yosira came with his sons and those with them into the true land of Tamuera, he strove with the people of Kantiyamtu who followed the ways of wickedness and ignorance. He remained among the people of Tamerua during the days of Gabu, dwelling at the place where now stands the Temple of the Skyseer, in an abode of reeds, by the moving waters.

In those days the people of Earth united themselves with those who were in the land of Morning Light by the powers within the body of a womanchild, seeking in this manner to preserve the hokew of their kindred. When Yosira saw the wickedness of the custom he placed a great curse upon all the land and upon those who split the body of a womanchild, so that her flesh cried out from within them. Therefore, the land became stricken with a great plague. Since then never has anyone in the enlightened lands eaten the flesh of man or woman, and no womanchild is violated in the great wickedness of ignorance. The people of Tamuera greatly feared the curse of Yosira.

Yosira taught the people that the power of hokew resided not in the flesh of the body but in the bones, and that each bone contained the essence of all the being, man and woman. Then the people began to seek union with the Departed Ones in the land of the Morning Light, by the power of the bones, and Yosira forbade this not, though he knew it was futile. But where there was healing in the bones and they were able to draw it forth, Yosira was not displeased, for all things pertaining to the good of the people were well in his sight. Nevertheless, he forbade to women the burden of the bones of their husbands, and since then no shades has risen to molest them. This was because of the protecting power which he drew forth to fill all the land, it relieved the women of their burden, raising it from their backs.


All the charmers who brought forth shades from the Land of Dawning and all the Questioners of the Dead and the Awakeners of the Dead were cursed, and this curse hovers over the land even to this day. Yet there are still some who seek to call forth a shade from the swathed body made eternal, but all they raise up is an ill-omened messenger from the Place of Darkness.


Yosira did not forbid to the people the rites of homage due to their departed kinsfolk, for in the Place of Morning Light these were the powers most interested in the welfare of any mortal man. Yosira never forbade anything that was to the benefit of men, taking away nought but the things which were futile or harmful. In those days there were no rites of written record, but Yosira caused them to be given to the people. Not so that these should renew life in the Departed Ones upon Earth, but so that the Lord of the Body should be sustained and strengthened in the Place of the Morning Light by the link of hokew, sacrificed by those remaining on Earth.


Yosira spoke to the people, giving them laws which were recorded in this manner: 'These are words of the God of Gods Who created man and beast upon the sacred island. No beast shall be mated with another not of its kind, and if this happen, then both shall be slain and their bodies burnt. If this be done with the permission of a man, that man will be accursed. Neither shall any beast be yoked together with another not of its own kind. During the first year of its life no beast shall be made to take up the burden of man".

When Yosira came to Kambusis he found there a man of the Hestabwis bound and prepared for sacrifice, and he cried out against the deed but none gave ear to his word. So, standing off, Yosira placed a staff of power upright into the ground and danced around it, singing the song for drawing forth the spirit. When they saw this, the people were wroth against him and called upon their charmers to curse him so he departed from the Earth. Their curses were ineffective and when one charmer approached the dance ring of Yosira, Yosira called forth a tongue of flame which consumed the charmer. Then the people became afraid and fled. So Yosira released the man who was bound upon the place of sacrifice, but he was not yet whole. Yosira also cursed all those who offered the Hestabwis as a sacrifice to their gods; since that day no man of the Hestabwis was ever slain upon the altars.


Yosira did not curse the charmers of that place, instead he called them to him and gave them dominion over the Dark Spirits which left their abode to wander Earth, molesting men in their habitation. Thus the charmers became greater in the eyes of the people, and from that day onward they have cleansed the land of all Dark Spirits. However, Yosira forbade them the calling forth of the Lord of the Body from any man so that he became the servant of another, and he placed a great curse upon any charmer who disobeyed this law. Yet this is done even now, but those who transgress the laws of Yosira do not escape the awful fate due to them, for his power is yet potent in the lands of his people. When the transgressors stand before him in awful judgement, their deeds will witness against them.


Yosira forbade those who sat in judgement the right to judge men by the fat of crocodiles or by the horn or skin. Instead he revealed to them the manner of making judgement through corn and by the burning sword. He also taught them how to brew drink which loosened the bonds from the tongues of men, so that Truth was no longer restrained.

The people dwelling among the trees, along the banks of the moving waters, lived in fear of tree apes. They held these sacred and would never harm them. They believed that these tree apes snatched the departing Lord of the Body and ate it, that they lurked in wait to catch it in a mighty unseen net. So Yosira went about cursing the food reserve for the tree apes so that it became fire in their bellies, causing the life within them to come up as foam out of their mouths. Thus the land was freed from fear of the tree apes, and henceforth the Departed Ones have gone in peace, no longer being molested by the tree apes.

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE WAY OF YOSIRA


Yosira taught that within each man resides a little man who is the Lord of the Body, and this is the life of men. While man sleeps the little man wanders abroad to journey as it will, at death departing from him forever.

The Lord of the Body cannot be seen by mortal eyes, but it is not hidden from all seeing eyes of the Twice Born. When departing at death it comes out from the mortal mouth, waiting awhile until it grows celestial wings. Then it flies away to the Western Kingdom where the wings are shed.


In the place whither it journeys the Lord of the Body needs no earth-made abode, therefore burning the earthly habitations of a Departed One is futile. However, if the habitation remains and it is not purified, it becomes the gathering place for shades arising from the Place of Darkness, for the habitation need not be destroyed, it must be purified by incense and water and refilled with protective hokew.

If a man come upon another asleep, the sleeper must be awakened quietly and with gentleness, so the Lord of the Body may re-enter peacefully. For if the sleeper be awakened before it has re-entered, or if it jump back in fright, then the man will become sick. Therefore, when awakening a sleeper it is well to call gently to the being without.

When the mortal body becomes sickened without the heat of the lukim being present, or if the man or woman be seized and tormented by the Dark Spirits of madness, this may be caused by the daysleeping of the Lord of the Body. Thus, if the Lord of the Body be awakened from its daysleeping, or restored from its restlessness, then the man or woman may be cured. These things Yosira permitted to be done after the fashion of charmers.

Yosira taught the curing of many kinds of ills within the mortal body and the use of draughts containing the life of herbs and growing things. He used fire to stop life leaving the mortal body. The manner of effecting these things is written in the Book of Medications.

When Yosira came with his sons into the land of Tamuera, the people there dwelt in darkness and they were ignorant of all knowledge. They were divided among themselves into many kindreds, and strife was frequent. They had no kings and only the old men ruled. There were many charmers who ruled the people by delusions and also those called the Keepers of Customs and the Teller of Tales.

One people dwelt among great trees and thick forests in the midst of swamplands. Their habitations were made of reeds and stood upon high platforms. These people were called the Children of Panheta, for he was their god in the days following those during which men were first created in the midst of the waters.


Another people dwelt beyond reach of the waters and away from the trees, and they were nameless. They dug holes for their habitations or sought abodes in caves within the hillsides. This people had no gods but worshipped the Dark Spirits and the Kamawam of the forest which seized men at night. When the men who had been seized returned to their kindred, they were without words, being dumb. They died in the midst of madness, tearing at their bodies. But there was no Kamawam in the forest, this madness being the work of charmers wishing to instil fear into the hearts of men.

This is the manner in which it was brought about: When the charmers seized men at night they took them to a secret place where their tongues were pierced well back with thin thorns. Thus the tongue swelled up, so they whose tongues were so pierced lost the power of speech. The charmers also pierced the victims about the waist with slivers of wood, so none could discover where they were inserted. They drove other splinters into them at the bridge between the private parts and the rear channel, and none could discover them there and know the victim was pierced with thorns and splinters.


Yosira cursed all the charmers who practised this evil with a great curse, so they were driven to madness by a demon which ate away their bellies. Since then the Kamawam has been known no more in the land.


Yosira taught men to beat metal out of stones and to burn stones, so that they gave up their heart. He taught men to work with clay and he taught them the weaving of cloth and the making of beer.


When Yosira came into the land, the people knew nought about the cutting of water channels and the sowing of com, but Yosira taught them these things. It was he who brought fertility to the land; it was he who died in the midst of the waters to give them life, and his life is in them still. Therefore, it was through the Spirit of the Great One who died in the days of old that the soil became fruitful. Beyond the reach of the living waters which rise and fall like the chest of a breathing man, the land is dead. It remains barren like a woman who has not known a man. It was known even to the men of old that if the land was not refreshed with the living waters but with other waters, then its increase would diminish from year to year until it became waste. The increase within the soil comes not from water alone but from the life within the water. Life comes forth from life, and that which has not life cannot beget life.


Therefore, the good land is that which is married to the threefold god, and land not so married remains barren. The married land is covered with the rising waters, but the land not married is ignored by them.

These things were written concerning The Children of Panheta: Yosira spoke with Panheta as man speaks to man, therefore the laws of the Inta were not changed, remaining to bind alike those of them who dwelt on the soil or dwelt on the sand. If any man went among the Inta their laws became his laws and if any woman left the people to dwell among the Inta she became even as they and might not return.

Even as the Sunspirit journeys on a road set between the stars, so does the spirit of man journey with the movement of the waters. Therefore, when a man dies his body shall be buried lengthwise with the great river.

Even as the land upon which things grow belongs to the kindred whose blood is within it, so shall no man own to himself alone anything growing up from it, whether it be grass or herb or tree. But each man and woman may take of every herb and fruit as much as can be gathered in the hands and eaten before sunsetting.

Of all things which are a seed and can be eaten, each one may gather for themselves as much as can be stored within a jar or suspended from the foodpole. All things which are a seed and can be eaten but which are not stored in a jar or suspended from a foodpole, shall be stored in the pit of the kindred. Nothing shall be placed within the pit unless it has been heated by fire and cooled.

Even as the Spirit of Life resides in the things which men eat, so does it reside in the living things from whence they came. Therefore, any tree or bush bearing the food of men shall not be cut or broken.

The blood of beasts cries from the soil even as does the blood of men; therefore, if shed it must be appeased. Slay no beast unless it be needed for food, and bury the head and whatever comes out of its belly. Every other part which is taken shall be eaten or burned, except for the bones and the skin which are to be used.

Fire serves man, but it can also become his master. Consider its nature. Does it spring out of the wood unbidden or of its own volition, or does it require the agency of man? Does it reside in the wood or is there a firespirit? Only the fools among men start something which they cannot control. Never let a fire grow into a thing of much smoke, keep it bright, using no more wood than is needful for the purpose. Let it not stray from its proper place, which is the place where it serves without menace.


When they become of an age to do so every man and woman should take themselves a mate. Those who fail to do so are not held in the highest esteem.

By the things whereby a man commits a wrong, so shall he be punished. Likewise, he shall be dealt with according to the nature of the wrong. The customs from times past are not unhelpful guides.

When Yosira came to the place where the Inta dwelt they made him welcome in this manner, "When we saw you our hearts were gladdened. The life was renewed in us and though content as we were you brought refreshment and joy". Yosira called these people his unweaned children.

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

THE TRIBULATIONS OF YOSIRA


These things were written in the Book of the Two Roads: Yosira, whois therein called Yoshira, came from beyond the Realm of Athor and was the first king of Tehamut. He established the festivals of the new moon, the festival of wool drawing and the days of devotion. When first he brightened this land by his presence, the welfare of its people was in the hands of false priests who taught that man was a double-spirited being in whom the Spirit of Good struggled with the Spirit of Evil for possession of his soul. Each deed and thought was said to strengthen one or other of the opponents. The people were not completely deceived in accepting this, it is perhaps an earthly distortion of reflected Truth, but neither is it wholly true. In the days of old, men saw Truth but dimly, for it could be only partially revealed in accordance with their ability to understand it. Truth is a light growing even brighter in the darkness of man's ignorance, and as the generations pass and go down into dust, men see more clearly. Each lightbearer dispels a little more darkness, and Yosira was a lightbearer, the greatest of them all.

Before Yosira came, bearing the lamp of brilliant light, Truth was but dimly perceived in this land. The false priests of those days taught that when the Great God created man He held back immortality as a special gift for those whom he favoured. This is not the attitude of One Who is Great, and therefore such doctrine cannot be accepted. That these priests were misled themselves was not so great an evil as their misleading of others who trusted them. A true priest should approach as close as possible to the shrine of Truth and interpret whatever he sees there as clearly as his ability and the understanding of his followers permit. In those olden days no man had yet been reborn to wisdom and enlightenment. Therefore, nothing was known about the Gardens of light, and men believed in the Dark Abode alone. This Dark Abode was a place where sand and dust were the sustenance of the dead whose bodies were clothed in long hair and feathers. Men, in those olden days, knew little more than that.

They also believed that souls risen to glory really consumed the food and wore the garments and ornaments provided for their use. They did not know, as we do, that as the soul is subtle itself so can it use nought but the subtle elements of earthly things. Even now incense is burned before the statues of those risen to glory, so that they may receive their portion. There are those who believe that the sustenance of the soul, and its continued life, depends upon the monthly communion sacrifice of its kinsmen on Earth.

As a man who walks with a lamp at night is attacked by those who lurk in the darkness, so are enlighteners who seek to bring light into the gloom of ignorance attacked by those whom it would reveal in their true likeness. Thus, when Yosira cried out against those who, while not permitting the slaying of men and women in their daily lives, nevertheless allowed a child to be slain as sacrifice, or buried beneath the pillars they raised up, he was condemned as an enemy of the gods.

When Yosira was in the land far up the River of life, one named Azulah who stood close to the right hand of Yosira slew a man who was kindred to the Leopard. This enraged the god of these people, for the slain man's blood cried out to him. Therefore, men of the Leopard came into the land of the East seeking to slay Azulah for his offence against their god, but he had withdrawn to a place of hiding. So when they found their search to be in vain the men of the Leopard returned to their place, informing their priests of their failure. The priests then held the rituals for calling down the war power, drawing it down in strength. Then, because Yosira was the overlord of Azulah, the men of the Leopard went forth against him, claiming the right of war.


But in the night, when the hostile host waited before the camp of Yosira, the war priest defiled himself and so the war power failed to make faint the hearts of those with Yosira, the war priest having lost control over it. Thus, the war power came into the hands of Yosira and he cast it back so it fell upon the Men of the Leopard, and their knees were loosened and their bowels went to water, and they fled from that place.

The Men of the Leopard dwelt within the forests, towards the sunsetting side of the moving waters, and Yosira pursued them there. He did not enter the thick forest, but, coming to an island in the midst of the waters, he made camp there. He had a prisoner whom he released, sending him to the priests with this message, "Come in peace, that I may hear your complaint and judge whether it be just". But the priests of the Men of the Leopard came down only to the edge of the waters and would go no further, and they called out across the waters, "What was just heretofore is just no longer, for this is now a matter to be settled between our kindred and those who are with you, for blood still cries out for blood".

Hearing this Yosira answered, "Let us be wise, there are judges above us, so let the God of the Moving Waters decide the matter". To diis the priests said, "It is well". Then Yosira took Azulah into a boat, rowing him through the waters against the South wind. Stopping the boat Yosira commanded Azulah to leap into the waters so he might be tested by swimming, and this Azulah did. He swam powerfully and the God of the Moving Waters did not take him, for Yosira had covered the waters with his power, so the waters bore up the swimmer, carrying him in safety to the shore.

Then Yosira sat down with the chiefs of the Men of the Leopard and made a covenant with them and with other peoples likewise. This was that when a man slays another among his own kindred, none among them shall protect him, and he shall be either slain or cut off from those of his own blood. However, if the slain man be of a kindred different to that of the slayer, then the slayer may be slain by men of either kindred. If the kindred of the slayer would avoid the toll of blood, then they must send a token to the kindred of the slain man, together with an account of the deed. They must also agree that the blood be upon their own heads and revenge in their hands, and account of such revenge shall be sent to the kindred of the slain man together with their forfeiture.

Then all the kindred bound themselves with a great oath, declaring that if blood cried out from the ground in vain, then the night terrors and blood shades would be called upon to fall upon the kindred of the slayer and not upon the kindred of the slain.

It was at the time when this covenant was made that Yosira spoke in this manner to his sons, "These are the meats which are accursed and shall not be eaten. All the meat of any beast which dies of itself. All the meat of any beast which has been slain as a sacrifice to the small gods. All the meat of any beast which has been slain by wild beasts and all meat which has been offered up on the door stones. These are unclean meats".

When Yosira had gone throughout the land and purified it, and bound up its wickedness with curses, he taught those who dwelt there the making of waterways. He also instructed them in the meanings of the heavenly signs. He built Piseti in the midst of the reedlands and drained the swamps. Then he raised up the first temple of brick and stone. At this time he established those who were recorders of the days and seasons.

While Yosira was at Piseti, the priests stirred up the people against him, and so he fled to the Land of God with his sons and blood kindred. But his wife and youngest son did not go with him, for they were with her father in the land from whence the great river flowed. This was the land of Kantoyamtu, where priests taught that death is not the normal lot of man. These priests said that though their forefathers of old were just as mortal as men, their forefather's fathers were heirs to immortality on Earth. This is an erroneous teaching, one belonging to the childhood of man, but later men were taught that death is just the departure of life which takes flight with the soul.

While Yosira was at Piseti, his true son, Manindu, commanded the Mesiti who were a host of men and workers in brass. They subdued the whole land, returning it to Yosira. Later it was delivered into the hands of Manindu whose seal is on it even yet.


After the time of Manindu the people forgot the God of Gods, for He appeared distant from them, and they worshipped other gods whom the priests devised. The light was dimmed and only poorly reflected in small hidden shrines.

 

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

THE VOICE OF GOD


(This is a modernised, revised version of a difficult to understand original and it probably contains some interpolated material).


The Voice of God came out of the Heavens unto His servants even before the days of Wunis, but in these days it has come to certain of His Devoted Ones who heard it within the cavern of visions. Afterwards, each wrote it down according to his own hearing, and lo, when they came together it was seen that each had recorded the same words. Thus, the things which were heard by the three and set down by them in writing, all being agreed alike are things recorded forever.


"I am the Voice of God Who is the God of All Men and Ruler of their Hearts. I have many aspects and come differently to all men, I am the God of Many Faces. To you, My servants, I give these words, that they may be carried to all men. Obey My commands and I will be Your God. I will enlighten and instruct you, guiding you along the way. I desire your love and loyalty, and your adherence to My plans, but I do not desire your servility. I am not only your God but your Commander as well, and so I expect obedience and discipline, as befits those who prepare for harsh and grim battles such as those which lie ahead".

"My desire is for love rather than futile sacrifices of burnt offerings, but it should not be a passive love but one expressing service in My Cause. A certain knowledge of right and wrong, with free choice of the former, is of greater value in My sight than pointless ritualistic worship. I derive no pleasure from the wasteful shedding of blood from bulls and lambs. I gain nothing from the fat of sheep and the flesh of goats. I am the Creator of All, so what can men give that would increase My greatness? Men are misled if they believe that their sins can be purged by vain rituals. Only active goodness can obliterate the stain of sin".

"Men approach Me in fear, they come to me with servility. They beg forgiveness for their sins and request My help in worldly matters. To sing My praises is their excuse for coming into places made sacred unto Me, but they come wanting something, be it only reassurance. With this attitude towards Me, do you wonder that I remain mute before their pleas? Bring Me no more vain offerings of flesh and blood, for such wastefulness of life is an offence to the God of Life. What benefit do I derive from all your feasts or festivals? Give me dedication and effort, that is all I ask. Above all be true to yourselves, for I abhor the face of hypocrisy, the face now all too familiar when men approach Me".


"Men bring Me meat and wine, fine flour and wheaten cakes, thinking I can consume these, or that I have need of such sustenance. I would be far better served were these to be given to the widow and orphan, to the multitudinous poor whom you suffer to exist in your midst. Poverty is man-made and it is not sufficient for the wealthy to give alms to the poor; those with power and position, with wealth and plenty must strike at the roots of poverty. If they fail to do this, then the alms they give have no merit in My sight".


"Your solemn assemblies, your tedious processions, your long faces and melancholy expressions bring no gladness to My heart. Your burdensome ceremonials and futile offerings of life and food benefit Me in no way at all. Men themselves may derive benefit from these, but their hypocrisy when they proclaim they do this in My name is not hidden from Me".


"The reek of your incense smoke rises and disappears into the air, but it comes not unto Me, nor do I have need of it. Yet I will not deny you the pleasure of its fragrance which can bring inner harmony and peace by soothing the spirits of men. Nor will I deny you your feasts, if the fetters of wickedness be thereby loosened from your souls, but do not say they are undertaken for My benefit or glorification. Fasting and the denial of bodily appetites may serve useful ends for men, but though you may deceive yourselves regarding their intent, do not try to deceive Me by mis-stating their purpose. I have no desire to repress the joy and exuberance welling up in the hearts of men, far rather would I prefer that such humanising emotions be cultivated. Therefore, pray if prayer serves its true purpose, which is to harmonise your spirit with Mine so communication becomes possible. Keep your festivals and feasts if they serve their purpose, which is to inspire and refine your spirit. Do all that elevates your spirit and develops your souls, that is the true purpose of life. Do all that is good for you, nothing wholly beneficial is denied you, but do not declare that in so doing you confer benefit upon Me. I am the God Above and Beyond All".

"I do not deny you your rituals and ceremonials, worship Me if you will as you will, but bear in mind that this cannot substitute for your obligations. Ritual and worship cannot be an adjustment or payment for the things you have failed to do, or be an apology for your own shortcomings. Neither do they compensate for iniquities against your fellowmen. If you attach importance to ritual and ceremonial let it be in a proper proportion, and never let them dull your conscience against deeds of wickedness, of usury and injustice. Never let your duty and obligations be neglected because you worship Me diligently, following a formalised ritual and ceremonial. Let this not become an excuse for failing to share your bread with the hungry or for neglecting the needs of the destitute or weak. I am not deceived. A life dedicated to Me is not one preoccupied with worship, that is more the life of a coward trembling before the unknown. He who dedicates bis life to Me gives shelter to the homeless and succours those in distress, but even these are not the ultimate in goodness, for they are passively accepted. The ultimate in goodness is to actively combat all the root causes of evil. Those who are my true followers live a life of service and goodness. They live in harmony with their neighbours, harm none and do not shirk the burdens and obligations of earthly existence".


"I am better served by obedience to My laws and conformity with My plans than by ritual and offerings. To listen to the words of the Sacred Writings while striving to understand them is better in My sight than offerings of flesh and treasure which benefit the priests more than they do Me. Among the things which I abhor few are more detestable than the hypocritical offerings of the evildoer. The offerings and worship of a hypocrite are an abomination to Me. Evil enters the realm beyond Earth as a foul smell, and the worse one of all is the smell of hypocrisy. Those who pander to hypocrites or do not actively oppose them are also creatures of evil".


"I know too well the deceit to which men are prone. The adulterer and fornicator preach chastity for others, while the liar declares the virtues of Truth. The thief preaches honesty and the lewd-minded professes modesty. Men say one thing and mean another, while all too often the half or slanted truth replaces the real thing. Men may deceive themselves and other men, but I am not deceived. Now I say, let men first cleanse their own souls and eradicate hypocrisy before presuming to approach Me. Men may well cry out, "Why does God remain mute, why has He deserted Me? " Do they think their deeds are hidden or that I cannot read the secrets of their hearts?"

"Worship by men of iniquity is mere mockery. How rare the sincere and genuine heart! Were men indeed deserted by their God, they would have none to blame but themselves. Do men think their lack of kindness and consideration for others, their insincerity and inconsistency are truly hidden from Me? I am the All Knowing One. I see too little love of goodness in the hearts of men and too much fear for the consequences of their deeds".

"Real and sincere worship is to obey My laws and to shoulder the responsibilities of men, to steadfastly conform to My plan and to live in neighbourly harmony. He who devotes his life to Me also devotes it t his own welfare. He who serves Me well likewise serves himself. This is the Law of Laws. For the whole purpose of life is not the service of God but the development of the soul of man. He who worships Me with empty ritual and vain ceremonial but neglects the wellbeing of his own soul, does not serve Me well, for he thwarts My purpose. I have endowed the creature made in My likeness with a religious instinct, for this springs from its everlasting spirit, as fire generates heat; therefore, to worship is not unnatural. But blind worship lacks the vitalising element, it defeats its own end, for in true worship man should reach out beyond himself to discover his own soul. Then, having done so, he should develop it until the soul aspires to godhood itself".

"Therefore, dedicate all your labours and the skill of your hands unto Me, and let your heart ever dwell on the borders of the spiritual. Let the life which you cherish be the spiritlife. Free yourself from all vain hopes and selfish thoughts; from all worthless encumbrances; from ungainful avarice and unbeneficial lusts; from the domination of the flesh. life is not easy, nor is it wholly pleasant; it is not meant to be, but bear your burdens with cheerfulness and fortitude. Entrench yourself within an inner fortress of peace".

"Whatever you do or give, do or give in My name, and whatsoever sufferings descend upon you, suffer them for Me. Thus, you will avoid the stigma of false pride and all given and suffered will be without any taint of self-interest".

"The path of godliness is not an easy one to follow, for it is beset with the pitfalls of perplexity and doubt. Then, too, there is not one path but several, and few among men know which is the best. There are many false paths leading nowhere, there are paths that lead to a wilderness of disillusion and some which lead to destruction. Yet among the many beliefs springing up from time to rime in various lands, there are always those which lead to the same Truth, to the one Fountainhead of Light, though some may be devious and some wander through dangerous territory. They are like many roads leading pilgrims to the one shrine. Though all true paths are lit by the guiding light of Truth, not all see it alike; but the fault lies not so much in the light as in the beholder. It is this which leads to misunderstandings concerning each other's teachings and to disputes between those who prefer one road and those preferring another. Each considers his own way, his own interpretation of the light to be the best, if not the only, way".

'There are few, even among truly enlightened men, who are able to conceive My true nature, and these know that I am even above unchangeability in manifestation. I can think of Myself as some other and forthwith that other comes into being. There are those among men who declare all life, all My creation to be an illusion of the senses, a dream without sustenance. They are in error, for all that is real and all that exists was ever latent, awaiting the awakening kiss. Because men cannot know reality as it actually is but only as they can conceive it to be with their deceptive sense, does not make it any less real. If all men were blind, the stars would still exist".

"Neither reality nor Truth, nor the God Who is beyond and above both will be inconceivable to the minds of the ultimate man. Only man in his present undeveloped state and in his ignorance cannot conceive such things and therefore, because in his blindness they are beyond his sight, he says they do not exist".

"In the beginning I established the Law, without which the souls of men could not develop and progress. As each soul is itself a divine fragment, with all the powers of divinity latent within itself, it can modify all but the Great Law. Man thinks but his thoughts alone do not create, for, as yet, he lacks knowledge of the power which creates in substance. First I created the firmament, which is the matrix of all; then when I took thought the creative power flowed outward and, operating upon the medium, brought into being things of substance".

"My creation arose before Me as light does before a flame or heat before a fire. It came and still comes into being because I exist, it is because I Am. Creation in no way affects Me any more than a man is affected by his shadow, or light by its reflection. As raindrops, waves, rivers, dew and mist are all forms of water, so is everything existing and knowable by man but various forms of the one substance. This substance has its origin in Me, but it is not Me".


"I am the source of all things, supporting but not being supported by them. Even as the mighty winds which sweep across the Earth find their rest in the tranquil vastness above, so all beings and all things have their rest in Me. It is a power outflowing from Me which holds all things in stability and form".


'They who devote their lives to My service must do more than love and worship Me, for such service entails the elevation of mankind, the spreading of good and the combating of evil. They must not only fight against the ungodly, but also overcome the wickedness welling up in their own thoughts. They who love Me desire the well-being of all men, and their souls are filled with harmony and peace. Dearer to Me than their love for Me is the labour and tribulations of those who serve Me. I am their end. I am never the God of Inertia but the God of Effort; if you offer no more than deeds done in My service or in conformity with My design, then you serve Me adequately".

"However, too rarely do the ways of men conform to My plan and the ranks of those who serve are too thin. Therefore, I shall call forth leaders from among men and send out the clarion cry to service. I shall seek out men who will serve Me diligently and loyally. They will be men of goodwill who are of a friendly nature. They will be kind and compassionate, men who can love deeply and truly, whose steadfastness is the same in pleasure and affliction; whose resolve remains equally unbroken in the sweet embrace of good fortune as under the harsh blows of misfortune. I will send men who are fair and just, proud and resolute, but these qualities mean nothing unless they also have courage and resolution, fortitude and tenacity".

"I shall seek the man who is himself ever seeking, who seeks to unravel the riddle of life. One whose determination is strong, who detests wickedness and delights in the good; whose heart and inner vision reach out for enlightenment. His tranquillity will remain unshaken under stress and within his heart will be a haven of peace beyond the reach of excitement and anger. He will be a lover of wisdom and seeker of truth. He who is wise, he who knows what to do, who remains calm when others lose their self-control; he who is clearheaded under stress, who enjoys the challenge of the task, that man is Mine, He who labours uncomplainingly, who disdains to satisfy deforming lusts, whose spirit
remains the same under the temptations of honours or the pressure of disgrace; he who is free from the shackles of unworthy earthly attachments, who retains his balance under praise or blame, who can shoulder his own burdens, whose spirit is calm, silent and strong under all circumstances; he who can bear the responsibilities of life and the obligations of love, that man is Mine. I am the God of Inspiration, I am the God of Love".


"I am the Knower and you are the known. I am the Source of Life. In the vastness of My nature I place the seed of things to be, from which come forth all things that are now or ever will exist".


"Men must nourish their spirit and sustain it with spiritual fare. They must also learn that the spirit is not something seperate from man, or something within him. Man is spirit, man is soul. There is no need to engage in long-winded empty discussions about far away things lying beyond the reach and understanding of men. To know the reality of the spirit and to establish the existence of the soul, man has only to delve within his nature, to seek within himself. The spiritual part of man is not a mysterious something outside his being, or a thing difficult to understand. To discover it requires no more than the effort of seeking".


"Men with sincere hearts, seeking a path ask for a starting point. However, for most the key is self-discipline, and this is the reason for many laws and restrictions. But these must never be unnecessarily restrictive, each must have a definite purpose and beneficial end, obscure though these may be. The means for overcoming unwholesome desires and for harmonising with the divine chord he within the reach of all, but effort must be expended in their cultivation. If the end is great beyond man's conception, it is no less true that the task before man is arduous and difficult in the extreme. To master himself and gain complete self-control is no more than the first step along the path".

"Though men may despair because I am veiled from them, though they may seek without finding, I am not indifferent to their needs and desires. Doubt and uncertainty are essential earthly conditions serving a definite end. I have not surrounded men with perplexities and obscurities unnecessarily. The climate of unbelief and materialism, strange though it may seem to men, is best for their spiritual health. I know better than men themselves what is best for them, for I alone can see the broad design spread over the ages, I alone see the end and objective. Though unenlightened men expect it, it is not meet for Me to interfere unduly in the affairs of Earth".


"All things are Mine and under My dominion, but man may deal with them as he will. I do not interfere, but finally man is accountable. Though I have all and nothing can add to My grandeur, with all this I still labour. Therefore, man should never disdain to labour, for this is an attribute of the Highest. I do not require of any man that he do something I would not do, or be something I would not be, I am the God of Righteousness. If ever I ceased to labour, the universe would be without order, chaos would prevail and precede its destruction".


"I am the God of Many Aspects, for men may conceive Me in any form they wish, or even as something without form. I am the God of Men's Hearts. In whichever way and by whatever name men serve Me, abiding by My laws and conforming with the Great Design, is right in My eyes. Any path which will bring man to his goal is the right road. Truly the paths chosen by men are many and varied, some are even devious, but if they be true paths of enlightenment and development, they are acceptable in My sight. However, those who lust for earthly power, offering sacrifice and worship to earthly gods conceived to accord with their desires, are not acceptable to Me. It is true that earthly success and power may come to those who strive for them, but do they achieve anything more than fleeting satisfaction? What manner of being would now dominate Earth, had all men been without divine enlightenment from the beginning, if earthly ends alone had dominated men's minds? Consider what earthly life would have been like, had it been left to develop predominated by materialism, if it had not been mitigated by injections of the divine".

"There are four main types of men who are good and serve Me well. They are those who suffer courageously the afflictions and sorrows which develop the soul. Those who labour, that Earth and man may benefit. Those who seek after Truth and those with vision and creativity. Yet how rare are those among these who do not besmirch their record with deeds of evil and thoughts of wickedness. All too many may have, by their carnal desires and acts of wickedness, countered their goodness to the detriment of their immortal souls".

"If a man follow a false god with goodwill and honesty, serving men well and living in accordance with My laws, I will not repudiate him and he will not be denied enlightenment on the way. There are many roads along which the soul may travel to bring about its development and awakening to self-consciousness, but is it not advantageous to choose the best one? Only the foolish travel blindly, without seeking guidance and directions. Those who have little wisdom or who are easily misled follow roads which go nowhere. They who follow a barren faith reach a barren destination, they find only an empty place devoid of hope, incapable of fulfilling their dreams and aspirations".


"Those who worship gods of their imagination, gods in strange likenesses, which have been brought into being by man's creative conceptions, will go to these gods who have an existence in a dim shadow realm. Those who worship lower spirits will go to them and those who worship the demons of darkness will join them, for what a man desires he deserves. There is a link between that which men desire and what becomes established in existence. Provision is made for man to receive the fruits of his own creations".


"Whatsoever you do, whatsoever you plan or create, whatsoever you suffer, let it be an offering unto Me, not for My sake but for yours. I am the God of Compassion, the God of Understanding. From those who in their devotion offer Me but a single leaf, a flower or fruit, or even a little water, this I will gladly accept, thus lightening their loving spirit, for it is offered in sincerity of heart. He who comes before any god, whatsoever its image, with pureness of heart and good motives, comes unto Me, for I gaze upon him with compassion and understanding. I am not concerned with the deeds alone of men, but with their motives. Empty gestures are ignored, but that which is done with good intent and a loving heart never goes unheeded".


"I am the Hidden God, hidden to serve an end. Veiled in mystery, I am further obscured by the mists of mortal delusion. Unable to see me, men declare I do not exist, yet I declare to you that man, with his mortal limitations, sees only a minute part of the whole. Man is the slave of illusion and deception. Though man is born to delusion, for it is a needful state, he is further inflicted by deceptions wrought by men. Though man cannot perceive the greatness above him, because of its greatness, neither can he see the smallness beneath him, because of its smallness. From the greatest came the smallest and from the smallest came creation, and within the smallest is greatness and power. For the smallest is far less than the mote, yet it is the upholder of the universe and it shines like the sun beyond the darkness. It lies out towards the edge of the reach of man's thought.

In the beginning all things arose from the invisible and into the invisible all things will disappear in the end, but the end is not the end of the spirit. Out beyond this material creation born of the invisible, there is a higher eternal invisible of greater substance. When all material things have passed away, this will remain. Above all is timelessness, which is eternity, and there is My abode, the supreme goal of man, and those who attain it dwell in eternity. I am the Eternal God".


"Few are they who can conceive of Me as I really am, the Unborn and Uncreated, Beginningless and Without End, Lord of All the Spheres. Those few who can conceive Me as I am are awakened spirits freed from mortal delusions. As thick clouds of smoke rise up and spread out from a fire burning in damp wood, so did the material universe come forth from Me. As a lump of salt dropped into a pool of water dissolves and cannot be removed afterwards, yet from whatever part of the water you draw there is salt, so it is with My pervading Spirit. I am the Great Luminary, the everlasting source of light sparks, which, imprisoned in matter, become the slumbering souls of men. These, unconsciously guided, spread out the five senses under the control of unconscious thought. That which the senses harvest departs with the spirit. It is borne away by the spirit, even as perfume is carried by the wind. I am the Boundless One, The One Beyond Limitations. I remain free and unencumbered by the effort of creation. I Am and I watch life unfold. I set the course which nature follows to bring forth all that lives".


"The fools on Earth, who shut their eyes and complain because they stumble, the ignorant who choose to walk in darkness and the apathetic who choose paths of ease and comfort, have no knowledge of Me. Their hopes are sterile. Theirs the choice of darkness, theirs the choice of ignorance, theirs the choice of apathetic inertia. Their learning is futile, their thoughts fruitless and their deeds without purpose. Though man is born in ignorance and darkness, he is also heir to the guiding light which dispels them. The light is his for the taking. Then there are the awakened souls among men, their sustenance is My own nature. They know My Spirit is among men as an everlasting source of strength and refreshment to the weary and disheartened. They are in harmony with My Spirit and therefore know Me".


"Men call Me the God of Battles, which I am not, for good men fight each other when kings declare war. Men call Me many things, but this does not make Me become what they think I am. I am the hidden power which ultimately rights all wrongs, which will eventually redress all injustices. I come to all who are worthy, but it is the lonely, the unwanted, the undesirable whom I seek. To Me, the dispirited, the perplexed, the sorrowful and humiliated soul is an irresistible magnet. I am the welcoming light at the end of the road, the companion who watches in compassionate silence, the understanding friend, the ever ready arm. I am He Who presides over the haven of peace within your heart".


"To those who unite their spirit with Mine and to those who are in harmony but not united, I increase that which they have and provide what they lack. I turn a like countenance to all men. My love for them remains constant, but those who join Me in devotion to My cause are truly in Me and I am in them. This is My everlasting and unchanging promise unto me: He who walks with Me, serving My cause, shall not perish. So join your spirit with Mine, giving me your confidence and trust, and thus united in a harmonious relationship you will come to know the supreme goal. Men say they cannot know Me through their senses, and this is true, for I am above and beyond the reach of their finite senses. The senses of man are not meant to be the means for experiencing Me, they are for experiencing the material spheres. They are also limiting, shutting out far more man they reveal. Yet men have within mem a greater sense which can know Me, but it lies dormant in the mass of men. I am the Light Widiin the Heart, the Consciousness of All Living Things. I am the God of Consciousness, the Listener in the Silences".


"I do not manifest to man through his mortal senses, for these are bounded by earthly limitations. I manifest through the great sense which is of the spirit, the sense of the soul. As pure light hides many colours, so am I hidden in the hearts of men. As sparks fly from a bellows-blown fire, so from the Eternal Fire the life sparks fly out to glow for an instant in matter and then fall back. As the sun radiates heat, a flower perfume and a lamp light, so does the heart of man create his own spiritual state. The eye of man sees a pebble, a star, a sheep or a tree and these do not appear to him in anyway alike. Yet all are differing forms manifesting in the one outflowing force originating with Me. This outflowing force generated mat which gave birth to substance and endowed it with the matrix for form. The fragments of Divine Spirit interpret that which the Divine Spirit created, but they cannot know it in its reality, for, enshrouded in matter, they sleep. Because the material sphere is a separate part of the greater whole, the mortal part of man can never hope to know in full its boundless beauty, or experience its limitless bliss. Out beyond the limits of man's thought and conception, beyond reach of even the most vivid imagination, the wonder and glory of it all stretch out into absolute perfection. Even at the outer reaches where eternity begins the wonder of the inner glory remains veiled. No words of man can ever hope to describe the true nature of divine things, to the divine alone can the divine be known. The radiant living heart pulsating with love can never be known to man as man, but when man becomes more than man he may take his first glimpse behind the veil. I am the Inspiration and Goal of Man".


"Before creation I was the One Alone. I thought and the thought became a command of power, and into the void of the invisible came that which was the potential of substance, though itself then part of the invisible. light was born of the power and My Spirit was in the midst of the light, but it was not that light which lightens the day. A firmament became the foundation of all things, matter gradually forming there, becoming ever denser as it thrust outward from the invisible. It moved from a subtle state to something more solid, from intangibility to substance, from incoherent substance into a state of density and form. I commanded the subtle substance, with light but without form, to mate with the subtle substance of darkness and become dense. It did so and became water. Then I spread water over the darkness below the light, placing a fountain of light about the waters. This brought forth the light of mortal vision, which is not the light of the spirit, nor the light of power. At that time the universe was made and then Earth received her form. It slept warmly in the midst of the waters, which were not the waters of Earth, and this was before the beginning of life in earthly substance. I am the God of Creation".


"At the foundations of My creations are Truth and Reality, these are with Me and of Me, but they are not My substance, neither are they things comprehensible on Earth. These are truly great things indescribable in the inadequate words of men, which can do no more than form an imperfect, incomplete and distorted picture of them; simple things can be described clearly in a few words to the understanding of man, but greater things become increasingly difficult to deal with through mere words. What words of man can be used to describe the indescribable? How can tilings beyond the comprehension of mortal men be brought within the limits of their understanding? Before the shadow there was the reflecting light, a light so bright that were it not veiled in the darkness it would consume the shadow. Seeking to explain and describe transcendental things in the limited language of man only leads to obscurity and confusion, the words form incomprehensible sentences and unthinking men will declare them to be incoherence. Therefore, look behind the sentences strung together with mere words. I am the Unknown God veiled from man by man's mortal limitations".


"The universe came into being and exist because I AM. It is My reflection in matter. As a man remains unaffected by the manifestations of his shadow, so do I remain unaffected by the material creation. As heat comes forth from fire and contains its essence and nature, though it is not fire, neither has it the substance of fire, so does My creation relate to Me. I am as an object reflected in water. The water may not know the reflection or find it within itself, but this inability has no effect on the reality of the object, nor on the fact of its reflection. It is as a man looking into clear water on a calm day sees bis reflection therein, but if the wind blows the image becomes distorted, and if the sun hides its face the image disappears. Yet none of these effects touches upon the image itself, nor upon that which casts the image. When the wind drops, the cloud vanishes and the sun reappears, both distortion and deception end, and the reality is again reflected. Within My creation is My Spirit, which supports it, and this Spirit is the bond between My creation and Myself. No man acknowledges the air because it is still, but when this same air becomes a whirlwind men give it their whole attention. With Me all is real, while with man all is illusion; but man may abandon his illusions in seeking Me, and he will thereby discover reality. I am the Reahty Behind the Reflection, I am the Uncaused Cause".


" Those who turn away from the glorious jewel within to seek an outside god, a separate, unresponsive being, are looking for a mere trinket, while disregarding the priceless treasure already in their keeping. Men of light worship the vision of light, men of darkness and ignorance worship ghosts and dark spirits, demons of the night. There are men who, moved by dark beliefs or their carnal lusts and perverted passions, perform awful austerities and self-mutilations never ordained by Me. They delight in tormenting the life and spirit within their bodies. They are truly deluded victims of the darkest form of ignorance. Yet some derive pleasure from their pains and torments, and so continue them, but these may be truly described as mutilated souls. Some men follow gods who punish wickedness and reward good, and therefore tend towards goodness, but is it not folly to follow non-existent gods? All men choose their own spiritual destiny, whether it be done knowingly or not, for under the Law their future state must rest in their own hands. I am the GodWho ordained the Law, and nothing man can do will change it. My love alone mitigates the consequences of man's unredeemed wickedness. I am the Changeless One. Could a God of Love become a God of Vengeance? Revenge is something alien to Me. Therefore, is it reasonable that men should believe I could be one thing today and then because they fall into error become something else tomorrow? My nature is not as that of man. I AM as I AM.


"I am not influenced by the mere formal actions of men, or by empty sacrifice. Lighted lamps and candles, days of fasting and self-mortification by man cannot sway Me in his favour. I am not to be bribed, for I am God. He who handles fire carelessly and gets burnt cannot blame the fire, neither can he who goes into swift waters and drowns blame the waters. There are laws, the violation of which brings retribution in its train. They who by their own deeds bring pain and suffering upon themselves cannot blame Me for what ensues. These are the effects of the lesser laws which are easily understood, but above these is the Great Law which is not so incomprehensible. Under this the link between the deed and its effect is not so apparent; men bring down calamity and suffering upon their own heads and blame Me, when the fault lies with them and the cause is their own misconduct or misconception. Men reap as they sow and I am the Fertile Field which takes no part in the sowing or the reaping. Man is his own master and the lord of his own destiny. He cannot expect help from any great power, unless he himself expend effort to contact such power or be deserving of help. Everything a man is or becomes is the result of his own striving and efforts, or his lack of them. I made man to be a man, not a mere puppet or nurseling. I am the God of the Law. I am the God of the Stalwart".


"Man is the heir to divinity, and the road to divinity is spirituality. Man cannot become spiritual except through his own efforts and striving. He cannot achieve it by being led by the hand or through fear of punishment, nor by greed through anticipation of a reward. He who enters into his heritage of divinity will be no weakling, he will have trodden a hard and stony path".


"Man has two ways of knowing Me. He can know Me through his own spiritual awakening or through the continued revelation of moral law and divine purpose by My inspired servants. To know Me through a spiritually awakened self is the way of certainty, but few can suffer its austerities and disciplines".


"When the spirit of man is unawakened he cannot know the great self within him, of which he is a part. Not knowing his true nature and unable to see clearly, he is blinded by material delusions. Would not the creatures of the night, which never see the sun, deem the moon to be the most brilliant light in the sky above? So it is with the man walking in the darkness of spiritual unconsciousness, He says, "I am the body and the body is my whole being", and in the delusion of that belief he becomes ensnared in an existence bound to matter. Like the creatures bound to an existence in the night, which cannot know the glories of things flourishing in the brilliance of daylight, so it is with men bound to the darkness of spiritual ignorance".


"As a shadow in the night is mistaken for an intruder, or a mirage is mistaken for a pool of clear water, so does the spiritually immature man mistake the material body for the whole living being. As the shimmering heat haze appears like solid water, so does the outer body appear as the whole being to the spiritually unawakened. As, to a man in a moving boat, another boat lying still on the water will often appear to be moving while he himself seems to remain still, so the unawakened spirit is deluded by appearances, seeing the mortal body as a whole being. When in fact the clouds are flying overhead, it appears as though the moon itself is speeding across the Heavens, it is only the knowledge and experience we have of the skies above, which tell us this cannot be the truth. Thus it is with the spiritually unawakened man who, in his ignorance, thinks the mortal body is the whole being, and, having no knowledge or experience of the spiritual region, is deceived. In fact all the beliefs of man which hold that the mortal body is the whole being are generated in the darkness of ignorance. A man may be wise in the ways of men, but completely ignorant and unaware of the higher, more glorious things which are revealed in the light of the spirit".


"The man held in bondage to delusion says, "If mere be another body, a part of me of which I am unaware, it cannot be real, neither can I know it. My eyes are infallible guides, seeing things just as they are, and any feelings I may experience have their origin within my mortal being. I am the child of my body". This man is deluded, like the creatures of the night, or as the man who sees a mirage. Are the eyes which see mirages totally reliable? Motes swimming in the sunbeam are unsubstantial things, yet things such as these are the bricks of man's body, the eyes making them appear solid and substantial, the unreal for the real, his mortal body for his whole self. The deluded man ignores the spiritual part of his being and its needs. He cherishes the mortal body, gratifying its desires with earthly pleasures. Like the silkworm, he becomes captive in a cocoon of his own making. The man who lavishes undue care on the mortal body displays his own spiritual ignorance and inadequacy. To be free from existence in the darkness of ignorance, to know the glory of life in the light of spiritual consciousness, a man must first awaken his spirit, in this way alone can he become aware of his true nature".


"Ask yourselves, "What am I? What is real within myself? What comprises the whole man? Can it be that I am truly no more than this fleshy thing, the petty, immature, unstable being balanced between futile unearthly ideals and carnal cruelty and lust? Or am I something greater which is undiscoverable by mortal senses? Am I really akin to something divine and glorious from which source alone could have come the ideals and virtues which transcend the mundane needs of earthly existence? " Ask yourselves, in the solitudes, and perchance you will not go unanswered. I am the God of Silences".


"The words of men are inadequate to express just what man really is, the knowledge of his true nature is beyond the understanding of the unawakened spirit. The inheritance within the grasp of man is without limitation, for it is the totality of all things. Man has not been misled in the hope and belief that the seemingly mortal is in fact immortal. The spirit does not mislead men. They are deceived by their own eyes, they are misled, so they are unable to see things as they are in reality. All that men see and experience throughout earthly existence is veiled in illusion. Man may think his eyes reveal things as they are, but no mortal eye has ever beheld a thing as it actually is. It appears to man through the coloured distorting glass of his own mortality. Spiritually, men as a whole are little different from the madman who builds himself a kingdom from the fabric of his imagination. The flowing life existence about him is seen as a distorted image, a distortion which his own defects have imparted to it. Yet it was meant to be thus, for man is surrounded by the conditions meet for him. It is for man to discover why this is so, and in discovering he will find himself. I am the Truth, I am the Reality".


"This earthly life, which I have given you, should not be viewed in its minute aspect but in the light of infinitude. All the suffering and disillusionment, the futility, the forlorn hopes and wasted efforts, the oppressions and injustices are not without a purpose. That purpose is beyond anything man can understand and infinitely greater than his conception can grasp. The truly awakened man, alone among men, can have any insight into life's end and goal".


"These are divine things, yet they can be set down only in the mere words of men and will thus be reduced to things of mortal frailty. Mere words will be read and the pattern formed by them will be far short of Truth and Reality. The taste of a fruit or the fragrance of a flower cannot be known by reading about them. The fruit must be eaten and the flower smelt. Only in union with Me, spirit communicating with Spirit, can proof of My reality be found. Yet, because things are as they are, Truth must ever be veiled from man as man. But who would labour, if labourers were paid whether they worked or not? Were they revealed to him, the ignorant man would not comprehend great things, therefore the light is not for him. The insincere and shallow seeker after diversion and pleasure will find little entertainment in these words. The really illuminated man will already know something of the Truth and will therefore seek it more diligently along a higher path. So these words are given just for those sincere seekers who are aware of their own shortcomings and ignorance. These will be people whose thoughts are not smothered by prejudice, who are not set in their opinions. For who among men is the most confirmed in his opinions? Who states things in the most assertive manner and talks with the loudest voice? Is it not the most ignorant? I will not let the sincere seeker go unguided. I am the Light on the Path".


"Well do I know the hearts of men, they ever seek to deceive themselves. They clearly see the errors and follies of others but are blind to their own. There are those whose idea of righteousness is mumbled words and repetitious prayers. Their souls are warped with selfish desires and their Heaven is the fulfilment of these. Theirprayers are pleas for pleasure or power, for freedom from the things which develop the spirit. The lovers of pleasure and power delight in following the path of their own inclinations, they build a creed of their own desires. They have neither courage nor the will to follow a sterner and true path. Avoid the companionship of such as these, setting your heart upon the task in hand rather than the reward. I am the Knower, I am the Rewarder".


"If a man fixes his attention wholly upon one goal or one thing for his own selfish purpose, as if it were an independent, all unrelated to others, thing, then he moves in darkness of ignorance. If he undertakes a task with a confused mind, not considering the outcome or where it will lead him, or the harm it may do to others or himself, then it is an undertaking of evil. There is a wisdom which knows when to go and when to stay, when to speak and when to remain silent, what is to be done and what is to be left undone. It knows, too, the limitations set by fear and by courage, what constitutes bondage and what freedom. This is the wisdom I have placed at the disposal of man, if he would but seek it, the true wisdom of the spirit. Opposed to this clear-sighted wisdom is the false, man-made wisdom obscured by the darkness arising from delusion. Here wrong is thought to be right and error passes as Truth, things are thought to be what they are not. The unenlightened men dwelling in comfortable darkness, unperturbed by the challenge of reality as revealed by the light of Truth, lack any understanding of true values. That which appears to them to be no more than a cup of sorrow is in fact a chalice filled with the wine of immortality. The vain pleasures that come from pandering to the carnal cravings of the senses appear at first to be a cup of sweetness, but in the end it is found to hold the brew of bitterness. He who does right does it not for Me but for himself; he is the one who benefits, not his God. He who does wrong inflicts himself for it, and he is the sufferer. He who does right does it to bis own good and he who works wickedness does it to his own hurt. It could not be possible, in a just creation, that those whose ways are evil should be dealt with as are those who live goodly lives and perform good deeds. The fate of the selfish and that of the unselfish could not be alike. I am the God of Justice, the Maker of the Law".


'The spirit of man has the. potential for doing all things, it can even rise above earthly limitations. The awakened soul can do whatsoever it wills. Man makes the environment for his own development; as it is now, so countless wills from the past have fashioned it. When the body awakens in the morning, it is like a man entering his habitation, it becomes a place of awareness. The soul becomes active in matter, that with which you hear, taste, smell and feel is the soul. Physically, the ear of a dead man is still in perfect condition for hearing, but the hearer, the interpreter, has gone. The eyes of a corpse are not blinded, but that which operated them is no longer there".


"So long as the soul looks outward only, into the deceptive environment of matter and is satisfied with the material pleasures it finds there, and which its baser body finds compatible, it remains cut off from the greater realm of the spirit. It binds itself to matter, failing to find the greater pleasures always there in the silent depths of its being. Confirmed in his attitude by experiences in a deceptive environment, mortal man becomes convinced that all desirable things lie outside himself. He concludes that satisfaction comes from gaining the things which promote material welfare. This is the folly of the unbalanced man. However, balance is the keyword, for it is equally foolish to turn away from material things altogether. Man is made of earthly things, because it is intended that he should live and express himself on Earth. It is also intended that he should discover his nature through earthly conditions and experiences".


"However, the Divine Spark must kindle the spirit. It must not be smothered. Balance is the ideal, the whole becoming neither wholly inwardly nor outwardly orientated. Man needs his body and must not repudiate it, and if it requires man's labour to sustain it, then is not man entitled to enjoy its pleasures? Here also it is simply a matter of proper balance. Man lives in a sea of material manifestation where I am only indirectly reflected, as the soul of man is indirectly reflected in his body. If a man sees with nothing but the eyes of the body, then he cannot perceive Me, for I am beyond his vision. I am the God veiled Behind Matter, I am the God of the Spirit".


"Yet there is a vision possible to man, which pierces the universal veil, a vision free from all obscurity, a vision uncontaminated by the dark shadows of base desires or fear, by unstable emotions or unworthy motives. It is the vision seen when man develops a new faculty, a new sense. It is an inward vision of splendour. A wave of spiritual light will engulf him, a mysterious power indescribable in mere words sweeps like a shooting star over the expanse of his spirit, giving a sudden illuminating flash which floods his whole inner being, his soul, with a glorious light. In its brilliance he is granted, for a brief moment in time, a glimpse of the vision splendid. He is then united with the living heart of the universe by a bond reaching out to infinity. Nothing known to man, no symbols of his conception can express the joyousness which floods his whole being. It can be experienced in quiet tranquillity of spirit. It can burst all the bounds of restraint, expressing itself in an all embracing, overwhelming feeling of love. Lost in an unfathomable sea of silent contemplation, the body will shine with radiance from the inner light, and all about will be bathed in a luminous spiritual glow. Having once been in divine communication, these awakened spirits know a joy supreme, and never again do they walk through the veil of mortal sorrows. The truly awakened soul is beyond carnal lust and mortal grief, his love is alike for all My creation and thus he shows supreme love for Me. By this love alone he knows Me in Truth, Who and What I am, and knowing Me in Truth he participates in My Whole Being. Those who seek union with Me must first prepare a dwelling place for Me in their hearts; but those who are not pure, those who do not fight for Me, those who have not suffered under the discipline of love and those without wisdom cannot attain union, no matter how much they strive. I am the God of Illumination, I am the God of Enlightenment".


"Would you know the ultimate state of man when he has finally reached his goal, when he has entered into his inheritance of divinity? It is a state of glory transcending anything conceivable by him during an earthbound existence. His consciousness expands to embrace everything, all that ever was or will be. He sees all. He knows all. He is in all and he contains all. These things come to him through infinite powers of perception, yet he is above all such powers. He is beyond all yet within all. He is beyond the realm of matter, freed from all restrictions, yet he is not denied its joys and may, if he so desires, manifest again in matter. His thoughts have the power of creation. He is one with the Light of Lights, the Light transcending vision. He is the partaker of My Substance, My son in eternity, the inheritor of everlasting life. I am your God, the Father of Man".

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

THE SPIRIT OF GOD

"I am the immortality latent in all things mortal. The light filling all things with radiance, the power holding all things to their form. I am the pure, invulnerable stream untouchable by evil, the supreme fountain-head of thoughts, the unfailing well of consciousness, the light of eternity. I am that to which the soul of man is related. I am its power, its life, its strength. I am that to which it responds".


"I am the sweet coolness in refreshing waters and the comforting warmth in the sun. I am the calmness of peace in the radiance of the moon and the delicacy in the moonbeam. I am the sound heard in the stillness, the companionship felt in the solitude and the stirring in the hearts of men. I am the cheerfulness in the laugh of a youth and the gentleness in the sigh of a maiden. I am the joy in the life of all living things and the content in the hearts of awakened souls. I am the beauty in the beautiful and the fragrance in the fragrant. I am the sweetness in honey and the scent in perfume. I am the power in the strong arm and the wistfulness in a smile. I am the urge in good and moderate desires. I am the gaiety in gladness, the restlessness in life, the refreshment in sleep. Yet though I am in all these, I am not contained in them and they are in me rather than I am in them. How pitiful are the words of men to depict sublime things! With the souls of men asleep, enwrapped in clouds of delusion, how can I be known to them?"


"I am of the Supreme, the Eternal, of God and from God, yet not God. As heat to fire, as fragrance to flowers, as light to a lamp, so am I to God. I am the power of God operating in matter. I am the first created of creation, I am the eternal thread upon which all creation is strung. I am the effective thought of God. I am that brought forth by His creating command, wherein all things share life. I am the Lord of forms holding all things together".


"I am the power giving form, I am the comforting companion of the way. I am that which gives substance to the hopes and desires of men. Think of me therefore in any way you will. I am the companionable one, the comforter. I am the waters of inspiration springing from the Eternal Fount. I am the glory of love shining forth from the Central Sun. I am in all things".


"I am the root of the tree of life, the words written in the Book of God. I am the guardian of knowledge, the wisdom of the soul. I am the harmoniser of sound, the controller of power, the keeper of matter and the sustainer of shapes. I unroll the scroll of time and record its changes. I am the reader of past and present, the scribe of change, the chooser of chance".


"I am victory and the struggle for victory, but I am more, I am that which defeats defeat, for I am the victory in defeat. I am the goodness of those who are good, but I am more, for I am the success that arises out of failure. I am the achievement remaining when all else has gone".
"I am the sublime veiling secret mysteries. I am the guardian who jealously discloses hidden things. I am the knowledge of the knower. I am the seed within the seed from which all things spring. I am the bricks of which all things are built. I am more, I am the clay and water within the bricks. I am the motion in all things that move, without me there is no movement. I am the stability in all things stable, without me no thing holds to its shape".

"I am the craftsman with innumerable shapes, the artist with countless colours. My labours are outside the knowledge of men, my works beyond their sight. My masterpieces will never be seen by mortal eyes".


"That which abides in breath and yet is other than breath, which breath itself cannot know or influence, which controls it from within itself, that am I. That which is behind the voice, which voice itself cannot know or influence, which controls it from behind itself, that am I. That which is in the eye yet is other than the eye, which the eye itself cannot know or influence, which controls it from within, that am I. That which is behind the touch and yet is other than touch, which touch itself cannot know or influence, which manipulates it from behind itself, that am I. Yet this you must know: I am not you, nor are you me, though I abide in you as you abide in me. Let wisdom disentangle these feeble words set down through the hands of mortal men".


"The glory that shines from the Lord of the Day, the gentle gleam radiating from the Mistress of the Night, the comforting glow from the hearth fire, all these are of my substance. I penetrate Earth with love. I raise up the seed. I am the breath within the breath of all living things. 1 am the sweet scent of flowers and the bitter tang of vinegar. I am the differentiating essence in all things".

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

THE SONG OF THE SOUL

" I am the sleeper awakened from slumber. I am the seed of life eternal. I am the everlasting hope of man. I am a shoot of the Spirit Divine. I am the soul".


"I have been since the beginning of time and shall be forever. I am the design interwoven in the warp and weft of creation. I am the indestructible essence of life. I am the treasure chest of man's hopes and aspirations, the storehouse of lost loves and fulfilled dreams".


"Before time I was an unconscious spirit potential united with the Supreme All. Ever since time began I was in the slumbering sea of spirit, waiting to be drawn forth into separate mortal incarnation. Now, though the mortal body enwrapping me fall apart and decay, I remain everlasting and immortal. Through all the ebb and flow of life, whatever destiny decrees, I remain the everlasting jewel of ages, invisible to mortal eyes and untouchable by mortal hands"


"I am the eternal bride of mortal men, ever awaiting the awakening kiss, the whisper of recognition. O being of flesh, deny me not; let me not dwell in forgotten solitude, left alone, unwanted and unheeded. Hold me to you as a lover holds the beloved, reach out beyond earthly things and kiss the lips that are yours eternally. Look out beyond the sphere of earthly opposites, out beyond the pettiness of gains and possessions. Grasp and possess me, your own everlasting and responsive soul".


"You will not find me where emotional tempests rage, or while sensual storms bring turmoil and disquiet. First subdue these, for I await beyond, in the quietness of calm waters. I must be sought as a lover seeks the loved one, in solitude, amid quietness and tranquillity, only there will I respond to the awakening kiss of recognition".


"Do not neglect me, O my beloved, or tarnish me; for I come to you as an inestimable treasure. I bring beauty and innocence, gaiety and wholesomeness, decency and consideration, a jewel of potential perfection. Do not drag me down with you into the demon-haunted regions of darkness and terror. I am yours, closer to you than any loved one of Earth. If you spurn me, I go down to a terrible doom in darkness, there to be purged and purified from the corruption of your touch. The best I can then hope for is to be bestowed upon another".


"I am the sublime vehicle awaiting the command to bear your trueself to its destiny of glory. Could anyone be so foolhardy as not to cherish me? Without moving I am swifter than thought, on celestial wings I far outstrip the range of mortal senses. I drink at the fountain of life and feed on the fruits of eternal energy".


"What are you, my beloved, but a passing thing fashioned of clay? A handful of dust given life by a spark from the everlasting flame. I, myself, am no more than potential. Yet together we are so great that Earth of itself alone cannot contain us, we transcend it to reach out into the spheres of divinity. Take me, awaken me, acknowledge me, cherish me, and I will carry you to realms of glory unimaginable on Earth".


"I am the imprisoned captive longing for return to the freedom of the infinite. Yet, because of my mortal love I feel heartpangs of sorrow for things that pass away. But I know that beyond the pains inseparable from a sojourn in the vale of tears, there shines a glorious rainbow of hope and joy. There is a place of abiding love centred on the infinite; there, if you will but cherish me, we shall not be denied expression".


"I am drawn, by the law of spiritual gravitation, towards union with the Universal Soul and can no more escape return there than the mortal elements of man can escape their return to dust. Man sees glory by the reflected light of glory within him, he knows love by the love within himself. The sun is seen by the light of the sun and not by any light within man. Man sees the spirit by the light of the spirit, and not by any light within his mortal self. Only by the light of the spirit can the spirit of man be lit".


"I am at peace when awakened to communion with my God. I am joyful when enthroned in consciousness and when endowed with wisdom and vision transcending that of Earth. I delight in communion with the great sphere with which I am akin. I rejoice in union with the Divine Spirit from whence I came. I am your own trueself which should be forever cherished. By listening to my whispers, by letting your thoughts dwell on me and by knowing me, the whole glory of the greater spheres is opened unto you".


"I am that which reads what the eye sees, understands what the ear hears, knows what the hand feels, tastes whatever enters the mouth and smells whatever is borne on the nose. I am the indwelling consciousness which knows and enjoys all the good things of Earth. Those who dwell in the darkness of delusion cannot know me, and to them is lost the greatest glory of life. All conceptions of beauty, love and kindness are due to the consciousness residing in me. When I depart from my earthly abode I will carry with me the knowledge of the senses, as the wind carries perfume from the flower".


"I am not born, nor will I ever die. Once awakened to an existence in consciousness I can never become nothingness. I am the everlasting one who dies not when life departs from the body. O call me forth, awaken me from sleep with the kiss bestowing conscious life. Let me not lie unnoticed, wrapped in the heavy mantle of perpetual slumber, dreamless, unknowing".


"I am the indestructible one. Fire cannot burn me, swords cannot maim me or water smother me. When a drum is beaten, the sound it gives forth cannot be grasped or held. As that sound, so am I. When a shell is blown, the note it gives forth cannot be grasped or held. As that note, so am I. When a pipe is played, the music it gives forth cannot be grasped or held. As that music, so am I. I am the immaterial in the material awaiting recognition, but in my own sphere I am the substantial one. There, man-known matter is no more substantial than the dawn mists are here".


"I am the fire of life in all things that breathe, and in union with the breath I consume the nourishing substance within the food which feeds the body. I am the kernel within the seed in the heart of all. 1 am the guardian of memory and the arbiter of wisdom".


'These things are mine and ever with me. They are to me what the bones and muscles are to the mortal body. The waking and sleeping consciousness. The awareness of self. The five powers of feeling and the five of activity. The controlling spirit, which is the sensitive being".


"I am the living consciousness within you, I am the knower. The things seen by the eye and the things smelt by the nose are received by me. The things heard and the things felt are registered by me. I am the inner being causing all decisions to be made, though the tongue report back outside the things that I, the soul and the spirit, hold recorded. Everything done and undertaken, such as the working of the hands and movement of the legs, all are done in accordance with my command".


"When I depart, the body without me is as useless as a worn-out garment which is discarded and cast aside. Do we go together, my beloved, hand in hand as lovers? Do I return home radiant in the pride of blooming consciousness, or, spurned and humiliated, return without sensitivity, memory or knowledge? Do I return to be welcomed with joy in the light of glory, or must I shamefully seek refuge in the darkness? I am yours, my beloved, do with me as you will. I am yours everlastingly".

 

 

 

THE BOOK OF SCROLLS

formerly called

THE BOOK OF BOOKS

or

THE LESSER BOOK OF THE SONS OF FIRE

this being

THE THIRD BOOK OF THE BRONZEBOOK

 

Compiled from remaining portions of a much damaged part of The Bronzebook and rewritten in our tongue and retold to our understanding according to present usage.

 

Chapter 1 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 1

Chapter 2 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 2

Chapter 3 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 3

Chapter 4 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 4

Chapter 5 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 5

Chapter 6 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 6

Chapter 7 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 7

Chapter 8 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 8

Chapter 9 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 9

Chapter 10 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 10

Chapter 11 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 11

Chapter 12 - THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 12

Chapter 13 - THE SCROLL OF RAMKAT

Chapter 14 - THE SCROLL OF YONUA

Chapter 15 - A SCROLL FRAGMENT - ONE

Chapter 16 - THE THIRD OF THE EGYPTIAN SCROLLS (A Fragment)

Chapter 17 - THE SIXTH OF THE EGYPTIAN SCROLLS

Chapter 18 - A SCROLL FRAGMENT -TWO

Chapter 19 - A HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 1

Chapter 20 - A HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 2

Chapter 21 - THE SUNSETTING HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS

Chapter 22 - A HYMN OR PRAYER FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 3

Chapter 23 - A HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 4 Marked: The Hymn of Rewn

Chapter 24 - A HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 5

Chapter 25 - Some Fragments from a Much Damaged Section Most of Which has Been Destroyed

Chapter 26 - FROM THE SCROLL OF SENMUT

Chapter 27 - THE SONGS OF NEFATARI One

Chapter 28 - THE SONGS OF NEFATARI Two

Chapter 29 - THE SONGS OF TANTALIP One

Chapter 30 - THE SONGS OF TANTALIP Two

Chapter 31 - THE MARRIAGE SONG

Chapter 32 - THE LAMENT OF NEFATARI

Chapter 33 - THE SCROLL OF HERAKAT

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 1


Herein are recorded sacred things which should never be written, but the memory of man is like a storehouse made of straw, or like a storepit dug in sand. Even less enduring is his body, for it. is a frail thing of fleeting substance which passes away like the dew in the morning. And what of the mortal chain which links the generations in knowledge? Behold, it is a thing prone to distortion, a transmuter of tradition and Truth.

Therefore, when the command went forth from the Great One Illuminated With Wisdom, and came to your servant, he saw fit to quell the doubts engendered by fear and undertook to do the thing which had not been done before, placing his trust fully in the protecting wings which are spread by the words issuing from the Royal Residence.

These are the words spoken by the Great Interpreter, who, through the powers inherited by him from above and by the powers now in his keeping, all freely bestowed upon him by the grateful hearts of his people below, will lead us into the Fields Of Everlasting Glory.

O Exalted One, intermediate between gods and men, what we now do for you do you for us. Let your deeds and your words become our words. Thus it ever was and thus it will ever be, while mortal beings make pilgrimage through this valley of tears.

Speak thus in your hour. The High Born One has not blasphemed the Divine Powers, nor has he paid undue homage to earthly desires. He has not been loudmouthed in the Sacred Places, nor laughed when he should have been grave. His tongue is pure, for when fed with the words of men he absorbs Truth and excretes falsehood. His mouth has never spewed forth words of malice or envy, words of oppression or injustice never passed his lips.

Look now at the great dark water mirror and see what is reflected there from the mists swirling along the corridor of time. Seeing your place, make ready, so that when the summons comes from the Dark One you are not caught unprepared.

These are the words to be spoken to those who peer from beyond the Dark Portal: His arm was ever ready to help those who did good for others, and he lent his power to those who ordered what was good. He stood for those who could no longer stand and commanded for those who could no longer command. He carried the weary and succoured the helpless. He never oppressed the weak, nor did he permit injustices to go unpunished and unrectified.

He stood by the side of the Great Potter, and because of his plea the clay was shaped to a more pleasing form. He erased disfiguring faults and smoothed the roughness. He added stiffness to the mixture.

He has done no evil, his words have always been true. He stands unashamed and fearless before the twin shrines. Even as it was in the Land of the Great River, so let it be here. Let him not be cut off by distance.

Let not his power be cut off, for he stands between the worlds. Let it flow out like living waters unto the living and be as shining rays to the Radiant Ones. For here we see the power darkly, while beyond the horizon it shines brightly.

He is everlastingly faithful in heart, for he has admitted no other who would defile him. He has remained loyal to the sacred words and has diligently perused the great writings. He has navigated the shallows of the winding waters. Now he draws near.


He has left his kingdom of trial, he has overcome the challenges of life, he has done all things written on the tablets of Truth, and he has sojourned in the Chamber of Profound Silence. He has done all things which are proper and been reassured that he has followed the right path. He does not fear judgement.

Let him reunite with The Supreme One who sent him forth, so that he will not be separated from the waters of life. Let the Holy Heat enwrap him when he passes through the Place of Coldness. Let his nostrils inhale the breath of nourishment, that he may live and that we may partake of his existence.

Do not repudiate him, but make him welcome. Do you not recognise the one you endowed with power? Has he become too radiant? Is his form too glorious? Read what is written in the books of his heart. You set him in darkness and he saw. You set him in silence and he heard. You set him in emptiness and he felt. You established him in nothingness and he gathered substance. Therefore, he returns with manifold powers. He is well fitted to be presented to those who stand before The Supreme One.

When the bright sun shines with splendour in the dayskies above, the gentle morning star hides her face in modesty and becomes unseen. All the great Company of the radiant nightlights withdraw before the majesty of the greater light. Yet when darkness eats the shining disk we know again the comforting presence of the eternal stars, so let it be with your servant.

The Dark Ones who dwell in their compatible gloom cannot claim him as one of their own, he cannot be numbered among their dreadful company. His heart is pure, his deeds were good, no creature spawned in murkiness has gained control of his thoughts. His desires have not been generated by denizens of the darkness.

He who was afflicted here is not afflicted forever, he is made whole, he is freed from pain, his sickness has departed. He rejoices in the light, therefore let him be drawn towards the greater light where you are. Let him not see the place of darkness, let him not behold the Hideous Ones fashioned by wickedness, the Dwellers in the Dark Recesses, who shrink before the light, or the Twisted Ones moulded by lewd desires.

He brings with him a lamp lit from the flame of Truth, he bears the rod of righteousness which rewards those who have overcome tribulations. O let him pass to the right side of the dividing flame! He has left us, he is coming to you, he approaches, he throws off the earthly wrappings, he stands free, he stands glorious. Does he not glow with splendour? Behold him, your worthy companion in brightness. Is he not wholly compatible with those of your company? See, he is a Shining One, a Hero of the Horizon. Is he not one destined to abide everlastingly? Take him, lead him to the Realm of Glory, show him his place in the Spheres of Splendour.

The eyes that were deceived on Earth now see clearly, O what splendours are revealed! The music unheard by earthly ears now sounds sweet melodious music. O what joyous rapture it brings! The nostrils inhale perfumes too delicate for the earthly nose, O how the heart sings! All drabness, all dullness and all sordidness, which are of the Earth, are left behind. Turn him from the place where these can regather about him.

The unmoving, empty body remains here before our eyes; it is nothing, it sees not, it hears not, it speaks not, it smells not, its breath is stilled, it begins to fall apart. There is no life and the overseer has departed. Nothing remains here with us but this unresponsive thing. The greatness, the feeling, the sensitivity have departed from the body and are now beyond our ken. These are with the real surviving being. O receive him into the life of splendour! We, who are here, stand blinded behind the veil of flesh, we cannot see beyond ourselves, we hope, we believe and we trust. Thus it has ever been with men, for they pass their lives behind a wall of limitations, there is a barrier shutting them in. They are imprisoned within a mortal body. O grant us fulfilment, grant us that which is that which is the ultimate desire and aspiration of men!

We speak for this man. He is one who came with us from afar. He is one who has travelled a long weary road. No taint of meanness stained the purity of his spirit, no corruption of deceit discoloured the garments of his soulself. He has gone over shining in radiant splendour, so even the doomed in their darkness can hope when they sight his distant glow. May it shed some small warmth into their grim coldness!

O Great Welcomer, who greets the newcomers, help our departed one. He served well in this place of trial and tribulation, let him not go unrewarded. He is the son of hope. Like us, like those who went before, he hoped as men have always hoped, for this is not a place of certainties. If it were, our heritage of glory would be badly earned.


He lives because it is ordained that he live; he lives, for all men live everlastingly. They die not, they perish not, they endure through ages. His Kohar awaits him and needs hide no awful aspect in shame. Let his face shine in greeting, welcome home the wanderer.

This tombed structure is not a place of finality. The grave is not the goal of earthly life, anymore than the soil is the goal of the seed. Does seed die within the ground? Is it planted intending that it be mingled with the soil and lost?

O Great Welcomer, let your face shine with gladness when you greet the homecoming wanderer. Lead him to the Kohar which is his inheritance, that he may enter into it and enjoy its embrace. Let him find completion and fulfilment by absorption into his Kohar.

Our departed one was the whole part which came forth from the whole, and he returns to the whole. Nothing is lost, nothing is gone. He lives over there, lives more fully than he ever lived. He lives in splendour, he lives in beauty, he lives in knowledge and in the waters of life. He is everlasting.

O departed one risen to glory, you are now a released spirit united with your spirit whole, the companionable Kohar, the everlasting one. Arise alive in the Land Beyond the Horizon and journey to the Land of Dawning; the stars accompanying you will sing for joy, while the heavenly signs voice hymns of praise and gladness. You are not far removed from us, it is as if we were in one room divided by a curtain, therefore we are not sorrowful. If we weep it is because we cannot share your joys and because we no longer know your touch.

O everlasting Kohar, take this man of goodness into your eternal embrace, let your life become his life and your breath his breath. He is your own, he is the drop returning to the filled pitcher, the leaf returning to the tree, you are the repository of his incarnations. As you grew there, so he grew here; you are everlastingly whole and he lives in you. If he is not even as you in face, let him enter, hide his faults, for they are not many. For this you were fashioned, for this you came into being, you are the overbody awaiting the returning spirit, and the spirit now comes. You are that which will clothe the newly arrived spirit in heavenly flesh. You are that in which our departed one will express himself.

O Kohar, hear us. Here is your vitalising essence; before you were incomplete, now you are whole. Draw your own, your compatible one, to you and observe the many likenesses. We send fragrances, that they may spread around you. Now take the eye which will perfect your face, it is the perfecting eye, the eye which sees things as they are. See the fluctuating wraith, is it not beautiful? Does it not come with an aura of fragrance, sweetness filling the air? It has been purged of all impurities, all about it is fragrant. Therefore, grant it your substance, that it may become solid and firm.

O Kohar, long have you awaited the day of fulfilment, the day of your destiny. That day is here, it is now; therefore, take the spirit which is your own and enfold it with your wings. Each to his own and to his own each goes. You and he are bound together with unseverable bonds, each without the other is nothing. Now bear him up, for in that place you are greater than he, for you are the generator. While he rested in the womb you were active, as he grew you grew before him. If he has done wrong, and who among men is guiltless, then in you let the wrong be adjusted. You are his hope, you are his shield and you are his refuge.

This we say to the Brilliant One, the Guardian of Goodness: The departed one has not walked with ignorance, he has not been slothful in carrying the burden of his duty. He has not been swayed by passions of the body, he has not despoiled the house of another, he has not caused undue sorrow, nor has he maltreated a child for pleasure. He has succoured the poor and weak, he has done all that is good; therefore, let none of Those Who Lurk in Darkness seize him. His radiant light is strong, those who would seize him are repulsed by the light and slink away. He lives, he lives forever.

He has lived worthily, he has been purified by the fires of earthly life, he has been refined in the furnace of tribulation, he has overcome all earthly temptations. He has lived the life which enhances goodness, he has prepared himself for life in the light. Receive him, O Brilliant One!

O Kohar, absorb into yourself the lifeforce, it was meant for you, it is yours. It is the enlivening spirit which spans the two worlds. He, the departed one, was you and even more so were you he. Come to him as the Beauteous One came to Belusis, a great king, and gathered him in compassion and love. Come, that he may awaken to new life in your arms.

This man, the departed one, who in unity with you becomes the Glorious One, was born of a god and is the child of two gods, after the nature of greater men. Now you are impregnated with the living spirit of he who was prepared by trial on Earth for you. Behold, in unity your twain are now throbbing with life and your brightness bedazzles the eyes. You are now a Star of Life, a Living Star, and to a star you shall ascend to rule its life.

The departed one is now freed, he is loosed from the bonds of illusion, he is saved from the dark waters of unreality and is one with the Eternal Light. These things we declare, so let them be. Our thoughts mould a new reality beyond the present real, and this becomes the reality of tomorrow.

0 great substantial Kohar, protect this departed one, your own, from the accusations of false-fronted beings, remembering the faithful heart ever prevailing before the balances of our forefathers from far away. Put into his mouth those words which open doors. Let the goodness in him prevail, but you, yourself, stand up and bear witness for him. He suffered from the frailties of men. He was wrathful when provoked and surly when enduring great burdens. His temper flashed quickly when his words were not accepted or his ways followed, and at times he lacked consideration. However, these are small things inseparable from the frailties of mortal men, and in all greater things he was good. Let not the false-fronted one disguised in his brother's form possess him, guard him from the beings lurking in the shadows this side of the darkness.

I see this, my brothers. Behold, the departed one goes to meet his own image. It is his own self reflected in his image. It is his own self that comes to greet him. It is his Kohar which embraces him. It welcomes him as though he were one ransomed from captivity. I see them blend and he becomes a new seed in the heart of his Kohar.

I hear the Kohar speak, it names itself Nevakohar, it says, "O man of pure thoughts, of kindly words, of quiet speech, of good deeds, come to me. I am your being, yet I am not you; as you have loved and cherished me, so I now love and cherish you. I am your reward, as I would have been your affliction". They are now united and this is the place of the first threshold, from whence the Completed Beings depart.

The departed one now stands in his own form and likeness. He becomes the Great Ship-Borne Voyager and passes over the waters to the Place of Reeds, but his weaknesses do not bear him down and he goes through. Great Ones, lift him up, let him not fall into the fetid waters of decay. He is a worthy son of Lewth. Then the lesser is carried by the greater, while Dark Ones gaze up from their misery and wait silently to see if he is borne up. The Glorious One goes past in peace, for he is not compatible with their dark company. He remains unmolested, for flame confounds the hands of slime.


An unloosed Dark One comes up saying it will take this man, but is repulsed by brightness. It is a thing of maimed rottenness, for on Earth it was clothed in lust-saturated flesh, though contained in a form of beauty. The heart of this man is not faint; see him now, is he not sure of his welcome among Beings of Glory? He is as the wild bull, the prince of herds, he is a Great One among the Everlasting Spirits.

He reaches the firm ground where a Bright Being welcomes him, and he is named 'The Newcomer'. He has landed on the shore and climbed the Steps of Splendour. He is in the company of Shining Spirits and his earthlife companions greet him, they welcome him, saying, "All this beauty and splendour is yours to enjoy". They bring garments of beauty, bright clothes of radiance.

He has passed through the Hall of Judgement. The Twin Truths have heard his plea, and those who bore witness have departed. He has crossed the waters and ascended the steps, now he has attained the threshold of immortality and stands in rapture. He has passed by the regions of darkness and gloom and is with glory. He comes to everlasting hfe in a true form of splendour, to dwell evermore as a living spirit within his Kohar. How wonderful it is to be united and one with the Kohar!

The Newcomer looks back across the waters to the Place of Decision, then he turns and ascends the steps to the threshold of immortality. He is in his true form, yet he is a spirit within his Kohar. He speaks, but it is not the speech of men and all understand him. His hearing is all-embracing. He sees both the powers of Light and the powers of Darkness, but the powers of Darkness no longer affect him.

The Newcomer has reached his compatible abode. He has fought the battle which is mortal life and risen supreme to victory. He has not been vanquished by the Raging Ones which are the bodily passions. At each step forward he has left a lifeless form, at each step he has fought a shadow, at each step he has won the clash of arms.

The Newcomer has sought out and discovered the One Hidden Behind the Two, and the Three which stand before them. He knows the secrets of the Nine which veil the others from the eyes of men. He has unravelled the skein of life's mysteries, even as those enlightened ones yet living on Earth must do.


There is no suffering or pain in the Newcomer, he cannot feel hurt, neither can he be sorrowful. If a companion of his Earth journey be numbered among the Dark Ones, then his heart is soothed with forgetfulness; but later he will remember, and because of his efforts the Dark One will be returned to the crucible.

 

CHAPTER TWO

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 2



The writings of Garmi were brought by the hands of Nadayeth The Enlightener, of the twin cities whence come the Sons of Fire, when he fled the wrath of kings. He spread out before the Learned Ones beauteous things of many colours and spoke to them after this fashion, and I, Lavos, recorded it in the tongue of the Sons of Fire:
Behold this, it is the Land of the Dawning. It stands between the Land of Light ever splendid and the Land of Darkness ever gloomy. They are the lands beyond the veil, before the veil is the Land of the Living.


The Aspiring One has embarked on the waters of illusion, his craft is afloat but it has not yet reached the shores where the promise of new life is fulfilled. Now he is guided by two beings, one a lovely maiden and the other an ill-visaged man. These two strive one with the other, each grasping one side of the craft, now it overturns. The maiden seeks to drag the Aspiring One down, while the ill-favoured man seeks to keep him afloat. But the Aspiring One struggles against him. They come to the sands of the shining shore where the Light of Truth turns the maiden into a vile-faced hag and the man into a handsome youth. The Aspiring One lies on the sands of Shodew as one dead, for he had fought against the man who sought to save him.

The Beauteous One comes attended by handmaidens, and with them are the companions of the Aspiring One's earthly life. There, too, is his soulself, awaiting his embrace. The Aspiring One lies as dead, for he did not know his saviour. They who stand about, who are The Welcomers, wait in uncertainty. The Beauteous One bends over the prostrate man and says, "Revive, this is not a place where death rules". He moves and she says, "Raise yourself and cast away the residue of your mortality".

The Aspiring One opens his eyes, he sits up, he shields his eyes before the vision of beauty, he is blinded by it and she gives him his heart. The handmaidens weep and their tears are the blood of the Aspiring One's life. The Beauteous One says, "I have come that you who were dead might live, that you who were blinded might see, that you who were deceived might know Truth". The soulself says, "I have come to embrace you, I have come to protect you, I have come to shield you, I am your refuge".

That which is the Kohar says, "I have come to brighten up your face, I am you as you are me. I have waited for you, I have wept for you and rejoiced when you rejoiced. I have never forgotten you while we have been apart. I have heard every word spoken and these are recorded for you. I have recorded every sight. I have recorded every sound. I have recorded every smell and every taste. Every memory is secure for you. Here I give you form and substantiality".

This is The Herald, he stands between this man and his Kohar, and they, together with The Adjuster and The Welcomers, go to the Hall of Judgement and stand before The Lord of Life, The Master of Destinies. Now come The Lords of Eternity who are The Lesser Gods, and they enter the Gates of Splendour. The Balancer comes from his secret place. The Greeter to Darkness stands at his door and The Greeter to Splendour stands at his door, they face each other. The Welcomers, compatible companions of this man's earthly life, stand about, they are there, in the Hall of Judgement.

The Balancer causes two fluid-like, fluctuating columns which stand on either side of the Kohar and one takes the form of the Aspiring One, but it is horribly malformed because it mirrors all his wickednesses and weaknesses. The other shines brightly, for it mirrors all his goodness and spiritual qualities. Then the two columns merge back into the Kohar and The Adjuster adjusts with justice and mercy. Then the Aspiring One stands forth in his Kohar and in his true likeness, whicn is a blending together of all his incarnational likenesses.

The Aspiring One is drawn towards the right hand door, he passes through and sets foot on the rainbow road. He is accompanied by The Welcomers, the companions of his earthly life who are now revealed to him in their true likeness. They sing, they dance, they rejoice, and there is much gladness in the reunion. The word of Truth is established, it is fulfilled. The ancient promises are fulfilled. He who departs shall return, he who sleeps shall awaken, he who dies shall live. The Aspiring One has passed into the Regions of Glory.

Now, behold the body vacated by the vehicle of life. It slumbers in its death wrappings, for the enlivening spirit has flown. The earthly body alone stays and cannot hold itself together. It prepares to fall apart and decay. The Companions of the Dead take it into their company, it will be made incorruptible and become a communicating door. It is given the things which rightly belong to the dead.

Those who remain on Earth fear the Life Shadow of the One who has gone on before them. The body is bandaged in its death wrappings. It is purified, it is made clean, it is provided with the necessities. Thus, the Life Shadow shall dwell at peace within the empty body, it believes it to be its abode. It shall not wander. O Shadow, do not wander, remain within the tomb, seize any who come to steal, seize any who would break the body, seize any who would open that which is closed. Seize and haunt, seize and haunt!

The Companions of the Dead speak thus, "The Life Shadow of this man who was is never restless, it never wanders, it is ever protecting, it is ever watchful. It remains, for it is bound to the empty corpse by the restraining throngs".

They say, "The spirit of this man has awakened in the Land of Immortality, it rejoices in the Land Beyond the Horizon. He is a Hero of the Horizon. Offend him not by thinking that he is dead, he cannot die, for he is with the Ever Living. He has not gone away to die, he has departed to live elsewhere. Let the moisture of his body return to the waters of the Earth from whence it came. Let the things of hardness in his body return to the dust from whence they came. Let his bones rejoin the stones which once they were".

"Weep not, for your tears and lamentations restrain his eager spirit. Sing the death dirge, that its echoes may sound the toscin in the Region of Light and The Splendid Ones and The Welcomers come to the place of appointment. It is unfitting to force gladness on a sorrowful heart, but be sad only for a temporary parting".

"Let not the earthly body of this man who was, become destitute, surround it with care and affection, so that it may transmit the substance of life. Sustain it, so the Life Shadow remain within".

"What see you now? Gaze upon it, the frail mortal remains enwrapped and silent, unresponsive. Ponder, this you see with the eyes of the body, which cannot perceive things of the spirit. Were the eyes of your spirit opened but a brief moment, you would perceive something entirely different and then you would know that his shining, immortal spirit walks in the company of those risen to glory."

" It is the time for parting, the time for farewell, for the closing of the door."

"O departed one risen to glory,who has left us to sorrow. As we have helped you and surrounded you with the protection of our love and our offerings, so now help us in the days of life left to us on Earth."

 

CHAPTER THREE

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 3



Behold, one comes wearing white sandals and clad in fine linen. Arise, stand up to greet him. He bears the staff of righteousness. He brings a pearl of priceless value, take it and become perfect.


Others come, fair women and young children. His father's heir has come and the four great ones who bear sweet waters, who spread the feast and rejoice under the strong arm of their protector. He who has gone is not forgotten, but this is the day of the living.

He who has inherited ceases from weeping and begins to smile, the protecting one comes in peace. The heart in the sky is no longer small, it expands, it grows large. Thus it is also with the heart of he who lives, his days of lamentations are over and his heart swells and grows large.

The good son never ceases from faithful service on behalf of the absent one who has escaped from the confinement of the body. The dutiful son now calls upon the absent one for protection from wandering shadows and from the molestations of life Shadows.


O Bountiful, Ever Considerate One, hear the words of your faithful and dutiful son, as they ascend with the blue, penetrating smoke of fragrant incense. Let no shadow wander from your safe abode to haunt our habitations, for they who dwell therein have done you no dishonour. Safeguard the Dark Doorway, that things in vile forms come not near us to pollute our bodies with sickness and disease.

You left, and before the waters rose again the man of Shodu, he who dealt harshly with the widow dwelling beside the channel of black stones, departed for his judgement. Is not he whom you judged, and did you not deal rightly with him when the scales went down against him? Therefore, might he not return from the Region of Darkness with others of his kind and cause misfortune to fall upon us? You he cannot harm, you are now in the Place of Glory, in the land beyond theWestera waters. Therefore, send us guardians from among the Glorious Company, that they may spread protecting wings over our habitations.

Many come, bearing cakes of fine meal and barley cakes, large, fat-bodied fish and meats of many kinds, honeywine in jars and fruits in plenty. He who is absent from the feast is joyful.his arm is strong and he issues his commands to the guardians. Cast off all gloom and be joyful, for this is not the time of sorrow, and tears have no place in your eyes.

If there be benevolent Life Shadows beyond the protective pale, they may enter. Join with us in our rejoicing. Let us all enjoy what we have and what we share, for life is irrepressible.

These are things from a foreign place said for our brother Gwelm, according to the rites of the Sons of Fire, and thus it shall be for those who enter the chambers of stone.

 

CHAPTER FOUR

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 4


No longer can the man who was speak with men on Earth, for he now lives in splendour among The Eternal Ones. He was weighed before the Assessors, and though his faults were not few he was not outweighed in goodness. He has become a Shining One and journeys on into the spaces of Heavenland, accompanied only by his compatible companions.


He has ascended into the Place of Glory, the Place of Fulfilment. The years have fallen off his shoulders, like a cast off cloak, and he is young again. He is vigorous, he lives. Time cannot touch him with change, nor sorrow enter his heart. He rests, awaiting a new call to duty.

He has passed through the Wide Hall and through the Narrow Portal. He has entered the Land of a New Dawning and he is welcomed, his Earth companions greet him, he lives. He is beyond harm, he sees the sublime visions which fulfil his yearnings. He who has served is now served. As he has sown and husbanded, so now he reaps.

He continues past the Place of Waiting Souls and sees the awaiting Kohars who will unite with the ascending spirits of men. He bears in his hand the Book of Life and glides over the pure pastures, past the bright dividing flame. He turns the face of compassion towards the darkness, but sees nought but fleeting shadows against the red glare. The Lost Ones shrink back in shame and the man who was passes the entrance to their foul abode.

Those who are left to mourn for the Glorious One have dried their tears, for all is well with him. He delights in the good life in a place of glory. He is safe in the embrace of his Kohar, he is the Adoring One whose eyes are opened to splendour, he sees the sublime visions.

The man who was seeks the Illuminator who will direct him in his duties, he cleanses himself in the Lake of Beauty and refreshes himself at the Fountain of Life. He sees spirits of the twilight who are purged of all their wickedness and lusts yet remain captive to The Lords of Destinies, for they are still unproven. The Lord of Life will direct their passage back for trial and testing. For these there is always hope.

The man who was has navigated the winding waters of life and crossed the dark waters of death, and is now strengthened in wisdom. He takes a seat on high, that he may become an instructor and guide on the path. He becomes a brazier in the distance, a homing light to guide those who seek Truth. He is purified and comes forth wearing the White Mantle of Greatness.


Behold the splendour of his raiment and the purity of his adornments, as he sits awaiting calls from those in the Heavy Kingdom, who seek his counsel. The seers in dark waters will amaze the people with the clarity of their visions and revelations, for the power goes forth from the man who was, with manifold strength. A great being has joined the Splendid Company in the Land of Dawnlight. Over there they will say, "Earth is worthily fulfilling its purpose when it produces men such as this".

You may wonder what are the occupations of the man who was. Does he illuminate the dark waters alone? May he not be among those who seek to enter the hearts of those who close the doors of their spirit to the instructors of wisdom? Alas, they who are heavily enshrouded in earthly wrappings are ever set of face before the instructors of wisdom, they say, "What have we to do with this babble?", yet they, most of all, require enlightenment, for they are men of small minds.

May he not have become a pathfinder in the night, a guide through the darkness, the star illuminating the night at its darkest hour as the herald of The Great Illuminator? May he not have become a Director of Rays that dance on the waters, or a Controller of the Winds which caress the cheek? Suffice that he rejoices in a life of splendour, so let it remain with him and his Kohar until the day when all is known, the day of full knowing.

 

CHAPTER FIVE

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 5


These are the instructions for those who journey the outer track of the twinway, for those who have been laid in the chambered tombs, who followed the ways of Kemwelith. The words are those from the distant past, first spoken in a far land beyond the rolling billows:


The Risen One has become the Newcomer, and having passed through the clearing house his departure is not delayed. No toll is required on the ferry, for the Newcomer has with him the words of entrance which have become known to him according to his deeds. He has not deviated from the path and all is well.


The ferryman comes to the Place of Waiting, he of the winding river which is the tortuous channel of purification. The Newcomer stands at the mooring place and proclaims, "O ferryman, away to the Region of the Blessed Ones. I am purified, purged of polluting evils; make haste, do not delay. I am a wanderer anxious to reach my destination". The ferryman says, "From whence come you?" The Newcomer says, "I am from Restaw and am weary. Take me to my compatible place of abode, let us not delay, I wish to join those united with their soulselves. Let us not dally. Do not tarry, for I am anxious to depart from this sombre shore. Have no fear, cautious one, for no evil dogs my footsteps. Come, let us away, bear me over the waters to the appointed place. Carry me swiftly to where spirits are regenerated and made young again. Carry me to the foot of the Great Stairway that ascends to the Place of the Immortals, to the Courtyard of The Great God".

The ferryman hesitates, he says, "Show me your token, that I may know you have truly passed the tests, that I may know your true destination. For it is the way with men that they think one thing but Truth lies elsewhere".

The Newcomer says, "My token is the brightness, which, if you be no imposter, you may see shining above my head, and my introduction is the writing concerning me, written in the Book of Sacred Mysteries. Come, bear me over the waters, so that I may tread the Field of Peace. See, have I not four attendants, two on either side? Let them speak for me, for they are witnesses walking in the light of Truth".

The ferryman says, "Who stands to the pole?" and the Risen One answers, "I will stand to the pole with my attendants, two on either side. You stand by to bear at the steering oar, so that our course remains straight". The ferryman says, "It is well, for the current is sullen and changeful".

The Newcomer says, "O ferryman of the boatless ones, I am truly a man justified before all on both sides of the horizon, before Heaven and Earth. I have passed the tests of the examiners and am free to proceed. I am one who can claim passage by virtue of my deeds. Have not men spoken well of me after I departed from their midst, is this not enough? It is the way with Earth, that if men speak of the goodness of an absent one, then he is good indeed. Truly I am a Bright One".


The ferryman says, "Draw aside your mantle, that I may see your likeness, for this is a good boat which may not be polluted. The path henceforth is hard for those who cannot be faced without revulsion. O Great One, draw your mantle over again, for you are indeed among the brightest of those who pass this way, great will be the rejoicing when you appear among your own kind, the pure of heart".


"Delay no longer, ferryman. Quickly over the waters to the other side. If you delay further I will name the names of gods to men, that their unreality be exposed. I am not one to be trifled with, I am one who can dispel the clouds of illusion. I am a man of no mean qualities, therefore tarry no more, let us depart".

 

CHAPTER SIX

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 6

 

The man who was becomes the Pilgrim. He has crossed the waters, he has passed the Grim Guardian, he waits without the Place of Union and stands firmly. He is not afraid and stands resolute. The Cool Gracious One approaches with three jars of water and refreshes him.

The Pilgrim says, "Behold, O Watcher at the Gate, I have laid up treasure enough in the storehouse of love, therefore allow me to pass. The love of those who have gone before, see is it not a large quantity and sufficient to draw me upward? See the love of those who remain behind, is it not a large quantity and sufficient to draw me upward?" The Watcher hears his words.

The Grim Guardian counts and weighs and says, "Pass". Then this man passes and goes beyond the Lake of Wisdom, past the Winding Channel of Experiences, over the flooded Field of Reeds, to the Eastern side of the Region of Light where he will be renewed in birth into the Higher Spheres.

The Pilgrim now stands before the Womb of Heaven where those who enter as pure seed are brought forth into union with God. This man passes by to where the attendants help him to assume the Robe of Glory. They welcome him.

"Behold", they say, "His Kohar has brought this man powers to make him complete. The powers he gave into the keeping of his Kohar during the prayer times on Earth have returned greatly magnified. This man has joined the Joyful Company, he has left his old, discarded body in the Region of Heaviness, to assume another more glorified one in the Region of Light.

The Kohar greets the Pilgrim and says, "I welcome you, my own". The Kohar says to those about, "This is my own, he has washed in the Lake of Wisdom and passed by the Caverns of Distrust and Doubt. Let us, therefore, enter in peace when the Great Door is opened for the United Being in the East, the door leading to the Place of The One True God above all gods, whose manifestations are secret mysteries".

Before going further they pass by a side entrance to the Region of Darkness where vile and sorrowful things lurk, the Lost Ones, those who served in the ranks of evil on Earth. O Great Kohar, stop the ears of your own; that he may not hear the mournful waitings of the doomed ones left behind!

They who are the companions of the Pilgrim cry out, "O Kohar, guide your own right, guide him up the Ladder of Life which he must traverse again; strengthen its rungs, support him, so he bears lightly upon them, let not the rungs break beneath his weight. This is the test of deeds long since done, where evil bears down heavily".

"O Kohar, your ownis weak andfalters, yet your arms are strong, therefore lift them to support him, that he may surmount to the heights above. Do this, that he may sit with those who have understanding and perception, that his feet may be welcomed in the Fields of Peace and that he may take his place among the Glorious Ones".

Blessed is the Kohar who safeguards all memories, storing them as men store corn; who retains these for the use of the Reborn Ones; who can recall all that men forget and can draw forth a memory as men draw water from a well. The Kohar is the eternal recorder, Pilgrims become Risen Ones and enter their Kohars as a soul enters a body, and in unity they become Glorious Ones.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 7


This is the manner whereby the Aspiring Ones of Earth may cross the dread horizon through residence within the Cavern of Stone. It is thus that men come to know the Truth concerning the Realms of Glory beyond the Western Horizon, but it is a path beset by great dangers and manifold terrors, and many return witless.

The Aspiring One is of Earth, he is earthbound. He sits within the cavern before the Cauldron of Rebirth and Regeneration, and inhales the smoke from the brew of release. He rises above himself, flying on wings of five feathers, the names of which are recorded in the Book of Secret Mysteries, wherein are the awful recipes. There it is written that he may ascend like a falcon and cannot go otherwise than as a falcon. He may not go in the manner of any other bird.

He escapes the call of Earth, its fetters fall from him. The Aspiring One leaves his attendants behind, he is not with them, he is not of Earth, neither is he of Heaven. He is at the place where the two meet and intermingle.

His body moves without the spirit and partakes of the sour yellow bread of wide vision. The Aspiring One drinks the brew of grey barley and sips long at the wine of harish, eating the cakes of green brown horris. He eats the fruit of the releasing tree and drinks the brew of black fungus, which is in the smoke goblet. Thus, he sleeps and the attendants lay him down in the receptacle called the Womb of Rebirth. He is in the Place of Visions but remains like the masthead bird.

He shall be covered and made so that in his struggles he rise not. His voice is heard speaking in a strange tongue, as he calls on his fathers who have gone before and now preside over affairs beyond the Wide Lake. His body becomes still, as he enters the dazzling chamber which is the doorway to twin vision.

Now he must penetrate the Walls of Dry Air which bar his passage, and rise into the rainbow-coloured Clouds of Radiance which are above. High up he looks below him and sees the waters of the Winding Canal of Experience and understands the meaning of all that had befallen him. Now he has four eyes, these being the inner and outer eyes, and rising higher he attains the heights of wide consciousness.

Here he meets the Pathfinder and follows him swiftly. He speaks rightly to the Guardian. He shields bis eyes when passing the Lurker on the Threshold, and goes on until he comes to the abode of the Opener of the Ways.

Now the body of the Aspiring One becomes restless and those who attend him place the power of Hori over his face. He hears the voice of The Sungod, which says, "I know the necessary names, I am The Knower of Names. I know the name of The Limitless One, above The Lords of the East and West, I am One Most Powerful".

The Aspiring One becomes covered with moisture, he writhes, he shouts, he struggles. The Companionable Watchers know he has left the protection of The Sungod, that he has been seized by the Fiends of Darkness, but he struggles and prevails over them, and all is well. Then the Aspiring One returns.

A hundred shining suns whirl above, a whisper rolls around like thunder, lights of manifold hues sway above, like the river reeds in the wind. All things appear to dance in a shimmering haze, then turn over and fold back into themselves, and such beauty is produced that the human tongue cannot describe it. All things take upon themselves shimmering forms through which other forms can be seen. Great melodic music throbs all around, while everything pulsates a soft rhythm. The air is filled with voices of unearthly sweetness, glory and splendour are everywhere. Then the Aspiring One awakes.

He is raised, behold he comes forth and walks as one bemused by a vision of glory. He staggers, he cannot walk unsupported. His throat burns and his mouth is overgrown with dryness. His head resounds with drumbeats. He is given the sweet waters in the cup of forgetfulness and drinks deeply, all is well. He is a Reborn One, he is an Enlightened One. He is one resurrected from the Cavern of Stone.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 8

 

These are the supplications of Dkeb, the Stranger, who came from the Land of Rising Waters and was known to us as the Opener of the Ways, he came under the wings of the Firehawk. He was the first of the Scarlet Robed Ones, the right hand of Glanvanis. That was in the time of our fathers' fathers, and the tongue of the seafarers is no longer in the mouth of men.


0 Great Being of Beauty, Brilliant One who greets the Newcomers arriving in the Place Beyond the Western Horizon, this woman is your daughter, your daughter is she. See, she is pure in spirit and clean in heart. She is modest and womanlike, so let her pass to live in the Pastures of Life, in the Land of New Dawning where all is wholesome.

Let her be purified by the maidens of Orshafa, let them purify her, let her be washed and dried by the attendants at the clean, sweet waters of life. Let the nine Delicate Ones minister to her, let her be clothed in garments of decency, for she is a womanly woman. O Great and Glorious One, give this woman your hand, clasp her hand with womanly tenderness. Spread out your falcon wings over her, spread protecting wings around her. She has followed the tedious ways of womankind and has glorified life with her presence. She has endured affliction with patience and made her home hearth a place of peace and content. Let her roam the pastures of the Blessed Ones and penetrate into the farthest regions of light.

I raise my hands in supplication. The flame is lit, it burns brightly, fragrant incense is placed in the bowl and it becomes aglow. Its sweet perfume rises into the recesses above. O Happy Risen One, O Beautiful Being glowing with womanly goodness, treasurer of all the virtues, purify yourself for admittance into the Higher Regions. The incense we offer here is your indrawn breath of renewed life. It fills your lungs, you breathe and because you breathe you live. This is the best incense from the Land of Gwemi, differing not from that which our fathers knew when they travelled the water road. O Beautified One, my heart lingers at the place where you rest, my heart is with you, entwined with yours. How sweet your breath, how pleasant your perfume, how gentle your whispers, how delicate the rustle of your attire. O newly become Beauteous One, you are not alone.

Rise blue perfumed smoke, rise cleaning fragrance, rise sweet wholesome offerings, rise like fluttering birds on wings of purified air to the glorious regions of light which he away beyond our poor perception. Accept our sweet fragrance, O Beautified One, inhale our sweet smoke, O Ever Delicate One, may you enjoy the due reward of your labours and privations, of your selfless sacrifices. Be ever contented and peaceful, O dutiful wife and loving mother, hear our words, as they rise to you in the softly smouldering incense which comes shipborne to these shores.

Hear the voices of the waiting Welcomers greeting the Beauteous One who now joins them. They say, "Cast off the old worn garment and array yourself in garments of radiant light, in the clothes of splendour which have awaited you. Bedeck yourself in the well earned jewels of spiritual reward.

"Henceforth you shall dwell here, walking about freely, to be honoured and loved. Here you will be renewed, be alert, vigorous and far reaching. The power of your spirit shall stretch out to every place. You take thought and fly on hawks wings. Your desire becomes a chariot with wings of light".

"Beyond the place of your first destination is the kingdom of the Lord of the Distant Sky. There he will permit manifestations in glory. There, henceforth, you shall walk in strength and beauty, being ever filled with life and power, garmented in loveliness for all eternity".

"There floodwaters of a glorious fluid light unknown here rise and fall in moderation, and therein you may bathe daily and taste the revitalising rests. Here your thirst may be slaked at the well of Divine Essence and your appetite appeased by the strange bread of everlasting life".

"This is your destiny, in the Land Beyond the Veil, therefore lift up your face in joy. Rise, lovely liveliness. You are one destined to be numbered among the Shining Ones and are warmly welcomed into the company of the Fragrant Ones. O happy one who enhanced earthly life with your presence, this is your reward. Many have done mighty things, but you have served with constancy and diligence, adding the small grains of goodness to the pile of merits until it exceeded in weight the great things done by others. We hail you, O victorious one!"

The Welcomers say among themselves, "How fair and bright the face of this Newcomer. How fine must have been her life in the Region of Heaviness. Behold, here she is, renewed and made young again but with a loveliness unkown in the life left behind".


When she goes forward from here she is within her Kohar, they are one. Her vision is through the Kohar, her smell is through the Kohar. All she senses is through the Kohar. All she does and knows is through the Kohar.


Behold, she is among the Chosen. Henceforth, she becomes an Opener of the Way for those of her blood. Glorious is she and blessed are they!


Those are the supplications made for Milven, daughter of Mailon, son of Market the Stranger, according to the rites of the Sons of Fire. Ardwith kept it and it was done into this form at the place called Korinamba.

 

CHAPTER NINE

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 9


This concerns the mystery of the Twice Born. It relates to those born again, to those who have endured the awfulness of the false death which many do not survive; who have drunk deeply from Koriladwen, the smooth bitter brew which releases the spirit; who have entered Ogofnaum through the thundering doors. This is their path.


The door of Heaven stands ajar, the doors of vision have been opened and now the Cavern of Vision is revealed. The spirit-bearing waves from the abyss have been freed, the rays of the Great light have been set free and the Guides and Watchers have been placed in their positions by the Constant One.


The Welcomers stand back, for this is not their stage. The Brilliant One is there and another who is the Reciter, and he explains the visions: "O Brave stouthearted one, Syoltash to be, the things you behold are the things seen by the Great Ones of Earth when they came this way in their hour and were returned back to life. They were truly men of wisdom, well versed in the mystic procedures, men who knew their position and parts."


"Behold the twin stars. These embody the midwifery powers drawing the Twice Born back to their places of origin. They who are with them are the champions of light and darkness. One you must choose as your companion, but the choice must be made according to the law of affinity, otherwise you are lost."


"The pool wherein you gaze is earthlife. The brilliant light above, far greater than the sun, is the manifestation of The One God, but it is not He. The rays dancing about are the gods, distorted reflections of what is, distorted reflections of Truth, shadows of reality. The sparkling motes are souls, they descend from the light to manifest in darkness."


"The clouds obscuring the lesser lights are the clouds of misconception, which darken the face of wisdom. The dark twins standing by the pillar are Delusion and Illusion, the constant beguilers of men. The stream of clear water is Truth and the waters of Truth constantly sheer away the clay pedestal of falsehood."


"The brightness you see before you and to the right is the naked spirit displaying itself in isolation. It is neither in a mortal body nor within the Kohar. Beyond it is a much greater brightness reflected from afar, which is the Kohar of Kohars, which men cannot yet understand."


"The repulsive shapes which are behind the flame on your left are doomed spirits which once were the enlivening forces within men. Now they grovel in slime and filth, denizens of the mire, but their fate is just, for they themselves were the judges. The darkness beyond the murk will not become greater. Darkness cannot change to light, for when light comes into darkness there is no darkness, it ceases to exist."


"The gloominess and shadow scene you see, forward on your left hand side, is the Region of Heaviness where mortals sojourn. The flickering lights which appear here and there are the joys of Earth, while the darker spots are where there are sorrows and suffering. The redness is anger and strife. The blue whiteness is love and compassion."


"The brightness above and ahead is the Region of Lightness where the Risen Ones rejoice, for there they welcome their Earth companions and are happy in reunion. Behold, here is a Rising One newly arrived, see, she flies upward on the wide wings of spirit and loving arms reach out to welcome her. The star-girt roadway you see rising before you is that trodden by the countless Risen Ones who have gone before. Now, advance towards the left."

"The abyss now before you is the mouth of Earth, and see, it opens and speaks to you, bidding you farewell. Listen carefully, for it will retell your deeds, your accomplishments and your omissions. If they weigh against you, then cast yourself into the abyss, for you are unworthy to survive this trial; go no further, nor can you turn back, lest you become prey to the Foul Lurker in Darkness."


"If you have not been found wanting in the weighing, then step forward boldly and without fear, for the mouth will close to let you pass. If you are not numbered among the triumphant ones, then better by far that you be swallowed forthwith than that you survive to meet the Dread Lurker, the Devouring Horror, and be returned to Earth a witless, empty shell."

"Beyond the abyss lies a stretch of blue water which contains the Pool of Wisdom and the Pool of Purification. Therein you must bathe and refresh yourself. The trees growing to your right bear the fruits of spiritual nourishment, eat and become strong. Know, as doing so, that the things done, thought and visualised on Earth become qualities which are here transmuted into the things and experiences of this nature."

"Pass between the waters and the trees and you will see a cliff against which is a ladder, the rungs of which are bound in leathern throngs made from the hide of the Bull of the Nightsky. This ladder, which rises before you, is the Ladder of Experience. Its two supports are experience in the body and experience in the spirit. The rungs are your daily deeds and thoughts and fantasies of your earthly life. Now is the test. Will your daily deeds and secret thoughts support your ascent, or are they incapable of bearing you upward? See, above is your Kohar, call upon it for help, for therein you may have stored a reserve of spiritual strength. Or, perchance, it may be barren and empty, only you know. Those who uphold the ladder are the Lords of the Ladder, and they greet you as the Ascending One."

"The ladder leads onto a plateau, and beside you appears the strangely garbed Reciter who sweeps his arms about and says, "All wherein things manifest is the firmament, which was before the beginning and still is. In the beginning its darkness was pierced by just a single ray from The Sun of God, but later, when the first spirits entered, the firmament was brightened and it was divided by heaviness and lightness. Then, when it was set apart, it was divided by the entry of dark spirits whose need was for a place with which they had a sombre affinity.

Therefore, the firmament of lightness is divided, there is a Place of Light for the Victorious Ones and a Place of Darkness for those who could not rise to victory. There are regions of gloom and shadow, regions of twilight and shade. There are regions of light in many hues, regions ranging from dazzling lights to dim light. There is a veil across the firmament, dividing Heaven from Earth, and each spirit departing from Earth penetrates through this veil, going to its appointed place, carried by the winds of affinity. Arriving there, the spirit, good or bad, strengthens and extends its compatible territory."

"The Kohar is the Knower and the spirit is the known. All knowledge is with the Knower, but the known can tap it so it flows out into the known. The Kohar receives the spirit seed in Heaven, for there it is as the body is on Earth. Even as the earthly body is made of things from the Region of Heaviness, so is the Kohar made of things from the Region of Lightness."

"These things are said by the Reciter before he leads you to the place where sleeps a serpent, and pointing to it he says, "Behold the serpent it sleeps at the bole of a tree from which hangs the body of man, the tree of his backbone. It is on guard, safeguarding the precious gem of spiritual powers, which lies enwrapped in the threefold covering. To obtain the gem the serpent must be aroused and then overcome. To rouse this serpent is a thing not to be lightly undertaken, for it causes a fire to mount into the heart, which may destroy the brain with delusions and madness. Only the Twice Born can really obtain the gem."

"You pass on with the Reciter who will say: "These are the things you must establish in your heart, the knowledge of the eight roads along which you must travel to reach the Land of the Westerners. These will bring you to the twelve first portals leading to the Land of Shadows. Here I will recite for you the twenty-two deeds of wickedness you have not done. You will then pass through the Land of Shadows as if it were your hour, and, beyond it, come to the Great Portal where it must be established, before the Great Guardian, that you have ever done all within your power to live according to the twelve virtues. Then you pass through the portal to the Hall of Judgement. Here, for the first time, your light is revealed and it is made known whether your tongue has spoken in accordance with the things within your heart."

"Many are they who know the words of the tongue but sever these from what is written in the heart. If the words of the tongue are copied from the writings of the heart and are a true copy, then cross to the Place of Assessment where your true form and likeness will be displayed for all to see."


A curtain of darkness descends, there is a heavy dark mist, then the muffled crash of Thundering Doors. The aching body reclines within the tomb of stone. The questing pilgrim has returned to his homehaven. He has learned truths he could never learn on Earth and now knows the Grand Secret. Faith is replaced with certainty and he is now an Initiated One.

 

CHAPTER TEN

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 10


My God and Father, my Creator and Governor, Supreme and Immortal Spirit, I come to you as a wayward son comes to his father. I come as the world-weary wanderer comes home. I come as the victorious battle-bludgeoned warrior comes to the place of his rest. I am one who has passed the trials. I am one who has survived the challenges.

I have returned full of wisdom and knowledge, the fruits of long years in Your earthly place of instruction. There I was diligent, I was not a waster of time, I was not a man of idleness. I am proved worthy. I, Your son, have come home.

The virtues I developed on Earth are the messengers that sped before me, my qualities hastened to announce my coming. They sped on invisible wings, so that only those sensitive to that which emanated from me knew of their coming. They came as perfume carried on the wind. They announced me, they heralded me. They gave salutations to the Spirits in the Bright Abodes. Yet I have not forgotten the Dwellers in Terror, and a small dark spirit of the Twilight has gone forth to make known to them my departure from Earth. This, that should any there know of me they may be made aware that I am not of their dismal company. Will there be weeping there in the dank, dreary darkness?

I surmounted the trials of existence in heaviness. Now my spirit can speed like the lightning flash. I am one who has accomplished what had to be done. I have governed my affairs, not wholly by earthly standards but by the greater ordinances of Heaven. I have carefully read the books of instruction and listened to the interpreting words of the wise.

He who tests hearts and reads thoughts has weighed me and I was not found wauting in the balances. I am a Cool One, for my thoughts rest in peace. I am not numbered among the Hot Ones whose thoughts consume them as fire consumes wood.

I have passed the Nameless Ones, to come into the presence of The Great One whom no man names, whose name is not knowable to men. I have reached the destination of ages, I have achieved the ultimate goal. I have put on the mantle of immortality and the robe of light which the Heavenly Weavers prepared for Me.

I am a Little One, one who comes in littleness and not greatness. I am a Humble One and come not in pomp and grandeur, for these are things of the four quartered Earth having no place here. I have done things which have been wrong, but these were done in ignorance and not wilfully or with malice.

O Watchers, announce to the Lords of Light and to the Lords of Darkness that I am one who has penetrated the Mystic Veil but is destined to return to the Realm of Heaviness. O Watchers, announce that I am now a self-knowing everlasting spirit. O Father of the Gods, who is above all, issue the decrees of fate which ensure that henceforth I live a life of service, that I may live purposefully when I return to fulfil my destiny.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 11


My Heart, my Spirit, my Kohar, guardian of my memories, cast not your words in the balances against me. My faults and failings are not few, for no mortal man is perfect, yet they weigh hghtly against my qualities and good deeds. Say not that I have wrought evil to any man wilfully or with malice, say not that I am a man of wickedness. Let me not suffer sorrowful remorse in the gloom and darkness, but let me live forever within the Region of Light.


I have done deeds of goodness and led a goodly life. I have overcome the wiles of wickedness and avoided the snares of temptation. I have lived in peace with my neighbours. I have dealt justly and fairly with them and have not uttered words of malice to stir up strife. I have not gossiped about my neighbours, nor engaged in idle chatter concerning their affairs. These things are not easy, and as no man is perfect I have at times been bad tempered under provocation. Therefore, speak words that will weigh in the balances against my failings.


I have not slandered any man, nor have I wilfully caused pain and suffering. I have not caused the widow to weep, nor the child to cry without cause. I have dealt justly with my servants and with the servants of others, and I have been loyal to my masters. I have not slain unlawfully, nor wounded any man wilfully. Yet no man is perfect and when my burdens have weighed heavily upon me I have spoken harshly. Therefore, speak words that will weigh in the balances against my failings.


I have never oppressed a poor man or taken from him what is his by virtue of my position. I have never oppressed the weak or cheated in the substance of metals. I have never said to a hungry woman, "Lay with me and you shall eat", for this is a vile thing. I have not lain with the wife of another man or seduced a child, for these are abominations. Yet no man is perfect and few are commanders of their thoughts, Therefore, speak words that will lighten these things in the balances.


I have not turned the water of another so that he is deprived of his full measure. I have not stopped flowing waters in their course. I have not kept fodder from cattle, nor allowed the pastures to be neglected. I have not caused any child to know fear without reason, nor have I beaten one in bad temper. I have not transgressed the statutes of the king. Yet no man is perfect and sometimes that which is right in its day becomes wrong in another. Therefore, speak words that will weigh in the balances against my wrongdoings.


I have not stolen, neither have I taken the possessions of any man by deceit. I have not divided the household of any man, nor separated him from his wife or children. I have not quarrelled with any man because of ignorance. I have not turned from my duties or failed in my obligations. I have not hidden my errors or buried my failings. Yet no man is perfect, therefore speak words that will weigh in the balances for me.


I have never behaved boisterously in a sacred place, nor have I ever defiled one. My hand has not been demanding because of my office, nor have I dealt haughtily with those who came to me with a plea. I have not increased my position by false words or writings. Yet my burden has been increased because of the perversity and wilfulness of men, and no man is perfect. Therefore, speak words that will weigh in the balances against my weaknesses.


I have not permitted envy to eat my heart, nor malice to corrupt it. I have not been loud of mouth, nor spoken words of boastfulness. I have never slandered another or uttered words of falsehood. My tongue has never escaped from the control of my heart. I have never derided the words of another because they passed my understanding, nor have I stopped my ears to words of enlightenment. I have never hidden myself to observe others, nor have I ever disclosed the secret designs or doings of others, unless they be of evil intent. Yet no man is perfect, therefore speak words that will weigh in the balances for me. When I have done wrong I have adjusted the scales that weighed down heavily against me. I have not hidden my weaknesses and failings in dark places, but washed them clean in the sunlight of honest compensation.


I have not succumbed to the lures of lewdness, nor has my tongue spoken slyly of things which should be kept private. I have not peeped at nakedness or pryed into another's privacy. I have respected the modesty of womankind and the innocent delicacy of childhood. Yet men are as they are and imperfect, while thoughts stray wilfully and are not easily restrained. Therefore, speak words that will weigh in the balances for me.


O Great One, protect me. O Kohar, save me. Hear the words of my heart. I was one who was ever mindful of what was right and what was wrong. I did what I thought was right and shunned that which I thought was wrong. I listened to those who were wiser than I and helped those who were less privileged. Can man do more?

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

THE SACRED REGISTERS - PART 12


Know me and understand my ways. I am one who sees the past and the future, I look into hidden places, I am one who wanders freely. I am one who can be reborn, I am one who knows the speech of the released. I am an Uplifter. The Climbers come to me and I support them, I lift them up, I strengthen. Therefore, bring me the sustenance of smoke.

I hear and I hear not, for what I hear is heard by others. I speak and I speak not, for what I speak is in the mouths of others. I weep and I weep not, for my weeping is the weeping of others. I am an Uplifter. The Climbers come to me and I console them. I enlighten them with words of hidden wisdom. Thus they find the way.


I am one who comes forth when the circle is formed, when the twin lamps have been lit and the incantations made. I come forth from the consecrated place and bear the staff of power. I know the secrets of the dark waters and the secrets of blood. I am a wanderer in strange places. I am one who does not fear to tread the forbidden paths. I am an Uplifter. The Climbers come to me and I reveal the way.


I am the Opener of Tombs. I am the Dweller in the Stone Caverns. I am the one who precedes the Herald of the Companions. I am the Swimmer in the Waters of Wisdom. I am the Discoverer of Hidden Places. I am the one who hovers above the Still Waters. I am the Wanderer with the Winds. I am an Uplifter. The Climbers come to me and are comforted. They thirst and I refresh them, they hunger and I fill them with food.


I am the Sitter Beneath the Sycamore. I am the Eater of the Rowan. I am the heart within the heat of the fire and the eye within the candle flame. I am the uprising hawk and the contented dove. I am one who has tamed the serpent and drawn forth its secrets. I am one who has many eyes and sees what is written in the nightskies; whose ears hear the whispers at the edge of the Great Waters. I am one whose right foot rests on the Earth and whose left foot rests oh the firmament. I am one who faces all spirits alike and knows their true nature. I am an Uplifter. The Climbers come to me and I give them peace.


I am one who gazes into the deep dark pool, reading the things hidden therein. I am the Caller Forth of the Deformed Ones and the Tongue of the Bright Ones. I am he of the Everlasting Form. I am he who provides stability to falterings forms and the interpreter who spans the veil. I am an Uplifter. The Climbers come to me and I provide their Guide and their Guardian.


Know me and understand my ways. Invoke me through the rite of smoke and wine. Call me forth into the circle of stone, but beware, for lest you hold the seven keys and understand the nature of the three rays, you are lost.

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE SCROLL OF RAMKAT


Awful is the great day of judgement at its dawning in the Netherworld. The soul stands naked in the Hall of Judgement, nothing can now be hidden. Hypocrisy is no avail; to maintain goodness when the soul reveals its own repulsiveness is futile. To mumble empty ritual is foolishness. To call upon gods who have no existence is a waste of time.

In the Hall of Judgement the wrongdoer is judged. On that day and henceforth his qualities shall form his food. His soul, soft as clay upon Earth, is hardened and set into shape according to its moulding. The balances are adjusted.

One arrives. The Forty-Two Virtues are his assessors. Shall he dwell among beauty as a godling, or be given captive to the Keeper of Horrors, to dwell among vile things under a merciful mantle of darkness?

One arrives. The twisted body, tormented on Earth, and the ugly face have gone, discarded at the portal. He strides through the Hall in radiance, to pass into the Place of Everlasting Beauty.

One arrives. Now no earthly body sheilds the horror which is the true likeness of the evildoer upon Earth. He runs from the light which he cannot tolerate, and hides himself in the shadows near the Place of Terror. Soon he will be drawn to his compatible place among the Dismal Company.

One arrives. He has been upright and a just one. His failings and weaknesses were of little account. This upright man fears nothing, for he is welcomed among the Bright Ones and shall go unhampered among the Everlasting Lords.

One arrives. He trembles before the Unseen Judges, he is lost, he knows nothing, earthly knowledge and confidence are left behind. The balance drops, he sees his soul and recognises his true self, he rushes into the merciful darkness. It enfolds him and dark arms embrace him, drawing him into the terrible gloom, into the Place of Dark Secret Horrors.

One arrives. She graced the court with beauty, men sang of her loveliness and grace. Now, as when a mantle is removed, all is discarded, it is the time of unveiling. Who can describe the lustful thoughts and secret unclean deeds which fashioned the horror coming through the portal? There is a hush among the compassionate.

One arrives. On Earth she was pitied by the compassionate and scorned by the hard-hearted. There her lot was degradation and servitude, privation and sacrifice, few and meagre were the gifts from life. Yet she triumphed. Now she comes forward surrounded by brilliance, even the Shining Ones are dazzled by her beauty.

One arrives. The twisted face and pain-wracked body of the cripple have been left behind. A kind and loving soul dwelt imprisoned within its confines. Now the relieved spirit steps forward into the great Hall, unencumbered and free, glorious to behold.

One arrives. The splendid body which graced Earth remains there, an empty, decaying thing. The naked soul enters the Everlasting Halls. It is a deformed, mis-shapen thing fit only to dwell in the merciful gloom of the place with which it has compatible affinity.

One arrives. Neither goodness nor wickedness bears down upon the scales. The balances remain straight. The soul departs to the twilight borderland between the Region of Light and the Region of Darkness.

0 Great Lords of Eternity, who once were in the flesh, even as I, hear not the outpourings of an overburdened and sorrowful heart. For who am I to presume to call upon The Great God of All? Who am not without wickedness and weak in spirit. I have filled my heart with knowledge of the Secret Writings but still I fear the judgement. Therefore, Great Lords of Eternity, I call upon you who once walked the Earth, even as I, and who, therefore, understand the failings and weaknesses of men.

I am not weak in my standing with earthly things, but I am weak beside the Greater Beings. Will I, too, ever be worthy of the grandeur of the Eternal Mansions ? O Great Beings whose nature is beyond understanding, grant me just a spark of the Eternal Wisdom, that it might light my soul and kindle the flame of immortal life.

What is the destined fate of a man who knows the existence of things beyond his understanding? I see but I do not know, therefore I am afraid. Man can swim against the current towards the bank, but he needs a helping hand to pull him ashore when he is exhausted from the struggle.

This is the fate of man. He must strive for that which he cannot attain. He must believe in that which he cannot prove. He must seek that which he cannot find. He must travel a road without knowing his destination. Only thus can the purpose of life be fulfilled.

Man may believe he knows his destiny, but he cannot be assured with certainty; in no other way can he fulfil it. In this way alone can his soul be properly awakened to flower with its full potential. This alone he may know: The purpose of all human life is a goal so glorious it surpasses all earthly understanding.

We may visualise our individual goals as we will, it is ordained that we have this freedom. How close or how far we are from reality is of little consequence, what is, is. He who seeks a non-existent destination will, nevertheless, get somewhere. He who seeks not at all will get nowhere. Earthly life fulfils itself without attainment.

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

THE SCROLL OF YONUA

 

Away from my eyes, O Hideous One. Slink back into the dark shadows about the black sunless abode where dwell the self-distorted souls of the Fearsomely Formed Ones. Back to your murky haven of sombre compatibility.


Away, out of sight, for your repulsiveness brings back into my heart the thoughts of evils and temptations I have encountered and overcome, thoughts which I now so gladly forget. You poor, doomed fiend, mis-shapen, horny-headed, slit-snouted, stunted in arms and legs, horrible to behold. What dreadful thoughts and unclean deeds must have been yours, to fashion you in this manner!


Away, back to your own kind, back from the twilit border where you lurk furtively, afraid, pitifully seeking a glimpse of the bright joys denied to your own folly. Back to the place with which you have pitiful affinity, back to your own dark, compatible companions.


The Guardians of the Hidden Gates repel you, lest you befoul the pathways of the Glorious Ones who once struggled to find beauty and cleanliness. The light of this place is ever spreading, and soon a Glorious One may walk where you now slink in the gloom. Back, back from the dividing flame, back into the sad comfort of enveloping darkness. Back to your foul companions in misery, back into the mercifully enshrouding gloom.

Your fate saddens my heart. Can you find consolation there, hidden in the comforting darkness? Does a kind word ever lighten the burden of your days? Is there a place of rest among the slime and excreta? O Fallen One, who once walked Earth so proudly in self-esteem, selfishness and arrogance, go back, torment yourself no more with the sights of beauty and joy which lie beyond your reach. O Wriggler in the Slime, back from the purifying flame, what can it avail you now?

O Repellent One, who by wrongdoing and non-good doing thus cursed yourself and were delivered into the comfortless arms of decay and filth; who on Earth appeared arrayed in such deceptive softness and complacency; who dwelt amid pleasure and luxury, away, back into the shadows, hide yourself from the pure gaze of the Glorious Ones.

O Squirming One, turned back are you, the shameful flesh is unworthy even of the flame. The unshapely mass, unchiselled by the forming blows of self -discipline and selfless service, unmoulded by the touch of compassion and love, unpolished by conformity to the burnishing blows of sincere goodness, has no place near the region of revealing light. See, are you not seared with pain when the pure light falls upon you? Miserable indeed is your lot in that dread, dreary abode!

See, your slimy hide shrinks from the pure glare, it splits, it cracks, back, back into your dark cavern with its floor of slime. Back out of sight, out of hearing, back from the pure gaze of righteousness. How miserable the lot of one who finds unconsoling comfort in the depths of dread darkness lit only by shadowy gloom! How awful to dwell in companionship with distorted shades!

What became of the loveliness which once clothed you on Earth? Whose fault that you brought it not with you? Did you ever pause, even for one moment, to gaze into the self-revealing mirror within you and see the awful creature you were forming? Amid your pleasures and luxury, did you not think of the wellbeing of your inner self? Did you not care?

O if I could but help you now, but the hideousness was set firm in the furaacefire of death. Then the enveloping flesh was stripped away and the hidden horror within the mould revealed. As the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis, so should the soul emerge from its earthly body. An unnatural thing like this was never intended, yet you freely made the choice. Not a single disfiguring line was made by another.

What words are those which rasp forth from the unlipped, fish-shaped mouth? O ears, say you deceive me! O heart, cease this pounding clamour! O hand of horror, release your awful grip! Would that I could swoon, that I could find relief in unconsciousness, but facts have to be faced here as on Earth. I must look in trembling terror.

Yes, I loved on Earth, nothing there was more precious to me than my sister in love. I forgave her wilfulness and was not stirred up when her words were unkind. I ever remained a man of cool temper. I clothed her well and good food she never lacked. My heart sang in her presence, I rejoiced in her loveliness, she was my life, my wife. Yet she was unfaithful, she was cruel, she found pleasure in deceit and perversion. As the years passed they became heavy, clouded and bitter because of her wayward ways.

O horror, O terror, O cringing fear, keep away from me! O my eyes, O my heart, it is true. It is the one I loved. O let me die once more, that consciousness may pass from me! It is her whom I loved, she for whom I waited in joyful anticipation, hoping to find the light of my youth, hoping the overlay of later evils would be sloughed away by death, hoping to find the warm, throbbing liveliness I once held. I would gladly have forgiven the pain she caused in her maturity. O what has become of the smooth flesh, the warm touch? Where is the beauty of face, the grace of form? O raise not the crocodile-skinned arms to shield the awful snout, the green-rimmed, red-veined eyes!

O racing heart! I hear the misformed words amidst the hiss and gurgle issuing forth from the oozing aperture. O say not that I was so blind, so greatly deceived, that you cared for nought but the earthly things we shared; that your affection was the false front of hypocrisy, your love a lie. Did I not always forgive? Was I not always patient? With whom did you share the terrible thoughts and desires that fashioned you thus ? Surely this cannot be the work of your own nature alone. Fickle you were and pleasure loving, selfish, cruel and deceitful, but all this I forgave because of the plea of my heart. Was this not enough? O where is the companion I awaited? Lost, and worse than lost.

O compassion, O mercy, come to my aid! My heart fails me, I cannot face what I thought to greet so joyously. O powers of solicitude, strengthen me. What can I do to mitigate the Law? Is there hope? Is there a way?

A whisper of comfort, O gratefully I hear it, "There is hope and there is a way, but between this self-shaped horror and the Glorious Ones there is an uncrossable chasm. In sorrow and anguish it must seek a road, it must go its own dark way as you must go yours in the light. Turn back, turn again towards the light, the compassion in your own heart does nought to bridge the gulf between, unless it strikes a responsive spark within the other heart".

"Let the memory be erased, this is not the companion of your path. The trials and sorrows borne so well, the uncomplaining unselfishness fashioned you in glory. Nor would you have reached the present degree of perfection had she not been as she was, and is now revealed to be. This fearful fate was wrought by the lost one alone, for each is the sole keeper of his spirit. Each soul is fashioned by every thought, desire and deed, every emotion that touched it during its sojourn in an earthly body".
"Each is the maker of his own future, the fashioner of his own being".

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

A SCROLL FRAGMENT - ONE


Salvaged from the Great Book of The Sons of Fire this is all that remains of some sixteen damaged pages relating to an initiation ceremony.

Who will reward or punish me? I will.
Who besets my path with sorrow? I do.
Who can grant me a life of everlasting glory? I can.
Who must save me from the horror of malformation? I must.
Who will guide my footsteps through life? I will.
Who brings joy into my life and gladdens my heart? I do.
Who brings peace and contentment to my spirit? I do.
Who lightens the burdens of my labour? None but myself.
Whose courage will protect me from the workers of evil? My courage.
Whose wisdom will guide me and enlighten my heart? My wisdom.
Whose will rules my destiny? My will.
Whose duty is it to attend to my wants? My duty.
Who is responsible for my future state of being? I alone am responsible.
Who shields me from temptation? No one.
Who shields me from sorrow and suffering? No one.
Who shields me from pain and affliction? No one.
Who benefits from my toil and tribulation, my sorrow and suffering? Myself, if wise.
Who benefits from my temptations and afflictions, my sacrifices and austerities? Myself, if wise.

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

THE THIRD OF THE EGYPTIAN SCROLLS

(A Fragment)



If a man would know Heaven, he must first know Earth. Man cannot understand Heaven until he understands Earth. He cannot understand God until he understands himself, and he cannot know love unless he has been loveless.


God is unknown but not unknowable. He is unseen but not unseeable. God is unheard but not unhearable.

He is not understood but He is understandable.

The goal of life is upstream, not downstream. Man must struggle against the current, not drift with the flow.

A child is born knowing all God intended it to know, the rest it must discover for itself. Man does not live to increase the glory of God, this cannot be done, but to increase the glory of man.

He who worships with empty rituals wastes his time and displays the shallowness of his thought. That which man does to benefit man is good, but if he seeks to gratify God it is a labour of ignorance showing disrespect for God whose nature is above that of earthly princes. A lifting hand is worth ten wagging tongues.

Be a man of fortitude and courage. Prepare to fight, for Earth gives man but two choices: to struggle or perish. There is work to be done in the Garden of God, therefore cease useless performances and word-wasting discussions, go, pick up the hoe and tackle the task to hand.

This is the secret of life: Man lives in God and God lives in man. This answers all questions.

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

THE SIXTH OF THE EGYPTIAN SCROLLS



God is in all and He encompasses all.

There is no God but The True God, and His existence is our assurance of life everlasting. He was before the beginning and will be after the end.

He is mighty and all powerful. In His magnificence and majesty no man can conceive Him. His divine nature is beyond the understanding of man. His creation is awesome. His ways unfathomable.

His creative thought brought all things forth and the power which flows from Him is life. He holds life within His mind and the universe within His body.

If a man, in ignorance and foolishness, conceives a more understandable god in his own image or builds gods of wood and stone, that will not take anything away from the stature of God. The Supreme One is ever God, The Creator of man, and if man makes earthly gods to worship, then it is man who loses thereby and not God. Among earthly things man shall find nothing greater than himself.

Man worships, not to make God greater, for this he cannot do, but to make himself greater. Nothing man can do can add to what God already has. Men conceive God as a Being having greatly magnified human qualities, as a kinglike Being greater than any king. Thus man falls into error.

As the sun surrounds man with light, though it be hidden behind the stormclouds, so is man in the thoughts of God, though God Himself be hidden from him.

Such is our God who, though Himself eternal, lives with each man and with him passes through the Dark Portal of Death into the light of the Glorious Region beyond.

God rules over all earths and all spheres. He is in them and they are in Him. All things are in God and He is in all things. What is was to be, all things begin and end in God.

This alone is wisdom, understand and live forever.

 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

A SCROLL FRAGMENT - TWO



The Book of Initiation and Rites says of God, "All our hopes rest in God who created all things, sustaining them with His breath, whatever their state, wherever they may be, in this place on Earth, or in any other place visible or invisible".


"He alone causes herbs to blossom in beauty and causes all things to come forth in their proper order and time, all flow from His directing thoughts. The peaceful beauty enfolding the face of the land at eventide, the melody of song and speech, the fragrance of flowers, the soft delicacy of petal and wing. All beauty and charm that delight the hearts of men flow from God".

"His wisdom is unbounded and in His goodness He has provided all things in which He has created a need in man. The daylight and wind, food and water, heat and coolness, the materials of his dwelling and the substance of his garments, all things for his daily use and enjoyment. Man lacks nothing which would increase his skill and knowledge, to all useful things guideposts have been planted along the way. What need can man know for which God has not already made provision, even before man was born?"


"He has established the nature of all things, so they remain stable and come forth in their proper order without change. When a man sows barley he knows what will come up out of the ground, the rewards of his toil are not confusion".

"A man lights a fire knowing it will cook his food, it is not sometimes hot and at other times cold. He knows that day will follow night and that the hours of darkness are prescribed, it is not a matter of chance. The hours of darkness are not one day long and the next day short. Oil is ordained for lamps and water to drink, man knows that never can he light a wick in water. Man looks about him and sees order, not confusion, and he knows that where there is organisation there must be an organiser".

"The ordinances of God are established for the benefit of man, were they not set in stability man would be nothing but the plaything of chance and the victim of chaos. Therefore, on the days of feast and fasting, each following in their due season, I will ever remember the obligations due to my God".

"I will rejoice and sing songs of praise with a full heart, I will shun the hypocrisy of moving lips. I will be joyful in the fullness of spirit at the beginning and at the end of the appointed seasons".

'The decrees of God are fulfilled at the appointed times and the days of labour pass one into the other. The season of first gathering to the full time of harvest, the season of sowing to the season of fruitfulness, all pass away as the kiss of the wind on the waters".

"I will raise my voice, and my hands will move with the music. I will pluck strings and send sweet musical sounds rising to my God, and my breath will fill pipes with tunes to His Glory. When the sky blushes in the dawning I will lift up my voice in gladness, and when it reddens in the evening I will not remain silent".

"O how I rejoice that God has made me as I am! Truly He is in all and encompasses all. In His magnificence and majesty no man can conceive Him, for His divine nature is beyond the understanding of man. His creation is awesome, His ways unfathomable".


"The love of God for His wayward children has been limitless and abounding. It has remained changeless throughout the ages, filled with His noble purpose. He created so that He might express and share that love, which is the very essence of His nature, with beings created in His likeness, beings which could absorb and reflect that love. Yet, that his love might be wholly free man was endowed with freewill, the freewill he has used perversely".

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN

A HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 1



Bring forth the instruments of music, let all voices be raised in thanksgiving to The Lord of Our Lives. Be happy in heart and let joyfulness flow from your lips, but remain in stillness while the hands move.


Peace and honour be Yours, O Great One, Shadow of Our Days, Comforter of Our Nights, to whom alone we pay homage. Long ago the skydoor opened and You appeared over the land in the days of our forefathers, shaking it with Your wrath, but now You are hidden, Your awesome glory is seen no more. We, Your children, rejoice, for You bring peace and spread contentment and security over the whole face of the Earth.

Heaven and Earth and all the spheres of the infinite spaces are filled with Your Spirit. The demons of darkness tremble before You. Yet to us You are truly The Mysterious Hidden One, The Guide of our fathers in the sad days of darkness when the face of the sun was veiled in gloom from the eyes of men.

You pour out goodness, bringing fresh water to the green pasturelands, bestowing life upon all beasts and living creatures therein. Through the blessing of Your bounty, even the parched lands drink unceasingly in then-season.

You are The Bestower of Bread, for you cause the corn to increase and the harvest to be plentiful. You are The Supplier of Reeds and The Provider of Fish. Every craftsman is prosperous and deft when under the guidance of Your hand.


Your eye directs the hammers of the smith and Your hand covers the fingers of the potter. Your creating breath is inhaled by the craftsman, so he is inspired to create an object of beauty. You whisper on the breeze and the hearts of men are filled with a gladness which issues from their mouths as joyous song. You move the brush of the painter and direct the pen of the writer.

You are The Warden of Fishes within the waters and direct them into the nets of the fishermen. You are The Watchman who keeps the waterfowl away from the field sown at the rising of the bountiful waters. You are The Lookoutman at the eye of the barge moving safely over the flowing waters. You are The Director of the energy-giving breezes which press against the sails.

Your hand rolled the coRN grains and Your life-giving breath sucks up the green growing shoots. Your fingers unfold the awakening buds. Your firm will holds stone in stability, so the great buildings endure through the ages. Nothing can escape Your Vigilance, and rest is unknown to You. Eternal activity is the essence of Your nature.


You are The Ever Watchful One, The Great Bearer of the Scales, The Unchanging Guardian of the Helpless and The Protector of the Poor. Those who fill these roles on Earth do them in You name, for You are the motivation and power behind their deeds. Were You non-existent men would devour one another like crocodiles, while justice and mercy would be things unknown. Something intangible and unseeable flows out from You and rules the lives of men, causing men to deal justly with one another. For though injustice is part of the fabric of life, it is not dominant and Your power mitigates its effects.

You caress the face of the land and at Your touch the womb of Earth is opened, green growth springs through the soil and reaches up towards the sun. All creatures move about according to Your design, and by Your decree their lives are directed. You paint the patterns of life and design its destinies.

Though the prince lay his head on a pillow of down and the beggar lay his on an unyielding stone, both sleep alike on Your bosom. The sleep of the rich man is no better than that of a poor man, while the sleep of a labourer is better than that of an idler. The Nightfrightener does not haunt the dreams of those who have paid their debts to the taskmaster of the day. Those who spend their days in idleness sleep in a restless bed. Thus, You have ordained that the scales of life be adjusted. All is balanced in Your hands.

Your spirit moves over the Earth, instructing the bee in the gathering of its honey and the hornet in the making of its nest. It directs the ant in the complex design of its cavern and the swallow in its mudgathering. It guides the birds in their season and calls the locusts at the appointed times. All creatures have their unlearned wisdom, which is an outpouring force emanating from Your Spirit.

When You fill the Earth with the shining light which rules the day under Your command, all men rejoice, for by this all things are increased and food comes forth in abundance. When the Lady of the Night rules the darkness and all is hushed in mellow coolness, hearts are filled with tranquillity and content. You fulfil all the needs of men, for You are The Great Provider.

Men labour in the fields and fill the storehouses with grain, but You provide the increase. You are The Ever Bountiful One, yet with all You give never is Your substance lessened. You remain everlastingly the same. Man has nought but what originates with You. It is Your waters of life, everlastingly flowing, that sustain him. Eternal glory be Yours, my God and my Life.

I sought You in many temples, only to discover that there was One God hidden behind all other gods. That You are indeed The Father of Gods, yet The Maker of none of them. You have illuminated the widespread universe with beauty and filled it with awesome, imperishable grandeur beyond description. So great are Your works above that they must be veiled, so we can comprehend them only dimly, lest we be overcome.

Beforetimes many great men have praised You in error; not knowing what was good for them they sought to attain the things which fed the flesh alone. O Great One, show such as these the error of their ways, giving them not the good things of life but making all better men, that they may be worthy of these. You have loved us with an exceedingly great love, having compassion on our many failings and weaknesses, knowing that men are but frail creatures prone to go astray. O God of Gods, for the sake of our fathers who placed their trust in You, to whom You gave the ordinances of life, be merciful to us. Instruct and guide us along the paths we should follow. Lead us through the many entanglements of earthly life, so we may finally come to rest in Your safekeeping.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWENTY

A HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 2



O Great and Bountiful One who is the fountainhead of glory and the eternal spring of power; who sits enthroned in wisdom; whose counsel is the Law, great are the manifestations of Your wrath when it purges the land, even as it was done in the days of our fathers. Yet we, weak, wayward and wilful men, know in the depth of our hearts that whatever You do is done in justice and to our ultimate benefit.

With inscrutable wisdom You prepared a compatible place for the spirits of men, a place encompassing the domain of man, a place wherein man rules under the decrees of Your everlasting and unchanging Law. You have set the boundaries and they are held back, neither troubling nor oppressing us beyond our endurance.

The spirits of men rule in the mysterious domains governing the sun and the moon, the stars and the nightwatchers, the mistmen and the hidden caves of power. They undertake their appointed tasks there and are wave wanderers of the watery wastes, guardians of the deep.
You have created man in the likeness of an original conceived in Your mysterious abode, and the manner of his life is fixed according to Your plan. Great and wonderful is the ultimate destiny of man who, as yet, has progressed but a few steps along the road towards the goal of life. Yet You have opened his ear to mysterious and wonderful things.

You have revealed strange mysteries to his eye, he knows things unbelievable in olden times. .

This being on whom You have conferred so much is a thing of weakness and frailty. He was shaped from moistened clay and moulded in water, then set upon a mound in the midst of the great chaos. His eyes were shown the glory above but he wearied of looking, for such splendour was beyond his comprehension. Therefore, he sought his pleasures among the things from whence he came, and therein he now finds his delight. So he sits on a pedestal of shame down by the polluted spring. His repast comes from the pot of fornication and he is clad in the garments of wickedness.

Great One. You who are all wise know the words which come forth from his lips. You know the fruit of his mouth, the pollen of his tongue. Be merciful to man and overlook his weaknesses, for he is as he was made and, perchance, so he was meant to be. Who can question the mystery? May Your will prevail!

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

 

THE SUNSETTING HYMN FROM THE
BOOK OF SONGS

 

O Great God, unbounded by earthly limitations, Your Will is an eternal mystery and Your deeds confound the minds of men. Men worship You, the lesser gods pay due homage, while they who are between gods and men devote themselves to Your service. Highest of Gods, Lord of Men, Ancient Lord of Life and Light, Creator of the Tree of Life, who made the herb and fruit to nourish men and grass to feed the cattle; who perfumed the flowers and gave birds their gay plumage, Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!.

Maker of all that exists in all the spheres above and below, the essence of whose Spirit is in all things. Ruler of all the regions of light and Master of the nether regions. Great Fountainhead of Wisdom whose abode is in Truth, who fashioned men so they accord with Your own nature; who gave rare abilities to animals and instilled cunning knowledge into insects; who chose the colours of the flowers and the songs of the birds. O Veiled One whose sanctuary is hidden in the breasts of men, whose temple is open to the Heavens and hung about with the stars. O Mighty One, hear the cry of my spirit as it seeks nourishment from the divine source Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

Great Fashioner of Earthly Things, who came into being before all else, whose sacred name none can know, whose likeness is not displayed in writings and whose image is not carved in wood or stone; whose eyes were the pattern for the sight of men and whose sensitivity generated their touch; whose tongue gave speech to the little gods; who made the herbage for cattle and the waterweed for fish; who feeds even the worms and insects and quickens the life within the egg; who fashioned wild fruits for the birds and wild seed for the mice; who sustains the lifeforce within every living thing, up to the heights of Heaven, across the wide breadth of Earth, down to the very depths of the sea. O save me from that which is beneath the Earth and from those upon the Earth who would work wickedness against me. Hear me, and, my God, I shall praise You, my voice will rise up to Heaven and roll right across the Earth. All those who ply the great mothering river shall hear its echoes. I will tell of Your goodness and greatness to my children and to their children. My words will resound down through the generations as yet unborn. Respond to me, O Great One, as I seek to commune in the silence. My desire is to learn, but You are too mysterious for men to understand. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

O help my soul to rectify its evil deed and balance them with good. Destroy every form of evil which clings to me, and let there be nothing in my soul to cause malformation and thus estrange me from my friends who have departed to dwell in the happy Land of Dawn. Let brightness be my new life's birthright and let my spirit be ever light. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

The great dome of Heaven rises above and no man knows its limitations. The broad Earth is spread wide and no man knows its boundaries. Man cannot fathom it all, O God who is great, have compassion on my littleness. Bear Patiently with my blunderings and overlook my ignorance. Your reach is so great and mine is so small, help me to know You for myself. I am helpless and lost. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

O Great God, who brings comfort to the prisoner, peace to the tormented; who strengthens the fearful and adjust the scales between the weak and the strong. Strengthen my desire to understand Your great purpose. O Sole God whose tears vitalize the hearts of men, in reverence and humility my spirit awaits Your command, my Creator and my Light. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

O Great Craftsman, who fashioned man so wonderfully; who brought together the elements of the Earth and transmuted them so mysteriously; who created with such diversity that no two things are exactly alike, give your servant some task, that he may accomplish it to Your glory. O Provident Benefactor, who provides sustenance for the beasts of the wilderness and fills the storehouses of men; who placed the great metals in the bosom of the Earth, that man might draw them forth, let not my body go naked, nor my sleeping place be destroyed. Accept my homage, O God of Truth, who lives down through the ages of time which make up the everlasting Circle of Eternity. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

O Powerful God, whose wrath lit up the vaults of Heaven and whose fire devoured the wicked in olden times; whose whirlwind swept clean the Earth; who lifted the seas and dashed them against the mountains. O let not the great forces of Earth afflict me. Hold them fast in Your hand, that they may not crush me as the chariot crushes the ant. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

Having an affinity with You, my soul knows You and rejoices in the knowledge. It hears You and is at peace. It opens in response to Your warmth as the lotus, and awakens softly as the day opens its eye to the night. My soul knows what I know not. It sees into hidden places and understands deep mysteries. Let me know its nature better, that it may instruct me in wisdom. My soul swells with gratitude towards The Bounteous Being who causes all things to be which fulfil all desires. My God is not graven in marble or stone. He is not shaped in wood or cast in copper. He has neither offerings nor ministrations. My God is a god of quiet places and silences. He is found where the wild winds blow and the gay flowers blossom, away from the habitations of men. He is not worshipped in temples and His praises are not sung by the unthinking multitude. My God is a constant companion, He lives quietly in the homes and hearts of men. His true abode is unknown. He has no painted shrine, no building fashioned by the hands of men could contain Him. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

O Ever Watchful God, The All Seeing One, if aught be done or concealed in the darkness of the night it shall be known to You. O Supreme Power, who alone can deflect the Awesome Ones of Heaven from their path of destruction; who alone can turn aside the sky boulders and break the winds of the hurricane, I acknowledge You as my Sole God, The Guide of my ways and The Guardian of my Life. I will call upon You by Your names of Power. I give You Your degrees, O Lord Over the Thrones of Earth, Director of the Destinies of Nations, Ancient Dweller in the Heavens, Lord of Existence, Lord of Terrors, Master of the Hidden Spheres, Commander of the Universal Hosts, Lord of The Law wherein Your will is manifested. Victor in the Skyfight, Creator of Hidden Desires of the Soul, Great One who mysteriously fashions His body as men fashion their souls. Giver of Life to souls, by whose breath they awaken. Selector of the Generative Substances, Transformer of Matter, Keeper of the Eternal Essences, Ruler of the Spirits in their Spheres. He who hears the prayer of the prisoner; who stands between the weak and the strong. Lord of Fertility for whom the great mothering river flows and the waters rise. Lord of the Tree of Life, Emperor of the Sacred Spheres, who dispenses the Celestial Substance, who directs the Thunderbolts; who pilots the stars in the skyways; who overlooks the Watchers in the Night, Great Guardian of Hidden Things and Master of the Divine Secrets, whose domain is shrouded in mystery; who makes tender the hearts of women and makes stern the faces of men. Dweller in Deep Obscurity whose sanctuary is infinite; who died in the effort of creation and was reborn in the soul of man. Great God, whose face shall be revealed in the future, when all men are wise, grant me Your Truth and Peace Divine. Hail to The Supreme Power of Spirit!

Though I falter on the way and fail at the task, despise me not. I try but success eludes me. I seek but cannot find. I am so small and You are so great that I cannot span the gulf between, unless You incline towards me. O Great Spirit, how near men are to You in reality! Through the darkness of ignorance greater than night they have groped a way to You. You alone are addressed in the prayers of men. To whatever men pray You alone hear their petitions, You alone can answer them. Only for You are their words of praise fitting. O Great One, enter into the hearts of men and renew the bond with their souls. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

O Mysterious God hidden in time, Great Ruler of the Ages, we who cannot know more than the smallest part of Your creation turn to You for help and enlightenment. If it be Your will that man should struggle towards understanding and strive for knowledge, then so be it. Man will do whatever he must do, but, O Great God, be patient with him in his failures and failings. Hail to The Supreme Power and Spirit!

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

 

THE HYMN OR PRAYER FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 3

 

O Great One in Heaven, whose thoughts probe the hearts of men, cast forth a small ray of illumination to light my way in the darkness of man's ignorance. Strengthen me by Your revelation, that for even a brief moment I may see Truth and know the mysteries of life. I ask not to see as the Great Ones have seen, but just for something within my understanding.

O Great God, send me one bright shaft of light, that I may see silhouetted as in a flash of lightning the forces that wage war for the possession of my soul. For what mortal unaided can understand or visualise the dark things that lurk to lure the soul along the path of horror, such as the demons waiting to twist the weak soul into coils of frightfulness before casting it into the abyss of terror?

Lord of the Universe, take pity on me. Everything hes in Your Great Hand except the fate of each man, and men are frail and weak. Many who have seen Truth revealed have quailed before the awful responsibilities of man and consoled themselves by fashioning unnatural gods before whom they quelled the fears in their hearts. I am not one worthy to gaze upon Truth, nor do I desire to do so lest I be overwhelmed, perhaps I ask too much from One who reads the hearts of men.

0 Great Luminated One, keep me from the final horror which hes in wait to devour the souls of men. Help me in the dread hour when I come face to face with my own soul. O save it from the abode of the Dark Warden of Terrors!

What are the great mysteries of man's destiny so dimly perceived even by the Illuminated Ones? Have mercy on my dismal ignorance, or I am delivered into the toils of my own repulsiveness.

What is the Great Secret whispered so fearfully among the great columns? What are the substances wherewith men may pass through the Great Portal and return to life? Is it true that the destiny of man is determined by man? O what fearful responsibility, my heart is overwhelmed and my spirit becomes weak with dread. Is it for this that men shun the Truth and cast themselves at Your feet for mercy?

I fear, for my soul is heavy with evil and the scales will bear down against me. Will it be stamped with the dread impress of condemnation by the forty-two seals? Place Your hand in mercy upon the balances and let my soul be. made light.

O Great One, hidden within the eternal silence, who shines forth as a beacon of light to few men. O lighten our darkness and our fear-shadowed hearts! Lift the veil just slightly, that we may understand something of Your greatness.

We are not uninstructed and know we can be granted no more than a glimpse of Your greatness, for to receive more would be too awesome for the frail constitution of man. This is why the ignorant doubt, for their very ignorance spawns the frailty which inhibits their enlightenment.

We hardly dare murmur these fervent words. O Great One, grant that the spirit within us may be helped to cleanse itself of the besmirching foulness spawned by our thoughts. Remove from us every trace of that which may pollute, and let us know timeless splendour in glory.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

 

THE HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS – 4

The Hymn of Rewa

 

I am here, I am Yours, I sing Your praises. Join the dance, O priests and priestesses. Join the dance, O Skytravellers, who cover the Earth with your rays of power. Join the dance, O strangers. Accept our offerings and salutations, accept our devotions and make them successfully beneficial.

Move around moonwise, O priests and priestesses. Stamp on wickedness. Stamp on hypocrisy. Stamp your feet on malice and hatred. Sound the flutes, blow the pipes, shake the bells. Come, stamp on the head of pride, stamp on the Foul Fiend of Lust. Melody and music ring me about in a protecting wall. I am one who rises over the fallen.

Hail, O Overlooking, All seeing Power! I am Yours, I am a Chosen One. I am gifted with strength, I am thrice gifted with strength. I am filled with The Sacred Essence. I have partaken of the cup of joy. I am pure, I am pure, I am pure.

I see the light of the East, the arrow of All Embracing Love. I see the light of the South, the arrow of All Comforting Benevolence. I see the light of the West, the arrow of Everlasting Hope. I see the light of the North, the arrow of All Consoling Comfort. Let the golden bow speed the arrows of my desire. I am still, I worship the Hallowed Limbs.

The Heavenly Hosts gather, as swallows for the flight, as stormclouds for the downpour. Before the Sacred Shrine I renew my strength. I free myself from all earthly desires, from all bodily passions, of all soul-eating lusts, of all soul-destroying vices.

Now I see the rainbow-hued radiance of the real within the unreal. Now I see true where before I saw what was not and heard what was not. I was deceived by my body, I was deluded by my feelings. Now I see things not seeable by unaided mortal eyes. I hear things beyond mortal hearing.

O Great One, O Radiant One, O Timeless Knower, O Limitless Viewer, O Majestic One with a form of indescribable beauty! I have seen You through the veil, I have glimpsed the reflection of eternity. I am free.

I, Your son, bow humbly before You. Lord, my heart is pure. I proclaim my loyalty to my neighbour on my right and my neighbour on my left. I see the meat. I see the tripod. I see the knife. All is ready. Come, benevolent spirits, gather about the flame. Hover over the bowl.

To you in whom resides the power to appear in any form or shape desired, come, come as welcome guests. Before the Place of Awe I stand unafraid, for those who are damned to sorrow and horror cannot approach within the barrier. They await in jealous hate without, they who come up from the dismal depths. Away foul spirits of the damned! Away O self-destroyed ones!

O Great Representative, the court is purified, I now see the flame-like radiance. Brothers and sisters, do you see it too? I see the Radiant Risen Ones who have torn aside the veil for one brief moment. I see things of overwhelming splendour. Bring incense, bring water, bring salt and bring the offering flame.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

 

THE HYMN FROM THE BOOK OF SONGS - 5

 

The following paragraphs come from fragments and may originally have formed parts of more than one hymn.


I believe in You, Great God of Life, Lord of the Kingdom of Light, Dweller in the Eternal Silences. From the centre of Your domain there is an outflowing which sustains all life, and in You rest the hopes of all men.

You are The Ruler of All Spheres and Your dominion is unchallengeable. Under Your benevolent guidance Earth continues to exist and hold together, changing for nought but the benefit of man. We are Your children and You are our Father.

I believe in the Sacred Spirit of Inspiration which enters the hearts of men, flowing out from You and joined with You and yet separate, the Spirit to whom our fathers of old gave the greatest reverence, the Beautiful One, the Gentle One, the Inspirational One who first taught men to love and who drew aside the veil to show them beauty.

I believe in the Great Kingdom Beyond Earth, where, in the Place of Light the souls of men, if worthy, find a perfection not known here. The light which is in the Region Beyond the Veil is not as earthly light, it has a sustaining quality, it is a vitalising light indescribable in earthly words.

O Great Dweller in the vast silences which are not as the silence known on Earth, who attends this sacred place where men gather in devotion. We who are here see You revealed as a beacon light for those whose hearts dwell in the darkness of ignorance. We rejoice in the strengthening emanation which flows out towards those with the wisdom to attract and absorb it.

Here, in the Hidden Place, we Your servants are gathered, and we bow before You, O Great One. We bow in humility, not in servility; we bow in recognition of our earthly limitations. We are overcome with awe and can but stand in worshipful silence before the vision of Your glory. It shines before our eyes, and our mouths cannot open.

Here, on this Sacred Ground, we hardly dare to utter the words of prayer, for the sentences formed by men are so unworthy of their purpose, when used and spoken before You. Man is limited in knowledge, in understanding and in ability, it is the recognition of this which makes him humble.

O Great One, who understands even the speech of the dumb man, help us to expand our knowledge and understanding. We, for our part, will not remain inactive but will ever sincerely struggle to reach out towards You, striving even to extend beyond our limitations. Were it otherwise we would be dishonest in seeking Your help.

Help us to remove the disfiguring stains upon our everlasting spirit, and when earthly life is renewed in us let us not be too disadvantaged. Teach us to pray without prayerfulness, so that the taint of self-seeking is eliminated. When we petition, let this not be in the spirit of selfishness.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

 

Some Fragments from a Much Damaged

Section  Most of Which Has Been Destroyed

 

Fragment 1

 

O enfolded, sleeping soul, unaware of the life fountain within from which you may drink, unfeeling of the throbbing life all about us, now is your hour. Prepare yourself for the great awakening. The bright light of wisdom awaits to encircle you, as you stand before the awful door within the Sacred Temple of Mystery.

That the light of Truth may be a sure guide amidst the dark gloom of earthly life, a certain aid enabling you to find the way of your eternal spirit, you are not unknowing of your inner wisdom. It is the key to everlasting life in the glorious place beyond the Western veil.

0 live my soul, awaken, hear me. Let not my love and my sacrifice be in vain, let not all my hopes turn to dust within the tomb. Can love become soil and hope become sand? Never, for the grave is not the destination of the sublime attributes which ennoble the nature of man.

Man is as a flame burning in water, as it is written on the pillars without. His soul is as the rosebud awaiting the kiss of the sun to awaken it to bloom. His nature is as the day which is ever accompanied by the night.

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Fragment 2

 

I will praise The Nameless God who is The True God and The Knower of Every Name. Hail Great Overseer of Earth!

The high Heavens will hear the sound of my voice and its loudness shall ring across the widespread land. It shall resound throughout the Red Land. My song shall ride on the wings of the wind and my gladness shall whisper into the ear of the air. Hail Great Overseer of Earth!

I shall seek diligently for enlightenment and knowledge, that I may proclaim the ways of The True God among people, for they are mysterious ways not easily understood. Man wallows in a quicksand of ignorance, and only by extreme effort can he extricate himself. Great Overseer, grant me the ability to understand. Hail Great Overseer of Earth!

I say to the people, "Declare The Great One to your children, to the high born and to the lowly ones who dwell together under the same sun, to the generations as yet unborn. Sing songs that will echo down the corridors of time". Hail Great Overseer of Earth!

"Sing His praises with the birds of the air, tell of Him to the fishes in the waters, to the creatures which hide in the ground and to the things which walk and crawl above it". Hail Great Overseer of Earth!

"Declare Him unto all, for He is The God of All, He is The Great Compassionate One whose wrath declines with the setting sun and in the morning departs with the dawnlight mists". Hail Great Overseer of Earth!

Sometimes, in the lonely nightwatches, I wonder, have You turned Your face from me? What have I done that You are unresponsive? Have I ever lived otherwise than in accordance with Your word? O Great Overseer of Earth, what is Your will for me?

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Fragment 3

 

O Great One, everlastingly considerate of our needs, Overseer and Taskmaster of mankind, look down upon us with compassion and lay not too great a burden upon us, your dutiful servants. Labour we must, for thus we prepare for a higher state of being, but bear with us, for sometimes we grow weary and falter at the task.

Here we have fallen victims of our own wiles, we have hopelessly snarled up the threads of our existence, so we know not how to loosen the knots we ourselves have tied and so free ourselves. We are entangled in a net of our own weaving. Let us, Your servants, look to You, The Great One, for aid. Our destinies are held in the hollow of your hands, while the future is visible to you as is writing upon an open scroll.

The Glorious Ones worship You with service and serve through following the words of guidance. Thus, the earthbound spirits worship You, the shades of the departed worship You and the whole of creation worships You. We, Your servants, offer our continual and everlasting devotion to Your service. We are not as others, O Great One, for we know well that worship and devotion mean service and expended effort, not mere words and ritual.

Your spirit governs the breezes that comfort mankind. You send the fertilising rains, Your Spirit quickens the seed within the womb of Earth. The songs of the birds are inspired by the knowledge of You and the wild beasts rejoice in the sustenance provided.

You are The Universal Being, The Raincloud Overshadowing the Earth, The One Dwelling in the Cave of the Heart within all breathing creatures. You are The Weaver of the Warp and Woof of Life.

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Fragment 4

 

I praise The One Who Eats Evil, The Disposer of Earthly Residue. He who sustains the devoted followers of The Deathless One in whom all merge on leaving the body. For the day comes when we discard all that is of Earth, when we recognise and realise that all remaining is the pure and sacred spirit, boundless and free as the winds.

I praise The One Who Eats Evil, The Disposer of Earthly Residue. He who sustains the devoted followers of The Deathless One; who is with us everywhere and in all things; in whom is all, though not Himself the all; who sees and hears all, who knows and understands all, but whom none tied to Earth can know; who projects His word of power, so that it is within all and holds all things together in stability.

I praise The One Who Eats Evil, The Disposer of Earthly Residue. He who sustains the devoted followers of The Deathless One; who created all things and thus became His Own Greater Self; who clothed Himself in the universe as with a garment.

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Fragment 5

 

O Great Spirit, I would see the vast face of the Earth as You behold it. I would know how the seed is quickened, so that it grows into the plant, and how the fowl comes forth from the egg. What is added to the egg to give it the power to reproduce life?

I would touch Your Great Body born of the breath from The Eternal Source and watch Your thoughts creating and moulding all things to shape step by step.

I would see the links of Heaven and Earth and rest one hand in each. I would see the thread that binds yesterday, today and tomorrow, so all are one and parts of the whole.
I would see the appointed place of every living man and understand why. I would see the purpose of every beast and every plant, every tree and every thing that flies and crawls.

I would know gladness with the children, as they play and go singing on the way to their places of instruction. I would watch birth and death and solve their mysteries. I would know the depths of hatred and the heights of love.

I would journey the adventurous path of love hand in hand with another. I would know its secret, its delights and their shadows, and the secrets of its silences.

I would know the beginning and the end, and understand what links them. I would see the chain of the years and the necklace of the days. I would know the purpose of it all. Then, knowing all these, I would know You at last, O Great Spirit!

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Fragment 6

 

O True God, by whom the worthy are guided in all they undertake; who rises as a beacon in the darkness for the lowly. Grant us, Your servants who put their trust in You, strength to overcome all the doubts and uncertainties which rise in our hearts, as frightening shadows arise in the night. Let us sip the waters from the inexhaustible well of wisdom, that we may not move along false paths to encompass our own destruction.

For we cannot see the way in the enveloping darkness, and confusing voices shout this way or that way. We are bewildered, for we know not which one is right. Can there be so many ways?

We are not men of great learning or high position. We do not sit among princes, being among the lowliest in the land. Yet it is we who carry the burdens of the people, we feed the hungry and provide for the widow and orphan. Ours are the aching backs and weary feet, ours the naked body and empty bowl.

Those who are concerned with higher things sit at tables of plenty, those seemingly unworthy rejoice amid prosperity and plenty. Those who take are given more, while those who give are mocked.

We see these things and doubt enters our thoughts, we ask one another, "Why is this the order of things? Is it the will of our God? Then we seek for an answer in all sincerity and with productive effort, and The Great God Above All does not remain mute.

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Fragment 7

 

O God, hear my prayer, for I have gone into the great recess within me and await a response from out of the enveloping silence and tranquillity. The restlessness and discontent of life I have left at the portal. I have closed the door to the outer things of life.

Give ear, O my soul, to the whispers from the silence. Close out the clamour of Earth and harken to the soft voice which echoes from the far reaches of eternity. Hear without ears the wordless voice of Truth. Close the eyes of the flesh, that the greater eye may see in the inner darkness.

Enter into the inner temple and await the revelation of heavenly secrets. Shut out the clamouring senses that demand expression in sensual pleasures. Then, when all outer doors are closed and all inner doors open, speak to me and I will hear your voice. Tell me the secrets of the ages, and my spirit will dwell in contentment for ever.

This alone I ask and no more, it is sufficient for one lifetime.

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Fragment 8

 

O Great One on High, have pity on us, for we are hopelessly ensnared by our complete lack of things needed to sustain the body. Without sustenance our spirits are restless, our hearts cannot find peace. We do not desire foolish things, or pleasurable or vain things, but just the things without which we cannot live.

Though we lack all things we do not turn our faces from You, for we know well that in Your bounty all men are provided for and the Earth is full of richness. It is not You who take away the things needed to sustain our lives, but those made in our own likeness, our own brother men.

They deny meat to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, though they themselves are gorged to fullness and bloated with good things. Be merciful to them, instruct and enlighten them with Your chastising afflictions. Thus they may come to know that man needs man and each man is brother to all others.

Others have reaped where we have sown and others sleep where we have built, because of the statutes of men. Therefore, mete out nought but justice, that we may be fed and clothed and have a place to rest our heads.

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Fragment 9

 

O God, who teaches us in so many strange ways in this great place of instruction called Earth; who set us tasks to an end which we cannot foresee, and who tests us to measure our abilities and to try our courage and fidelity.

Instruct us, so we may better understand the bitter lessons which purge from our natures all which is unwholesome to the spirit. Strengthen us, so we may bear all things without complaint and conduct ourselves manfully under the strict discipline of this unique place of instruction. Open the-eyes of understanding within us, that we may benefit by every experience and not waste time bewailing our lot.

Tell us, so we may know. Instruct us in our duties in the battleline, so that when we are called upon to take our appointed place we shall not shirk the clash. Toughen us on the training ground of adversity, so that we may be stronger for the fray. When the day of battle comes upon us and cowards flee before the strength of our adversary, when the valiant ones kiss the dust at the portals of glory, let our place be where the battle rages most fiercely and the blows fall the thickest.

If we faint, may we still remain faithful. If we are exhausted, may we remain dauntless. If our hour come and we fall before the onslaught, may it be with weapons in hand and face to the foe. We fight the fight where the victor can be the vanquished and the vanquished the victor, for here the fight is the end and not the victory. He who serves the end well justly claims the fruits of victory.

We cannot ask to win, but we can ask to* be made strong if we struggle for strength. We cannot ask to remain unhurt, but we do ask for courage. We cannot ask to be supported in weakness, but we can ask for the fortitude to endure. We stand firm-footed, grim-faced to the foe. The ranks of wickedness encompass us about, but we will surge forward with closed ranks, carrying all before us until we come to rest in the presence of victory.

O God, Supreme Among Spirits, watch over us in the struggle, for we are Your children.

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Fragment 10

 

This is my prayer, O Great Spirit, accept my prayer. O Dweller in the Pure Region of Truth, hear me. O Great Fountain of Wisdom, hear me.

O Comforter and Companion of the Soul Silences, hear me. I, Your son, come into your presence with faith and humility.

Grant that my spirit be admitted into the Glorious Audience Chamber between the two regions.

I, Your son, come into Your presence with faith and humility. O Supreme Source of the form-holding rays, grant me a hearing. O Great One seated on The Celestial Throne behind The Great Solar Disk, hear me. All homage to you Great God, Master of the bodies of men. I, Your son, come into Your presence with faith and humility. My every thought and deed are dedicated to Your service. These things are written clearly in my heart and are not mere puffs of wind from my mouth.

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Fragment 11

 

Lord of my heart, hear me now as I stand in communicating silence before the listening shrine. You are The Great One who existed before the upheaval of the mountains; who tore apart the land and waters in the infant years of man.

For in Your sight a thousand great years are as an hour in the heat of the day, or as a watch in the coolness of the night. You are The Timekeeper in Eternity and Warden of the Ages.


You reap men as corn is reaped at the harvest and sweep them away as floodwaters cleanse the land. For man is like unto the grass of the field, in the morning it grows full of vigour, gaily bedecked with the gems of morning dew; in the eventide it is cut down, to wither in the night.

The day is not important if men live by the hour, fulfilling in each its appointed task.

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Fragment 12

 

When the Dread Messenger calls for you, let him not find you ill-equipped and unprepared. In the final hour, which must surely come, there will be no opportunity for fine speech and nought can delay his imperious command. Then all the possessions you have cherished and stored will be as nought, and all you will be able to take with you will be that which you have fashioned within.

Do not be numbered among the foolish who say, 'Time enough, for I am yet young". Death claims the breast-child as well as the aged, and on this you should ponder. Consider well your future estate.

Here you are the architect of your future abode, the plans prepared here are carried out in another place. Earth is the place of sowing, Heaven is the place of reaping.

Here you are the sculptor who chisels the statue, the potter who fashions the pot, the woodworker who carves the pillar. What is there on Earth more deserving of your care and attention than your own future form and appearance?

Do you recklessly hew or wilfully cut? Do you heedlessly pound the pliable clay and carelessly fashion the unfired pot? Do you mix the colours with proper thought?

What manner of thing are you fashioning in this great workshop? A beauteous being arrayed in radiant splendour, or a hideously foul fiend which can do nought but squirm in the slime of its fitting abode?

Whom will you praise for your prudence or curse for your lack of foresight? Who can force you to deal tenderly and responsibly with the slumbering child of your own self? Or prevent you from carelessly and wilfully shattering all hopes for its future wellbeing?

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Fragment 13

 

Rejoice all cities beside the waters, be joyful all people in the land, for great things have come to pass. Behold, the foe is scattered in confusion, they are no more, they are eaten up, victory is with us.

All praise to our Commanding Lord. Hail The Great Leader, hail The Source of Power in the land, live for ever in glory. O Mighty Fighter, let us rest in the shade of Your greatness, let us dwell under Your shadow, under the protection of Your right arm.

You have given us that which we never thought to know again. Men sit in peace, speaking freely one with another. They walk abroad with light steps and their heads are held high. Men look their fellowmen in the eye and there is none to josde them. They are delivered from the shadow of fear, and confidence is renewed in them. The fortresses are no longer overflowing with fighting men and all throughout the land no well is forbidden to the thirsty, all may drink freely where there is water. Men come and go across the wilderness, carrying the burdens of trade and none falls upon them to plunder. Men journey peacefully along the lonely roads and none waylays them to rob. Traders cross the barren places and are unmolested, none rises against them.

The bearers of messages no longer hasten about, pale of face and frightened, they no longer carry doleful tidings, they no longer bear words of fear. Their coming no longer causes the knees to tremble and the stomachs to fall. Now the messengers loiter in shady places, remaining there until the nightwatch calls, for there is no urgency in the words they carry. The fighting men rest, their hazardous days have gone; the bow, the sword, the spear and the shield have been laid away in the weapon stores. Women walk freely, they talk gaily, for they are not overshadowed with fear, neither do they tremble for fear of molestation. The faces of the border guardians are no longer haggard with sleeplessness, nor are their eyes tired and strained with watchfulness. Throughout the whole land there is content and tranquillity.

The herds are large and sleek, they are no longer tense and restless. The flocks graze contentedly in their green pastures. The fowls are no longer alert and noisy but squabble playfully, chasing one another through the dust. The voices of men are no longer hoarsened with war cries, instead they can be heard singing as each goes about his appointed task. The doleful wailing of women who mourn their dead is no longer heard and widows no longer proclaim themselves. The husbandman sows contentedly, knowing that where he sows he shall also reap. He no longer doubts that he will enjoy his own harvest.

The face of God is once more inclined favourably towards us, even the lesser gods look again upon the land with favour. The reign of Saku is over, he no longer overshadows the lives of men, all is well in the two lands.

******************

Fragment 14

 

We praise our own God with joyous and grateful hearts. He has shown Himself among us. He will come again in His season, all is well with us. His desire brings forth the green growing things and the land is clothed in its gay mantle. His hand guides the stars, His mind contains all things that fly above the Earth and all things that walk and crawl upon its face.

We praise You, Great Eternal One whose forms are so many. We kiss the ground before You. All the sacred beings and sacred things men worship are but manifestations of their groping through the clouds of ignorance to understand You. Have pity on them, for they were born into darkness and mysteries, but their hearts are good.

Each day You bring some new thing to the attention of men and place before them problems to unravel. The nature of men ever inclines them towards the path of ease and passiveness, therefore they tend to shun the things which are truly profitable. Therefore, deal with men in a manner best fitting for their progress towards Truth.

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Fragment 15

 

Neither life nor love ends at the Grim Portal. The strength of the invisible bond between two souls binds them even after death. That which binds strongest of all is the love which is sincere, true and constant. Such love endures through tribulations and trials.

If one you love has departed through the Western Gates into the Great Halls of Eternity, then be comforted by the words of Truth. This you will then know: that the Guardian at the Grim Portal is no fearsome being but a compassionate attendant who tends you gently while asleep, until the morning of a more glorious day. Then you will be awakened to journey through a greater adventure with the companions of former times.

******************

Fragment 16

 

In death you are greater than ever you were on Earth, for now the companionable spirits lament for your sake. They strike their bare flesh for you and smite upon their forearms. They tear at their hair and cast dust on their heads.

Yet if they be true to themselves, they are not cast down, they are not distressed. There is a voice speaking out of the silence, saying, "If he goes he shall come, if he sleeps he shall awaken, and if he dies he shall live".

Can you be gone from us forever? No, you are not dead or lost unto us, unless by our own deeds we depart to dwell in different regions.

I am not cast down. You are now in the Great Place beyond the everlasting stars. You have passed over the horizon of immortality and now walk erect along the path of glory. May we meet there in days yet to come.

Hail O Glorious One!

******************

Fragment 17

 

my side when I come before the Assessors, that when I hear the verdict I may not be alone. If my eyes cannot see, then tell me of the balances, do they bear down in my favour?

O Guardian God, lighten the darkness for me and deliver me from the meshes of the net woven by my own deeds of wickedness and weakness. You are my strength and support, to You have I given my offerings, You I have honoured above all.

There I may be in distress and have none to abide with me. I may have no comforter and may be alone, therefore desert me not in my time of trial. Stand by my side, O Guardian God. If I am numbered among the distressed ones, look upon me with compassion and mercy, and if I am deserted, then sustain me with water, bread and oil.

******************

Fragment 18

 

I sing words of glory unto my God who is the Great God Above All Gods, and the words which issue from my mouth shall be exalted above all things. With them I will praise Him in the Sacred Place, in the silence of His Hidden Sanctuary. They will glorify my God, so that His Majesty is not dishonoured and He is not deserted, until the day when He shall be declared before all men.

With the ever loving thoughts of a devoted heart I praise Him. Even as the sun rises joyfully into the daysky, so does my heart rise towards He who gives me life and renews it day by day.

He is Great, He is Mighty, He is Glorious. He made the great river to flow, that all men in the two lands might be fed. It never wearies, it never ceases its onward flowing. It is everlastingly renewed.

Even as the great river flows steadily and strongly through the barren wilderness and bestows verdant life on its way, so let the river of my life flow through the Earth and eat away the sands of wickedness.

Release me from my mortal fetters. Loosen the heavy covering of flesh which imprisons me, which restrains me. Let me rise free into the glory above, as the falcon floats freely on the wing. Let not the melody of my song be cut off while I sing, nor the story end before its completion.

Keep me, O my God, from the ways of darkness and let my spirit rejoice in the light of righteousness.

Glory to You, Great God, Lord of Truth, whose eternal throne is concealed behind man's limitations; who issued the command that brought things into being; who made man so wonderfully that man himself cannot understand his own nature; who hears with compassion the cry of the distressed and the moan of the captive.

All hail the everlasting spirit within, the real self, the seat of all thought inseparable from me. I am one who can truly call bis soul everlasting, for I am one of the Awakened Ones, one of the few who have at long last attained the Splendid Vision. I have seen the bright flash of Truth in the darkness of earthly existence, I am free, I am illuminated.

I will sing, that you may be glorified in the solitudes of Your Hidden Places, where the eyes of the profane can never penetrate, where few men come as Chosen Ones. There we will sing songs of yore. We will sing of Your ways and of Your laws, which remain everlastingly unchangeable.

*****************

 

Fragment 19

 

Heaven and the many Heavens beyond Heaven, Earth and the many Earths beyond Earth are held in the thoughts and power of God. They are as a monument to His everlasting glory. All things living that move and breathe have their place in the abode of life. Man finds the greatest joy in the Eternal Halls, therefore set not your heart on earthly possessions.

Here a man may desire life for a hundred years and may even attain it, but what benefit are the extended years to him if they do not exalt the soul? There is a horror-haunted region of darkness, and whosoever rejects the godward life on Earth will surely dwell therein. They will go down to partake of the nature of demons, down into the darkness of delusion and doom.

The soul, without moving flies on wings swifter than thought. It stands behind and beyond the senses. It is the Knower working within the things mat are known. The spirit of man is carried down the stream of action into the ocean of life. The spirit is everlasting, it is near and it is far, it is in all and it contains all.

He who sees his own self in all things and all things in his own self is awakened. He is beyond delusion and outside the reach of futile sorrow.

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Fragment 20

 

I am Hahrew the Enlightened One, Hahrew the Twice Bom. Having crossed the dark waters myself, I carry the others across. Being free from fear, I free others from fear. Being unrestricted, I ease the restriction of others. Knowing the way, I show it to others. Having trodden the road, I now guide others along it. I am an Illuminated One, the open of ear, the keen of eye. I am one who knows the Law, I am a keeper of ordinances.

I shall refresh all those whose bodies are bent with toil or sorrow. I shall come to the aid of those whose souls are withered and distorted, and give them strengthening sustenance. I shall open the eyes of many who are deluded in the heavy mists of threefold existence.

Hear me, all who toil under the yoke of ignorance, who labour under the clouds of despair. I am the Forthcoming One, the Future One Turned Back. I am the Spirit Within The Law.

I am the Voice of Enlightenment, one who proclaims the brotherhood of all men. I am to one as to another. I am Hahrew.

******************

Fragment 21

 

0 life-giving Sun, handwork of God, projection of divine fire, heat of Heaven, light of the day, solitary glory of the daytime, let me behold the hidden form behind your brightness, for the spirit within you is even as my spirit. Thus, I may come to understand the nature of my God who commands you and to whom I pray. The fair face of the daughter of Truth remains hidden behind its mask of gold. O spirit of light, draw aside the veil even slightly, that I may see.

Who among men is wise enough to know his own wrongdoing, or to see clearly his own errors and follies? The eyes of men are dim and the road narrow, therefore it is not hard to wander from the way. Therefore, O my God, keep me from all hidden wrongdoing and errors, and keep me from the power of temptations to which I so readily succumb.

I know the rebellions of my heart, and my wickedness is ever before my eyes, yet how much more do I not see! I have chafed against the restrictions of Your decrees and the Law. I am a foolish one who does himself an injury.

I am ashamed and blush for my folly. I am as a man who, when his arm does wrong, cuts off a finger. Help to make clean my heart and strengthen my spirit, that it may resist my own inflictions upon it. I believe I do right and do wrong, for I have not listened carefully and diligently to Your words written on the sacred scrolls.

O my God, whom I have long worshipped with devotion, incline from the great heights of Your splendour and stretch a helping hand down towards Your weary servant. Trusting in You I will depart from the pastures of sweet grass and the calm waters of restful repose, and go into the presence of the Everlasting Lords. I will pass out of the dark tomb, I will arise refreshed with the outpouring of Your Spirit. I will clasp Your mighty hand and be guided along the path of Truth. Thus, I cannot stray and the lonely places will not claim me.

In confidence and trust I will take my place before the Court of Assessors. Guided by Your light I shall pass safely by the Place of Darkness, and those who lurk shall do me no harm. My trust is in You and I will come safely past the lurking ones. I shall be freed of all earthly weariness and my spirit shall shine forth in glory. I will stand in the Place of Brightness, and the Glorious Ones will come bringing refreshing waters. I will not lack sweet sustenance, and delicacies shall be poured forth for me in abundance.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX


FROM THE SCROLL OF SENMUT


The stonebearer measures the stone and it is trimmed and pushed into place. It is fitted and the overseer looks upon it and says, "This stone is well laid. It remains in its appointed place".

Beside it other stones are fitted and set, each according to its own shape and design, each has its own place and position. Then upon it are placed other stones and so it becomes concealed from sight in the foundations of the structure. The building rises, firm and strong, to become the dwelling place of a prince.

I am one of whom men say, "He establishes buildings which stand forever". I remember that stone deep below the ground in the base of the structure where no eye ever sees it. Men know it is there, it just remains in its place, fulfilling its appointed duty, a necessity for the upholding of the building.

What difference whether that stone be set upon the pinnacle, shining in the sun, ever before the eyes of men, or hidden in the ground, unseen at the base? It does its duty by standing solidly in its rightful place and seeking not to change it.

I, who establish great buildings which will stand forever, remember that stone.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN


THE SONGS OF NEFATARI


One

I sing my song because the Earth sings; though the wind is hushed among the groves it still plays with soft melodic gaiety. The benevolent sky looks gently down, its breath stilled as it listens to the melody of the leaves. The dew smiles in the morning, for it has captured the light of love from the stars. My song is beautiful because my heart dances gladly in my bosom, its joyfulness conveys gay music to my thoughts and places endearing words on my lips.

Because I am dedicated to love I have but one love, the beautiful container of my life. My heart is a lonely thing ever seeking companionship with yours. It is lost to you, so let it beat in your breast nestled against your heart, for there it surely belongs. My love is wholesome, not tainted by any residue of past affections; it is gentle and pure, therefore treat it with manly tenderness, for it is a precious treasure. I give it gladly and can give no more. That which I give to you I can give to no other man. For you the lovely pearl, for others the empty shell.

Let me live just for you, let me serve as your housewife. Let me hold your child to my breast, let my eyes be gladdened by your presence each night and in the morning. Let me bask continuously in the wonderful radiance of your presence. Never part me from the source of my joyfulness and gaiety, but let us go down the corridor of life together, your arm laid on my arm and my hand in your hand.

My heart is desolation, it is like a wilted flower. You are away, my love, and my eyes search the road for your coming. The caress of sleep eludes me, for your image is ever there beside me and I cannot find consolation with even the most comforting shadow. Come to me, my living love, that I may feel the warmth of your flesh and be at peace.

While you are absent I concern myself no more with things which give pleasure to a woman's heart. I neglect my hair arrangement and my diadem hangs disregarded. My curls are laid aside, for I await your coming to put them on and greet you in my gaiety. The song is silent on my lips, for my heart is without joy.

While you are away my heart slumbers, my bosom is empty. Come quickly, my love, that my heart may awaken and beat gladly with the pulse of life. I await your coming as the dawn awaits the sun, as the parched lands await the rising waters.

My eyes search the nightskies and see the mating dance of the stars, the Earth about me throbs with the pulse beat of love. The dark waters reflect the mystery of life, but I sit beside them desolate. Come to me my love, for none but you can awaken my response. I stand alone on the shore of the sea of love, Come, O come, that we may enter the enchanted waters together.

Does the night long for the day as I long for you? Does the thirsty wayfarer long for water as I yearn for you? If so, then truly they are to be pitied. O come, my living love, and fill my days with the sunshine of your love.

It seems the ages of man have never been loveless.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT


THE SONGS OF NEFATARI


Two


Life is the bearer of the most wonderful gifts. You are a man and my man. Maker of my heart's butterfly flutter when my breath becomes a necklace of sighs. In your strong arms I melt as honey in the warm night waters.

O man and my man, great one in my maidenly eyes. The light of my life, the sun of my days and the moon of my nights; the rock against which I confidently nestle, for to feel your protecting strength is my everlasting delight. My body yearns for you as the parched fields cry out for the caress of the fertilising waters.

How delightful the gentle hour of love with you. O that it might become an eternity wherein I might sleep with you as your wife, your lifelong companion in love. In this life always yours, to serve your pleasure and be ever with you; to stand at last, my hand in your hand, together before the dream goddess in the Halls of Eternal Joy. There, those who have loved wholesomely, such as we, find everlasting pleasures.

I am yours, both here and there, escapable never, yours forever. Yours pure, untouched and unsullied. I am with you first, sister in love. If at times my tongue speaks with unmaidenly boldness, then let this be forgiven me, for I am pure of heart. The words pour forth from a heart overflowing with love and not from a tongue dipped into the shame of impure experience.

I come to you with maidenly pride, as a dew-bedecked garden of herbs, fair flowering, sweet smelling and refreshing. Peace and contentment are mine to gladly give. Upon you I gladly bestow all that is precious to a maiden. You share me with no other, I honour love by bestowing what is exclusively yours.

Your brow becomes hot with the body passion of man burning within, and I cool it with my womanly hand as the cooling north wind tempers the heat of the burning sands. The strength of an ox and the gentleness of a kitten are united in love.

We walk together in a land of beauty, a garden of loveliness fashioned thus by the dreams we share. Hand in hand in the kingdom of men, heart in heart in the kingdom of spirit. When hearts are bound together in a love exceeding all bounds, then bodies may unite with purity and peace. We wander heedlessly about and my heart sings with joy, for we are together.

Your voice is the food of my heart, your touch the life of my body. I see you and I am gay, you depart and I am sad. Your glance pierces me like an arrow of fire, your words carry me away like the surge of bitter waters over the beach.

For the lovers' hour we sit beneath the wild fig tree, beneath its fruits of lovers' blood and its leaves of lovers' eyes. Hear it whisper to our hearts. I am a maiden reserved to you in love, you are my lord, the commander of my heart. I dwell beneath your shadow and within your shadow. O never leave me unshielded!

My nights are restless and hot, shall I give my love the apple of his desire, the first fruits of womanly love? Am I the wild bird snare awaiting the wild goose? O my heart, how have women beyond number decided before me which answer is the true one?

0 take me not in my weakness, lest you despise me after the manner of men and bring low the head of my father. Have manly compassion on the weaknesses made by my love. Degrade me not before my mother and let not the shadow of shame fall over my father's house. Let me ever keep faith with the Mother Guardian of Love, that when I am called before her I shall stand in unsullied radiance. Make me not a woman of the hedgerow.

Let our love bear us up in glory, up into the revealing light where we may stand together, proud and unashamed. Let ours be a love that fulfils its appointed function in the great chain of life, something honoured by men and an inspiration to our children. Let it not become a flower of the field corner which withers in shame when the sunlight falls upon it.

I wait, the day comes, its hours are long and extended, but with its declining you hasten to me, my man and my life. Sweet mistress of love, speed the fulfilling hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE


THE SONGS OF TANTALIP


One


The night rolls back to reveal the promise of another day. The great sun comes up in the morning time and the lotus opens to reveal its shining heart displayed in devotion. You come and my heart leaps up from my breast to meet you.

The wind blows and shakes the wild fig tree, you come and your delicate perfume enwraps my spirit, and my body is shaken. I become weak within the shadow of your presence. I feel a radiance about you which calls to something within me and I am awed by the wonder of a love which can subdue all base feelings.

I have seen you. In the cool dewtime of the morning I passed on my way and you were bathing in the freshening waters. I saw your pure loveliness and all else faded and passed from me, the beauty of the morning was dimmed before the vision I had of you. Modest maiden of mine, clad in a white garment which clutched your supple limbs, I saw you and my heart swelled up in joy. The breath was stopped within my throat.

You looked up and smiled a chaste greeting, covering yourself in a garment expressing your maidenly modesty. Your delicate hand plucked a lily, and my heart left its cradle when you came up out of the waters and drew near. You embraced me with cool, glistening arms and open wet lips. I savoured the joys of the gods, with a greater promise of unutterable joys to come, before I continued on my way. Would that I were the fishes in the pool, that I might be so near to you twice daily.

Yet I am a man and consumed in the fires of manhood in my need for you. Still you remain veiled in reserve and I pray to the great god for the assurance that some day my sister in love will be truly mine. Her reserve and modesty, treasured as gifts to be surrendered in love, mean more to me than gold and pearls or the treasures of kings. What is mine no king, no matter how great, can claim. It is love's mantle bestowed on manliness.

The night comes and I dream it is our wedding night and you are beside me. My spirit rises on wings of joy, singing, "O let my love find its ultimate expression in this night of beauty!" Your breath caresses me with the fragrance of Heaven, your lips dispense the heavy wine of love. Our bodies meet in ecstasy and part, but our spirits remain mingled in the greater bond that knows no severance. Our united souls share together the destiny of eternity. I sleep at last in the gentle arms of contentment.

O Great Readers of the Souls of Men, see the strength of my love. Is it not untainted with base feelings? Is it not wholesome and undemanding? Is it not protective of womanly secrets? Let it endure on Earth, that it may blossom in glorious fullness throughout the great ages in everlasting splendour. May it shine forever in the unwalled Halls of Eternity. O grant me my heart's desire!

 

CHAPTER THIRTY


THE SONGS OF TANTALIP


Two


I am one on whom the fates smile. My sister in love is the light of my life. She is the promise of love enduring, the brazier of a love undying, the hope of joy throughout eternity. The night becomes silent, for its fragrance is as nothing to her sweetness. The brightness of the dawn fades before her loveliness and the dove hangs its head before her virtue.

She breathes gently and caresses with her glance. Her skin exudes a sweet perfume and her hair is proud and confident, as becomes the guardian of secret mysteries of charm and delight.

She is graceful, her robes are not stiffened, they are not of royal or white linen and caress her softly. Her sandals are daintily bedecked with beads and her lovely curls are clasped in a circlet of blue and red stones. Her bosom is covered with cloth of Ithika and held by a clasp of silver.

She flutters her fan with delicacy and grace. Her speech is gentle as the cool breeze. Her eyes sparkle as the moonlit waters, their deep pools enhanced with tinges of green and purple delicately applied.

Men say, "Who is she who walks with graceful steps and lively air? The blush of the blood rose is on her cheeks, the perfume of morning sweetness breathes from her parted lips. High-spirited joy tempered with innocence and modesty sparkles in her eyes. Her voice tinkles like sweetly rippling waters, and from the gay cheerfulness of her tender heart she gladdens all nature with her gentle singing".

I say, "She is mine, my wife in waiting", and confidently know all her secret charms are for me alone. I shall be lifted in joy above all men or cast into the abyss of despair. I wonder about her in the manner of men and rebuke myself for my thoughts. Could such beauty ever betray love?

I inhale the sweet breezes which once filled her mouth, and each day my thoughts recall her beauty. My heart longs for the sweetness of her lovely voice, fresh as the cool north wind. Her love strengthens my limbs, my heart rises from its place. Let me clasp once more the delicate hands that hold my heart. Let me feel her once again in warm embrace. I hear her name whispered on the cool nightwind, and never do I hear it without my spirit responding.

0 my Lord God, who led me in the conquest, who directed my right arm in battle and chastened my pride in victory, help me now in the time of peace. Help me when the turmoil is over. I am well skilled in the ways of war, but am a ready victim for the snares and wiles of peaceful life.

Give to me my heart's desire, to be the mother of my children and the companion of my life. I am burnt with passion and need the cool quenching waters of true love. My body cries out in the night towards one so distant from me. You made me as men are made, you gave me the craving, now grant me relief.
I am alone and one when I should be two. I speak and none answers, I eat and my food lacks flavour, I thirst and none brings water. I am a sword unused, let the sword not rust in the sheath.

I await my other self, my right side desires union with my left, I wait and know that the waiting is not in vain. I await her coming, she is on her way, as she was from me beginning of time. She draws near and my spirit leaps from its seat and dances from the body to meet her. I see her, she is mine, fashioned for me by the ages, her body is made for mine and mine for hers. We are betrothed by eternity.

I will keep her always for myself, I will never let her go hungry or let her live to lament her fate. We will share seven lives together and in each I will seek her anew.
Man is two, the life force and the life material. Love holds all things together and no man can know the joys of love who shares the secret charms of his beloved with another.

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE


THE MARRIAGE SONG

 

O devotee of a love that rises above the mire of matter and flowers in realms where romantic love is glorified! O daughter of love and sweet mistress of life, now is the hour of your fulfilment. Prepare to accept the sceptre of womanhood as becomes a true maiden, prepare to accept the burdens and pleasures of motherhood as becomes a true woman. Verily you are a disciple of love.

Earth knows no greater joy than that of contented wedded love. Such love is a beaconlight to all mankind, it guides the caravan of its journeying with a pure and sacred flame. Sweet, hallowed love has a temple in the heart of every chaste maiden, and all men worship the mystery enshrined within. O resolute priestess and guardian, you are now worthy of the white crown of love.

Great has been your inspiration to man. Well have you fulfilled the duty of maidenhood, now step forward to accept the joyful burden of womanhood, the crown that proclaims you a wife. Marriage is sanctified by ancient tradition, for it has survived the tests of time and turmoil. It has ever been the anchor of society and the shield of the family.

Loveliness belongs to all women, for it is the heritage of womanhood. Beauty of face and form is carried away by the passing years, but the beauty of heart and thought grows as the waters rise and fall. The glorious channs of modesty and purity can be possessed by any woman.

Weave a mantle of contentment around your chosen mate, O gentle bearer of womanly charms. Remember that you are the mother of generations yet unborn. Maidenhood, wifehood and motherhood, these are the phases of a woman's life. A chaste maiden becomes a good wife and a good wife becomes a good mother. Thus it is written.

May The Great God whom you now worship spread His protecting wings over you, and may you enjoy the companionship of many children. May your life be enwrapped in peace and contentment, and may it be attended by the four bearers of prosperity.

O son of strength and goodness, remember always your obligations and duties as a husband and father. Love belongs nowhere but beside your own hearth, for what foolishness it would be for a man to expend it on one other than his wife! That which a man gives to his wife is his also, a love truly shared is joy multiplied. He who sows beside his own hearth reaps a manifold harvest.

Be not harsh with your wife or impatient because of her weaknesses, for her ways are those of all women. Be gentle with her, remembering that the dart of love cannot penetrate a hard and inconsiderate heart.

Love is a treasure unearthed by few. It is found by less than one in a thousand. Yet, where it is let it be held sacred, for it is the decree of a divine destiny uniting one to the other in ever increasing glory and beauty, as they rise from life to life.

Is not every part of the Earth paired with its mate? Even Heaven and Earth are mated, for does not Earth cherish and nourish whatever Heaven lets fall? When Earth lacks heat Heaven bestows it bountifully upon her, and when she loses her freshness and withers. Heaven restores her freshness with gentle soothing waters.

Heaven daily goes about the task of sustaining Earth, she is never neglected. Therefore, take an example from the greater sphere of life, sustain and cherish your wife, that she never be neglected. He who sows seeds of discontent before his hearth reaps a full harvest of misery. Thus it is written by the Wise One in olden times, even so it is now and will always be.

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO


THE LAMENT OF NEFATARI

 

They have placed my dear lord in the engulfing tomb, they have laid him to rest in eternal secure silence. We depart, we journey home but home is no more, it is rent apart and a place of dull shadows. Some with me are silent and solemn, some are weeping, some make show of weeping. Some suffer silently, some talk idly, some mask their sorrow with false mirth. It is a time of solitary heart pain.

Some say it is finished and others that he sails the sky, but I ask my soul and it says this is not the end. It is not finished, this is the beginning, which all loving things must know as they awake to a new dawn.

The years of earthly instruction are left behind, the last lesson is read, the pupil has departed to take up his appointed task. He has been bom to life, and death has been left behind. There are no dead, just the departed living, death alone occupies the silent tomb. Death is a pause at the beginning of hfe, a hesitation before the light of a greater day.

Death is a deceiver, a non-existent thing of the shadows. From the creeping caterpillar comes the light-loving butterfly, and from the hard grain the full blooming barley. Who, looking at the date stone, can see therein the tree to be? Search the seed and the plant is nowhere to be found. Even so is it with the spirit.

I trust in He who gave us life and love, but I suffer because of my loss. I am alone. Where is my lord, the one I loved, the sharer in my cup of joyfulness? Where is the caressing hand, the touch that soothed, the voice that strengthened my heart in times of distress, the consoling counsel, the quiet laugh that dispelled God-given hurt? Though he has gone to glory, yet my heart shrinks, aching with solitary grief.

I will keep him, that he wander not in the darkness; for he has been loved and cannot be alone for evermore. I will keep him, that he be not despaired and condemned to walk with himself; for he is a man who has loved beyond himself.

He has stepped from his body as one steps from a mantle. He has left it as one leaves a discarded garment.

His future is in my hands and I shall live in such wise that none can deny our reunion. There is a subtle something, I know that, that ties us together still. May I be given strength never to break the loving link which comforts me through the long night and sorrowful days.

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

 

THE SCROLL OF HERAKAT

 

Great God of Wisdom, help me in my transcription of these writings, that they may be a true record; for I am not learned in letters, as was Sopher. I am unskilled even as a scribe.

Man is a battleground, he is torn apart in the struggle between his two selves. He dwells in the dark night of ignorance.

From Ramakui of the seven cities, Land of Copper, came the People of the Light and they brought with them, out of their transparent temples, the light that shines, when darkness falls, without being lit. Led by the Old Bald-Headed One, he whose name is not spoken, they came out of the West at the sunsetting. They came from the place where now the sun goes down; in the days when the Western wilderness was green and sand had not replaced the waters; when the outlands nourished cattle and sheep fed where now there is nought but rock and stone. The Tirdinians welcomed them not, but they passed safely through the westward places to the land of Ansibyah, and were succoured and fed. They brought to the people many things, for wise they were and learned. They were men of wisdom.

Truth is not for the multitude, dirty hands despoil fine linen. The high born have their estates and the lowly ones have their appointed places. Truth is not sold in the marketplace, nor can riches alone obtain it. Few entered the great chambers to die and to live. The temples were fine shells, but the kernel was dead inside. Men lacked the foods of life.

The True God was guarded and hidden by the false gods. He spoke in the hearts of the wise, but the people heard the voice in the stone. Their ears were closed to all but the voices of men. Small places there were in olden times for all gods, the pillars were not yet stood up. The stones were not yet in their places and the House of Hidden Secrets was not yet in the land.

Then temples were built in splendour and priests were comforted in mansions. Great gardens and fields were the property of the gods of men. They had great herds of cattle in their pastures. Within the worship and ritual, amid the pomp enshrining the little gods, shone the light of Truth which was the revelation of The True God. It was known to few and fewer understood it.

Seven years men being chosen waited and were called. Seven years they served and seven years they ministered at the feet of their Masters of Instruction. They were passed into bleak caverns to die and know God, and called forth with the sure knowledge of Truth. Thus, men were made servants of The One True God. Thus, they knew the Truth which may not be written, for many read who are not with us in God.

There were writings which speak truly, but they are no longer with us. The Arisen Ones know the secrets of the lesser gods who are no more than these. The Great Scales weigh the soul by its appearance in the Netherworld, and this its place is appointed. Its virtues from its food, but no man eats the filth that is his.

He who devours souls is but the dark cave of horror which opens to receive dark souls into affinitive darkness. The Rakima watches in silence; patiently it sits, waiting for the day of the Destroyer. It will come in a hundred generations, as is written in the Great Vault.

All men are not equal in heart and spirit. Is the Southern Man learned, or the Ambric Man brave? The Land of Incense bestows all good things upon its inhabitants, yet they are not great. The Land of Bright Waters raises nothing but trees and grass, yet its people are strong and the lion does not equal them in courage.

Above are the waters of Heaven and below are the waters of the Dark Region, yet there are not two waters but one. There is the fire above and the fire below, yet there are not two fires but one. The Lady of Ladies is arrayed in a radiant garment, when it dims the great trial begins. Her footsteps do not waver, her path is straight, but beware when she wavers and is inconsistent.

Great Mistress of the Stars, let us abide in peace, for we fear the revelation of your horns. Remain ever constant as a good wife to the Lord of the Day. When women are as men and inconsistent as women, the hour approaches when the Great Lady will wander. When man and woman meet as one in likeness, the Fiery Heralds will appear in the darkness of the sky vault.

Man twirls the drill in his hand; he is the master of fire, but the day comes when fire will leap forth from the heart of the stone and consume him. Men read the Great Book of the Master of the Hidden Temple. They die and take it with them, but there is no power in their words, and who but we, the Enlightened Ones, know the hidden meanings? It is not for those dead to the Earth, who step forth in the Netherworld, but for those who died and remain with us.

Men make offerings for their fathers after the custom of their fathers. The motions are those of their fathers' fathers' fathers, but their hearts remain locked. It is foolishness.

In the First Book it is written: "Words that do not produce deeds are as thistledown on the wind. They were better never uttered".

The soul of man is as a bird that knows of a place to which it must journey, but which it has never seen yet it departs on the appointed day. Men have gods in Heaven and gods on Earth, but Heaven is for gods and earth for men. Thus did we write our own doom.

In the Secrets of the Soul it is written: "The soul of man is not a small thing inside him, but wraps him about. It is greater than the boundaries of the Lands of the Reed and the Lily, and reaches out beyond the stars".

To live, man must believe in his soul. Belief comes not from outside teaching but from listening to its whispers, unbelief comes from stopping the ears to its murmurs. Read the Sacred Writings diligently and hear the voice of the Instructing Master with receptive heart, so you may furnish your soul with nourishment, and it shall not wither from any lack of sustenance.

The seed of Truth came to the black fertile land in olden times and was planted in well watered soil. Pontas was not yet born. It grew not in the light of the sun, for ignorant men would cut it down. In the dark places it flourished. Earth is a strange place and stranger the creature who rules it. Then came the dawn of a brighter day. The tree was goodly and its leaves filled both the Land of the White Crown and the Land of the Red Crown. In a day of darkness men came who exposed it, and the king said, "Cut it down, lest it choke us with wisdom".

The tree died, but its seeds falling into the red soil lived and from them saplings grew. They were sheltered under the strong arm of the East. Then came one who was Lord of the Sweet Breeze, one who had sat beneath the Tree of Life, and he raised up a city to the Veiled Truth. Over the great road it was, by way of Lados it lay.

He revealed the Light of Truth darkly to the people, but they were people of the night and even its dim flame consumed them. The child of good intentions may be fair or dark.

The Guardians of Truth covered the bright flame and even its glow was seen no more by the people. No unlearned man again saw the light.

A treasure in the hands of a few is great to each. Shared among many it has little value for one. We had been told the ways of men from olden times, but we heeded not the warning.

Now the Truth is scattered to the four quarters of the Earth. Thus it was foretold it should be, therefore it is appointed. A tree scatters its seeds by the thousand, yet but one may spring to life, and that may lay long in the soil.

These writings have been re-written with diligent care. They have been transcribed exactly as they are and no thought or belief of mine has gone into them. May those to whom they come as a heritage be no less circumspect in dealing with them.

 

 

 

THE BOOK OF THE SONS OF FIRE

 

this being

 

THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE BRONZEBOOK

 

Being all that remains of the Sacred Writings formerly contained in the Great

Book of the Sons of Fire

 

Chapter 1 - THE RECONSTRUCTED CHAPTER

Chapter 2 - THE HIBSATHY

Chapter 3 - THE BROTHERHOOD

Chapter 4 - AMOS

Chapter 5 - THE LAWS OF AMOS

Chapter 6 - THE TALE OF HIRAM

Chapter 7 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 1

Chapter 8 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 2

Chapter 9 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 3

Chapter 10 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 4

Chapter 11 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 5

Chapter 12 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 6 (Incomplete and Fragmentary)

Chapter 13 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 7

Chapter 14 - THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 8

Chapter 15 - THE BOOK OF KADMIS

Chapter 16 - THE RECONSTRUCTION BY KADAIRATH

Chapter 17 - PART OF A MARRIAGE PLEDGE

Chapter 18 - THE MASIBA AMENDMENTS

Chapter 19 - THE LETTER OF MATA A SON OF AGNER

Chapter 20 - THE TEACHINGS OF SADEK

Chapter 21 - THE LAWS OF MALFIN

Chapter 22 - SALVAGED FRAGMENTS RECONSTRUCTED - 1

Chapter 23 - SALVAGED FRAGMENTS RECONSTRUCTED - 2

Chapter 24 - THE LAST OF THE METAL PLATES

 

 

CHAPTER 1

THE RECONSTRUCTED CHAPTER

We took refuge with the sons of Uteno whose fathers had been in the land many generations, for they had come out of Egypt in the days of Pharaoh Nafohia.  There on the borderland, we dwelt in caves above Kathelim. We were without books or possessions, but we were diligent and laboured to make the land fruitful. We knew ourselves as The Brothers in Light, but others called us The Children of Light, even as we are called to this day.

This is a good and fertile land, it is a wide land of flowing streams where wheat and barley increase a hundredfold. Figs and pomegranates flourish here and it is a land of olive groves and vineyards. All the needs of life are supplied with an overflowing bounty. It is a land where sheep and cattle multiply without fear and a land where the sickle of famine never reaps. It is a land where even an effortless search is rewarded with the materials of copper, but it is not a manless land.

We are not alone in this land and must live among people whose ways are not our ways. They have gods with many names and even now those beside the sea strive among themselves, for some say God is called Mamrah, while others say he is called Aneh. All about us men are in dispute and the strife among them arises out of the bounty of the land. Gaining their livelihood with little effort they have much time for argument and strife. We must build, for these people, a court of peace, the four pillars whereof shall be Love, Consideration, Justice and Truth.

The land of our fathers and our inheritance has been lost to us forever. Their homes have been returned to the sands and their altars where they worshipped cast down. Their temples have been destroyed and the forms of worship practiced there are no longer known. The songs once sung are now mingled with the winds and the voices of the singers are silent. The wisdom once revered has departed, the illuminating flame no longer burns and the lamps lie broken in the dust. The honoured writings have been used for kindling and the sacred vessels turned into vain ornaments. The very names held sacred by our fathers are now defiled and held to represent wickedness. Those who would have been our brothers are sold and their leaders slain. Those who would have been our wives are violated and degraded in servitude. Therefore, brothers, it is time the memory of these things was put aside and forgotten.

What cause have we for sorrow? We are in a bountiful land, we have hope for the future and an unshakable faith. Better by far than all else, we have with us the key to the ancient Portal of Communication. Our memories must replace the books, and decrees of former times. Let us, therefore, be thankful for our blessings and diligently preserve the flame from which the lamps of Truth will one day be relit.

In days gone by you have had leaders to guide you, but before them were even greater leaders whom you have not known. The inspiration of their words is something that must never be lost, it must be preserved for all time. We must be like a man who has traveled far with a heavy burden. He rests and seeks among the things he carries to find what can be discarded, knowing he has still a long way to go. The choice you must make has to be made soon, for the years remaining to our father cannot be plentiful.

We must establish a community where men can live together and where they can enjoy the companionship of women. Men always benefit from united effort, but this is inseparable from necessary restrictions. Let the restrictions imposed be such that no man can feel resentment because of the restraints set upon him. Let the only ordinances and restrictions imposed be founded on the nature of man and upon spiritual and moral values.

We must seek to assure freedom of action for every man and woman, so long as it does not prejudice the equal rights of others. We must work for the benefit of the many, but in doing so must not overlook the provision of rewards for those who serve best. The rewards must go to the men who are best in all ways and not to the worst. We must see that good lives are rewarded and evil ones punished.  We must place the greatest value on things spiritual, and no man must be unduly rich or unduly poor.

We must provide for the sick and helpless, for the old and incapable. We must assure the integrity of the family. The first objective must be the spiritual goal, which is the only proper one for all men. After that all instruction and law should be bent towards an increasingly harmonious relationship between every living being. The upbringing of children must have as its objective the attainment of well balanced manhood and womanhood.  We must make men high-minded and above all pettiness. They must be upright and rejoice in their manhood. They must possess courage and fortitude equal to any trial, for there will be many. They must be prepared to endure oppression and persecution with self-control and a calmness which no misfortune or calamity can shake. They must also be such men that good fortune and abundance does not weaken them.

We must teach men to be quick in decision and deliberate in judgement. Because in numbers we are like two grains of sand in the desert, we must seek converts diligently. We must be a guiding light before the eyes of all men, leading them along the paths of honest labour rather than power. We must teach men their duty towards others, so that no man ever says, “Unless I place my own welfare first no other will”.

We must seek out and accept suitable converts and they must be particularly precious to us. We must hold them in high regard, not because they have accepted our beliefs, the good within them can be developed within their own, but because they assume willingly and cheerfully the great duties and obligations peculiar to us. We must always remain a brotherhood engaged in an organized quest for Truth. We must ensure that the teachings we expound are valid everywhere and among all men as a code of goodness. If a brother become powerful he must not glory in that power, if wise in his wisdom or if rich in his riches. If a brother have to glory in something, then let it be in the fact that he is always the best of men. By this is not meant the victor in the earthly struggle, but he who best serves the purpose and good of mankind.

We found refuge in a place where men spoke our tongue, though now they are no more. The land of our fathers is denied to us, so we must seek another, for a man without a nation is more heavily afflicted than any orphan. Egypt was a land destined for greatness, its people should have led all others towards the Great Light. Egypt failed in its destiny because those who were entrusted with power and position proved unworthy. Its kings, who should have reared families dedicated to goodness and inspiration, betrayed their trust to satisfy the weaknesses of men. The leaders to godhood were misled and became ensnared in the deserts of worldliness, and those who followed them were betrayed. The priesthood became corrupt when it offered a life of ease and abundance, instead of a life of service and austerity. The ideals of man were above reproach, but man himself was unworthy of them. We have no need to change ideals, but to attain them we must change men. The sacred lore of Egypt, enshrining the treasure of the ages, was possessed by only a select few who safeguarded it as nothing else has ever been guarded, because of its greatness. Not only this, but even a little knowledge of it could be dangerous in the hands of any who sought to utilize it improperly.

Of all desirable things attainable by man, the assurance of his immortality, clear insight into the purpose behind his creation and true knowledge of the road towards the fulfillment of his destiny are the greatest. Those were the things so closely guarded, and just as they are the most desirable things on Earth, so are they the most highly priced and difficult to attain. Religion records the efforts of men, its doctrines and inspiration are the measure of its success or failure.

The paragraphs just written replace some difficult to decipher and translate, but they preserve the essence of what was recorded so long ago. Much is too fragmentary for use, a great amount is therefore lost. There is one very applicable fragment which states, ‘unless they would be open to mockery, Revealers of Light must possess more than a dim, smoky glimmer.’

CHAPTER TWO

THE HIBSATHY

These things must not be entrusted to common folk, neither must they be degraded by disclosing them to such as would profane them. They were once reserved for those who were exalted in wisdom and virtue. In those days of Harempta, Mouth of God on Earth, they were hidden from those in high places.  This is one among the Lesser Mysteries, the Ritual of the Twice Born. It is a ceremony to regain spiritual vigour and to restore spiritual power, whereby a Chosen One dies and rises again. It is a grim undertaking fraught with danger.  It is not for the spiritually weak or for the faint-hearted. Not all survive to walk again upon the friendly ground of Earth.

Only the older men who had completed the three cycles of seven years were accepted. They had to be men with wisdom and courage, with the strength and fortitude to survive. Other essentials were absolute purity and complete self-discipline. The ability for self-sacrifice and a strict sense of duty were demanded. Only men possessing all these qualities could cross the border in consciousness and return. To be deficient in any essential quality meant death.  The Tree of Life has many branches and that which is initiation bears the best fruit. It is about this that your brother writes. It began in that far away glorious period before the days of wickedness which caused men to walk in darkness, in the days when they walked in the light of Truth.  A House of Hidden Places was maintained, so that all who had any part in governing the lives of the people, whether as king or priest or official, could prove themselves worthy before becoming encumbered with the office.  Later, it came about that the Hidden Places had to be further secured and only men long established in goodness could enter them. Those in high places and those with power shirked the austerities and dangers demanded, and thereby they cut themselves off from the light of Truth. The kings and governors who ruled in Egypt, during all the many long generations of twilight and darkness, were born to the frailties of the flesh. Seeing only through earthly eyes they lacked the clear guidance of revelation and knowledge. The Serif Egg remains, it will give up its secrets on the distant day when hatched under the breast of understanding. Then it will open its eyes, unfold and spread its wings to reveal the light of Truth.

The spirit of man is like an unweaned child which has wandered away and become lost among the rocks and cave. Unless it is found and given sustenance from the source of its life it will perish.

The first Temple of the Shrine of the Hidden Places was built on the Scared Heights. It was a temple within an inner court where there were lesser temples and the rooms of priests and teachers. The whole was surrounded by a courtyard and gardens, and beneath the main temple were the three Caverns of Initiation.  Later the Temple of the Shrine of the Hidden Places was built during a time when the light was revealed throughout the land.

Though previously the shrines of the Twice Born had been concealed in the smaller temples, when Ramsis built the Great Temple of Ramen it contained, within itself, both temple and shrine of the All Highest God. Also there were Caverns of Initiation underneath. In the hall of the temple which faced East and West, between pillars of pure stone, was the portal of the outer sanctuary. As the sun rises in the East, to give life to the day, so was the Devoted Priest placed in the East of the sanctuary, to open the services of worship and to instruct, like a father, those who came to him with understanding. In the ceiling above the candidates was the symbol of the sun and from it extended seven hands. This represented the sun of life dispensing the vitalizing forces of life from their fount within the circle of creative consciousness. Behind the priest were representations of the ten rays of power that flowed out from the All Highest God when He created Earth, and which became the attributes of His Spirit. They are: Love, Foresight, Wisdom, Insight, All Knowledge, Strength, Resolution, Justice, Mercy and Courage.

Between the Devoted Priest and the wall behind him was the triangular representation of the three Sublime Essences -Supreme Spirit, Soul Spirit and Forming Spirit - the three parts of Spirit ever in unity. The entrance to the sanctuary was in the East and above this was a representation of the Great Eye, the secrets of which cannot be written. Before the Devoted Priests was a hidden doorway and this led down to the Marriage Chamber. In this chamber were performed the rites known as The Marriage of the Soul. Here, too, spiritual nourishment could be inhaled through fragrant smoke of incense prepared from secret essences and ingredients which activate life. Here was learned the profound Secret of the Soul, the secret that was in the silence.  Behind the sacred place in the temple, behind the place of flame, was the Thrice Hidden Door and this led down to the Chambers of Darkness, which were before the Caverns of Initiation.

Before the first Chamber of Darkness there was an antechamber containing a small lamp and light. Cut on the walls were representations of Life and Spirit. The candidate had studied with the priests of the upper temple for seven years and been observed by one of the Twice Born for seven years. Now, here in the antechamber he became an Anointed One.

The Anointed One went into the first Chamber of Darkness for testing by one of the Twice Born of a lesser order. Here it was discovered whether he truly desired The Great Illumination and whether he had all earthly desires and ambitions under control. Here he was warned of the dangers he would have to face and was tested for courage and fortitude. Before him now there was only one choice, victory or death. This was the Chamber of the Red Light.  Now the candidate and he who attended upon him stood before the next door, and the priest said to one who stood there. “Having realized by his own preparation, that the external is unreal and having eliminated earthly desires and substituted spiritual ones, he who aspires stands ready. He has tamed the wild steed of his body, so that it is completely under his command. He has awakened the man within the man, and the eyes of inner vision are open. He has made the irrevocable decision and is one ready to go forward”.  The Anointed One was admitted into the second Chamber of Darkness and here he was uncovered and placed within a bath of cold water where he remained for a period determined by the burning of a lamp. This was the Chamber of the Purple Light.

From here the Anointed One passed into a small chamber which was the entrance to the Caverns of Initiation. He now stood before the Portal of Restuah and recited the Prayer Before the Portal, “O Unnamable God, give me a burden of suffering to bear and place about my shoulders the yoke of tribulation. O God, fill the empty spaces of my spirit with pain. O grant me such fortitude that even under an almost unendurable load of distress I may be willing to lighten the burden and suffering of another. Even as I stand prepared for the awaiting test, I ask that should I be returned to the light of Earth, I be granted a share in the afflictions of others, for I need the strength given by suffering and sorrow, and will welcome them for the benefits they bestow”. Then one who stood in this place gave the Anointed One water to drink and said this prayer, “O Unnamable God, hear the prayer of the Anointed One. Strengthen him with such courage and fortitude that he will not fail in his hour of awful trial, but shall pass beyond the Place of Terror through the Portal of Death, and so may shine with the protecting radiance and therefore return unharmed in spirit and body”.  The Anointed One entered the first Cavern of Initiation and was tested there in such manner that no ordinary mortal could endure it. After three days he came out saying to one who stood there, “O acceptable suffering, what has been decreed is indeed best”.

After passing through the first two Caverns of Initiation the candidate became an Enwrapped One, and in the last small Cavern of the Lord of the Twice Born released his spirit. The Enwrapped One was then placed within the Womb of Rebirth and there, within the tomb of stone, he was left seven days. Here came complete liberation of the spirit. It floated out through the confining stone and went as it willed. No words of men, however learned, can ever describe this experience.

The spirit of the Enwrapped One returned to the body at the behest of the Lord of the Twice Born, and he who had survived became a Twice Born One. When led forth into the Place of Glorification his face shines with an inner beauty indescribable. From that day onward his conduct and attitudes are changed and he is at peace with all men and with himself. He needs nothing from earthly life and seeks nothing. He accepts and enjoys whatever life offers, for he has learned the answer to the riddle of life and solved the Secret of the Ages.  Your brother was one who underwent the Initiation of the Twice Born, and he has drawn the curtain aside a little to reveal only what is permitted. It is little enough but sufficient for you to understand why, when kings and governors rose to position and power, they declined the ordeal. It is understandable, for the final ordeal brought earthly life as close as possible to extinction, without complete severance of the spiritual umbilical cord. Before this, went more than twenty years arduous preparation. Yet long and terrible though it was, the time and austerity did not exceed the necessary limits by even one jot. In sorrow your brother must say that it was not an ordeal required to obtain something man has never possessed, it was to regain something he had lost. It was, however hard as it may seem, the lowest price payable for the Secret of the Ages.  For long years he who aspired to become one of the Twice Born had to practise the awakening of his spirit and bring his body under complete control. The first thing to overcome was met long before any threshold was approached, it was something which lurked in the uncontrolled thoughts of men. The frightening experiences during the years of preparation had to be modified and their effect channeled off, otherwise the awakening spirit would have been completely overwhelmed. As the material body of man cannot come too close to a blazing fire, so cannot the spirit approach too close to the sphere of divinity.  Having arisen from the Womb of Rebirth, the spirit is completely freed from any doubt about the immortality of man. Can a man doubt the source of sunlight when he can see the sun arising in glory before his eyes? Having joined the Twice Born each man has a choice, he can go on to higher development within the Realms of Light, or he can remain to help others. Your brother chose to remain.  This wisdom of the Twice Born has spread to every corner of the Earth, and Caverns of Initiation are opened everywhere. But increasingly, through the years, men have declined to undergo the austerities and trials essential to bring them into the clear light of Truth. Therefore, the places of initiation decay and their secrets are lost, men grope in the dark and try to open a door to which they have no key. If a man has not the courage or the time, the inclination or the ability to sail to a far distant land, then if he would know about that land he must listen to those who have made the journey. So it is with those who would know the Secret of the Ages. Men possess creed of little value because they are unwilling to pay the price of something better.  Your brother has no way of explaining his ultimate experience to others.  Although he has looked upon the face of Truth and now understands the purpose of life, what he has seen must remain locked within the heart. Though he no longer has to be satisfied with belief alone, he cannot extend his certainty to others.  Yet men forever seek him out hoping to share with him the wonderful knowledge which has so gloriously transformed his life. This he tries to do, within the limits imposed by his own expanded enlightenment, beyond that he cannot go.  The spirit of the Twice Born can be liberated at will. How often have you seen your brother in a state of ecstasy which he cannot describe? It is a state beginning in quiet bliss, flowing outward in bright radiance from an inner light which can even illuminate the material darkness about him. He hears the music of the sacred spheres and sees the throbbing pulsations of life heaving about him, like waves upon the great seas. He becomes aware of an inflowing of unspoken knowledge from a surrounding power. It does not come from any one point, but appears to flow out of all things and to penetrate all things. Material objects lose their density and become visible within, they become as though compounded of ten thousand whirling spheres of brightness. Colours are no longer dull and restricted, they become infinite in depth and number. The spirit becomes lost in adoration and wonder at the beauty revealed in everything. The soul is aware of something glorious within all this and knows it for the spirit outflowing from its source.

There is a complete unconsciousness of others, for the greater sight transcends their material bodies. The spirits of men are seen in a harmony of colours and their bodies as whirling masses of power. The experiencing soul is lost in a sea of sensitivity and feeling. There is a swelling surge of harmony, a sounding of glorious chords. It is the sea that washes the shores of eternity lapping upon the nearer strand.

It is an experience that no one can give to another or adequately describe to him. It is the earned reward of those who have paid the price. It is not he only reward, for throughout the life of one who is Twice Born there is boundless feeling of wellbeing, sickness and disease are unknown. There is an abiding love for all men, a sense of brotherhood, and over all this the certain knowledge of the immortality of the soul and its unity with the source.  The impressions received in moments of illumination are everlasting. They fill the spirit with a glorified splendour. There are flashes of inspired visions, and the future unrolls and can be read as the past. There is a form of joyous rapture experienced by those who have risen from the Womb of Rebirth, and when it comes it can no more be held back than the sun can be stayed in its rising.  When the body of your brother lay enwrapped within the Womb of Rebirth, his spirit was carried out as on the wings of a serif and became lost in a sphere beyond understanding. He knew not which way to go or what to seek. Then, like a roll of distant thunder, there was a swelling sound and there came an over dazzling light. It grew steadily more brilliant until your brother saw a beautiful form of divine glory arrayed in a splendour beyond all earthly bounds.  The cumbersome words of Earth cannot do justice to what your brother wishes to describe. It is like trying to sew a silk garment with rope, or to eat sweetmeats with a spade. Words are wholly inadequate symbols. The vision of glory which had been granted passed away and your brother found himself in the familiar sphere of the Spirit.

Once the mysterious border has been crossed it remains open ever after and can be recrossed almost at will. You are told of these things because your brother knows that the age of the Twice Born draws to its close. Because of those who have devoted their lives to the discovery of Truth, there is progress in the sphere of the spirit. Nothing has been lost, nothing has been in vain; the Great Gates are still closed, but they are no longer bolted. Now they will open at a knock. The road is better marked and the way more clearly indicated. They who lit the path have departed from Earth, but their service has not ended. They serve still in another place. While life on Earth moves forward, life in the sphere of the spirit does not stand still.

 

CHAPTER THREE

THE BROTHERHOOD

Brothers in belief, there are two roads through life, the Road of Good and the Road of Evil; they are not clearly defined roads and often run side by side, and sometimes cross each other. Those who travel without a guide or in darkness often mistake one road for the other. We are those who have chosen to walk in light, a brotherhood of men who travel the Road of Good together in companionship.

We are companions on the Great Path of the True Way, and when an instructing brother speaks of the Great Path of the True Way he speaks of a double path. The Companions of the Right Hand are those who bear the burdens of earthly labour and advancement, for they require strength, dexterity and steadiness. The Companions of the Left Hand are those who bear the burdens of spiritual Labour and enlightenment, things closer to the heart of man.  The brotherhood is separated into two parts. There is an Earthly Brotherhood, and though it may be small in numbers and have few possessions, this will not always be so. There is also a Heavenly Brotherhood comprising certain of the Twice Born and their followers who have gone before. Their task is to clear the Netherworld of demons and dark spirits and to prepare the way for those who follow. They are like men who enter a new country and must clear it of wild beasts and bring the land under control. It is the task of those above and those below to build a road joining the two territories.

Your brother is not well equipped to instruct in earthly matters, and therefore leaves it to another. The caravan moves quicker when each man rides his own camel. In spiritual matters the most important is that each man should awaken his own soul, a task far more difficult than it may appear, but for which Earth is the dedicated instrument.

The first objective to attain towards this end is self-taming. Just as a horse has to be broken in before it can be of any service, so has the mortal body of man to be tamed and brought under control. To do this requires not only self-discipline, but also the ability to rise above earthly conditions. No easy task, for the Earth is a hard taskmaster and worthy adversary, and the mortal body of man an unruly steed.

The duties, the obligations and the restraints by which those who follow the Great Path of the True Way direct their steps are not imposed capriciously. They are, in fact, no more than the bare essentials covering the first steps. That is why everyone, before admittance to the brotherhood, must accept every obligation and decree covering our way of life. We do not claim to know the only path, undoubtedly there are others, but we can claim to know the best. The top of the mountain may be reached by many paths, but the shortest one is always the hardest.

Supreme personal spiritual experience is undoubtedly the best source for the foundation of true spiritual faith. It begins with the development of latent spiritual powers through meditation. When you are ready seek out a place of solitude, a place that is away from the abodes of men, a place that is restful and quiet. Take a skin and a little food and water, just sufficient for your needs. now turn your thoughts inwards, harmonizing them with the rhythm of the body. Let your spirit seek harmony with the spirit flowing about it, so that the two become one. While at your meditations, neither overeat nor undereat, for there must be harmony in your eating and sleeping, in your relaxation and activity.

To become one who knows the joys of spiritual self-consciousness, to have a Truth-revealing vision transcending anything knowable by the senses, to rise above the bondage of pain and sorrow and to free the spirit from the shackles of the body at will, is something unattainable by spiritual meditation alone.  Leading to this road is the path of moral self-discipline and courage. The creed that teaches spiritual things alone is as barren as one concerned only with earthly things.

Your brother will not set forth in writing all things concerning the awakening of the spirit, they would be of no use until the moral foundation is laid. Such teachings must remain within the higher circle of those who travel the Right Hand Path and not disclosed to the uninitiated.

Let the prayer upon your admission be always fresh in your memories: “Great Supreme Creator, Craftsman of Earth and of the multiple spheres, grant that our brother may always remain loyal. That he will, day by day, become ever more worthy and so dedicate and devote his life to the service of mankind and the completion of its purpose, that he shall forever walk in the light of Truth.  Grant him the crown of wisdom, the garments of knowledge, and let him be shod with diligence. Grant him the strength to abide by our instruction and discipline, so that with these and by his own efforts he may awaken within him the true beauties of the spirit. Add your strength to his weakness, that he may overcome all selfish motives and unworthy desires. Help him in his self-taming, so that he may combat the tendency inherent in men towards anger, greed and self-pity. Strengthen him, that he may overthrow the evils of talebearing, malice and jealousy. Grant him the ability to see with the eye of understanding the defects and shortcomings of his brothers and to emulate their goodness”.

CHAPTER FOUR

AMOS

Amos led the congregation and the people down from the mountains and brought them into the land of Heth, a good land was opened up before them. But Amos warned the people that they were like gems among pebbles, therefore they were not to provoke the people who had accepted them because of their skill.

Amos said, “We will build a city for ourselves and our children, and within it a temple for those who follow the light of the Right Hand Path. The temple will be like the pearl within an oyster, or the heart within the body.”

The congregation with Amos were the Children of Light and the people were Kenim who worshipped Yawileth, and Galbenim who worshipped Eloah. But Amos taught the people to walk in the light of Truth and said, “To each of you his own god, but above any god which can be named is something that cannot be named and you shall know it as The Supreme Spirit”.

The Galbenim built the city and the temple, while the Kenim set up forges among the sons of Heth, and Amos went among them and saw that all was well. The number of those who followed the Right Hand Path and resided about the temple was one hundred and forty-four, and it was never any more or any less. The number of those who laboured in and about the city and dug the soil or attended to sheep and cattle, was two thousand four hundred and thirty-five. The number of the Kenim who followed Amos was eight hundred and twenty, and the number of the Galbenim was three thousand and fifteen. These were the numbers of those who could labour or bear arms.

As Amos went out among the sons of Heth he taught the way of light, but they would not listen to bis words. They were like men walking a circle in darkness, one behind the other, each having his hand on the shoulder of the man in front.  Therefore, when the king of the sons of Heth came to buy what Kenim had made, Amos spoke to him about the way of light, and sometimes the king listened. When they came upon priests of the sons of Heth, Amos said, “What manner of men are these who prance about as though the ground were covered with hot cinders?  Before their altars they are like drunkards who go about shouting and singing.

They leap like horses kicking at the wind”.

“What manner of spirit possess them, is it a spirit of light or a spirit of darkness? We have seen this often among your people, it is seen even among the princes and those who sit in judgement. Who can understand the words that pour from their lips? This is not prophecy but a drug-induced delusion. The people who listen to their words are as misguided as those who resort to a tomb at night and sit within a vault. If a spirit comes, it is a restless one whose words have little value, for they are hollow, empty things”.

“Surely the gods of such as these are demons in disguise, whose powers are a myth, for they are unhearing and unseeing things. They are unfeeling idols clothed in garments of delusion woven within the tormented thoughts of men”.  The king said, “I have seen your own holy men as they sat beneath their trees and they, too, acted in a manner strange to the eyes of ordinary men. Where is the difference?” Amos said, “Our holy men sit in quietude, at peace within themselves and if their mortal eyes are unseeing it is because their spirits roam freely as birds. There is a test whereby the difference can be made known, if you will agree to it”. The king gave the sign of consent.

Then a place of absolute darkness was prepared, a place to which light could in no manner be admitted. Into it went two priests of the sons of Heth and two of the Holy Ones from the congregation, the king and two attendants, and Amos.  Then, while the king and his attendants watched, they saw the Holy Ones radiate a light that lit up the whole darkness, so that the faces of all became visible.  The priests of the sons of Heth remained in darkness, for their spirits were feeble things without power. This is the test of true illumination.

Because of this the king looked even more favourably upon Amos and his people, but he did not change his ways or seek to walk in the light. For Amos refused to perform acts of magic before his court or to foretell the future, and the king believed that magic could accomplish all things. He believed there was an effortless way to accomplish all things, if the secret were known, and could not understand that the secret was safeguarded behind the doors of austerity and self-discipline.

There was a city called Migdal within the kingdom and some of the Kenim laboured there for the temple. When Amos came to the city it was the festival of its great god and no man laboured, neither did the Kenim, for it was the day when their fires rested. When Amos sought the overseer of the Kenim, he could not find him and none of his people would say where he had gone. But Amos found him at the temple of Belath and awaited him in the courtyard outside, and was filled with anger against the overseer.

When the overseer came out Amos chided him, but the overseer said, “What have I done wrong? This place provides the food I eat, and is its god not brother to mine? There was a decision to be made, should a door of brass be cast one way or another? I sought an answer from the god by means beyond the control of men”.

Amos said, “Might not even the god answer according to his own pleasure? By what means was the decision sought?” The overseer said, “By the ebin which only the god could control”. Amos said, “You say this is beyond the control of men, it may be so, but there are men who are more than men, men even as this god whose smallness I will prove. Come, let us put this matter to the test”.

Amos then sent an attendant in haste to bring back a Holy Man of the congregation, who was with his caravan. When the Holy Man came, Amos showed the overseer and the priests that such things were not beyond the control of enlightened men, for the Holy Man could foretell the issue, whatever was done with the ebin.

When Amos left the temple he took with him a woman named Kedshot, whom he had won from the priests, and made her free. The degradation of women to serve the temples was common in the land of Heth and Amos raised his voice against it.  When next in the presence of the king, he said, “The common feelings of all men condemn fornication, and it is not allowed by your own laws. Yet if fornication is sanctified to your god the priests permit it for their profit. Is it not true that this wickedness is now so common in the temples of Heth that the woman who seeks to sell the services of her body in the drinking booths can ask no more than a handful of meal? “ The king said, “Such is the custom of Heth, which is of long standing and cannot be changed”. Amos said, “Does the long standing of a custom make it good?”

Amos said, “If your desire is to walk in the light of Truth you must choose between your form of worship and righteousness. You must choose between your gods of this land, and Truth. If a nation sow the wind it must be prepared to reap the whirlwind, for no other crop can spring from such seed, except through violation of laws which are never inconsistent”. The king said, “I have long been patient with you, stranger with the unbridled tongue, but do not overvex me”. Amos held his peace, for he had disregarded his own command to his people.

Yet the king heard the words of Amos and was kindly towards him. When the king came to Lethsan to buy the wares of the Kenim, Amos was there with them and the king said to him, “The gods of Heth are many, added to those of other places the gods must be beyond counting. Why are there so many and which one is it most profitable to serve? The priests say each has power in its own place, can this be so among gods?” Amos said, “There is only one God, but each man views Him from a different standpoint and in his own light. It is even so with lesser things of Earth, how much more so with the greater things of Heaven! A mountain rises up from a plain and men see it from all sides, and to each it appears different. Some see it in daylight and others in moonlight, some at dusk and some at dawn, it is never alike to all men. Even so do men view God in different aspects. As no man knows the whole mountain but sees it only in part, so men see God in part, and each man names the part he sees according to what he sees and his understanding. Therefore, though it seems that the gods are numerous because of their names and differences, each is no more than a part of the whole. There is, in Truth, only one God, but what mortal man can see Him in wholeness?”

The king said, “If this be so, as well it may be, my eyesight is as good as yours and I see just as far”. Amos said, “He who has ridden around the mountain and climbed to its summit knows it best”.

The city built by the Children of Light grew in strength and the people prospered under Amos and forgot their trials in Enshamis. When Amos led them into the land of Heth he was still a young man, but as the people became many and strong, so he became heavy in years. The king who knew Amos died and the young king did not look upon him with favour, for Amos did not forbid the Kenim to go out into other nations.

CHAPTER FIVE

THE LAWS OF AMOS

These are the decrees of Amos, which he made so that justice should prevail in the land of his people. That wickedness and wrongdoing should be destroyed and the strong prevented from oppressing the weak. Amos said, “In the days that are yet to come and for all future, let these decrees remain as a memorial”.

“When they are used in judgment, let the judges have wisdom and give attention to the words that are written. Let every judge seek to root out the wicked and evildoers from the land and promote the welfare of the people. If he seek Truth and Justice among these words, when they are before him, let him remember that no written words can serve him fully. Truth and Justice are but dimly reflected in the writings and laws of men and must be made clearer by the light of righteousness within his own heart”.

‘The seats of judgement are to be raised above all small thoughts and unworthy aims. If petty-minded men are permitted to argue over the form of sentences or pick out particular words for attention, then there will be no end to pettiness.  Let no deduction or interpretation be made from the decrees, which alters them”.

“Judge every man with the scales weighed in his favour. Do not be hasty in rendering a decision, time will make it more just. Be patient and calm in speech, whatever the provocation. The impatient and bad-tempered judge is an unworthy judge who sits astride an untamed horse.”

“The words of a judge must be shaped to fit the ears of his listeners. They must be spoken at the right time and in the right manner. His speech should not be too long or too short and every word should be well chosen.”

“The frailties of men accompany judges to their seats, therefore no judge shall sit in judgement alone. Where no punishment is provided by decree, then the judges shall fix the punishment according to past judgements. Where the words of a decree refer to men, then women shall be treated in the same manner, unless it be otherwise stated elsewhere. A child is one whose body has not reached manhood or womanhood.”

“When two persons stand before a judge he should look upon them as though both were likely to be in the wrong, and when they have gone, as though both may have been in the right. The motives of men are many and strange, and even though they bow to the judgement the dispute between them may not be settled with justice.”

“When a rich man and a poor man come before a judge for a decision between them, he cannot say in his heart, “How can I say the poor man is wrong and the rich man is right and add to the misery of the poor man?” Neither can he say in his heart, “How can I say the poor man is right and the rich man is wrong, when the rich man is powerful and I may be delivered into his hand?”

“If there is a dispute between men the judges shall not let one sit and the other stand, or be patient with one and impatient with the other. Both may sit or both may stand and unless one be afflicted they shall at all times be equal before the judges.”

“A judge shall never say anything that will indicate a way to win his favour or to obtain a favourable decision. If all men walked in righteousness there would beno need of judges to punish the wicked. Therefore, righteousness is more desirable than the laws of men. If all men walked in the light of Truth there would be no need of judges to settle disputes between them. But as men see only a pale reflection of Truth, and that distorted by their own understanding of it, there are times when two men in dispute each believes truly that he is right. It is then that they come before the judges, believing them able to see Truth more clearly. Let the judges be able to see Truth better than any who come before them.”

“When a man comes before the judges, having his life or freedom at stake or the freedom of one of his family, then the judges shall first hear reasons why they should consider him innocent or in the right, and not why they should consider him guilty or in the wrong.”

“Every man who comes before the pillars of the judgement place to bear witness shall be given a drink from the cup of marat and shall swear the judgement oath before the shrine and fire. Every man shall be allowed two months to discover those who speak for him, and if he ask for another two months with reason it shall not be denied him”.

These are the decrees of Amos for the Children of Light:

“It is decreed that no man shall worship in the temple of any god or stand in homage before any image or idol. No god shall be joined with The Supreme Spirit in worship and the whole of his devotion and worship shall be given to The Supreme Spirit.”

“It is decreed that no man shall swear an oath in the name of The Supreme Spirit or in any other name which shall bind him to do anything against the Scriptures of The Supreme Spirit. Neither shall he swear an oath which will incline his loyalties and obligations away from those who walk in their light. But as kings and governors must be served, and loyalty and obligation together with duty are our declared principles, to swear to serve them well or be faithful to a trust or an obligation is not denied him. The only solemn oath binding upon a man shall be that sworn on his immortal soul, for to swear in the name of The Supreme Spirit is forbidden.”

“It is decreed that no man shall sell or barter spiritual knowledge or knowledge of The Great Path of the True Way. He shall not come into a sacred place or enter into prayer while drunk. Neither shall he do these things when unwashed, unless he be a wayfarer or one who has come from a distant place on the same day. If water is unavailable to purify himself, clean sand is not to be despised.”

“It is decreed that all those who truly follow the Great Path of the True Way and those who are of the Brotherhood of Men who serve The Supreme Spirit shall be called the Children of Light. If any among them shall turn from the Children of light through fear of others, then he is unworthy and shall be cast out. He shall not be numbered among them here or in Heaven, where there is a special place for the Children of Light. But those who remain loyal to the Children of Light, even though they have to flee to strange places, if they continue to struggle there is no wrong in them.”

“It is decreed that if a man hear anything about an evil deed or know something about it and fail to disclose the knowledge before a judge or to the judge’s servant, he shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if any man will not bear witness to murder, to theft or to adultery, he shall not go unpunished. If he bear false witness according to his own understanding, before the flame and shrine, if it be grievous he shall lose his tongue.”

“It is decreed that if any man make a false accusation of adultery against his wife, without just cause and without her acting indiscreetly, he shall receive seventy lashes.”

“If any man slay another he shall die, unless it be done in his own defence or in defence of his house and family. He shall not die if he who is slain be an adulterer or a seducer of one within the household of the slayer.”

“It is decreed that if any man slay another in anger, during an argument or dispute, and if the fight be fair and equal, then he shall be exiled. But if any man slay another by lying in wait, or by guile or by coming behind him, he shall not live.”

“It is decreed that revengers of blood shall be appointed by the judges, and no man shall revenge another of his own blood unless he be appointed by the judges.”

“It is decreed that if a man slay another without intent to slay, without hatred or malice, then he shall not die for the slaying.”

“It is decreed that no man shall be put to death by the word of one witness. If a wife cause the death of her husband through neglect or malice, she shall not live. The law of blood shedding is: a freeman for a freeman, a slave for a slave and a woman for a woman. The free can be enslaved to repay a death.”

“It is decreed that when a man must die because of his deed, it shall be by the sword, by drowning or by entombment. A woman shall be smothered or entombed or drowned.”

“It is decreed that if a man strike his father or his mother or curse them, he shall be seized and sold into slavery and the money received shall be given to his father and his brothers. But if a man stand between bis father and his mother and his sister because he fears for their lives, then he shall not be punished. In this case the matter shall not fail to come before the judges, for if the father be a man of such violence, how can he claim to be numbered among the Children of Light?”

“It is decreed that if a man seize upon another to sell him into captivity, he who seizes shall die. If a man smite another so that he lose an eye or a tooth or suffer any wound, and this without provocation, then he who committed the wrong shall make it good in kind, according to the judgement.”

“It is decreed that if the beast of any man injure another man within its own place of confinement, then there shall be no blame upon the owner of the beast.  But if the beast be outside its place of confinement and loose, he who owns the beast shall make restitution in kind. If the beast has been savage in times past and this made known to he who owns it, and it strays beyond the limits of its enclosure to harm a man, then who owns it shall make restitution to threefold the damage. The beast shall also be slain, but the carcass shall belong to he who owned the beast.”

“It is decreed that if a beast stray beyond the limits of its confines and being savage to the knowledge of he who owns it, if it cause the death of any man, then he who owns it shall die. But if it be so decreed by the judges his life may be ransomed.”

“It is decreed that if a man shall cause death or injury to the beast of any man and the beast be within its proper place of confinement or upon the lands of its owner, then he who caused the death or injury shall make restitution to threefold its value. If the beast be outside the lands of he who owns it and be the cause of no danger or damage, then he who caused its death shall make restitution to its value. If it was seeming that the beast would be the cause of danger or much damage, then providing there was no choice but to slay it, there shall be no restitution, but the carcass shall be returned to the owner.”

“It is decreed that if the beast of any man cause the death of another man’s beast, then the beast causing death shall be sold and the money received divided between the owners. But if the beast causing the death was known to be savage and its owner informed, then he shall make restitution in full to the value of the dead beast, but the carcass shall be his.”

“It is decreed that if a man shall cause anything growing within the pastures of another or upon his cultivated land, to be damaged by a negligent or purposeful deed, then he shall make restitution twofold its value. If a man find the beast of another man going astray, he shall not pass it unheeded but shall provide for its return to its owner. Having done this he shall not lose or go unrewarded, but if the owner of the beast be a poor man, then bear with him.”

“It is decreed that if a man set off a fire he shall make restitution for whatever it consumes to a like value in kind. But if he be careless or seek to bide his deed, then he shall make restitution twofold. If a thing be scorched or there is a blackening of wood or stone, the amount to be paid for restitution shall be agreed by the judges. If the fire was caused by accident, then he who caused it shall make restitution to half the value of whatever it consumes. The fire a man handles is like the arrow he shoots, for the bowman is liable, no matter how far his arrow flies.”

“It is decreed that if a man steal any beast or fowl and dispose of it so that it is not recovered, he shall make restitution of threefold its value and shall not go unpunished. But if the beast or fowl be recovered and restored, then he who stole it shall pay its value and shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if a man give anything into the keeping of another and that thing be of gold or other metal, or of some other nature and it be stolen, then the thief, if caught, shall pay twice its value and the money shall be divided equally between he who owns it and he who held it. If the thing is not restored to its owner, then the thief, if caught, shall pay its value threefold and one part shall go to he who held it and two parts to he who owned it. The thief shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if the thief is not found, then he who held the thing in safekeeping shall be brought before the judges and questioned about his integrity. If he took the thing for bis own use he shall restore its value twofold and shall not go unpunished. If he dealt with it carelessly, then he shall make restitution to its value, but if he was not careless he shall not be called upon to do so. But if he were paid for the safekeeping of the thing, then he shall restore its value.”

“It is decreed that if a man give a beast or fowl into the safekeeping of another and it be stolen or injured and die, then if he in whose keeping it was be found careless in its keeping, he shall make restitution of its value. If he be not found careless, then he shall not be called upon to make restitution. If it be stolen from him and he be paid for its safekeeping, then he shall make restitution of its value. If the thief be found, he shall make restitution to threefold its value and shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that to take from a child, or from a man who is both deaf and dumb, or from a blind man, or from an idiot, is stealing and shall be punished as theft.”

“It is decreed that if a man steal the boat of another or push it into the water so that it goes away or loose any rope that holds it, so that it is lost, he shall restore its value twofold and shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if any man steal from a house on fire or from a house abandoned by flood, he shall become enslaved to the owner.”

“It is decreed that if a man steal from a temple or holy place he shall be whipped and sold into slavery and his price given to the temple or holy place.”

“It is decreed that for all manner of disputes regarding beast or anything without life, whether it be lost or not, where different men make claim to own it the dispute shall be decided by the judges. He whom the judges decide to be wrong shall pay its value to he who was the true owner. If he who is wrong has been malicious or avaricious, then he shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if a man borrow a beast or anything without life, the owner not being with it, and it be lost or damaged or injured or die, then he who borrowed it shall make good its value. If a man find a thing that was lost and keep it, or he withhold from another that which is rightly his, then he shall restore it and make payment of its value in kind. If he swear falsely about these things, then he shall make restitution to twofold its value. If the thing be not restored he shall also restore its value.”

“It is decreed that if a man make a false report regarding another so that he be harmed in substance, then he who did the harming shall make restitution of twofold the amount of damage done, according to the decision of the judges. If he knew not that the report was false, then the judges shall judge him according to his dealings in the matter. If it be not done carelessly and with bad intent, then he shall make a smaller payment and shall go to the man he wronged and make amends with words. It is an obligation on every man hearing a report to discover its truth before letting go. Carelessness with words should not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if any man bear false witness against another and he be not otherwise punished, or to a lesser extent, then he shall bear upon himself the punishment he would have brought down upon the other and shall also make payment as the judges decree.”

“It is decreed that if a man take a bribe to turn a judgement, then he and the man who gave it shall make restitution twofold to he who was wronged, and neither shall go unpunished.”

“ It is decreed that no man who sits in judgement in any place shall take a gift or benefit from any man because of his position. If any man seeking a decision shall give a gift or benefit to another to speak words in his favour, or shall forbear to do anything that words may be turned, he shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if a man take advantage of the ignorance of another, or gain advantage from his dealings with an idiot, he shall make threefold restitution.  If a man deceive another to his loss, or take anything from him by violence or threats, he shall make threefold restitution.”

“It is decreed that if a man declare a falsehood to the loss of another, the loss shall be made good in kind twice its value. If a man deceive another who has entrusted him with goods, he shall make twofold restitution. If a man deliver a beast or thing without life, making payment to another who deals with them, if the one who deals with them or carries them loses them or fails to deliver, he shall make restitution of their value. If he be found careless in his dealings by the judges he shall make restitution to twice their value, but if he be waylaid or struck by powers above man he shall not make payment.” “It is decreed that if a scribe alter a record or make a false writing he shall be punished with thirty lashes. If a man suffer loss because of the scribe, the loss shall be made good by twice its value. He who does wrong or causes any loss, be it done with purpose or without purpose, and seeks to blame another who is innocent, shall bear the guilt of his deed. He shall not go unpunished for his deceit and shall make payment to the man he sought to blame.”

“It is decreed that if a man have a maidservant or slave and he seek to give her to his son in marriage, he shall deal with her as a daughter. If he smite a manservant or a maidservant so that they lose blood or cannot move about, or if they suffer pain for three days, he shall be brought before the judges and they shall decide upon his dealings and bring justice to the one injured. It shall be within the power of the judges to free a slave from an unworthy master and place him with another, either as a slave or a freeman.”

“It is decreed that if a master die and all those of his blood be absent, his servant or slave shall send for them without delay. If the servant or slave steal anything with life or without life from the dead man, he shall be whipped.  If a servant, he shall be made a slave. If one who is of the same blood as the dead man steal, he shall be denied his inheritance. If he would not have inherited, he shall make twofold restitution.”

“It is decreed that a master shall not allow his servant or slave to remain unmarried if they wish to marry. No man or woman having a child above the age of marriage should forbid a marriage because of their selfishness. It is their duty to see that their child is not left without children. The duty of a child towards father and mother is great, but the duty to marry is greater. If a man have a slave who serves him loyally and is righteous, he should set him free to serve as a servant. Slavekeeping is not forbidden, but it is not goodness, the truly righteous man sustains the poor by finding work for their hands. When a land is divided into large portions worked by lowly men and slaves, it is in a weak condition and ripe for the plucking. It is a truth that if men are so oppressed with toil and servitude they lose the manliness which would make them rise against their oppressors, they will not have the stomach to withstand those who invade the land. But whether the land remains at peace or is invaded, it is no longer great.”

“It is decreed mat the inheritance of a man shall not go to his sons alone, for the daughters are not to be denied their portion. If he have no sons it shall pass to his wives and daughters. If he have no wife or daughter it shall pass to his brothers. If he have no brother it shall pass to his sisters. If he have no sister it shall pass to his father’s brothers. If his father have no brother it shall pass to the next nearest to him in blood, but not to a woman.”

“It is decreed that if a son or daughter be adopted, they shall be as though they were of the same blood as he who adopted them. Those who stand together in blood shall not be given their portion by decree, for a man knows those of his own blood best. The portions a man declares shall be fair, when all his reasons are known. If it be not thought fair the judges can decide, but they must remember that a man knows those of his blood best.”

“It is decreed that no woman having an inheritance shall marry a man who is not of the Children of light. If she does so her possessions shall not go with her.  A man should not forget the portion for his father and mother.”

“It is decreed that if a man who bears witness to an inheritance and its portion shall change it so that a man suffer a loss, then he shall make twofold retribution and not go unpunished. If he who bears witness fear that he who died made an error and seek to adjust it, there shall be no blame if he deal justly.”

“It is decreed that if a man die without wife or children his inheritance shall go to his mother and father, and when they die to his brothers and sisters. If he have wives but no children the inheritance shall be theirs, but if one die while his mother and father live, her portion shall go to them.”

“It is decreed that no man shall be denied his portion, if he be worthy and righteous and not an idiot. A man’s inheritance should be shared out fairly among all of his blood.”

“It is decreed that if a wife die and have an inheritance, the portion of her husband shall be half and the other half she may leave to her mother or father, or to her brothers and sisters. But if she have children, then the other half shall be theirs.”

“It is decreed that if a man die and have wife or children, they shall not be put out of their habitation. If a wife remarry and there are others of her husband’s blood within the habitation who are not children, she shall not remain there.”

“It is decreed that the wives of a man who has died shall be able to marry again after one year and no restraint shall be placed upon them against remarriage.”

“It is decreed that no man shall cause his daughter or any other woman to remain a maiden under oath. Strife between the children of the same father to the same mother is worse than bloodshed. These things are the obligations of a father towards his son: to teach him a craft, to teach him to defend himself and his wife and children, to teach him the wisdom of the Sacred Books and to find him a wife. These things are the obligations of a mother towards her daughter: to teach her housewifery and the care of children, to teach her the craft of clothes and to teach her the womanly virtues according to the Sacred Books. A father should never show favour to one son over another. A child should be instructed in the Sacred Books as soon as it is able to talk. A wife should be able to prepare flour and bake bread, cook food and brew, gather herbs, wash and mend clothes, keep her dwelling neat and clean. She should be able to make all things and do all things for the comfort of her husband; to suckle his children and work in linen, wool, pottery, basketry and tapestry. If she brought one maidservant from her father’s house, she should give her the least important of the tasks, but no matter how many maidservants accompanied her, she should never neglect the care and upbringing of her children or be idle. There is an excuse for the poor woman whose children are wilful and unruly, but none for the rich woman who has all the time to devote to them. They and her husband are her greatest obligations and her most important concern. The husband who permits his wife to be slothful or idle inclines her towards unfaithfulness. A man without a wife may not be man, but one with an unchaste wife certainly is not.”

“It is decreed that a man shall not pledge his daughter in marriage while she is still young, but must wait until she can say “yes” or “no” to his choice. A worthless wife or one who is lewd, a wife who displays herself immodestly before other men, or is over wasteful, may be enslaved within her own household but cannot be sold outside of it. A woman may become an inferior wife by decision of the judges. It is intended that the pledges of marriage shall be maintained until death.”

“It is decreed that if a man divorce his wife and she be of good character, he shall leave their dwelling or provide another suitable for her until she marry again. A man and wife shall not be intruded upon and their enjoyment of each other shall be unhampered by any other. Every child is entitled to proper shelter, bed, food, upbringing and instruction. If a child have no father or mother or if they be proven worthless, the judges shall appoint a guardian for it. If an unmarried woman become with child it shall be a disgrace upon her father who shall be called before the judges. If she have no father, then her mother or her brothers or the person having care of her. If a wife fear she cannot be trusted or remain faithful to her pledges she shall not deceive her husband but declare herself truly, and he shall decide whether to put her away or not. If he decide to keep her and she prove unworthy, her punishment shall be lessened. The punishment of an unfaithful wife is not only for the deed but for the deception.”

“It is decreed that if a man divorce his wife they shall not come together again without renewing the pledges of marriage after they have the permission of the judges. If it be done it shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if a wife fear for herself at the hands of her husband, she may come before the judges who will decide for her welfare. Men should treat their wives with kindness and generosity. It is the duty of a wife to be faithful to her husband; to be modest in the presence of others and to be prudent during her husband’s absence. A wife must not only be faithful, but she must give her husband no cause to suspect her of unfaithfulness. A wife must never forget that marriage was ordained for the benefit and protection of women.  Therefore, they have the greater obligation in upholding it. Wanton women for forncators and good women for good men, that is the rule! Thus shall the cause of mankind be advanced and calamity kept from the heart. The upright man who walks in the paths of duty and obligation is allowed all things wholesome and healthful. He should marry only a chaste woman who would be a good mother to his children. He should live with her in cleanliness of heart and meet her without the stain of fornication. It is not wholly good to maintain a concubine, but an unchaste woman may be kept as one or lain with if a slave.”

“It is decreed that before a man and woman come to judges seeking a divorcement, there shall have been a meeting between those of their blood. There shall be a man or woman of the wife’s blood and a man or woman of the husband’s blood who, between them, shall choose another not of their blood to deliberate with them.  Let them try to reach agreement and strive to heal the breacn with goodwill, and if anyone have a grievance it should not be hidden.” “It is decreed that before every marriage there shall be an announcement of betrothals in a public place. If anyone have something to say regarding the man or the woman, not in their favour, he shall declare it to the nearest of their blood and one who witnesses. If any man hide within his breast something that should be declared, or speak about it after the marriage, he shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if a man say a betrothed woman is unchaste, without proper cause, he shall be punished with twenty lashes and if a woman do so she shall be punished with twenty stripes. If a man know a betrothed woman to be unchaste and fail to make it known, he shall be punished with forty lashes and shall make repayment as the judges decide. If a woman, she shall receive thirty stripes. No marriage shall take place until seven weeks after the betrothal. No fornication shall be committed during this time, for it would be a betrayal of marriage, and your soul bears witness to your deeds.”

“It is decreed that when a man takes to himself a wife and is newly married he shall not be called upon to take up weapons or to serve away from home for one year. If he is taken away he must not be separated from his wife. A marriage is the union of flesh with flesh and of spirit reaching out to spirit. It shall be witnessed by two men and two women and declared before men by the man giving the woman a ring and bangle and piece of silver, and by her giving him a lock of hair and piece of woven cloth.”

“It is decreed that all women who are not unchaste are women reserved for marriage. They shall, be sought as wives with respectful conduct and without fornication or deceit. A man who seduces them shall not go unpunished. It is not wrong for a man to make a proposal of marriage to a woman within the time she is denied to him. A promise of marriage shall not be made in secret, for such promises often cover shame and deceit.”

It is decreed that if a man accuse his wife of adultery or lewdness and there be no other witness, he shall swear three times on his immortal soul that he speaks the truth. His words shall be accepted, for if he swear a falsehood he has condemned himself and his soul to most grievous punishment. But if the wife likewise swear three times that the words sworn to by the man were false, then it shall not before the judges to decide which has damned their soul. Both shall go their own ways and if one speak to the other, that one shall not go unpunished; if they both speak, then both shall be punished. The judges shall receive reports on both and if one of them cease to live a righteous life, that one shall be cast out.”

“It is decreed that if a man divorce a woman who has done no grievous wrong, he shall support her in the household of one of her blood for six months. If the woman be with child and she hide it from the father, she shall not go unpunished, neither shall they with whom she dwells. If she be found with child, then she shall be treated with kindness and consideration and those of the child’s blood may seek a reconciliation between its mother and father. Both must act fairly towards the other and in righteousness and good faith.”

“It is decreed that a wife may be divorced once and taken back, but if she be divorced again she shall not be taken back. The things a man gives his wife during marriage remain hers. A woman who is divorced without committing any grievous wrong is to be treated kindly and generously by her husband. A woman shall not be divorced while carrying a child or suckling it, unless it be the child of adultery. If a man be called to high office with the Elect of the Children of Light and his wife prefer earthly things to spiritual things, then they may agree to a just and fair divorce. Such a woman would be a burden, for her soul is heavy with darkness.”

“It is decreed that if a man divorce his wife he shall put no restraint upon her. She shall not take his heir with her and if children go with her their father shall sustain and clothe them. A true man makes fair provision.”

“It is decreed that if a man seduce a maiden he shall endow her with goods as though she were his wife and bestow upon her all the benefits due to a wife. He shall do this even though her father keep her from him.”

“It is decreed that if a man permit his wife to become a whore, he shall be declared unworthy of a wife and shall not marry. His wife shall be removed from him so that he has none, and he shall not go unpunished. If a man permit his daughter to become a whore he shall die.”

“It is decreed that as a woman may be taken in lust with her consent, if it be done, both man and woman shall bear the guilt alike and neither be more deserving of punishment than the other. But if the woman be a child or an idiot, or if she be protected by the judges, it shall be as though she were ravished without consent. When a woman is taken with force it shall be punished with death. If the deed be done in the fields or in places where women go away from the abodes of men, or in a forest or uncultivated place, or where no man can hear her cry, then it shall be taken by the judges that the deed was done without her consent, unless otherwise proven. But the woman shall explain her presence alone. If it be done in the city, among habitations, and the woman made no call for help and did not cry out, it shall be taken that she consented, unless threatened with death or mutilation by a weapon. Where there has been no struggle, then it was with her consent, for no man can take a woman without her consent while she is conscious.”

“It is decreed that if a man commit adultery with his son’s wife or his wife’s mother, both shall die by stoning. If a married women commit adultery, both she and the man with whom she committed it shall die. A husband may ransom his wife, but if he does he shall be cast out from the people, lest he bring corruption upon them. When a woman is ransomed from adultery he who shared the blame with her shall not die, but he shall not go unpunished. When judging the adulterer or adulteress, the whore and the whoremonger, deal with them strictly and without compassion, for they are the enemies of love. They place man back among the beasts. A fornicator should not marry a chaste woman, but it is not forbidden. A whore shall not marry among the Children of Light. The sins of whoredom are not unforgivable and those who truly show repentance over many years may be accepted back into the Children of Light. A woman who becomes a whore to feed a starving child has committed no great wrong. The wrongdoing is by the people.”

“It is decreed that no man shall permit a female slave to engage in fornication and it is his duty to keep her modest and free from lewdness. If, after marriage, slaves commit adultery they shall not be punished to the extent of a free person, for they have been brought up as slaves. Though the punishment of a slave be less, the master may be punished, if the slave warranted punishment because of his neglect.”

“It is decreed that a man shall not be guilty of adultery except with a married woman. If a woman have three witnesses against her for whoring, or she does not deny it, she shall be shut up in a place alone where no man can come at her.  There, she shall weave or work for her sustenance, and if any man come to lie with her he shall be punished. If the judges decree and a man be found willing to take her, with obligations for her keeping, she may be enslaved to him. If a whore run away from her place of confinement or from her master she shall die.”

“It is decreed that if a man have a woman slave who is a maiden and the intended wife of a freeman, he shall not lie with her. If a man he with a slave and she become with child, he shall not sell her or cease to support her. If a woman slave marry the slave of another master, then her master shall not restrain her unduly, but he shall meet with the master of her husband and make an arrangement concerning her that is fair and just.”

“It is decreed that the punishment for whoring shall not be upward of two years.  If a woman be accused of fornication and three bear witness against her, she shall be treated as a whore. A maiden cannot be guilty of whoring after a man.”

“It is decreed that the Children of Light shall not deny their servants or their slaves, or the ignorant among them, their own gods, for they have no better light. Even as the dim glow of an ember comforts a child in darkness, so are they comforted. The gods Teloth, Yole, Yahwelwa, Bel, Behalim, Elim and all the lesser gods of light may have a shrine in the city and lands about it, to serve those who would be blinded by a greater light. Better the glow from rotted wood than no light at all. Negil, Mudu, Hani, Neflim and the gods of darkness shall not be permitted to the servants and to the slaves and to the ignorant. But the stranger shall not be denied his god, for the Children of Light are not denied their light and dwell in peace among strangers.”

“It is decreed that if the tongue of the stranger stray to lewdness in the presence of women, or he cast lustful looks upon them, he shall be spoken to and warned. If the warning is not heeded he shall be dismissed, so that the women be established in their goodness and be honoured among men. In the lands of strangers, where deceit is considered a virtue and vanity a womanly charm, there is no understanding of women who are modest and restrained. Men treat women as they find them, therefore women should restrain their glances and conduct themselves with modesty. They should not display too much of their body or reveal clothes that are not overgarments. They should not reveal the nakedness of their bosoms. It shall not be wrong for woman to uncover before woman, or before young children who’will grow to be men but have not reached the age of full talking.”

“It is decreed that if a wife be guilty of lewdness before the eyes of men, or provoke them to lust after her, she shall not go unpunished by her husband and can lose her rights of inheritance. If any man complain to the judges about her, then her husband shall be called before them to account for her. If a maiden be proven guilty of lewdness, then her father or guardian shall not go unpunished.  If a man be so punished he shall not revenge himself on the maiden or her mother, for the fault is not theirs alone and he must bear his burden manfully.  It is well to deal with daughters kindly, so that they are not estranged. In chastising a daughter for something bad in her, do not overlook the good. If the wife of a man in high position be guilty of any lewdness or other unwomanly thing, her punishment shall be doubled, for she is unworthy of her trust.”

“It is decreed that if a man slander a woman who is virtuous but careless, he shall come before judges to swear to the truth of his words. If he decline or his words be proven against him he shall not go unpunished. If the man swear, then the woman shall be brought before the judges to swear likewise that his words are false, and if she decline, his words are established. If both swear they shall go out, but one soul has condemned itself to punishment.”

“It is decreed that when a woman is beyond the age of childbearing it shall not

be wrong if she lay aside the garments of modesty, providing she does not

degrade modesty or is unmarried. It shall not be done so that she display some

part of her body not commonly displayed by women. Neither shall she display any

ugliness, but what she does shall be done with decorum and grace. No woman slave

shall be made to do any deed of lewdness and her modesty shall be honoured. If

she be forced into lewdness or immodesty she shall bear no sin, but he who

forced her shall not go unpunished. Lewd talk about women and foul speech shall

not go unpunished,”

“It is decreed that the fat of a beast that has died of itself or been torn by another beast may be used, providing it is not eaten or placed upon the body in any way. The flesh may be given to another beast to eat, but if any part of it is given to a man without him knowing its nature, he who gave it shall not go unpunished. No man shall eat the flesh of the falcon, the vulture, the eagle, the crow, the raven, the ibis, the owl, the hawk, the pelican, or of any bird that wades in water and has legs greater than the height of its body. These creeping things shall not be eaten: the beetle, the snail, the ant, the slug, the grasshopper, all manner of lice and all creeping things less in size than a finger joint, and everything that creeps upon the ground without legs. The cat, the dog, the mouse, the mole, the weasel and the fox shall not be eaten. To overeat is as harmful as to starve. To fast is not an empty deed and is healthful for both spirit and body.

It teaches discipline and self-control as well as moderation and frugality. Food is never lacking in the places where justice holds sway. Consume food slowly and with content, for a restless stomach robs it of taste and goodness. The man who overeats is worse than the beast who knows no better. If any man pollute food he shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that if a man steal water from the land of another or cause it to run away, or if he pollute it, he shall not go unpunished. If there be loss, then he shall make threefold restitution. Water in which there is a carcass shall not be used to drink. A man may drink wine or beer, or anything that is not unwholesome, providing he maintains his self-control and decency, but no longer. He who causes strife or harm to another because of something he has put into his mouth, shall not go unpunished. Wine taken in moderation is not wrong, unless it lead the hand to wickedness. No fruitbearing tree shall be cut down until it ceases to bear or dies.”

“It is decreed that no man shall leave a dead beast undealt with. If he do so he shall not go unpunished, for if it be not eaten or used it must be buried. If a man place anything that is foul into a storage pit or among stored corn, he shall make fourfold restitution and shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that no man shall cut his flesh for adornment or make any mark upon it which cannot be removed, though the ears of men and women may be pierced.

Circumcision such as the strangers practise is mutilation and is forbidden.”

“It is decreed that no man shall engage in usury, but shall deal with men in fairness and moderation. Payments and punishments shall be decided by the judges.”

“It is decreed that no man shall associate with another who deals with spells or calls up the spirits of the dead. If he do he shall not go unpunished and those who practise sorcery shall be cast out.”

“It is decreed that no man shall cheat in weight or measure and he who does shall make threefold restitution and not go unpunished. No man shall take advantage of the misfortune of another of his own blood and shall not buy their house, their field, their beast or anything without life, to his own advantage.  No man should lend upon interest to another of his own blood or to a friend, for this is the cause of much strife.”

“It is decreed that if a man remove a beast or a fowl or a fish from a trap laid by another, he is stealing. If a man is collecting fruit from the top of a tree, it is stealing to take whatever falls to the ground. If a man borrow something and sell it, or sell something in his keeping belonging to another, it is stealing. If a man do any of these things he shall make restitution as though he had stolen them.”

“It is decreed that if a man receive a beast or anything with life or without life from another, and the two do not have proper witnesses, whether it be sold or given the two shall be punished by making payment as the judges decide.”

“It is decreed that no man shall cut the living flesh from any beast or remove a limb or a piece of hide while it lives, and if he do he shall not go unpunished.  The law of life demands that men eat and that beasts be slain for food, but this should be done with least pain and distress to the beasts. No beast shall be tormented for the enjoyment of its suffering and shall not be confined with cruelty, and he who does so shall not go unpunished. A beast and its young shall not be slain within sight of each other, or where the blood of the other can be smclled. No man should partake of food or drink while beasts in his charge go unprovided and uncared for.”

“It is decreed that if a man carry weapons without the right to do so, he shall be punished with thirty lashes. If another be hurt so that blood is drawn unjustly, restitution shall be made for any loss and payment made according to the decree of the judges. If a man who carries weapons without the right wound another grievously, he shall die. It is cowardly to slay a man who has cast down his weapons in surrender, or to slay a woman or child. It is cowardly to torture a man who is helpless in your power or a bound captive. These things are unworthy. Treat a captive with firmness and dignity. When in battle raise your thoughts above the spoil, look to Heaven for your reward. Peace is the proper course for all men to follow, but peace at any price is a delusion. Therefore, it may better become a man of peace to stir up the righteous to fight. Ten courageous men can overcome a hundred of lesser courage. Prepare for war with peace in your heart and with regret, but for the sake of the cause press forward resolutely. Be at peace within yourself through gain or loss, advance or retreat, victory or defeat. The peaceful man who shouts “Peace at any price” does not prevent war, he only steps aside to put another to the fore who will slay and be slain. That is contemptible and worse than if he had stood his own ground.”

“It is decreed that if a man or woman be bound to another for a debt or payment, they shall be fed, clothed and given shelter. They shall not be beaten or ill-treated, but they should do a full day’s work. Their welfare shall be in the hands of the judges.”

“It is decreed that if two men enter upon the same wrongdoing together, or one against the other, both shall be punished alike, except if one be in the power of the other.”

“It is decreed that games of chance played for money shall be undertaken only in moderation and if any man cheat or weigh the game unfairly, he shall not go unpunished.”

“It is decreed that no man or woman who is of the Children of Light shall marry another who is not, for this is wrong against their children, whose upbringing is divided against itself. A slavewoman who believes as her master is better for a mate than a freewoman who does not, even though the freewoman be more pleasing. No man shall permit his maiden daughter to marry a man who is not of the Children of Light. A slave who is righteous and walks in the light would be better, even though he be unacceptable to her father.”

“It is decreed that if a man withhold from an orphan or anyone under his care that which is theirs, if it be done without cause or to his benefit, he shall not go unpunished and shall also make twofold restitution. He shall not deny them the right to marry, or if it be a man the right to his own livelihood. If a man or woman of a man’s own blood be in his care because they are an idiot or incapable, then let not the burden of responsibihty for their own sustenance fall upon them. Keep them from harm, support them with food and maintain them in clothes. The man who is rich and powerful has a duty to protect the destitute and ailing woman from the afflictions of life and from the wiles of men.”

“It is decreed that if any man or woman die, those who stand next to them in blood shall be responsible for the disposal of the body. Those who declare the need to burn the body so that the departed one may use its essence in Heaven, indulge in a vain superstition.”

“It is decreed that if anyone seek refuge within the sanctuary of the temple, it shall not be denied them, and if any violate this sanctuary they shall not go unpunished.The labours of the sanctuary shall not be diminished.”

“It is decreed that the measure within a logua shall be equal to the water which can be contained in twelve blown eggs of the groundfowl. The weight of a silver shekel shall be the same as barleycorns numbered according to the days in the year. The length of a cubit shall be the same as forty-eight barleycorns. From these all things shall be weighed and measured.”

“It is decreed that a man may be declared to be outside the law, and then though he be liable to all restrictions and penalties which it imposes, he can enjoy none of it benefits or its protection. If a man be declared fully beyond the law, no other shall speak to him or supply him with food or clothing or shelter.  If a man be declared an outlaw, he is to be slain on sight. If exiled, he is to be slain if he return from his place of exile.”

“It is decreed that no man shall make an image of any god or make anything in the likeness of a god, but all objects of beauty can be made. Anything can be made bearing the likeness or image of a man, woman or beast, providing it be done with good taste and without obscenity.”

“It is decreed that if anyone attempt to slay another with poison, they shall die, even though they have not succeeded. All who aid them in the deed or seek to hide it shall also die.”

“It is decreed that if anyone take their own life they shall not be buried or burnt for three days.”

“It is decreed that if a man die having no son or daughter, and no one of his own blood who can claim, a son or daughter born to his wife after remarriage may become his heir.”

“Justice and Truth are not in the safekeeping of the judges. They are, to those who sit in judgement, as the sun is to other men. Every man who comes before the judges should walk in the light of Truth and Justice, even though he speak against himself or against those of his own blood. The man who bears witness should take no heed whether he be on the side of the rich or the poor. He should not follow the road of passion or the paths of his own prejudices, lest he lose the guiding light of Truth. The man who hides within himself knowledge that would assist the cause of Justice and Truth inflicts an injustice upon his own soul.”

“A too hasty decision by the judges often inclines towards injustice. Therefore, when the judges have heard all and every word has been spoken by those who have a right to speak, the judges shall retire and pray. Each should say, within his heart, “I will consider my words carefully before I speak and they will be uttered in the purity of Truth, untainted by falsity or hypocrisy. I will not be harsh in my judgement and it will be bent towards a benefit rather than a loss.  My speech will be directed towards the safeguarding of others and be without any taint of malice or evil intent.”

 

CHAPTER SIX

THE TALE OF HIRAM

Thute, the son of Pelath, a freeman of Elanmora in the land of the Hethim, wrote these things in the harvest years of his life, when his heart was filled with wisdom and understanding. He who reads them with the eyes alone will derive little benefit, but he who receives them with an enlightened and uplifted heart will find a response within the depths of his own spirit.

While Hiram Uribas, son of Hashem, was still a beardless youth taking his pleasure among the riches and splendour of his father’s house, a wise man came from a faraway land. He came, not as a great man riding with a rich caravan but weary-footed, begging water and food. These were not denied him and while he sat in the shade, slaking his thirst and satisfying his hunger, Hiram, the youth, came up to him with courteous greetings. The wise man was pleased and poured out words like jewels, so that the young man became filled with the desire for wisdom and Truth, swearing that from that day forward he would devote his life to the search for them.

After the departure of the wise man, Hiram became restless under his father’s roof and it was not long before he set off with a bundle of food and skin of water for Uraslim. Arriving there he slept in the house of Gabel, a servant at the temple of the Winged God of Fire, and from thence he journeyed towards Bethshemis, which lies past Tirgalud, on the road to Egypt. Hiram was a young man of his people, tall of stature, with a darting bright-eyed glance. His long, band-bound hair hung low on bis shoulders and his stride was wide and firm.

He came upon Bethshemis close to nightfall, when it was not good to enter the city, and therefore as darkness closed about him he prepared to lay himself down beneath the wall of a vineyard. This was owned by a wealthy widow who, seeing the young man preparing for the night, sent men out to bring him into her guest house. The widow was neither old nor unbeautiful and when she saw the comeliness of the young man her heart was gladdened and she bade him welcome. Hiram did not depart with the light of the morning and it came to pass that the widow offered him a high place on her estates. Hiram accepted, for he was young and pleased with the honour, but in the course of time the widow had become enamoured with him and sought to make him her husband. Hiram sought a way of release from this, for he had already heard tales of the woman’s many lovers.

The widow said to Hiram, “Be my husband, for the one I had has died and left no heir. Let us enjoy the fruits of your manhood, for I desire the seed of your body, so that I may have a splendid son. I will give you robes of blue and red and they will be laced with chains of gold. You shall ride in a high chariot wheeled with brass and poled with copper. Many servants will attend you and wise men brought from East and West will fill your heart with wisdom. You shall lack nothing that satisfies your desires.”

Hiram was not at ease with himself, for he was young and lacked the wisdom to deal with the situation. He answered the widow hastily in these words, “You are a woman of beauty and this alone makes you a desirable treasure to men, but how would it fare with me in marriage? It is said that you have had many lovers and they find you as a smouldering fire in a cold room, a door restraining neither wind nor sand, a roof that falls in upon the sleeper beneath it, a boat that drowns the boatman, the crust over a quicksand, water that does not slake the thirst and food that sits heavily on the stomach. Which man did you ever love with constancy, so that he walked in the joy of contentment? Which man could ever call you his?”

The words from his mouth stung the widow like hornets and she flew into a rage after the manner of women. She called upon her servants and they beat Hiram with sticks and drove him off her estate. With a little more wisdom in his heart, he continued on his way into Egypt and after many days he arrived at the city of On.

Hiram dwelt among the Southern Men on the outskirts of the city, for many had been captured during the wars and made slaves. When lustfully aroused the bodies of these men exude a sweet odour like honey, which no man can detect and it makes all women succumb to them. This is the manner in which the nation of Egypt sacrificed its purity. In the days when Hiram came to Egypt the Pharaoh Athmos ruled.

In those days Egypt was at war with the Abramites, for their great red-headed king had committed adultery with the wife of a prince of Paran. The remorseful king reaped as he had sown, for his favourite daughter was ravished by her own brother and his wives were humiliated and ravished before the eyes of all men.  Because of the war, there was much coming and going of strangers in the city of On and Hiram went unnoticed.

Hiram dwelt long in Egypt and absorbed its wisdom, but the thing which delighted his heart the most was the tale of its long-hidden treasures. He learnt about the nest-burning bird whose wondrous many-hued egg granted men the gift of eternal life. He heard about the serpent pearls and the bright jewels which glowed with the light of the sun even on the darkest night. All these things he desired to possess for himself.

The nesting place of the nest-burning bird was among the Mothbenim, eastward of Egypt, but among the treasures of Egypt was one of its eggs. The egg, the pearls and the jewels were safeguarded in a dark cave upon an island called Inmishpet, which was set in the middle of a lake called Sidana. In the waters of the lake were fearsome watermonsters, part beast, part fish. On the shores of the lake dwelt the shapeshifting priests, guardians of the treasures.

Northward of the lake was a broad pastureland where the shepherd Naymin tended the temple flocks, but Naymin was old and had no son who would follow him.  Therefore, he took Hiram into his household and Hiram became as a son to him, tending the sheep of the temple, and no Egyptian was with him.

One day, while the sheep still suckled their lambs, Hiram was out in the pastures, sitting near the cool waters because of the heat. As he reclined in the shade he played gay shepherd tunes on his flute and in the many times he had been there no one had ever disturbed him. Yet not far away was the House of the Virgins of Elre, but the maidens who dwelt there rarely went abroad.

This day, however, Asu, daughter of the High Priest, walked abroad and hearing the melody of the flute drew near to listen, but Hiram did not see her because of the bush between them. The maiden sat down, taking the sandals of her feet.

Hearing a cry from one of the sheep in the distance Hiram stopped playing and stood up, his back towards the maiden. She, seeing him standing up, sought to creep away before he saw her, but as she did so her foot was pierced by a thorn and she let out a cry of pain. Hiram turned and seeing her distress hastened to help her. He withdrew the thorn tenderly and carried her down to the pool, so that she could bathe the foot in cool waters. While she did so he entertained her with sweet melodies on his flute.

The maiden fell in love with Hiram and he with her, but because she was a dedicated virgin and daughter of the High Priest neither could open the doors of their heart. The maiden spent nights weeping, for she had a love for which there was no remedy. Hiram took his flock to other pastures, but still their hearts drew them back to the place of meeting and they met again and yet again.

Now, the wife of Naymin noticed that Hiram pined as with a sickness and she spoke to him about it, and he told her of Asu, the maiden from the House of the Virgins of Elre. The wife of Naymin spoke words of consolation for this hopeless love, knowing they helped but little.

In the fullness of the year Hiram took his flock to distant pastures around the other side of the lake. While he was away the wife of Naymin took herself down to the place where he was wont to meet Asu, and one day Asu came. She was known to the wife of Naymin who was the gatherer of herbs for the temple. They spoke of many things, of Hiram and of the gods, of priests and their ways and of temples and those who served in them, of life and of man and of woman.

Now, when Hiram returned it was nigh the feast of sheepslaying and at this time sacrifices of lambs were made to the watermonsters in the lake. While away Hiram had thought about Asu and about the treasure of Egypt, both seemingly equally unattainable. The wife of Naymin spoke to him rarely and Hiram wondered, for this is not the way of women.

On the eve of the feast of sheepslaying the lake boats were prepared for the annual pilgrimage to the island. Among these was the great boat of Erab, kept in memory of the day when the Scorcher of Heaven rose with the sun, and earth was overwhelmed. From this boat the sacrificial lambs were offered to the watermonsters and on it served Asu and eight virgins. There, too, the High Priest officiated.

Hiram had conceived a plan within his mind whereby, at the risk of bis life, he might possess himself of the treasures of Egypt. This year, Naymin being now frail, he alone would be in charge of the sacrificial lambs, together with two boy priests to assist him. They came from the Temple of the Lake dedicated to the Bright Bearded One who once saved Earth from destruction through fiery hail by making a third round.

On the night before the festival, Hiram slept with his small flock beside the boats and at first light they were put aboard. As the sun rose upon high the High Priest came with many other priests and princes, and the virgins came also.  They offered sacrifices at the Temple of Departure and then set out upon the waters. In another boat were Naymin and his wife and there were other boats filled with people.

After making offerings upon the waters the boats arrived at the island and preparations were made for the Island Ceremony, which lasted throughout the night. The lambs were offered as darkness came and the waters became red with blood, and the watermonsters satiated with meat.

Now, the cave on the island was protected from men by the Spirit of Mot, who had died there in days long forgotten, and the priests guarded its entrance. But Hiram did not fear the Spirit of Mot, for it could do no harm to one who carried upon his body the same bloodscar as Mot had borne. Hiram the stranger had been so marked out from other men in his childhood.

At the sixth hour of the night three virgins entered the cave to bring forth the treasures, and with them went a priest protected by sanctification in the blood of a lamb. Five priests who were Guardians of the Treasures and never left the island also went into the cave with them, garbed in skins and masked with the heads of beasts. The treasures were brought forth and placed upon the altar against the rock wall beside the cave, so that all might behold them. Over the altar was laid a cloth of linen and gold. While the people passed before the treasures and danced and sang, priests came and went in the cave.

Before the cave and away from the road leading down to the lake, there was a pathway which went down to the Pool of Purification. Here, after the maidens had bathed, men and women came down one by one to be purified in its waters. They then went through an opening into the lake and, passing through the waters along the shore where they rose not much above the waist, ascended by steps through a small arched temple back on the road. If they were truly purified they were never touched by watermonsters.

Never had a maiden been taken by the watermonsters, but on this awful night, while a maiden passed between pool and temple, there was a loud cry of agony quickly stifled. The island fell silent with forboding and as the night passed the name of Asu was whispered from mouth to mouth. The treasures were carried back in gloom and silence under a mantle of dread, and the head of the High Priest was bowed in sorrow and disgrace.

When the boats departed none noticed that Hiram was missing, for his duty done he could return in any boat. And none was the strange craft that clove the waters of the lake of Sidana that night. Hiram returned to the shepherd hut of Naymin and nothing was said to him, for Naymin thought he had joined with the people sorrowing in the temples, and always many remained about for several days.

When Hiram had refreshed himself he left Naymin who was weary and weighed down with age and sorrow, and prepared to return to his flocks. In his grief, because of the death of Asu, he could find solace nowhere, except perhaps in the familiar solitude among his sheep. But the wife of Naymin said, “Let me walk with you a little way, for I, too, suffer and yet must seek herbs which are needed and not easy to find.” When they had gone some distance, she said, “I go this way, will you not accompany me and humour an old woman who may need your aid?”

Hiram did so, for the woman was even as his own mother, though he could not understand her strange manner. She brought him to a place in a hollow enclosed by thickets, and lo there was Asu. When the embraces and the greetings were over and the explanations given, the wife of Naymin said, “Here you cannot remain.  There are clothes and food and no pursuers will follow the maiden, and none will query your departure. Go this night, taking thought for nothing here, for you are young, with a lifetime of joy before you, after the pangs of parting have passed.”

Hiram said, “No gladness, no joy can ever surpass what I now feel, yet this thing increases a burden already upon me and is less simple than it appears. For this you must know, I have taken the treasures of Egypt and hidden them in a place where no man can find them. Who would suspect me if I went about my task without change, a shepherd with no thought beyond his sheep and flute? The cry may be raised even now, though I think another day will pass first. Then who could trace the passage of every man who has departed, even though pursuit is made in all directions? Why did you not tell me of your plot?”

The wife of Naymin said, “How could you be told of something which might not have been or which you might have betrayed by glance or bearing? We, too, thought you no more than a simple shepherd with no thought beyond flute-playing, except love. What now will you flee with the maiden and abandon the treasures?  Or shall she flee alone, for she is committed to flight.”

Hiram said, “I cannot abandon love for treasure, but neither can I abandon this treasure for lif e or let it corrupt. Therefore, let Asu, the maiden disguise herself and together we will depart to a safe place without the treasure, none suspecting she still lives. Then in the fullness of time I will return and recover the treasure, for no man can discover its hiding place. However, I will not depart in haste but wait and bid Naymin farewell and go in the fullness of time.”

Hiram left Asu and returned with the wife of Naymin. Coming in to Naymin Hiram told him he had had a vision such as no man could disregard and must go to the land of his fathers, but would return before the coming again of the season.  That night a great cry went up among the temples and in the light of the morning men came and questioned Naymin and those with him, but found them simple shepherds.

Hiram departed, taking the ass of Naymin and with him went the wife of Naymin.  They were joined by Asu, cloaked as a beggar girl who earned her food by ungainly dancing, whose face was unwashed and clothes unclean. They accompanied men who hunted for the stolen treasures and their possessions were open before the eyes of all men. After seven days the wife of Naymin returned.

Hiram and Asu went onwards until they came to Bethelim near Fenis. beyond the borders of Egypt, and they dwelt there among the Kerofim. In the fullness of time Hiram returned to Egypt and recovered the treasures, bringing them inside skins hidden within other skins filled with water and oil.  Now, when Hiram had left Egypt and drawn nigh to Bethelim, he saw that the dwelling he had left no longer stood and the fields about it were overgrown with burning bushes. Within the burnt out ruins he found remains and bones and knew them for those of Asu and the Kerofim with whom she dwelt. He saw that they had died by the sword.

Hiram did not linger at the place of death and thought to take himself to a place of safety, but knowing the dangers of the land he sought a place where he hid the egg of the nest-burning bird and the pearls, all except two, and most of the jewels. Having secured them in safety, he went on his way.

Hiram kept going until he came upon a small wooded place nearly two days journey away. Here, while he slept, two wild swine came and swallowed three of the jewels which he had tied in a piece of hide. Later he lost one while fording a river, and one was taken from him when he sought shelter in a temple. Two pearls and two jewels were taken from him by other priests who placed them in the treasury of their god. The remaining treasures which he had with him were lost when he was waylaid, and though his life was spared he was left bleeding and near to death. As Hiram lay by the roadside he was succoured by wandering metalworkers and brought back to health by them, for they were men of his own blood.

Hiram remained with the metalworkers for some years and learned their craft. He became skilled in the making of weapons and in their use. In the fullness of time he returned to the place where he had secreted the treasures and recovered them. He then went down to a city by the sea and took ship to a far off land. No man has seen him since, but it is said he married the daughter of a king and became a prince among foreign people.

This is the tale of Hiram. As written, it was a wordy tale and well preserved but without great import. It has imaginative descriptions and indulged in valueless flights of poetic fancy. Therefore, it is rendered in outline and reduced to a few paragraphs.

CHAPTER SEVEN

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 1

By the hand of Raben, son of Hoskiah who was the Bowman of God and brought the Children of Light to the Land of Mists.

Hoskiah was a mighty man whose bow shafts struck like the lightning flash, and his enemies went down like corn before the reapers. He was a Captain of Men in the War of Gods and those he slew where numbered like barley in the measure. His enemies were spread before him hke a carpet at his feet and there was no other like him.

He was a man who knew the Almight God and looked up to Him as the God of his fathers. But Hoskiah worshipped Him after the customs of his people and therefore knew Truth only in part, for having stolen Him they were unable to know Him fully.

Now the days of fighting were past and Hoskiah and those who remained alive with him slept in strange places, for they were sought by the king who had been victorious. His wives and his children and all his household dwelt at Kadesh, against the mountain, and awaited his coming there. But he came not while being sought by the king.

So it came to pass that his brother Isias, who held stewardship over all his household and his possessions, seeing that Hoskiah could not come unto this place, possessed himself of them. Isias had the ear of those in high places, and Hoskiah lost his birthright.

So all that was Hoskiah’s passed into the possession of his brother Isias. He took even the wives of Hoskiah, for such was the decree of the king.

But Athelia, the first of the wives of Hoskiah, spurned Isais and called down the wrath of Helyawi upon his head. And Isais was afraid and did not possess her. When they saw this the other wives, being jealous of her, for she was ever in high favour with Hoskiah, stirred Isais up against her. They mocked him, saying, “Are you truly the master here, or are there fruits you cannot pluck?”

So Isais sought to take Athelia by strength, but she strove against him and his manhood was hurt, so thatddid did not take her. Then Isias had her bound and her hands were tied for seven days, so that she could not of herself either eat or drink or do the things required by her body. She was humiliated and her womanhood betrayed, for an idiot man attended her wants and he mocked her modesty, and she was tormented by her needs.

Then on the seventh day she was brought forth by Isias to trial, and she was stripped and lashed and her hair was burnt off. She was branded on the face and her lips and tongue were cut. She was given a robe and a pitcher of water, and dried fruits and flour. She was driven forth by Isias who said, “Go woman, and perhaps, should you even find him, Hoskiah will understand your babble.”

Athelia went out into the wilderness to die and at night she fell in pain and weariness, under an elan tree and lay there. In anguish she cried out unto her God and cast her soul from her, that she might not feel pain. And her soul found Hoskiah.

As it became light next day, Athelia awoke and praised God, saying, “I have slept amid my pain, for God is good and merciful. And I know that Hoskiah yet lives in a far off place, but my soul and my God will lead me to him.” And she went, guided by her soul.

On the same night, Hoskiah lay in a cavern amid mountains, but he slept not, for one had come bearing tidings of his brother, saying, “Isias has possessed himself of all that once was yours. Even your wives has he taken, and between you and he are many men who would slay you.”

As Hoskiah lay thus in agony of spirit it came to pass that he felt the presence of Athelia’s soul, and peace came upon him and he slept. And as he slept he dreamed, and in his dream Athelia stood at his feet, fairer than he had ever known her. And she said, “All is not lost unto you, for I come seeking you in the wilderness and I will find you, so be at peace.” And Hoskiah awoke refreshed and strong in spirit.

And he came down out of the mountains, and over the wilderness came to the Place of Bitter Waters where men find refuge. And men were hiding there from the wrath of the king. And Hoskiah enquired of them, saying, “You have come from many places, which of you has seen a woman seeking me?” They said, “No woman travels abroad on such a quest. Or has she many attendants, and what is her appearances?” And Hoskiah said, “She is fair as the dawning, with hair like the raven’s wing and skin like fine oil. Her touch is like cool waters and her bearing like the gazelle.”

Then the men mocked him and talked much, saying, “How long would such a one as you describe travel alone? It is not in the nature of women to leave their household and come into the wilderness. Would any man pass her by? Who, then, now possesses her? Seek her not in the wilderness, for is she not clad in fine linen and perfumed with sweet smelling oils?”

Then Hoskiah took counsel with himself and said, “I am indeed a fool who chases dreams. This is no time for dreaming when there is a man’s task at hand”. So in the morning he said to those with him, “I go up against my brother”. But they pleaded with him, saying, “Have you a host of men or even a company? Abandon such foolishness”.

Now, at that time Athelia dwelt beneath a mountain where there was a spring, for she was weary from many days journeying. And she was sick in spirit, for men, when she came among them, beat her with sticks and drove her from the place of their habitations. She offended their eyes and none desired her.

No man came to the spring, for it was an accursed place where voices came from the rocks and the dead spoke. Therefore, it is called the Audience Chamber of the Dead. And none but witches go there, for these the dead do not harm.

Now, when night fell Hoskiah slept, and those with him were not watchful. And evil men said among themselves, “Let us slay Hoskiah in the night, for he has gold and silver and spoils of war with him. Let us cut off his head and carry it to his brother, that we may be rewarded and made welcome.”

So it came to pass that in the morning hours of the night men came to fall upon Hoskiah and those with him to slay them. But one among them was heavy-footed and Hoskiah awoke as they fell upon him, and he seized his sword and leaping up as a lion springs smote about him, and there was a slaughter. But he was without helmet and his head was bare, and so he was wounded. They who came against him died or fled, but of those with him just one remained, and he sorely wounded.

In the morning they left with their asses laden, and Hoskiah held his bow and none came near him. And as fhe sun mounted on high the sight departed from the eyes of Hoskiah and he became blind.

So Hoskiah and he who was his companion abandoned hope, for there were men who would destroy them in front and behind, and the wilderness enclosed them. And they said, “Let us, therefore, go to the place called the Audience Chamber of the Dead, which is by our side. For are we not as those already dead? There we shall find water to quench our thirsts and soothe our wounds as we end our days.”

And as they entered the pass at the place where the waters entered the sand, the companion of Hoskiah died. Then Hoskiah heard voices of the dead calling him from among the mountains, and he arose and said, “I come, for this is my hour.” And he passed up the watercourse. So it was that being blind he dashed against the rocks and fell to the ground, and lay there as one already dead.

Now, on that day the soul of Athelia was troubled and she wandered abroad, straying from her tasks. And she looked up and saw a raven descending from out of the sky, and her soul said unto her, “Behold, it comes for the soul of Hoskiah, for he is near by and close to death.” So Athelia sped away guided by the bird.

She came upon Hoskiah as his soul was preparing to depart, and she took him in her arms and lifting his head gave him water. And her soul communed with his soul and bade it stay, and because of the bond between them it stayed. And she remained with him three days and built a bower and ministered to him, but he lay as one already dead.

On the third day, as the sun prepared to enter into his night kingdom, Hoskiah stirred. He groaned in anguish from his wounds and Athelia comforted him, and he slept in peace. When it became light next day he awoke and felt Athelia’s touch upon him. And Hoskiah knew her and said, “Athelia are you here? How came you to this place and found me in my hour of need?”

But Athelia answered not because of her tongue and she drew a veil around her face, for she knew not that Hoskiah was blind. She wept and her tears fell upon his face. And he held on to her, for her hands told him that she could not speak to him as once she did. And he said, “I am blind and cannot see”, but she drew not the veil, for she feared for him when his hands sought to be his eyes.

Days passed and Hoskiah grew strong, and he knew the tale of his brother’s deeds and swore vengeance in the name of his God. He said, “For this purpose life has been left to me”. And Athelia grieved that he spoke thus, for he could not walk without her.

The waters of the valley were cool and there were herbs and wild fruits, and goats upon the mountainside. So it came to pass that after many days Hoskiah was whole and strong again. But he remained blind, so he could not see Athelia and therefore she remained fair in his eyes. But the soft speech was gone from her.  This, Hoskiah did not mind, for what he heard daily was the speech which greeted him as he lay in her arms before she knew he had come back to life. Hoskiah and Athelia were no longer troubled by the voices among the rocks, for no harm was done to them in this place.

When Hoskiah became strong again he desired to go from that place and fretted to be gone, but Athelia bade him stay. She said, “You are blind and therefore like a child. And will we not die of hunger in the wilderness, or be slain by men who seek after you? Let us stay here.” And Hoskiah listened to her words, for it was not unpleasant in this place.

And it came to pass that one day, as Athelia gathered herbs in the valley, she espied a stranger drinking at the waters and he was weak and weary from much journeying. And she took Hoskiah and together they went up to the stranger and Hoskiah greeted him, saying, “May the peace of God be with you, master, how may we serve you?” The stranger answered them saying, “I am Lokus, Son of the Fire Bird and physician to the king of Tyre. I have travelled from afar to this place, that I may hear the wisdom of the dead. I came to talk with my soul in solitude, for I am weary of the ways of men. I no longer seek to be the companion of those in high places who concern themselves overmuch with wars and the affairs of men”. And Hoskiah knew Lokus for a magician of great renown.

Hoskiah dwelt in a cave in the mountainside, by the waters of a spring which

came forth from a smaller cave nearby. The land before the caves was flat and

there were ancient gardens and enclosures. Beyond these were trees. When Lokus

had been brought to the abode of Hoskiah, to the place where he camped, he was

given food and rested. The Hoskiah said unto him, “You are great even among

great magicians, for your magic is greater even than the magic of Egypt. I beg

you, master,

look with pity upon my blindness, for it makes me even as a child, I who am a man among men and have a man’s task before me. Pray, therefore, cast magic with fire, that I may be made whole again.” Lokus said unto Hoskiah, “Is this then the one desire of your heart, is there nought in Heaven or Earth you desire more?” Hoskiah said, “There is nought above this.”

Then Lokus spoke to Athelia, saying, “What is your desire, is it that you may be as you once were?” And Athelia said, ‘This indeed I desire, especially for the sake of my lord. But, master, above all I desire that he may see again; but, oh, let not his eyes lead him from me to destruction.” Lokus said to Athelia, “You know what his eyes will see.” She answered him, “Let his eyes see what they will, but let them see.” Lokus said unto her, “So it shall be, for you have but one desire between you. I will make a covenant with Hoskiah, so that his eyes may see again. This is the covenant: That Hoskiah will stay in this place until Athelia has borne him a son and until six months after his son’s weaning he will sit at my feet and absorb my instruction”.

Then Athelia said unto Lokus, “Master, when he is no longer blind and sees me as I am, will not the burden of the covenant be too great for him? Lokus answered, “He has more than two eyes.”

Lokus took Hoskiah and cast a spell upon him, so that he fell asleep. And Lokus opened his head and let out the evil which blinded him and encased his head in clay, that the demon might not resume its residence. And Hoskiah was left asleep for six days and six nights.

On the seventh day Hoskiah awoke, and behold, he was no longer blind. And he called for Athelia, but she came not unto him. Then Hoskiah cried, “I see, but the woman is not here, is this not a time for rejoicing? But lo, she stays away”. Lokus said unto him, “It is the manner of women, let her be.”. And when night had come Atheha came and sat at the feet of Hoskiah and said unto him, “It is well my lord, and my heart rejoices.” And Hoskiah, stretching out his hand, caught hold of Atheha, saying unto Lokus, “Long have I been with this woman. And I was blinded that I could not see her face; now I say, bring me my torch quickly, that I may look upon the face I desire to see with all my heart.”

And Athelia, bowing her head, remained cold and still beside Hoskiah, the veil held before her face. And Lokus, placing the torch aside, drew the veil and lifted her head towards the light, and the woman looked up fearfully.

Hoskiah looked long upon her in silence. Then he lifted her towards him and kissed her face, saying, “Wife of my bosom, the years have taken nothing from the loveliness of your youth”. And Athelia fell before him in a swoon.

Now, when morning came Lokus sat outside the cave and Athelia came, and kneeling before him said, “Great master, what magic have you wrought? The waters do not lie, yet my lord sees me not as they”. And Lokus answered her, saying, “Nor does the soul he, but the eyes of men are deceivers and not to be trusted. One desire only have I granted, for my magic has not touched you. Hoskiah sees indeed, but if he sees not wholly with his eyes and in part with his heart, seeing not with the eyes of other men, then perhaps my magic is imperfect and I am not the greatest of magicians”.

Unnumbered days passed and Athelia was first delivered of a daughter and then of a son. And Hoskiah sat before Lokus and received his instruction, and many books were opened unto him. He learned the Mysteries of the Secret Way and the Songs of the Fire. He knew the wisdom that had come down through the ages.

So it came to pass that one day Hoskiah went unto Lokus and said, “All has been done that the covenant required.” And Lokus answered him, saying, “It is well, prepare now to follow the path of your destiny.”

Then Hoskiah took Athelia and his son and his daughter, and with Lokus passed out into the wilderness. And when they came to the habitations of men Atheha was veiled. And Lokus journeyed as a great magician, following his stars, and Hoskiah served him as though bis slave.

Thus they came to the lands held by Isias and Lokus made masks of animal skins, with tree gum and clay, and gave them unto Hoskiah and Athelia. And he clothed them in strange garments and dyed their skins, saying, “Men expect all things of a magician and make no query concerning the strange things they see about him.  Therefore, let not the men of this place be disappointed in my attendants”. To Hoskiah he said, “Be as one dumb, for your tongue would betray you to those we come amongst in this place”. And Hoskiah answered, “My tongue shall be dead in this place. “In this manner they came before Isias.

Isias had looked well upon the fleshpots and his body was filled with fat. He was clad in fine linen from Egypt and perfumed. And Hoskiah said within himself, “Can this be the son of my father and the companion of my childhood? It is truly written, in the hands of a weakling gold turns to fat”.

Lokus spoke unto Isias, saying, “Lord I have come far and therefore beg that I and my servants be given food and drink and a place to lay our heads. I am a magician of magicians and a physician of physicians. Mayhap there are those within your household who are sick or possessed by demons, whom I may serve. Or may I enliven your leisure with wonders and magic and show you strange things beyond the understanding of men?

Isias said unto Lokus, “Remain with us, for there is little pleasure here. If you enliven our days you serve us well.”

So it came to pass that Isias prepared a great feast to which came many lords with their households. The fame of Lokus had spread afar, for he had healed the sick and cast out demons and shown many wonders beyond the understanding of men.  And among those who came were many who knew Hoskiah.

When the day of the great feast came there was much feasting and merrymaking, and Lokus worked great wonders, so that all men acclaimed his magic. And there were games and feats of strength and dancing.

When night had fallen great fires were lit and many torches. Tables were spread with all manner of good things and the guests assembled within the great courtyard. Isias sat beneath the tall sycamore tree and before him was a table laden with every kind of meat. There were breads and sweet things and spices in abundance. And Isias was sitting among half men and wanton women and with him were gluttons and drunkards. There was much loud laughter in their company and many sly gestures. There were singing women and dancing girls. There were half men who performed as women, and the night was heavy with the scents of wickedness.

The feasting and dancing went on well into the night and Lokus displayed his powers before the assembly. When the clamour was at its height Isias spoke to Lokus, saying, “Show us now the greatest of your wonders which we have not yet seen. Let the night be more enlivened”.

So Lokus stood before them and lo, before their eyes he changed stones into gold, and a dog into an ass. He drew wine and milk from an empty pitcher and caused a rod to become a snake. Standing before a table that was bare he drew all manner of foods and wines out of the air and furnished it for a splendid repast. Then he called Hoskiah as his slave and stood a comely maiden before him. And Hoskiah shot arrows into her and they stood out from her body, so that there was not space for a man to place his hand. And the blood flowed down her robe as though she stood in a rainstorm of blood, before she sank to the ground and lay there dead before them.

Then Lokus went up to her and after wrenching the arrows from out of her body threw a cloak over it. The arrows he carried to Isias and those about him, saying, “See the blood of amaiden”, and they held the arrows and looked at them.  And behold, as they held the arrows and looked the blood went from them and the arrows were clean. And Lokus cried out in a loud voice, “Lo, the blood returns”.  Then, passing over unto the maiden, he lifted the cloak off her and behold, as he did so her robe became clean again. And Lokus took her by the hand and said unto her, “Arise”, and she arose and stood before Isias. And he was silent and those about him did not speak. Casting aside her garment, which was the outer robe, the maiden danced before the gathering, and all there wondered greatly, for her body was unmarked.

Isias spoke to Lokus, saying, “How can such things be? What manner of magic is this?” Lokus answered him, saying, “Lord your eyes saw as I bid them see, for I am the master of men’s hearts, not the master of flesh and wood. The eye is the greatest of deceivers. It is the magic of Egypt which undid the work of the Ethiopian’s bow”. And Isias said, “Who is this Ethiopian who stands there so strangely garbed? It is indeed a bowman among bowmen to loose his arrows so that one has scarcely struck ere another left the bow. Has Rasfamishel come among us?  “ Lokus answered him, saying, “Lord he comes from beyond the Land of Elephants, in the place where the Earth tips over. The magic is in his bow, which can shoot at a wild ass and bring down a lion.”

So saying Lokus took up a clay pot and stood it on a table, and Hoskiah, standing off, loosed an arrow at it. And the pot was shattered and as it fell apart lo and behold, a silver pot appeared in its place. And those who saw these things were amazed and spoke one to the other about the magic of Lokus.

One among the gathering, a speechmaker, stood up and spoke words praising the magic of Lokus, but Isias sat quiet, deep in thought. Then bidding Lokus come to his side, Isias said, “This night I have seen With my own eyes a maiden slain with arrows and raised from the sleep of death. I have seen the magic of the bow change clay to silver. Is then your magic great enough to change age into youth and weakness into strength? It is said that the greatest of magicians can do even this.” And Lokus lifted himself and said, “Even this I can do”.

Then there was much whispering back and forth and talk among those who sat about Isias. They that stood in the place of his favour said, “Master this is the hour, let the magic of this great magician cast the years from off your back and renew the vigour of youth”. And while they spoke there was much whispering and sly laughter among the half men.

Lokus stepped back from the presence of Isias and he raised his left hand, and there were loud thunders. He raised his right hand and fire leaped forth from the ground, and a great cloud of smoke went up. And he said unto Isias, “Great Isias, this is your hour. You are the lord of this land and place, therefore command as you will. Already the night is more than half spent and speeds to its closing. Hear now my words, this I say unto you: Enter now into my magic tent which stands strangely adorned over against the edge of the feasting place. The tent wherefrom I issue forth my magic, to which I return to replenish my strength when it is done. Therein is the fount of my magic, the hub of the great circle of power. Remain in there until the first red glow from the fires of the underworld appears in the night sky. Then lord, I will come into the tent and, standing against it, will call forth the lord of this land and place, and behold, a new lord will stand before the gathering in manly strength and vigour.  A man among men and a fitting master for this household. He will be such a man that I, even I Lokus, the master of magic, will be the first to proclaim him.”

So Isias entered into the tent of Lokus the magician, and as he passed within, Lokus gave him the great bow of Hoskiah, saying, ‘Take this with you, for its magic is great and may well be needed. It is a worthy weapon for the lord of this land.”

Then the gathering spoke amongst themselves and waited. Singing women whiled away the hours. And as the first arrows of morning light struck the night sky, Lokus arose and stood against the tent of magic. Lifting up the door he cried out in a loud voice, “Great Lord of these lands and place, come forth to your heritage, behold your lord.” And as he spoke, lo, Hoskiah stepped forth into the morning light, arrayed as a lord and girded about with belt and sword. He wore a helmet and in his hand was the great bow.

The sound of a great sigh passed through the gathering and men looked one at the other. They were bemused, not knowing what to do, for there was magic about them. And Lokus lifted up his voice in the silence and cried, “Behold, I have brought forth a man among men as lord of these lands and place. Will you not, therefore, receive him in a befitting manner?” And men spoke among themselves, saying, “This is one having the appearance of Hoskiah whom we know, in truth the lord of these lands and place. He is a man indeed, if it be he; has magic drawn him back from the grave, or has the spirit of Isias clothed itself in the form of Hoskiah?” Then first one and then another hailed the man before them saying, “This is a man among men, if not our lord Hoskiah.” Then a great shout of, “Hoskiah!” went up, and Hoskiah stood stern before them.

Now, there were those among the gathering who stood silent. The half men and wanton women who were about the table where Isias had been, sat pale and silent, clinging to each other. They said among themselves, “If indeed this be Hoskiah, where then is our lord Isias ?” And a man stood up among the gathering, shouting, “This is not Isias transformed by magic, but Hoskiah, who, with this evil magician, has worked a trick. Isias is not transformed but murdered. Let him be avenged”. And reaching back he took a javelin and sought to hurl it at Hoskiah. But the bow in the hand of Hoskiah bent, and before the javelin could be sped an arrow pierced the man’s throat. Then the bow sang twice more before the enemies of Hoskiah departed.

Now, it came to pass that those remaining gathered about Hoskiah and rejoiced, saying, “Hoskiah is indeed the rightful lord and none but he ever bent bow as we have seen a bow bent this dawning”. And Hoskiah passed through them to the seat of Isias. And those gathered there shrank from him, and he swept the table clean and drove away those who stood about it, saying, “Begone, lest I have you seized and beaten, for you befoul the Earth and serve neither God nor man.” They departed, saying, ‘This is indeed Hoskiah and not Isias.” And Isias was seen no more by the eyes of men.

Now, after three days had passed Lokus said to Hoskiah, “The time has come when I must depart. I shall go unto my king who is now your king and speak with him concerning you. It is well that I go now and dally not unduly here, for mayhap as things are he will lend a willing ear to my words. But if I dally here with you, others will gain his ear with another account.” So Lokus departed and Hoskiah was grieved.

Before he left, Lokus was given horses and servants, also slaves and asses with food for the journey. And Lokus said to Hoskiah, “We shall meet again, for it is decreed in the Book of Heaven.”

Athelia came before Hoskiah many times and said, “Lord let me depart from your residence and dwell in a place not too far off.” And Hoskiah was perplexed within himself because of her manner of speech, for he did not understand what she wanted. He said, “Have no fear for the women of my household, for there is none I desire but you”.

And it came to pass that on his way to the king, Lokus was stricken with a sickness and lay as one already dead, and for many days his soul was prepared for departure. And while he lay sick the power that bound the eyes of Hoskiah became weakened and the eyes of Hoskiah were no longer bound.

Now, Hoskiah purged his household and spent the days dealing with his estates, and his lands flourished. His servants no longer bickered among themselves as before and contentment reigned within his shadow.

So when many days had passed and all things were ordered, Hoskiah called his steward and said unto him, “Let a feast be prepared. As the land has given generously to me, so will I give no less generously.” Hoskiah said this and it was done.

Now, there was a woman called Mirim of the household of Isias, who was fair to behold and she sought the favour of Hoskiah. And among the women there was much talk of Athelia who remained ever veiled, for there were those among the women who knew her. But none spoke to Hoskiah, for he was a man who talked little with women and Athelia stood first in his eyes.

Mirim had not seen the degradation of Athelia, nor had she seen her unveiled.  But it came to pass that she spied upon Athelia one day, while she was about her toilet, and seeing her unveiled Mirim took counsel with herself.

Now, the day of feasting came and many were the guests, but of half men and wanton women there were none. And among the women Athelia sat apart, and among the men there was much talk of riches and battles, and of spoils of war and husbandry.

Among the guests was a young lord who sought the favours of Mirim. And while the feasting and dancing were at their height, they came one to the other. And as they dallied beyond the torchlight Mirim said unto him, “Am I fair indeed?” And he answered her, saying, “You are fair even among the fairest”. Then she said unto him, “Yet there is one more fair by far, so fair that she needs go veiled before men. She is Athelia, wife of Hoskiah, who keeps her thus. He fears for himself and does not trust her, for this is his weakness”. And Mirim moved away from the young lord, saying, “Go look upon her face, and if you can then say I am the fairest of the fair, I shall know that your heart speaks sincerely of itself and not at the behest of your body.”

The young lord returned to the feasting and sat in a place nearby to Hoskiah and spoke to those about him, saying, “Have any among you seen a woman here who rivals the fairest bearers of myrtle and palm?” And the men rebuked him, saying, “It is not meet to talk thus about the women of a household wherein you are a guest. Are they to be judged as are women of the night?”

But the tongue of the young lord was not stayed and he replied, saying, ‘That which causes talk will be talked about?” And Hoskiah heard him and was angry and said, “What, in my household, moves foolish tongues to gossip?” The young lord said, “That which a man tries to conceal ever arouses the interests of others.  Does any man conceal that of which he is proud?” And Hoskiah looked about him, saying, “This talk I do not understand”. The young lord said, “My lord, men talk of what lies beneath the veil of the woman you brought here, is she indeed as fair as men say, or is there truth even in the gossip of women?”

And those who knew about the degradation of Athelia muttered among themselves, for her secret could not be kept hidden. They said, “This is loose talk and wicked, let the evil which belongs to the past remain buried. Does this concern any man but Hoskiah? Are we among women that the talk should be thus? Is our custom to be lightly set aside? Let the veil remain”.

But Hoskiah, hearing the muttering, thought wrongly of what was said. And he spoke to the young lord, saying, “This woman is fair as few women are fair, should I not know? This you shall indeed see for yourself”. And Hoskiah said within himself, “Long enough have I indulged Athelia her whims, does a pearl give pleasure withinits shell?” And Hoskiah sent his attendant for her.

So Athelia came with her hand maiden, and Mirim came too and stood close behind them. And Athelia stood before Hoskiah and said, “My lord what is your wish?” And he said to her, “Woman, remove your veil.” And Athelia put her hand to the veil and pleaded with him, saying, “My lord there are many men here and strangers. There is a custom of my people by which I abide.” And men, hearing her voice, looked one at another and the oldest among them said to Hoskiah, “Let the woman be, for this is of no importance and of no interest to us. Allow her the whim, for such is the nature of women. Shall we deny them their small pleasures?” Athelia inclined her head towards the man who spoke and as she did so Mirim stepped forward and caught hold of the veil, snatching it aside. And the stricken face of Athelia was revealed to the gathering.

All men were silent and still, like statues. And Hoskiah looked at Athelia and she at him. And Hoskiah saw her as she was, and Athelia knew whathe saw. Then came the voice of the young lord, saying, “Behold the pearl of Hoskiah.” And Hoskiah turned upon him in rage and slew him.

And Hoskiah turned to Athelia who stood still and alone, saying, “What evil has been wrought here? Begone, take your face from me.” And Athelia went out between the gathering. And passing into her bedchamber she took a draught of poison. And her handmaiden sped to Hoskiah, saying, “Come my lord, my mistress dies.”

Then Hoskiah, his heart filled with remorse, sped to Athelia. And as he came unto her she died.

And Hoskiah wept over her and his heart was filled with grief. And he looked upon the body of Athelia and said, “I have slain the life within my own heart. I have slain the one who cherished me in my blindness, the one who loved beyond the bounds of love.”

In his anguish the eye of his soul was opened and saw the soul of Athelia standing nearby. And Hoskiah was dazzled by the vision of her beauty, for she was radiant as the sun. He stretched out his hands towards her, but could not touch her, for she was beyond the reach of earthly things. And she shook her head at him and raising her hand departed to the Antechamber of Eternity.

Hoskiah raised himself up and strode out from the chamber, but he returned not again to the place of feasting. He sorrowed many days.

Now, while Hoskiah still sorrowed, word came to him that a company of men was coming against him.

And he sent out his servants with laden asses and went forth himself. And with his true men he prepared a place on the heights above the road, to meet those who came to take him. And Hoskiah met them with arrows and with stones and left them with their dead.

And Hoskiah and those with him passed out into the wilderness and lived there many days. And it came to pass that word came to him of Lokus and he arose and went into the land of the Sons of Fire, passing into Tyre as a merchant from Kithim.

So it came about that Hoskiah came with sons of the Children of Light on ships of Arad, by way of Hawnibo and Mesilonas, where there are many temples. The ships made one harvest towards the Land of Trees, where the great river flows to the West. And his sons he left in Tyre, that they might receive instruction in the household of Lokus.

Hoskiah governed many years in the Land of Mists and made laws, and died in his old age. And he was buried by the river where the ground rises, beneath stones and soil carried in many baskets. A fence was made and trees, which still grow, set about the place.

When Hoskiah came here he had been forty and four years on Earth, and two score and five years passed before he died. May his God fulfil his hopes!  Raben, the son of Hoskiah, was born of a daughter from the house of Lokus in this land.

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 2

Lothan, Captain of Men of Valour, Victorious over the Sons of the New Moon and Guardian of the Hidden Wisdom. Maker of Roads in the Red Lands and Builder of the Secret Fort. By Abisobel, once Scribe of the God Eloah in Ladosa, Keeper of Records in the New Temple, to his Fathers in Wisdom at the Temple of Iswarah, Greetings. May you live long on Earth in prosperity, peace and health, and depart in knowledge.

We left the good land, hearts heavy-laden with grief. The ships were five and I looked to mine and found it good. It was built of alonwood and stout-masted. All about it, casks were lashed. Along the planking the cords that moved were free, but all clear spaces were filled with things wrapped about and bound. There was much leather for the sails and leathern scoops. There were half a score of large buckets of wood hooped about and handled with plaited leather. Between the eyes of the ship the guide pole was raised, beneath which were stored all kinds of unusual things made of wood and cordage used by men of the sea. There was a machine for slinging stones and another for hurling fire.  There were high shieldguards which could be strapped to the side. A store contained every kind of weapon and much armour. There were pots for cooking and braziers.

There was a store behind the mast and in it were over five score jars of oil and not less of wine and vinegar. Casks of food there were and more stored in baskets. Many large pitchers were lashed about and dried meat stored in cloth.  Dried dates and figs and small fruits there were in large quantities. Water was not lacking, nor the dishes for eating. There were nets for fishing and hooks for catching birds.

The chief among the men of the sea was skilled in the notched stick called ‘thumb of the night’, which guided him across the widths of the sea. We brought up against Keftor, where Nebam departed, for they were troublesome. Men of Melkat came who had been wrecked, and we took a score who were men of valour. We passed many lands by the sea, where once broad sea-girt Posidma reigned, before blown apart by underworld fires. By the lands of Hogburim we went over the wide sea to the gate of Athlesan and beyond it across the sea of Tapuim.

One ship and forty men and the households of six men were lost on the way. Three ships have I left, with one brought up on the land. Twelve men have I lost in battle and ten have gone with sickness. There are, with me, two hundred fighting men. One hundred and ten men of skill and one hundred bondsmen. Sixty households with their cattle and sheep and corn and tools and wagons. All things with us are numbered and the tally grows daily.

The encampment is well made and encircled with a wall where water does not lie.  Trees and soil are the material of its construction. Great trees are about us, but no stone for building, for the soil is deep. The waters rise not over the fields where men have cut water passages, but there is much rain.

Wild men are in the land, who write on their skins.

They are hairy ones whose gods are the plants of the field. Their quarters are like baskets over the ground and they are unwashed. The women are like hellcats, uttering wild cries among the trees, but the men are quiet and come in silence.

They have temples of poles, roofed over in part and encircled by great logs, with logs laid over. Skins and painted leather are hung about, but no cloth.  They place plants on altars, that their high gods may consume the essence of life within them and draw it back into themselves.

Virgins they keep in cages, why I know not, but the women in cages are virgins and well cared for. Is virginity uncaged like a hound unleashed?

The wild men are unlearned and without soft speech. They are cousins to the wild dog, yet with children they are gentle. The children of Fikol, the stoneworker, were lost among the trees and wild beasts beset them at night. The wild men found them there and carried them away and fed them. Then came the searchband of men of valour upon the place, and the children, seeing them, ran away from the wild men. The men of valour slew the wild men, thinking they had taken the children, for they knew not their speech. Since then we have seen their ways.

One hundred and ten of the wild people we have as bondsmen and bondswomen. The men work with the soil and wood about the encampment. The wall I caused to be built out into the water and it encloses a pier against the bank, where ships can moor.

Within the wall and circle of water I have built the temple, but not all go in there with me. We are not one people. The gates of the temple are on pillars of wood and turn on a stone, and wooden are the pillars within. Great beams support the roof, and the walls are of wood and mud brick. The floor is of sand finely raked, and before the heir the altar rests on stones. There are no images designed to confuse men, for though the temple is poor it does not enshrine ignorance. We have no evil men with us. There are men of valour and men of skill, men of the land and men of the sea, no more.

Beneath the altar is the Grave of Life, kept dry with mortar. In its place is the Great Chest of Mysteries and in the Urns of Life are the records. Well kept they are and safe from the unlearned, all the records of the Eastern Quarter.  Thus all things have been done according to your divining, and it is good.

(Between that just copied and that which follows there was a full plate, but the writing upon it was ineffective.)

In the land at the edge of the Earth there is little sun and the people grow sick with water. The dampness causes a sickness among us, where the teeth become loose in the gums and skin peels. Flesh puffs up and holds the marks of fingers.

The people of the land beset us and we cannot find them among the trees. Lothan was slain, with twelve men of valour, three days journey inland among the trees.  He died in the night. Two men were caught by the wild men who burnt them in cages.

Men have come in ships from the Land of the Sons of Fire, who are our brothers.  Alman, the scribe, and Kora, the builder, came. Hoskiah who is a man mighty in battle, having gone from us brought them here by Kedaris.

Of the Sons of Fire there are four hundred, but few are fighting men. They are not men of valour. They are men of the sea and cultivators and men who trade.  There are builders among them and men skilled in the ways of wood and stone, for they came to establish a city in this place.

This, the Kingdom of the Trees, is no place for a city. Trees shut us in and hold us captive. They conceal those who lie in wait to do us harm. A house is built and trees take over the roof, and plants creep over the walls. Corn is planted and rots, while weeds smother other growing food. Greyness is everywhere, even the face of the sun is pale here.

Men shiver without heat and the air is not pure and mixed with water. Wild dogs lurk among the trees, to tear the unwary to pieces. There are few stones and they are covered with slime. The wild fruits and herbs are poisonous and men have died eating them. The wild men in this place eat their own children and anoint their bodies with the fat of the dead. There is a race of men with great hairy bodies and the heads of dogs, who carry children off to feast on them.  Arutha, wife of Amora, died in the embrace of one. They have hides that no arrow can pierce.

The Book of Heaven is open to the Sons of Fire, in it they found the road across the waters. They are filled with the wisdom of wanderers. As we came by the sea in the hands of seafarers, so shall we go out. We long for the welcome omens of the shining arrows of the night. Our people are weary and there is muttering among the men of valour, for they fear the Spirit of the Trees. His breath surrounds us. His grey fingernails corrupt our possessions. He has caused our cattle to die and our crops to wither. Against him we are powerless. He was robbed of this land hewn out from among the trees, he will never forget.

The Great Secrets and Sacred Wisdom are secured for our children. We place them and ourselves in the hands of the Sons of Fire. We shall leave this place and sail towards Hireh, towards the West, where lies the Land of White Stone. There we may build with stone and brick.

Here is the tally of our departure: Of those who came with Lothan, ninety men of valour and the households of thirty-five. There are seventy men of valour who came later, and those of the Sons of Fire. Eighty-two men of skill and eight households newly formed. There are the men of valour who came with Hoskiah and the households among them. There are nine households which came later.

There are two hundred and forty bondsmen. Of these one hundred and ten carry slings and clubs. Some have fighting axes of stone and stave shod with metal, but there is no sharpened weapon among them.

One hundred and four among all the households are children and unmarried women, for many have died of the sickness belonging to this place. There are slaves, but most have died or perished among the trees.

The cattle are gone and there are a few sheep and goats. There are, for each man of valour, two measures of corn at morning and for others one measure. Of corn there are sixty great baskets. Of herbs dried by fire, forty-five ankrim. There is fish fried by fire and some meat.

There are a hundred and ten baskets of cuped nuts, which are bitter and go sour.  The Men of the Trees eat them and for such people it is proper food. There are narah nuts which grow in this place, sweet but not stomach filling, and nuts which are good for cakes in quantities.

There is much weapon metal melted down and gold and silver in pieces. There are all kinds of tools for the men of skill and much pottery in the households. But much has gone to the Men of the Trees, and of cloth there is little, and men are clothed in skins and the woven fibre of plants.

The Harbour of Sorrow we leave behind and with four ships sail towards the sunsetting. One ship goes to the Land of the Sons of Fire. Spirit of Lothan, remain among us as we go far away among men who are strangers to us!

CHAPTER NINE

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 3

The Sons of Fire came to the Land of Mists, they and their households and their cattle, and all the tools of craftsmen. With them came others, men of Egypt and men of Javen. Also strangers who were not as valiant as are the Sons of Fire.  Many among them were sickly and distressed in their hearts.

They took land among the barbarians and built a city and a port at the place called Sadel, near Saham, and cut roads about it into the forests. But they were kept in by the barbarians, and strangers in a strange land. The city was a place for buying and selling and men came and went. Ships came bearing cloth and pottery, instruments and weapons of war and all manner of things. The ships went away bearing things from the barbarians who dug in the soil. The place of the city was good, for it was fertile and well watered, and the bay was guarded by a great rock.

When he came, Hoskiah caused statutes to be set up for the city and they were kept in the courts of the temple. This record was made at his command:

“It is unlawful for you to curse your father or your mother, or their father or their mother, or to raise your hand in anger against them. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with fire and iron upon the left shoulder and a task and time set upon you.”

“It is unlawful for you to steal the reputation of another man by lies. If the forbidden be done you shall be branded by fire and iron upon the lips of the mouth.”

“It is unlawful for you to defile the wife of another man. If the forbidden be done you shall be branded with fire and iron upon the soles of the feet and upon the backside and the armpits, and upon the mouth and nose, and shall be cast out from among us, unless bearing arms in war.”

“It is unlawful for a wife to lie with any man not her husband. If the forbidden be done she shall suffer her time upon the adulteress’ saddle and shall not be healed with skyfire.”

“It is unlawful for you to penetrate a child in lust. If the forbidden be done you shall be castrated and the wound healed with iron and fire.”

“It is unlawful for you to place your hands between the legs of a womanchild. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palm of the left hand and upon the left cheek and between the thighs.”

“It is unlawful for you if, being a guest, you defile the household of the man who harbours you. If the forbidden be done with a free man or a free woman you shall be burnt with fire and iron on the soles of the feet and in the armpits, and shall die in the waters, after the custom of the barbarians. If with a slave or bondsman or bondswoman, you shall be bumt upon the backside and the armpits, and shall pay their price to their master.”

“It is unlawful for you to speak falsehood against another so that he suffer at trial. If the forbidden be done you shall suffer the same as he and be burnt upon the tongue with iron and fire, and pay the recompense set by the council.”

“It is unlawful for you to give a daughter of your house to the barbarians in marriage, unless she be one who has brought shame upon you. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of your property and household.”

“It is unlawful for you to allow any man within your household to fornicate with the barbarians. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left thigh. The man within your household shall be burnt upon the soles of his feet and in his armpits. If it be done again you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside and dispossessed of a tithe of your property. The man within your household shall be blinded in the left eye with iron and fire, and bumt upon the soles of his feet.”

“It is unlawful for you to allow any woman within your household to fornicate with a barbarian. If the forbidden be done and she be a free worn an you shall be dispossessed of your household and property, and she shall die as women die.  If a slave or a bondswoman, you shall be dispossessed of a tithe of your property and she shall be burnt upon her private parts, after the manner of burning women.”

“It is unlawful for you to fornicate with the barbarians. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of your property and household and made a slave of the council.”

“It is unlawful for a woman to show her breasts to the eyes of men not of her household. If the forbidden be done she shall be burnt between the breasts, after the manner of burning women.”

“It is unlawful for any woman to show her private parts to any man, unless he be her husband or master. If the forbidden be done she shall be burnt daily, after the manner of burning women, until each of the seven points have been burnt. If she do so with a man not of her household, then her husband or master shall be burnt with iron and fire upon his right thigh.”

“It is unlawful for you to show your nakedness wilfully to any woman or maiden not of your household. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside.”

These are the statutes made because of the things done before the eyes of the barbarians who hold their women in high esteem:

“It is unlawful for you to slay or maim any man or woman, or any child among us.  If the forbidden be done, then a life shall be taken for a life, by water, after the custom of die barbarians. A limb shall be taken for a limb and an eye for an eye. Except that if it be one among you who is a bearer of arms in war, he shall not be maimed so that he cannot fight, but he may be slain for a slaying.”

“It is unlawful for you to steal or dispossess by deceit. If the forbidden be done the harm done shall be restored double. If it be done again to the same man or another you shall also be burnt with iron and fire upon the right forearm.  But if a man act foolishly so that he is easily dispossessed, than only that taken shall be restored in value.”

“It is unlawful for you to wilfully destroy a writing or record in writing, or marks of meaning or namemarks. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon each palm of the hands and be dispossessed of one quarter of your property.”

“It is unlawful for you to wilfully damage the property of another man among us.  If the forbidden be done you shall make it good by paying its value to the man you wronged.”

“It is unlawful for you to change worked iron with the barbarians for other things. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the sole of the left foot and upon the palm of the right hand.”

“It is unlawful for you to deal deceitfully with the barbarians or to steal from

them. Or to cause hurt to them or damage to their property. If the forbidden be

done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palm of the right hand. You

shall be cast out without weapons outside our boundary in a place where you can

be taken by them, so they may deal with you according to their own customs,”

“It is unlawful for you to increase gold or silver with other substances. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of half your property and possession, and burnt upon the ears with iron and fire.”

“It is unlawful for you to enter secretly into the habitation of another man or within the enclosure about it. If the forbidden be done you shall if within the habitation, be blinded in the left eye with iron and fire, and if it be done again, in the right eye. If you enter secredy within the enclosure about the habitation you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the soles of the feet and upon the backside. If you be found with weapon you shall be made a slave to the owner of the place.”

“It is unlawful for you to use an animal for lust. If the forbidden be done and one penetrate the other, you shall be castrated and the wound healed by iron and fire. Unless a bearer of arms in war you shall be driven out from among us, and the animal shall die. If neither penetrate the other you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon your private parts.”

“It is unlawful for you to befoul the well of another man or the clear water from which he drinks. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside.”

“It is unlawful for you to cause damage to the herds or the crops, the goods or the property of another man. If the forbidden be done you shall make good the damage. If it be done again to him or another man you shall also suffer burning with iron and fire upon the sole of the left foot.”

“It is unlawful for a woman to sell herself for the use of men, unless she first proclaim herself a public woman by standing from dawn to dusk, for two days, at the market gate of the temple. If such be done no guilt shall attach to her, but if the forbidden be done she shall be burnt after the manner of the burning of women, upon the cheeks and on the arms and on the belly. If she do it again without proclaiming herself she shall be sold as a slave. Her price shall be given to the governor.”

“It is unlawful for the wife or the bondswoman or the slave of any man to sell herself for the use of men. If the forbidden be done the husband or master shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the mouth and upon the backside and upon the soles of the feet, except it be done secretly from him. The woman shall be sold and her price given to the governor.”

“It is unlawful for you, if a man with womanly ways, to conduct yourself as such, unless you first proclaim your nature by standing from dawn to dusk, for one day, at the market gate of the temple. If such be done no guilt shall attach itself to your conduct as a man with womanly ways. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the belly and the backside, and sold in the market place and your price given to the governor.”

“It is unlawful for an unprotected man with womanly ways to be the master of a household or to take a wife. He cannot own anything, except it be required for eating or sleeping, clothing and the practice of his craft. He may own a dwelling of one room, but if he bear arms in war he may own a dwelling of any size. If the forbidden be done he shall be burnt with iron and fire on the backside and chest, and sold as a slave and his price given to the governor.”

“It is unlawful for you to satisfy your lusts with a man of your household. If the forbidden be done you shall both be burnt with iron and fire on both armpits, unless one be in the hands of the other.”

“It is unlawful for a woman to slay her child or let it die by neglect. If the forbidden be done and the child be unweaned the woman shall be sold into slavery and her price given to the governor. If the child be weaned a life shall be taken for a life.”

“It is unlawful for you, if the master of a household, to go beyond our boundaries for upwards of two days and one night, unless you appoint a steward in your place or have a son in manhood. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the sole of your right foot and upon your backside. If you be detained by force you shall not be burnt.”

“It is unlawful for you to touch a woman not of your household upon her private parts, unless she be a woman who sells herself to men. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with fire and iron upon the palm and fingers of the right hand, and upon the left cheek and upon the backside. If it be done again you shall also be blinded with iron and fire in the left eye, and if again in the right eye also.”

“It is unlawful for you to take a woman not of your household by force for lust, unless she be a woman who sells herself to men. If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire in both eyes.”

“It is unlawful for you to enter the sacred places of the barbarians or their

temples, or to pass within a thousand paces of the Rabukimra. You may attend

their festivals outside these places. If the forbidden be done you shall be

burnt with iron and fire on the sole of the left foot,”

“It is unlawful for you to carry upon yourself or to have within your household the talismans of other gods. If the forbidden be done you shall pay a tithe of your possessions and property to the temple.”

“It is unlawful for you, if a guest, to conceal a weapon upon yourself or be in the dwelling of your host, while within his habitation. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt upon the muscle of your left arm and upon the forehead.”

“It is unlawful for you to act seemingly towards an unlawful deed so that men will say, “His thoughts are towards an unlawful thing.” If the forbidden be done it shall be as though you had already done the unlawful deed, except that the council shall look upon you with mercy, if it be deserved.”

“It is unlawful for you to talk to another man towards an unlawful deed. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the lower lip and the left hand palm. The man among you who denounces this thing shall not be burnt.”

“It is unlawful for you to he so that another man be harmed. If the forbidden be done and it be not serious, or without evil intent, you shall pay recompense. If it be more serious you shall be burnt upon the upper lip and if more serious still, upon the tongue.”

“It is unlawful for you to allow a woman of your household to be drunk in an outside place. If the forbidden be done you shall, if it happen twice, be burnt with fire and iron upon the left thigh. If it happen again you shall be burnt upon the left armpit.”

“It is unlawful for a stranger to remain within our boundaries after sunset, unless he be a guest within a household or under its protection. Or unless he remain within the strangers’ court or he be proclaimed. No man shall remain beyond ten days, unless he be proclaimed. At this proclaiming nothing of his past deeds or his comings and goings shall be bidden, and lies shall not be told. If the forbidden be done he shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the nose and placed beyond our boundaries. He shall not return and his goods shall be taken to the governor. As the sun goes down all men shall bid the stranger be gone and shall not hold him.”

“It is unlawful for you to delay the departure of a stranger when he must go and has done no wrong. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left backside.”

“It is unlawful for a woman to depart from her household or to remain outside her home after sunset, unless she be protected. If the forbidden be done and she be a wife she shall be burnt upon the sole of the left foot. If she be a slave or bondswoman she shall be burnt upon the soles of both feet, and if she be a freewoman or servant woman she shall be burnt upon the left leg. If she be a virgin she shall be beaten with a leathern throng.”

“It is unlawful for a man to raise his hand against the master of his household.  If the forbidden be done he shall, if a freeman, be burnt with iron and fire upon the right shoulder and upon the backside. If a servant, upon both shoulders and upon the backside, and if a slave or bondsman, upon both shoulders and upon the backside, and upon the soles of his feet. But if the master be hurt so that he is put to bed, then he who struck him shall be seized and confined and shall also be burnt on the body each day, until the master be up again.”

“It is unlawful for you to maim or mark in chastisement beyond repair any woman of your household, or any freeman within its protection. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire, as the council declare.”

“It is unlawful for you to strike in chastisement any woman not of your household, or touch her in anger. If the forbidden be done and she be without marks, if a freewoman you shall be burnt with fire and iron upon the right thigh and the right armpit. If a maidservant, upon the right armpit and if a slave or bondswoman, upon the left thigh. But if she be marked or maimed you shall make payment to her master or her household and be burnt according to the declaration of the council.”

“It is unlawful for you to drive a woman or a child from your household unlawfully. If the forbidden be done you shall recompense the one driven out with a fifth part of your property and possessions. They may then enter any other household and shall not be held back.”

“It is unlawful for you, if placed in stewardship or in guardianship, to do an unfaithful thing against anyone under your care. Or to cause loss or harm to the man who trusted you. You shall not conduct yourself unseemingly in the household under your stewardship or cause the man who trusted you to lose his reputation.  If the forbidden be done, and it be serious, the council may put you to death by water, after the custom of the barbarians, but if it be less serious you shall be burnt as the council declare.”

“It is unlawful for you or any man or woman within your household to eat uncooked meat, unless it be dried by sun or fire, or be pickled. Blood shall not be drunk. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left forearm.”

“It is unlawful for you to become drunk or quarrelsome while among the barbarians. Or to curse them in their hearing, or to use unseemingly language in their presence, or to talk against us to them. If the forbidden be done, the first time you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left leg; the second time you shall be burnt upon the left armpit, and the third time, upon the lips of the mouth. Each time of chastisement you shall be bound from the time of burning until sunset, and displayed on the boundary.”

“It is unlawful for you to pass water within the temple enclosure, or to befoul the grounds or floors there. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside and the soles of the feet, and between the thighs. If it be done again you shall be blinded in both eyes.”

“It is unlawful for you to spit or use foul language within the temple enclosure. Or to shout or raise your voice unseemingly or act irreverently there. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the mouth and right ear.”

“It is unlawful for you to destroy anything within the temple enclosure. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palms of the hands and between the thighs. This may be increased to death by water, according to the custom of the barbarians, if the council think it fitting.”

“It is unlawful for you to steal anything from within the temple enclosure. If the forbidden be done you shall die by water, after the custom of the barbarians.”

“It is unlawful for you to strike any priest or servant of the temple or anyone under its protection. If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire. But if you maim someone you shall die by water, after the custom of the barbarians. If it be a slave of the temple or a bondsman, then for striking him you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the soles of the feet and between the thighs. If he be maimed you shall be blinded in the right eye.”

“It is unlawful for you to be within the temple enclosure at night, in secret.

If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire.”

“It is unlawful for you to carry weapons of metal or sharpened weapons within the temple enclosure, unless with the sanction of the temple guardians. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the soles of the feet and the palm of the left hand.”

“It is unlawful to seize any wrongdoer within the temple enclosure, unless it be done by those who serve the temple. If the forbidden be done he who commanded the deed shall be blinded by iron and fire. Those who did the deed shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.”

“It is unlawful to speak against the governor or the council or the commanders or princes, unless it be done before them or at the market gate of the temple.  If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon each side of the mouth. But no man shall suffer for anything he says in public at the market gate of the temple, except he talk about the God of This Enclosure.”

“It is unlawful for you to speak against the God of This Enclosure within this His enclosure. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt upon the tongue and upon the mouth and driven out beyond our boundary, and may not return for seven years.”

“It is unlawful for you to speak against any priest of the temple, except before the High Priest on the days when any man may speak freely without fear. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside and beneath the chin.”

“It is unlawful for you to approach the Place of the High Altar or the forbidden place about it, or to touch the Sacred Treasures, unless you be a priest or high servant of the temple, or a man admitted by them. If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire.”

“It is unlawful to take a virgin to wife if you have a wife, but if without wife you may marry a virgin. You shall not have more than three wives. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of a fourth part of your property and possessions, which shall go to the wife you have taken unlawfully.”

“It is unlawful for you to have intercourse with your mother, your daughter, your father’s sister or your mother’s sister, your brother’s daughter or your sister’s daughter, your father’s mother or your mother’s mother, your wife’s mother or your son’s wife, whether they be by blood or by law. If the forbidden be done you shall die by water, after the custom of the barbarians.”

“It is unlawful for men to wear the garments of women or women to wear the garments of men, unless they have proclaimed their natures. If the forbidden be done men shall be burnt with iron and fire on the left cheek. Women may not be touched with iron made hot and therefore are to be burnt with skyfire. All men shall be burnt with iron and fire.”

“Men may be put to death by water or fire and women by water or by smothering.  Women shall not suffer chastisement so that their blood flow. When men are castrated it shall be done with a knife of stone.”

“Men shall be punished in a place where all men may see them, but a woman shall suffer away from the eyes of men, though she may receive punishment at the hands of a man. The punishment of a woman shall be witnessed by two men of the council and two women from the household she wronged.”

“A man punished by burning shall suffer at high noon and then be laid on his back or his belly, according to which eases him most. Each of his limbs shall be drawn out and fastened to a stake and he shall be left until midnight, and then let go. A woman, having been punished, shall be placed within a room which has a pole lengthwise at sitting height and left there from noon to midnight. Any man or woman suffering punishment shall be allowed one attendant after it be inflicted, until their release. No man shall refuse to let another go to attend his friend.”

“If a woman do something for which a man would be punished she shall suffer likewise, except that the burning shall be with skyfire. The council shall not overlook a suitable punishment for the master of her household.”

“If a man become indebted by trial and fail within the season to pay whatever be demanded of him, he and his possessions shall be seized and given into the keeping of those to whom he is indebted.”

“A woman having been declared by her husband before the council as unsuitable for a wife, and the council having found this to be so, she may remain within his household without being his wife. Or she may return to the household from which she came or that of her father or her brother or her father’s brother or mother’s brother, as she wills. But she may not go elsewhere and having chosen where to go cannot choose again.”

“It is unlawful for a man to use whatever force and chastisements are necessary to maintain order within his household. He may make any adjustments within the household to endow it with contentment, but all things must be done with justice and moderation. All disagreements within a household shall be judged by its master.”

“That which be done by a wife or a daughter, a youth or a child; or a servant or his wife or his sons or his daughters, or his servants; or by a freeman or his wife or his sons or his daughters, or his servants or slaves; or by a slave or a bondswoman or a bondsman, or their wives or their sons or their daughters, within your household; or by a freewoman or by a guest or by the stranger within your gates, shall be as though it were done by the master of the household and both shall suffer alike. Except that the council shall weigh all the actions of the master of the household and set his punishment according to them.”

“If, upon marriage, it be found that a woman taken to wife as a virgin be not a virgin, evidence of this may be given at the Seat of Truth before three witnesses. One witness shall then go to her household and declare this before its master. Then, except the matter come before the council, the woman may be put aside as a wife and returned to her household, and her bride price reclaimed double. Or, if her husband choose, she may remain in his household as wife or concubine, but he may reclaim her bride price.”

“If a woman be put aside by her husband as no longer his wife and she remain in his household, she shall be as a concubine.”

“The rights of a concubine are those of a bondswoman, but she is a bondswoman to her master for life.”

“When the master of a household dies his eldest son shall become the master, and brother shall follow brother, until there are no sons. Then the brothers of the master shall follow in the order of their ages, and their sons, according to their kinship. The new master shall provide for the wives and concubines of his father in the same manner as previously. His brothers and sisters shall become as sons and daughters. Within a household the death of its master changes nought but the master. After the death of its master a household cannot divide, except it be done lawfully by the new master after he has been master for one year.”

“All who stand at the market gate of the temple shall be proclaimed by the hours, and under the proclaimer’s voice all men shall cease exchanges and be silent.”

“A child may be adopted into house and household according to the custom of the Sons of Fire, and it may be one of us or a barbarian from across the waters, or a barbarian from outside our boundary. But if a barbarian from outside our boundary it shall not be adopted unless a foundling under seven years if male, or a child if female.”

“If a man take a barbarian woman to wife and have no other wife from among us who is her superior, he shall not become the master of a household, and a younger son shall step over him.”

“A man with womanly ways who has proclaimed himself shall stand before us as a woman and be treated as one. Except if he bear arms in war he shall then stand before us as a man, unless he choose otherwise.”

“If the master of a household have within it a woman who is not a virgin and is a concubine or slave, and he give her to a guest or another within the household, that he may go in unto her, no wrong is done.”

“If a man be proclaimed a man with womanly ways, an arrangement may be made with the governor and a price paid to become bis protector. He shall then enter the household of the man who paid the price.”

“A slave or bondsman may be bought for any woman of your household. But if she be a freewoman, then the slave shall be made free, and if a bondsman the debt paid so that he be free.”

“If a woman be a concubine and within five years of her loss of virginity or admittance into your household have not become with child, she shall pass into the household of another after the custom of the Sons of Fire, and returned according to the same custom.”

“During the proclaiming of a stranger his deeds, good and bad, shall be made known. All things about him shall be told to all within hearing of the proclaimer’s voice. Any man may question the stranger concerning such things and if aught be hidden or lies told, the stranger shall be dealt with lawfully by the council.”

“A virgin shall not be burnt, but is to be whipped with wands and the council shall set the number of stripes.”

“A man who has been punished by trial three times shall be driven out from among us after the fourth punishment, unless he be a bearer of arms in war.”

“Records and writings, namemarks and marks of meaning can be destroyed or altered only by permission of the council and the governor.”

“The man who is the companion of thieves is himself a thief at heart and may be taken to trial if his companions steal.”

“If the rightful master of a household be under age of manhood, the council shall appoint a steward and guardian for the household and heir.”

“A stranger may not enter our boundaries bearing weapons of war made of metal.

But the lords of the barbarians about our boundaries may come bearing weapons.”

These are the statutes between the council and the governor and men. Those between man and man are in the keeping of the court of the market place. There are others between the court of the temple and men.

It was Hoskiah who set the statutes up and Racob recorded them. I, Brigadan of the Gulwa, preserved them, but many are unknown. Those are the statutes of Hoskiah.

This was misplaced from its text. “It was decreed that the iron for burning should not glow, neither should a blinding be made by contact with metal but should be through heat alone nor should it be absolute.”

CHAPTER TEN

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 4

Now, even in the days of Hoskiah the records were not whole and Hoskiah caused it to be that this was written. It was set down in the manner of Kahadmos.

It is written, in the Book of Mithram: The True Man has many quahties and among the greatest is the inclination towards his duty. A man has a duty to his soul, to his God, to those who govern and to his household.

The weakling runs in battle and says, “See, I have done my duty, I am alive.” The True Man stands resolute and grim, his enemies are like chaff before the wind, he is the master of life. Duty is the goddess of manhood and she demands no mean sacrifice.

The grim goddess says “Die”, and the True Man steps forward. The ranks of the Everlasting Lords of Life open and he takes his place among them.

Duty says, “Glory and honour will never be yours, your miserable lot is to labour in the brickpits, so that your wife and children will not go hungry”. The True Man faces his task with fortitude and cheerfulness.  Courage is the greatest quality of manliness, and duty the greatest expression of courage. What chastity is to woman duty is to man, the willingly assumed burden of their kind. Man and woman travel the same road together, but each bears a different burden.

Hoskiah said, ‘This shall be added to the records”: Even the wild beasts have a duty to perform, for duty is the handmaiden of life. All things that have life have a duty, for life itself is duty. When a man has no obligations he is dead.

The greater the standing of a man the greater is his duty. The Captain of Men shall serve better than the footman. Greater men have greater duties, lesser men have lesser duties. Wherever there is life there is danger.

It is written, in the Book of Mithram: The True Man is generous in word and deed, meanness has no place with him. He who gives with one hand gathers with the other.

It is also written thus: All men must seek to rise above their estate. They either rise or are cast down. Only man knows discontent and seeks to improve his lot, for discontent is the maker of men.

Hoskiah added this to the records: Aim your arrow above your expectations. The man who sends an arrow towards the moon shoots farther than the one who sends it to a treetop. Choose your bow according to your strength. A strong bow without a strong arm is of no more value than a weak bow. Judge a man by his aim and not by his bow. A plain bow for service, a fancy bow for display. The strongest bow ever made is useless without an arrow.

Hoskiah said, “These are things which are written but have been lost. Let them be recorded again” : Success is the child of diligence and persistence. It follows the footsteps of the wise, even as failure dogs the foolish. Men have the choice of either success or ease, they cannot have both. To be beaten and still not surrender, that is true victory.

Failure is the yardstick of success. It alone adds value to achievement, but there can be no real failure except through the acceptance of failure.

These things were added to the records, but we cannot tell when, though it is said by Hoskiah: The manly spirit rejoices in freedom and cannot bear the yoke of servitude. It will admit no master who imposes his will by force.

A man may submit to leadership and command in warfare, and be a better man, for true service is not servility. Never demand your rights before you have earned them.

A man is unworthy of freedom unless he also recognises the rights of others to freedom. The freeman is his own governor and his rule is more rigorous than that of a despot. The only man entitled to be free is the one who governs himself strictly and wisely.

Every nation moves either towards freedom or towards servility, for none can remain suspended between the two. It is free men, if they are weak, who are the greatest enemies of freedom. Great events do not make either heroes or cowards, they just unveil them to the eyes of men.

Hoskiah caused this to be written, saying, “This too was once written but is now lost to us by decay”: The way of the evildoer is the path of sleeplessness. The wicked follow a road of darkness, they tread in constant fear of falling.

The evildoer is caught by his own wrongdoing. He is imprisoned by his own wickedness. The evildoer becomes trapped in a snare of his own making, he flees when none pursues.

It is truly said: The wicked in heart praise the wicked in deed. More men think wicked thoughts than commit wicked deeds, for many who would act are cowards.  Observe the man who talks much about the deeds of wicked men, would he not be among them did he not lack the courage?

This was written in records which were lost even in the days of Racob: In a hundred generations men will be less wicked, for such was written in the Plans of God. When a thousand years have passed, women will be more fair, for this was written in the Plans of God.

A day will come when a great nation will rise above all others, to lead the nations of the Earth, and it will survive even the Day of Visitation. Much was written of this nation, which is now lost.

As the generations pass, the Earth will become more fruitful, for this was written in the Plans of God.

The body of the Great God contains all that is and His Spirit is contained in all that is. The spirit is perfect, but the body is imperfect.

Hoskiah said, “Let this now be written, for it was written before”. No man shall walk in ways set against the will of the people. No man shall bear an unjust grudge or take personal vengeance unjustly.

These things shall be punished: If a man take a wife before he be one score of age, though he may have a concubine; if he empty his body, except in private; if he purify himself, except in flowing waters.

Because of his birth Hoskiah could not become governor over the Sons of Fire, but he sat equal with the governor at the council, for he commanded all in this place.

The council made these statutes and set them together with those of Hoskiah: A stranger, even a barbarian, may become one of us if he be supported by three members of the council, but he shall not sit in the council, unless he has carried arms in war for us. He shall not become one of us until one year after his proclaiming, and any man may come before the council and speak his objections to the acceptance of the stranger.

Each man shall have his assigned place at the council and may speak at his time according to his place. No man shall interrupt another while he is speaking.

No man shall speak before his turn and any man having spoken may speak again. If a man has spoken twice and desires to speak again he shall stand and remain silent. If one man in five raise their hands for him he may speak again, but if they do not he shall be reseated and not speak. If more than one man stand up at a time those of lesser placement shall reseat themselves. On the third time no man shall speak, except on some matter spoken about by one who came after him, and he may not speak about any new thing. No man shall speak beyond his own time.

The old statute shall be changed, so that no man shall sit on the council except he be one score and five years old, but those over three score years may remain on the council. A man who has carried weapons of war in battle shall take a higher position than a man entering the council with him who has not.

If a man go to sleep during a meeting of the council he shall not come there again for one season.

A man shall not leave a meeting of the council while another is on his feet speaking, and when a man goes outside no man shall speak in debate.

A man shall not spit or laugh foolishly or make body noises during a meeting of the council. No man shall whisper or talk, except in his talking time.

A man shall not revile another at a meeting of the council. If a man wish to make an accusation or call something into question he shall state it when he is speaking and ask that a time be made for it to be debated.

This shall be the stranger’s oath upon admittance: “I swear before The God of This Enclosure that I will dutifully follow His ways and obey His commands. I swear to be steadfast on the Great Path. I swear to submit myself to all your statutes and to remain faithful to you in warfare and before the face of terror, even under torment by the barbarians. This I swear for all time.”

CHAPTER ELEVEN

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 5

“Supreme One Above Greatness, illuminate the hearts of my people and let them see the path ahead. Permit them to understand the meaning of life. Make their hearts fearful for the responsibility they carry with regard to the future state of their souls. To this end help them towards achieving a humble spirit and a kindly heart. Grant them some glimpse of eternity while here on Earth, so that they may better understand what lies before them. Bestow upon them the ability to make contact with the fount of wisdom and Truth and let them draw near the well of holiness to sip its waters. Help them to make right judgements and guide their hearts, so they hold fast to the teachings of our Masters who have gone before. Make them steadfast in the light and show them the falsity that glitters in the darkness. When they come to the end of their journey, Supreme One Above Greatness, grant them immortality in the Region of Eternal Light. Incline towards them in mercy, for You can even mitigate the impress of wickedness upon their everlasting souls”.

“Our Masters taught that the soul of man is the seed of a spirit implanted within the body of a beast. Supreme One Above Greatness, send down the refreshing waters of Your wisdom and compassion upon my people, that the seed may be nourished within them, to spring to life in the Land of Light. If the seed wither within the body or be consumed by the beast, we are condemned to the doom of everlasting nothingness. Let none of my people suffer this, for even the most wicked among them will be missed by others in the Region of Eternal Light”.

“Supreme One Above Greatness, who reads the hearts of men as an unrolled book, what can I ask for myself? I who, though first in rank among my people, fall far below many of them in strength of soul. I am a man of battles and not a man of prayer, therefore I cannot know how I stand with You.”

“Indeed, Supreme One Above Greatness, I have brought about much sorrow and suffering in my days. The burden of my manhood has weighed down heavily upon me.  But, Supreme One Above Greatness, I have never robbed the widow or fatherless, or struck at the helpless and those without protection. I have not mocked the afflicted or stood aside in fear when wickedness was being done. I have slain no man unless he has been my enemy and would have slain me. When I served any man I served him well. I have never deserted a friend in distress or violated the sanctity of another man’s home. Yet, Supreme One Above Greatness, I have done much that men condemn and therefore cannot know my standing before You. Yet, however I stand in Your eyes do not consider me too unworthy to plead for my people.”

“I was not born among those who are now my people. I am not of their blood, and once I called upon the God of My Fathers after the manner of my fathers. Yet, are You not the same Being, by whatever name called? You are the Being before Whom my spirit bows, the Sustainer of its strength. You alone know the conflict which has twisted my heart in its resting place, for I cannot know what, indeed, is Truth. I do not expect to know, being unworthy of such knowledge. I did not desert You, but sought only to see You more clearly and serve You better. When I could not understand You in one place, I sought You in another. I looked for You where there was more light. Amid the people of my youth You seemed close, yet I could not understand You, for they wished to enclose You in a box. Now, though You appear further away I see more clearly and know Your nature.”

“Supreme One Above Greatness, I cannot say, as others do, that I have no doubts, for indeed I am often torn with conflicting thoughts. I do not doubt Your existence, for I have been granted a manifestation of its reality. But I am full of doubts about my relationship with You. Then, too, there is so much I cannot understand, yet others turn to me for guidance. When I make an error affecting only myself I do not complain about the consequences, but should I guide others into error my heart will be torn apart.”

“God of My Heart and Father of My Soul, incline towards me a little, for of myself I cannot reach You. Enlighten me, so that I may lead others into the light. Death and destruction I do not fear, not even everlasting nothingness, but I do fear being inadequate for my task. Supreme One Above Greatness, give me confidence and strength, I ask no more. If I cannot find these with You I can find them nowhere. Guide me, Supreme One Above Greatness, what shall I do for my people?”

This was not written for the eyes of men, but will he who wrote it object if by being recorded for men it adds even a mite to the storehouse of goodness available to men on Earth?

When Hoskiah was past three score years of age he sent to Pelasi for the remnants of the Children of Light. None of them came, for they said it was not meet for them to journey to the edge of the Earth to dwell among barbarians.  They said, “We will retain the light here, for out there it will surely be extinguished”.

Later, four ships did come, but they carried the standards of Ashratem. With them came Enos Husadim of the Sons of Dan, a learned man from the slopes of the mountain which rests in darkness and reaches up to the limits of light. He knew Hoskiah when a child. There came also one named Zodak, who had dwelt in Twalus, and he brought with him all the books of the Children of Light. With Zodak came many men who knew the mysteries of metal, and they brought with them the light of Amos. When they came, the spirit of Hoskiah had already joined his fathers.

Before his spirit took wings Hoskiah wrote this for the guidance of his people:

“My trusted ones, the time draws near for my departure on the Great Voyage and I cannot complete the tasks before my hands. In one thing I have been neglectful, for though the Chief Guardian of the Records, the time I devoted to their care was little enough. Thank the priests for their care. I have recorded many statutes needful for this place. Their like was known before, but were not set down for men to see. Now they are made known to the ears of every man. Your welfare and safety has ever been my first concern, but I am a man of battle and a commander of men, not a scribe and recorder”.

“My trusted ones, we are few and the barbarians about us are many. For a while they are well kept in hand, for Cladwigen wishes us well, and his sons are our friends. We have toiled to raise a city and men come and go freely among us.  Many ships come in their season. Yet stout warriors who are not friendly press down from the Northeast and therefore vigilance can never be relaxed. We cannot sleep peacefully side by side with the barbarians and must ever be alert. Danger hangs over us like a boulder upon the mountainside, and our safety is like a playstone in the hands of a child. The barbarians do not forget that we are strangers in this land and only while we serve a purpose are we welcome”.

“Yet, my trusted ones, with all the dangers around us it is the dangers threatening within that I fear the most. We are few indeed against the numbers of barbarians, yet we weaken ourselves with foolish strife one with the other and people with people. Our city is a place for buying and selling, a place where things are exchanged. Outside it is a market place where men come and go as they please and they buy and sell without hindrance. We have laws for the city and laws for the marketplace. Amongst us are many craftsmen who exchange the things they make with the barbarians who bring things to eat. We have a good life here, but it is not a life I fully understand. We came from afar to set up a city dedicated to the light, to hold the light. Yet, is this such a city? Do men seek the light and worship it, or do they seek luxury and worship wealth and possessions?”

“When some of us came from the Harbour of Sorrow we were full of praise at our deliverance from death, but amid the forests of fruitfulness much of our gratitude and will was lost. Why must men always be better men in the face of disaster and in the midst of privation, than in the green fields of peace and plenty? Does this not answer the questions of many who ask why there is sorrow and suffering on Earth? Why is it the lot of men to struggle and suffer, if not to make better men?”

“My trusted ones, my eyes may be clouded to the things before them, but I am not blind to your ways. Already our women cast their eyes towards the barbarians, and when women seek men outside their own kind it is a sign of a people’s degeneracy. I read what is written and I fear for the future.”

“Many who are with us in the light will join us and then we shall be stronger in arms and strengthened in belief. (Annotation: How few came!). Yet our destiny lies among the barbarians. They are fine, upright men endowed with courage, do not belittle their ways, but bring them into the light.”

“Our city was not founded as a marketplace, a place for exchanging only the things of Earth. Neither did we come here as conquerors, but as men seeking refuge.”

“My trusted ones, remember that the road of life is not smooth, neither is the way of survival a path of grass. The most needful thing for any people who wish to survive is self-discipline. Think less of gold and more of the iron which protects the gold. Remember, too, these words from the Book of Mithram, The keenest sword is useless unless it be held in the hand of a resolute man. Also, the man who has gold keeps it in peace if he tends his bowstring.”

The remainder of Hoskiah’s words to the people has been lost.

CHAPTER TWELVE

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 6

(Incomplete and Fragmentary)

 

Before we left Droidesh they brought living sheep and goats and hung them upon a tree standing in the place of assembly. Birds of bright colours and things of worked gold and silver were hung upon the branches. Perfumes and oils with garments. They danced about the tree and hewn wood was brought and laid against it. Three maidens came and it was lit and burnt as an offering to success.

We went Northwards and came to a strand where many ships were drawn up and armed men such as we had not seen before were disputing among themselves with great noise.

We drew off, for they were foreign to us, but others came behind and we were taken in among them and brought before Albanik, the Leader of Armed Men.  They pushed around about us and some cried out for blood. They wished to take our ships and possessions, but the leader said, “Leave the deed until the morning, for if blood flows now it will not cease with the foreigners”.

That night the wife of Albanik spoke to him and said, “It would be a foolish thing and an evil deed to slay these strangers, for they have wisdom and are men of learning. Why destroy something you may use to good end?” The leader listened to her advice, for he knew there were many wounded men and none more skilled than we to attend them. Because she was carrying a child our lives were spared and our goods restored to us.

The commander among the captains was a warrior who, while hunting, had slain his own father and so had to flee his own land. With him he had taken the queen captured by sly and subtle means, but we feared him not, for Albanik looked upon us with favourable eyes.

Of the warriors who came with us there were a score of score of men from Ilopinos. They wore helmets of bronze with plumes of scarlet and purple. Their shields were of bronze burnished, so that they shone like the sun and were edged with a band of hardened metal. In length they were two and a half cubits, and in width one and a half cubits. They had spears of unknotted wood six cubits in length, with blades of hard metal set in sockets.

Their swords were of pure hard metal worked in a strange way, and in length one and half cubits and in width three fingers breadth. They were horn-handled and bound about with wire of copper and silver. Some among them were armed with war javelins and darts. They had a curious dart that turned over itself in flight, and another that struck in from the side.

In battle they stood three and three to withstand the rush of the enemy, but they were weak in attack, for they moved heavily. With them were slaves and six score attendants who were plunderers of the battlefield, pillagers of the land, the cooks, the baggage keepers and the carriers of burdens. The warriors were the battle craftsmen.

In seven days all the ships sailed together and in seven days came upon some land by the sea. It was a place of the dead where all was desolation. In the centre of the land by the sea there stood a temple which had fallen into itself, for there were no people to keep it. The leaders and the chief among them went up to the temple and made sacrifices to their gods whose voices they wished to hear.

The daughter of Laben, the armourer, had hidden herself in the opening behind the flame and spoke to them in a strange tongue. They heard her voice and thought it came from a shadow god. She told them of the land of her mother, called Belharia, and bid them find their way there. She told them to take the Bethedan with them, for they brought good fortune and were beloved by the gods.  The leaders went out from the temple believing they had been granted a vision.

We sailed with a large company towards the West and had nothing to fear, except the whirlpool, for the Red Men with us knew the way of the waters. For long days we saw only the sea, and the landsighting birds all came back.

We went out through the mouth of the sea into the sea of the Great River. Past the lands of white copper to the Place of Painted Men, where we drew up the ships and staked them.

Among the fighting men were some from Sparsia whose leader was Korin, called the axeman, but whom we named ‘the cunning one’. These went out into the forests to hunt and the king of that place sent men to take them, but they refused to go and there was a loud dispute.

The bodyguard with the leader of the Painted Men were bowmen and one shot an arrow at Korin. He slewed aside behind his shield and the arrow turned into the throat of a Painted Man who held a sword against him. This started a great fight between forest and sea, and though surrounded by many enemies Korin fought through them. The battle was his because he went forward through the forest and attacked the houses of the Painted Men.

The ships were divided and those who wished to set up the eagle and serpent went to the Harbour of Giants in Belharia. The same giants are builders of great temples and they are six cubits tall.

The ship with Korin stayed with us and he hunted them out of their caves and slew them all, save one giantess. She came to us, bound as a surety for the life of the wife of Albanik.

We came to a bay on one side of which was a forest and on the other a plain where herds grazed. For the men of that place it was the time of the feast of fires and they held games upon the shore and ran races in cleared land behind.  At this time they would not fight, so we met them in peace. They wore garments woven in two parts and belted with hide. They had caps of skin or leather, and the tunic which hung about them was darkly coloured in blue, green and brown.  They enclosed their legs and feet in dressed skins bound in front with throngs.  They had many ornaments of copper, but little gold or silver, though their armbands and brooches shone like silver. They had the art of making copper like silver or gold.

These people hold a great feast before the beginning of the heat, when their god Mago appears. Inside the god were the spirits of men whom the god had eaten, and their voices could be heard calling for deliverance from darkness. Because of the feast these people demanded the giantess, and she was given over to them for the days of feasting.

We did not know the ways of these people and when we saw they wished us to drink blood, we drew apart from them. The headman sent a messenger to us and Korin and the giantess wrestled together, but the giantess was the stronger, so Korin lured her towards the cliff edge. Korin taunted her and laughed at her clumsiness, and then at the break of the cliff he tricked her, so that she rushed forward. As she passed beside him he turned behind her and pushed, so that she fell over the cliff edge on to a large black rock below. Her back was broken. The same black rock was later split and taken up to be worshipped.

In the place to which we came the deathless stars ride high. The adze rests on the morning and the watchman at the gate of the sky sits at the eastern tiller in the evening. The falcon is rarely seen clearly. This is the Land of Dada.

We warned them, but they would not listen. They were fasting before the battle, the sacred fast before they ate the meat of the offerings. We buried salt beneath the floors of their houses, so that no man would live there again. When the horns sounded the alarm and danger threatened, these shrewd bargainers came running to us. Their faces were wet with the sweat of fear and their lips trembled. When the danger was past they came out with chests puffed up and tongues bragging about their deeds. They were the first to push forward for a share in the plunder.

Korin left to seek them. He took two ships but did not return to his children.  The leader may be carried away, but the lowliest of those who followed him has a will which need never be broken. Now when men wish to say a thing is impossible they say, “Where is Korin?”

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 7

In the seven and twentieth year came Emos who was a learned man, and with him came Zadok who was one of us. Mosu, son of Shonthel, came also and others in four large ships. Keeta came in a ship apart.

They were welcomed and Keeta set up a place of learning, and many came and sat before him. When Keeta died, those whom he had taught said, “Let us record the knowledge of our master, so that it may be added to the records and not lost.”

We who are the pupils of Keeta and have been blessed by him and purified by water, shall be one. From this day we will call ourselves by the name he gave us, which is ‘Bartha Hedsha Hethed’ The meaning of the words is lost.

God and goodness are one and alike. God is not a person, but The Supreme Spirit.  He made the Earth so that it brought forth man and woman, and they lived together in a far away land where everything was pleasant, even the forests.  Woman tempted man so that he ate something which was part of God, and man was punished, for he is responsible for woman.

Children were born in their generations and multiplied, until Earth was filled.  They built cities of stone and cut channels for water to flow away, and made lakes. They were cunning workers in stone and in wood and in ivory. They made instruments from firestone and pottery in many colours. They raised up temples to the sunlight and worshipped inside many pillars, but within the temples were inner temples where greater things were known.

In the Land of Copper, which was the Land of The Golden Light, one man in twelve was a priest. There were priestesses who took care of them and watched over the sacred elements within the temples. The headdresses of the priests were red and they wore feathers and cloaks of black. They had circlets of gold and beads of silver, and there was a spiral of blackstones at their waist.

There was war between those who lived within the city and those who lived beyond its limits. Those who lived within the city grew all kinds of things and clothed themselves with the labour of their hands. Those who lived outside the city were hairy hunters clad in the skin of wild animals.

Outside the grounds of the city there was a holy mountain and priests lived within it. The men of the city brought them herbs and fruit with bread and wine.  The men who were not of the city brought them sheep and goats and beasts of the chase.

The men of the city loved wealth, like city dwellers, and were less generous than those who gained their food by strength and hunting. The men of the city held back portions of their dues and caused the priests to look upon them less kindly. When the great day of the sun came and the High Priest gave his blessing of fruitfulness, he withheld it from the city dwellers and gave it only to the hunters and herdsmen. That night, when those who had received the blessings were rejoicing beside the mountain, the city dwellers fell upon them and slew many.  This was the cause of a great war in which many men died.

Men did to men what their natures inclined them to do, but they also ravaged women and children. The evil grew in greatness, until the land could no longer contain it and had to be purged clean. Therefore, the revenging dragon was called up out of the heavenly abyss and it lashed the land with fire and thunder. The whole land was filled with its smoky breath and men choked to death.

The land was split apart between the city and the mountain and the sea rolled in upon it, so that the city was destroyed. The valleys of the mountain were filled with dead men and animals and with trees.

The High Priest survived with seven others who were priests. He brought these, together with one hundred and ten men and their wives and children, into Labeth, which is a land among high cliffs at the edge of the Wide Plain.

Here the priests sought to preserve their wisdom and knowledge and pass it on to the children, but it became distorted and misunderstood. They did not understand the radiating power from the bodies of the dead, which could guide the living.  Even we do not understand these things clearly.

The priests who came from the Land of Copper could make their soul depart from the body at their command and return as they willed. When ignorant men saw seemingly dead bodies return to life when the soul came back into them, they thought the same could happen to a dead body if kept long enough. Even this superstition stays with us.

Later, when they had left Labern, men believed that if they kept a dead body so that it remained whole, the soul would not finally enter the Sphere of Accounting. Such was the knowledge of their wickedness and fear of their fate that they used every art to prevent the body falling apart and entering decay.  They may have believed that until the soul entered the sphere above Earth it remained flexible and capable of acting to counter some of the ill-effects of a life of wickedness and ignorance.

Later still the light of Truth dimmed until it could scarce be seen, but always there were the few within the many and the many hid them. The light of the few was a precious thing safeguarded with diligence and care. The people knew the many, but the few remained unknown, their treasure safe. Gods multiplied, but those who sought Truth among them could always find it if they were sincere and diligent seekers. It was then as it is now.

A nation was once made from the blood of kings and it became great and good. The light of Truth was revealed to this nation and it rejoiced in the light, but in a few generations it accepted the light as being something to which it was entitled by heritage. So the nation became careless in the preservation of the light, it was kept in a poorly built and neglected shrine. The winds of adversity came and the light was blown out.

Another nation was made from the blood of sturdy herdsmen and the lamp of Truth was lit among them. They, too, rejoiced in the light for a few generations and cherished it in a house of gold. Then a powerful king coveted the house of gold and came with many armed men and drove out the guardians, together with their light. The guardians built a house of reeds for the light, but because the house was so humble they no longer bothered to guard it closely. Then some drunken men came by, staggering like ships with broken steering oars, and the house of reeds was knocked over. The light within burst into an all consuming flame, and not only the house of reeds but the house of gold was destroyed.  Still another nation was made out of slaves and they lit a lamp from the Eternal Flame which belongs to all men. Because they had no veil over their light they were blinded and thought it the only light. They became arrogant and called themselves ‘The Chosen of God’. But it was they who made the choice not He.  Though their god was a god above Earth and their god, he was not the God of Mankind, and though he serves The Supreme Spirit he is not The Supreme Spirit.

So it is that the Children of Light understand that the majority of men who seek the light are like children playing about a brazier. As a man long-confined in darkness is blinded by the sunlight, so are most men blinded when brought into the presence of the Light of Truth, even though it be heavily veiled. Only gradually can men be brought out of darkness into light.

Yet even the Children of Light have become divided among themselves and one institution became two. The institution of the East claims it is the true guardian of the written records, but now we have books written even before those copied by the scribes of Hoskiah. We are not the Children of the Lesser Light and we know the mysteries of the Hidden Light. Only we in the cold north will survive, for did not Amos write. “Our destiny lies in a much bleaker land where our seed will be planted in strange soil. It will lie within the bosom of an untamed land, until quickened to growth by the warmth of the desires of men”.

Keeta taught that this means we should not seek to spread or reveal the light until our day of destiny, which must lay ahead. Therefore, those who say we must multiply our strength or be lost like a bead among the wheat harvest, are mistaken. They talk against our destiny, which is written and unalterable.

We know nothing of our first leader in Light, except that he was a priest warrior skilled with the spear, and he lived in times of war. His name is not recorded, for he said, “True Masters are to be known by their works and not by their names. They who seek to stand forth from other men and raise themselves up to increase their stature before the generations, seek vain glory”. He said, “I am no more than the storehouse into which the harvest is gathered. The good grain within comes from many fields and is produced by the labours of many men.  If I said all this is my own growing, I would lie. Therefore, so that men cannot attribute undeserved greatness to me I make myself faceless and men may see as they will.”

In those days the Children of Light were sought out and persecuted, and no man knew another by his name, for the tools of the tormentors awaited them. Many were hung by the riverbank, feet uppermost, for the governors said, “These people read their books upside down”. The women, they consigned to houses of pleasure, so that many died in their degradation.

We know that the first Leader of Light was among the highborn of Egypt and his name was struck on marble pillars. He was cast down because he carried the lamp of Truth and his name was removed from the records of Egypt. He raised an army, but it was like a goat attacking a wild bull and he was slain in the great marshlands lying near Ethiopia.

He wrote the book which is known to all and the Book of Rites and Ceremonies, which is known only to the elect. He did not write the three books in the Lion Urns, which we alone know, or the Book of The Secret Way. He may have written the Book of Instruction For The Children of The Written Word Within The Children of Light. The manner of keeping the book is taught from generation to generation. The books are our foundation, our shield and our sword. They are our promise and our hope, our guide and our defence.

It is said now, as in the days of our fathers and their fathers in the generations before them, that men steal our words and light their lamps from our flame. This may be so, but we have gathered seeds from the flowers of wisdom wherever they grew and planted them within our own garden. Shall we then deny to others what we ourselves have taken? Is it not written that no man can make Truth, but many can find it if they seek? Therefore, is not Truth the property of all men, even though most spurn it? For Truth is not a pleasant draught.

Nevertheless, it is true also that we may keep the Truth, as we find it, secured to ourselves. If a man seek for unwrought gold and find it, he has not made it, yet it is still his. Is it not also written, ‘Gold is the treasure of a lifetime, but Truth is the treasure of eternity. Gold can nourish the body, but it may poison the soul’.

Which do men treasure most in this place, gold or wisdom? Is it not the earthly thing they can hold in their hands and not the treasure they can safeguard in their hearts? The things they hold in their hands and hearts are already being weighed on the Scales of Fate and our destiny decreed accordingly.  Many in this place, who seek the light and have gone so far and no further, declare this is not what they sought and go back discarding what they have. Yet if a man seek gold and find silver, does he throw it away? Better half a loaf than no loaf at all.

If gold were as plentiful as copper it would be valued less than silver. Only the things hard to obtain have value, and what is more difficult to discover than Eternal Truth, which must be sought beyond the boundaries of Earth? Only the beginning of the long road towards it is here and it is this beginning you must seek. Every journey has a beginning and an end, and you can make your way only in one direction. If you are dispirited, be comforted by the knowledge that you need only find the beginning of the road. Then, having found it, let every step you take be in the right direction. The journey is long and the road rough and stony, but do not turn back before you reach the first staging post, you will find new strength and encouragement there.

Our light was lit in the land of our beginnings. Many books were made and kept in four places, and we were in truth Children of The Written Word. There were scribes and readers, officials and guardians. There were servants and those who served in the courtyards.

Strangers came into the land of our beginnings and brought practices which were different but more acceptable. They promised an easier road, they displayed deceitful marvels, the usual baits thrown to the ignorant. Their hands were heavy against us, and what could we show except Truth arrayed in her earthly robes of simplicity? Even the princes turned against their own customs and the twin priesthoods of the undergods became earthlywise and corrupt. Few were ready to undergo the perils of initiation, no more were prepared to accept the austere life prescribed. As spiritual barrenness spread, evil practices crept in to fill the places vacated by the Sacred Mysteries. The candidates accepted into the body of light became fewer and fewer.

As the name, The Children of Light’, is written in the old characters, it may also be read as The Children of The Written Word’ and this is a truth. We alone preserve our secrets in this manner. The Children of Light followed a destined course by abandoning their altars in the land of their beginnings, and went to dwell among strangers where many ate at one table. We do not know what befell of their books, for those we have are rewritten. We know the Children of The Written Word went Northward after the scattering, but we do not know what were their journeyings.

We know about Lothan and Kabel Kai, designer of houses, who sailed around the edge of the Earth. With them was Raileb, the scribe, who knew hidden mysteries.  They gathered the records, which were in Kindia, and carried them the long sea journey, believing the records safer among the barbarians than among those who sought to destroy them. If the records are destroyed by barbarians it will be done in ignorance and not in the knowledge of wickedness. Many books were laid open to the eyes of ignorant men and destroyed.

They came to the Harbour of Sorrow, which lies by the Hazy Sea, away from the Land of Mists. There great trees grew and smaller trees upon them, and moss hung from them like door curtains. It lay near the great shallow waters South of the Isle of Hawhige and North of the Sea Pass. Green pearls are found there.

Many died in the Harbour of Sorrow, for it was a place with a curse upon it, which caused an evil sickness. The Sons of Fire came with Hoskiah and saved them, and they came to this place and built a city. Labrun, the son of Koreb, was governor.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

THE ROLLS OF RECORD - 8

(This was originally transcribed in full, but many portions of the written pages are missing.)

The sister of Kabel Kai was born in the House of Sothus and her name was Amarahiti. There were four children and one still remains among us. Amarahiti was said to be a lovely-faced woman.

In the days when the city was being built, the barbarians came and went freely among us Many came but stood off and watched from afar, for they did not understand our ways. Among those who came was Cluth, the son of Cladda and brother of Cladwigen, and he talked with Amarahiti in the days when she was still in her father’s household. In those days she sat at the Place of the Talking Stone, which still stands in its place, for she was among those who sought to know the speech of the barbarians.

In the season of fruitfulness the true wife of Cladda was overcome with a sickness which no one among her own people could cure, not even the wise men or priests who were able enough in such things. Therefore, Cluth came to Ramana, the mother of Amarahiti, who was known afar for her skill with herbs. Amarahiti came with Cluth, to speak for him. When Ramana understood his needs she and Amarahiti went with him, taking two armed men and men of the barbarians. The peace of Cladwigen went before them. They came to the place where the true wife of Cladda lay, on the evening of the second day. The wise men and priests went among the people, muttering against the women and dark looks were cast upon Ramana.

The mother of Amarahiti cleansed the sick woman with ashes and made a brew of herbs and bitter bark of the river ash. She sat by the true wife of Cladda and in the morning the sick body no longer burned, neither did it consume itself.  When the priests of the barbarians heard about it they declared it was not a thing of goodness, but something brought about by evil arts. They told people a devil was loosed among them, whose trailing vapours they saw going among the huts. When darkness came that night there were loud cries among the barbarians, for many were seized with weakness and vomiting, but this was something brought about by the priests and not by the devil.

Among the barbarians the priests were held in high regard and so the true wife of Cladda sought to appease them. She called the highest of the priests to her and asked him what should be done to make the evil depart and leave the people in peace. The priest told her that if the two foreign women were sent away, their evil and the devil would depart with them. He asked her to let her own people treat her after their own manner. He told her that the things which cured sickness in another race would not cure sickness in theirs. The true wife of Cladda, seeking to avoid strife and being already half cured, said it would be done as he wished.

So Amarahiti and her mother departed, together with their servants and the armed men who accompanied them. On the night after they left the true wife of Cladda died, with vomit stopping in her throat. Then the priests made their voices heard among the barbarians and told them to behold the work of the devil which remained among them. They said it had not departed, nor would it leave until it was appeased. They spoke in such a manner that men of the barbarians set out in haste and came upon the women and Cluth, who with armed men were preparing to leave their camping place. When Cluth heard the words of the priests spoken by those who came he was dismayed and knew not what to do. There was a man among those who came, who spoke many words to Cluth, so that he was stirred up against our women. For Cluth was a barbarian and their ways were his ways. (Here some three hundred and fifty words are missing).

It resumes: Amarahiti turned her face towards Cluth and told him that by strength alone he had brought her to this distant place and its stronghold. That through his stubbornness her people had died and her mother had been wounded.  She said that though the priests called for the sacrifice of her modesty, after the customs of his people, she was already made sacred to a man of her own and would rather die than be degraded. She asked him what would be his pleasure, and would it not be even less than that given by a woman with a price, who would at any rate be willing to please. What a small pleasure that is set against the pleasure women can really give. (Indistinct, then several lines missing). Cluth stood apart with his arms (Part missing). The priests prepared the cage and Amarahiti was fetched (some words missing) stood by with dignified modesty. Her mother sat apart before the image (large part lost here).

It begins again: Away Cluth lay against the bole of the tree and when they fetched her to him he raised himself up. He hardly stood, for he was bloodied and weak. Amarahiti told him that never had woman beheld a braver man, though a foolish one. Down at the water’s edge lay Kabel Kai and the men who had cut the lashings of the structure laved his wounds.

The old man who had read the omens and divided the people bade those nearby to carry Cluth to the riverbank. When they came nearby Kabel Kai had disappeared into the thickets of the forest. The men of Kelkilith remained on the other side.

They left the destroyed place and the buried dead behind them and Amarahiti stayed in the keeping of the priests of Cladwigen. In this manner they came to the place where Cladwigen and his warriors were assembled to meet the enemy.  They were received joyfully, but there was sorrow for Kabel Kai whose cunning had carried the day. They feared for him, thinking he had been taken by the Wictas.

Cluth was slain in the battle with the Wictas and the Men of Broad Knives at the crossing of the river now called by the barbarians Cluthradrodwin.  Kabel Kai was not taken, though he was sorely wounded. His face was torn from the blows of the spiked club, so that flesh hung loosely down. He was twisted, for his shoulder was broken when the logs fell upon him. So he remained hidden within the forest, the companion of beasts, for his appearance caused men to shudder.

When the leaves left the trees in the fall of the year he came close in to the city, near the boundary where Amarahiti was wont to sit, by the side of the flowing stream. In the winter he was clothed with skins and moved hardly.

At the time of the midwinter feast of the barbarians the people of the city met them on common ground beyond the city and before the forest. Fires were lit and there was feasting and revelry. Gifts were exchanged between the people of the city and the barbarians. There was an image (part missing).

Amarahiti was sorrowful because of this and withdrew into some bushes close by the stream. With her were the two hounds. The hounds smelled out Kabel Kai, for he had come close, being drawn by the warmth and cheerfulness at the place of feasting. They leaped upon him gladly, for they knew him. Kabel Kai sought to escape back into the forest, but Amarahiti caught him by the hand. She looked at him and fell on his neck with tears. She covered him with her cloak of coney fur and when her two attendants came they carried him to a sheltered place close by the stream. (Some five paragraphs are missing).

It goes on: The most skilful with herbs among them. In the spring of the year they returned as husband and wife and were welcomed with a great feast. They were remarried within the house of Kabel Kai.

The fortress of Cluth was built up again by Kabel Kai according to his promise, and the sons of Cluth live there in these days. It stands on high ground rising out of the waters, surrounded by a high wall of logs.

The city was built and finished with a wall which was two walls of wood with soil between. Men came in ships, with cloth and pottery, with things of metal and shells and beads. The barbarians gave much for cloth dyed scarlet, for their tree blue is not fast in cloth. Scarlet is made nowhere except in the land of The Sons of Fire, where a white fish turns scarlet under the warmth of the sun.  Men say that those who bring the scarlet cloth declare it to have been found in this manner: A man was out hunting with his dog and while they walked along the strand the dog caught a fish which it carried to its master in its mouth. The man saw a scarlet stain on the dog’s mouth and wiped it away with a piece of linen. When the colour could not be withdrawn from the cloth it was taken to a dyer who sought out the thing that had made it.

The temple was built within the city and raised up on logs. Beside it was the Place of Instruction and just before it was the Place of Exchanging. It stands today as a sanctuary and a centre for those who seek the light. In its keeping are the records of the Children of Light who are the Children of the Written Word.

But all is not well with the heart and spirit of the city, which is the people.  A city lives not by the wood and stones with which it is built. Therefore, since the coming of Samon of the Barhedhoy and those who follow Ameth, we who are the heart of the Children of Light prepare our departure. (Some words missing). By the waters of Glaith not far distant where we may dwell by ourselves.

The first books we leave in the temple with those who guard them, but we have made other books which will go with us. In another place we will make them incorruptible, (piece missing). This we leave with you, as we also take it with us, so that it may not be lost. The names are written and the seals placed.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

THE BOOK OF KADMIS

By command of our master Lodas, son of Kadmis and Karla, by the hand of Orailuga, the writer born of the Hortheni. Set down in the seven and eightieth year of the temple, which is the fourth year in the cycle of Balgren and the nineth year of our oath.

As man moves in air, so does God move in goodness. As God is incomprehensible to man as mortal man but comprehensible to him as man in spirit, so is God not a Being with the mere attributes of men but The Supreme Spirit among spirits. As man stands at the apex of material creation, so is The Supreme Spirit the Ultimate Unity above the spiritual sphere.

From this day forward we shall be known as the Craftsmen of The Supreme Spirit, and this place, upon the waters of Glaith which we call the Valley of Reeds, known to those about us as Carsteflan, shall be called the Smithy of The Supreme Spirit.

The boundaries of the land pledged solely unto us are the waters below, upward of the markpost three thousand and two score set paces. Downward of the markpost one thousand and twelve set paces. In the water and its divisions you may fish and gather reeds and cut water herbage over to its further bank.

Landward of the markpost, at four thousand four score and ten paces is the stone placed by Calraneh, set upright, and there is the boundary to the East. Out ward from this, two thousand and five hundred set paces on each side is placed a markstone set that all may recognise it. From these stones to the markposts on the waters edge are the boundaries North and South.

Within the boundaries the land shall be clear of trees and shall be pastured and sown, and therein we shall have our habitations. In the forest about us may be gathered wood, and swine may be fed there and we may hunt.

The House of Men shall remain as before, but no longer shall we be divided into parts. Men shall be made men as they have been in the past. If any man be in years and without wife and children, or having a son who is a man placed in his stead, he may enter wholly into the House of Men.

No man shall absent himself from the House of Men at his times, unless by dispensation of the Houseruler, or if it be impossible for him to be there. But all time not served shall be served doubly later, unless, with the dispensation of the Houseruler, it is waived.

The Ruler outside the House of Men shall be a man chosen by the council, which shall be four men chosen in meeting together at noon, one day before midwinter’s eve. The Ruler and the council shall govern and judge in all things among us, but they shall not alter these decrees, which shall stand among us as a rock. We will govern our lives by them and abide by them and pass them on to those who follow. These, together with the words of the Holy Writ, are the candle stick and container for the mortal Light of Truth which is among us. They shall be honoured by all who walk in that light, now and henceforth.

They shall be written on copper made incorruptible and placed within the sacred urns, together with the records. Yet they shall remain with us and be among us written on tablets of wood.

We shall keep the decrees of Hoskiah and abide by them and their punishments.  Though the punishments may be changed by the council, so that men are lashed with the whip and the women with leathern throngs or wands of wood. We now have with us the decrees of Amos and they alone shall stand before those of Hoskiah.  All other laws shall stand according to the order of their numbering. Where laws are at variance one shall not be set against another, but that which is latest shall stand highest and the others be subordinate.

The decrees of the Old Law, which is not written, shall be kept only if their keeping be the custom in judgement. Let no man build a habitation of brick or stone upon these lands, for this is an unlawful thing unto the people within whom we dwell.

If any decree be set against another, the last written decree shall prevail, except between the decrees of Amos and Hoskiah. Let no man change to his benefit the brandmark upon the beast of another, for this is an unlawful thing. If done, the wrong shall be adjusted by restoring double the value and if done again by restoring treble.

Let no man among us worship otherwise than in the manner of our brotherhood. To the rituals nothing shall be added and nothing taken away. Our beliefs shall be supported manfully, without shame and with all our strength. You shall not be faint-hearted when danger threatens, nor indifferent when hard-pressed. No man among us shall be voiceless when our beliefs are ridiculed, or remain passive before their enemies. If anyone become a coward or fail in this, he shall not be numbered among us.

The works of men are imperfect and no man has ever seen the Light of Truth in absolute purity. Therefore, though two things within the body of our written records may appear contradictory, if not capable of reconciliation through greater understanding, the thing written later, unless a manifest error, shall be more acceptable. Be men of good faith, goodwill and commonsense. Nothing passing through the hands of many men escapes contamination. Only sincerity and diligence will maintain its purity. Nevertheless, having established something, uphold it steadfastly. In this sphere of falsity, cling to every truth, as a man swept out to sea by the river torrents clings to a log.

All men held captive for anything they may have done, and not yet brought before the council or punished, shall be kept encaged at the waters edge. A man may be encaged as a punishment and the cage either covered or uncovered. If a man must die he may die either in clean or unclean waters, as is done by the people who surround us. No man shall draw blood to slay in judgement.

A man shall take his brother’s wife into his household, if his brother die and leave her unprotected. The unprotected of any man’s bloodkin or lawkin shall become his responsibility. Inasmuch as the Lord of Heaven mated with the Queen of Heaven, brother and sister are not forbidden to each other under the Old Law.

A man shall not gaze upon the nakedness of any of his bloodkin or lawkin in lust, and no woman shall expose her nakedness to any man not her husband.  Punishments may be executed either by burning or the cage.

Every man shall learn to fight and defend himself with the axe, the bow, the spear, the sword, the javelin or the sling, and all weapons of the hand shall be sharpened.

Every man among us shall know the words of the Holy Writ by understanding of the writings or by memory. They shall be cut into his heart, as they are on copper and wood.

The records shall now be written in the Sacred Characters and not in letters of the Sons of Fire. Line for line the letters of the People of the Five Red Gods shall be used, the letters from the skysigns seen by the Master of Writing.

(Many following chapters are lost.)

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

THE RECONSTRUCTION BY KADAIRATH

The Master was seated at his table, and, about him in a half circle, were those he instructed, and he taught them in this manner:

“My brothers, these are the ordinances of living and the laws which are the ordinances of men. No law, whether it be of The Supreme Spirit or of man, wholly produces happiness and causes no sorrow. So, to be worthy and good an ordinance or law must produce more contentment and happiness than it prevents. It must also prevent more sorrow and confusion than it produces, or it would be a work of wickedness and a memorial to the follies of men”.

“Pleasure never comes unadulterated and no form of goodness which man seeks to promote is unencumbered with restriction. Nonetheless, there is no form of goodness which is unproductive of happiness in the hands of those governed with wisdom. Joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, success and failure are all moulding processes operating on the spirits and natures of men. Neither of the opposites is of less importance than the other.”

These were the things taught:

‘The nature of every person is different and all tend to drift towards the circles which accord with their natures. Therefore, we set a standard, which not all will find acceptable, so that only those whose natures demand the best find our company congenial.”

“Unless the soul of each man and woman is developed and disciplined by the restraints of spiritual and material decrees, it cannot rise above its earthly elements. As the earthly body must be kept fit by discipline and self-control, and become gross and weak through overindulgence or indifference, so is the spirit controlling the body required to exercise restraint.”

“Every law, whether arising in the sphere of the spirit or the sphere of matter, suppresses something arising out of the nature of man and therefore calls for the exercise of restraint and forbearance. Yet is it not true that though every just law restrains something within men and women, it also restricts evil and things which are not good? The less a law imposes upon men and women and the more it imposes upon the things detrimental to their welfare, the better the law. All laws are paid for out of treasury of freedom, the lower the cost the better the law.”

“The laws of earthly rulers are kept by force of arms, but the keeping of the higher spiritual laws can only be ensured through enlightenment and wisdom. The causes of misjudgments, sorrow and remorse stem more frequently from breaches in spiritual laws than in earthly ones.”

“Moral laws and restraints are essential to the progress and welfare of mankind.  When passions are unrestricted and weaknesses unfenced by moral laws, various forms of vice and perversions become accepted and sap the stamina of nations.  When the abnormal is given free access to intrude upon the normal, the nation degenerates, the race is contaminated and mankind suffers a reverse. The Great Law places an obligation upon mankind to improve itself. Every man and woman must safeguard their heritage and raise themselves above earthly sordidness.  This is one of the reasons for living. The struggle of life is with man, the struggle of man is with himself.”

“Wise leaders in every land and age have made laws restraining the weak and abnormal from satisfying their carnal appetites and immoral urges. If their own uncontrolled desires were allowed freedom to dictate their actions, then not only would the weak and abnormal destroy themselves, but they would be like a cancer in the living body of mankind.”

“The Sacred Books tell us that the nature of man contains a sense of shame. This is so, and it is there that he may also know the meaning of decency and be proud of himself as a man. It is there to make a better state known to him, a state of spiritual cleanliness and purity.”

“Such knowledge does not come naturally to man, any more than good pastures come naturally to the husbandman. The city over the hill was founded in goodness, and its founders were not men who found pleasure in wickedness. Nonetheless, as the years passed it became apparent that all was not well within its walls. Now, because of the inclination of its inhabitants, the city’s days are numbered.”

“Men come across the sea in ships from the South, bringing things much sought after by the people who surround us, who go into the city to exchange the things they have caught or grown, or which have been dug out of the ground. Things are exchanged in the marketplace of the city, but they are for the enjoyment of the body, not the satisfaction of the soul.”

“Nonetheless, men will always be driven, by their very natures, to seek for and obtain things which do not satisfy any earthly appetite. Such things are those which delight the hearts of men by their beauty, or bring inward joy and contentment. Also things which bring pleasure to loved ones and things which inspire men to noble deeds. With all the earthliness of man the things most sought and desired are those which stir the forces within the soul, and not the forces within the body. When it is otherwise mankind will slip backwards towards the beasts.”

This is rewritten in our tongue, through a rethinking of the text by Anewidowl.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

PART OF A MARRIAGE PLEDGE

My name is Farsis, from the house of Golaith and I am without wife. These are my pledges to Awerit of Glendargi:

“Here, in the light of day, before The Supreme Spirit and before all men, in the sight of my father Bealin and your mother Goronway, I establish you as my wife.”

“I shall not fail to consult you before I take another wife and you will never be other than headwife. You will never lack for food and clothing, though the food may be uncooked and the cloth unwoven. A roof shall always cover your head and a weapon be ever ready for your protection. I will always be considerate of your wants and always careful in things relating to your welfare. Whatever good fortune comes it will be shared with you and our children.”

“I will protect you through every year of my life and shelter you from every calamity to the best of my ability. An insult to you shall be an insult to me and every man of my blood. As from this day, my house is your house. What your father and your father’s house were to you before, now am I and my house.”

“Should greater duties call me from your side, I will take every precaution for your safety and welfare. Should I leave you, through any change of heart or darkening of thoughts, or should I slight the pledge given here and take to myself another woman in your stead, then, unless you have brought shame on me and my house by committing the great wickedness of women, I shall pay to your father’s house twice the bridal price. I shall also bestow upon you a half share of our property and possessions joined together since marriage. Each of our children shall be given its proper portion of all my property and possessions, and it shall be established in the hands of the king’s servants.” “Whatever comes to you as bridal gifts or is brought with you as your own shall be yours. I shall always safeguard and defend it. I will never take it to myself so that you are deprived of it, unless for the one wrong which defiles my house and mocks my name. Whatever your father gives shall be ours, after the custom of the great laws.”

“Your infirmities are accepted, to be shared with you, and the children you bear shall always be mine. No man shall ever mock you or abuse you without my hand being against him. No man shall ever wrongfully lay hands upon you, for you are mine, now and for always.”

“I will not neglect the upbringing of our children, but they shall be raised according to my own light. You may follow your own creed even as I follow mine, each being tolerant towards the other.”

Those are my pledges, my hand and my token.

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

THE MASIBA AMENDMENTS

These are the lawful changes witnessed before Masiba:

“No man or woman shall own a slave, and no maiden or woman shall enter the household of another except as a wife or maidservant. To possess a concubine is no longer lawful. A maidservant shall be under the protection of the master of the household wherein she serves, and he shall render her up in due time. If he lay hands on her in anger he shall make due payment for it, and if he seduce her he shall forfeit to her household a third part of his possessions and may be otherwise dealt with lawfully.”

“If anyone strike a half wit or injure one in any way he shall be severely dealt with lawfully. Courtfathers shall be appointed, who will be protectors of widows, orphans, half wits, the afflicted by fate and those assigned to them.  The Courtfathers may be responsible themselves or they may appoint guardians.  The property and possessions of any person may be placed in their care. If the Courtfathers act without good faith, deceitfully or carelessly in their trust they shall make restitution without stint and be punished otherwise.”

“If two men fight without weapons, using their hands, without wood or stone except that they may use staves or sticks, and one be injured so that he keep to his bed upward of three days, the other shall pay for his loss of time and full healing. If any man gain deceitfully by keeping to his bed declaring himself to be hurt sorely, he shall not keep his gains and shall be punished otherwise. If a man fight with wood and stone in his hands, or unlawfully with weapons, he shall be punished severely. If an armed man attack another who is unarmed he shall pay heavy compensation and be punished severely.”

“If, when men fight, a woman with child is hurt so that she suffer, or if at any

time a man cause injury to a woman with child so that either die, he shall pay

with his own life. If it can be doubted whether a man caused an unborn child to

be stillborn he shall not die, but can be made to pay compensation to the

husband of the woman,”

“After her punishment the life of an adulteress shall be in the hands of her husband. If he redeem her he may deal with her as he wish. If he redeem her but do not wish to deal with her, she shall still be denied the status of wife.”

“If a woman use a substance so that she may not conceive, her husband may punish her by whipping or beating, providing he does not draw blood or maim.”

“If a woman make a substance which prevents conception, or give or convey this substance to a woman, she shall be whipped with wands, as before. From this time the whipping shall be done on three days following each other and she can be made to pay compensation. If a man make, give or convey this substance, he shall be severely dealt with.”

“If a woman cause her unborn child to be stillborn, she shall be secluded in a place of confinement for a month and whipped with ten strokes of the wand every third day. If anyone supply a potion to cause an unborn child to die, they shall be punished. If a woman, she shall suffer double the punishment of a mother who causes her child to be stillborn, and can be made to pay compensation. If a man, he shall be much more severly dealt with.”

“If anyone poison an animal belonging to another, that person shall pay compensation to no less three times the value.”

“The flesh of horse, squirrel and rat shall not be eaten. The badger is a creature sacred to our fathers because it was their salvation, and it shall not be slain.”

“When a child stands on the threshold of manhood and his manly organs become active, he shall be made a man after the old custom. He shall be handed over the threshold stone and welcomed as in times past, but this shall be the new declaration: “I know without doubt what I am. I am the seed of divinity implanted within a body of flesh. I belong with those who walk the Great Path of the True Way and my place is beside them. I am a man knowing manly ways and I will do what is required of me as a man”.

“My duty is to always protect those who walk with me and never deny my beliefs.  I shall be steadfast even under persecution. The tormentors’ instruments will not open my mouth. I undertake to bring at least one convert into the light”.

“My duty is to take a wife and beget children who will be raised in the light of the Great Path of the True Way. My duty is to provide for them in every way within my power and to instruct them in the paths of wisdom.”

“My duty is to learn a skilled craft. I will be kind to animals, to vegetation and to the soil.

I will not wilfully harm a wild creature or a tree. My duty is to oppose all forms of disorder and lawlessness. It is to learn the purpose of life and to try to understand the design of The Supreme Spirit Who laid all things out in orderliness. I know I must always keep my thoughts clean, my words true and good and my deeds manly.”

“I know there is a path of evil. It is the way of weakness and cowardice, which leads to self-destruction. I will fight all forms of wickedness and evil wherever I find them and I know I cannot go manfully through life without opposition and struggle”.

“I know that all men are born mortal and all must die in body, but I believe I am a soul with the potentiality of everlasting life. If, during the trials of life, I am assailed by doubt I will not remain passive before it”.

“I promise to obey the code of manliness and to follow the paths of wisdom. My tongue will ever speak true and my hand do good. I know that just to do good is not sufficient, but I must attack evil. My duty is to oppose wicked men and their ways, and I will abide in peace with my brothers”.

“My duty is to learn and to understand the teachings of the Holy Writ, so that I may direct my children by its light. I will uphold and support the Brotherhood all the days of my life and expound its teachings to others. I acknowledge that only by example can I be a true and worthy exponent.

“I will never oppress any man for his belief, unless he first attack mine. Even then I will bear him with tolerance, until his oppression threatens to overwhelm me. I will never agree to the conversion of men by force, even for their own good, for this is an evil thing. My only arguments shall be example and commonsense”.

‘The faith I hold shall not be something imprisoned within my thoughts, but something lived and expressed in deeds. I give thanks for the knowledge that I am a living soul, but I know full well the grave responsibility I bear towards my future being. I will not be a disgrace to Earth when I pass to the greater realm beyond.”

“When I become a father of children I. shall accept responsibility for their wrongdoing, even as credit is claimed for their goodness. I shall not seek to blame others for my own failures. I shall be ever mindful of the good things of life and grateful for them. I shall suffer adversity and affliction with fortitude, rising above them like a man and not cringing before them like a dog under the stick of his master. Doubts, fears, unnatural desires and unmanly urges may lurk along my path, like forest demons which waylay those who travel, but I shall overcome them.”

“I will not hide my contempt for the workers of wickedness and servants of evil, and though they may be in the seats of the mighty I will accord them no respect.  I will never commend that which is wicked.”

“I recognise that my soul and body compete for the satisfaction of their separate desires. I know that each day the body dies a little, that every day it draws nearer to the dark shore. Therefore, I will follow the precepts of prudence and each and every day will be a step forward in the awakening of my soul. I shall not punish my trueself for the sake of satisfying a decaying body”.

“I will live in the light as revealed in the Holy Writ, the Written Light as revealed to the Brothers of the Book. I will live as a man, acknowledging my duties and obligations as a man, and I will die as a man.”

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN

THE LETTER OF MATA

A SON OF AGNER

 

The barbarian asks, “Who and What is The Supreme Spirit?” Say unto him, “Conceive it as a Being even above your greatest god. If it helps in your understanding, see The Supreme Spirit as a God reflecting His image as yourself.  It is He who fills Heaven and Earth with His might, and His powers are displayed in the elemental forces. He is now as in the beginning and will be no different after the end. He formed men by building an earthly structure around a heavenly seed and into this he infused the vapours of life. He maintains the order of the Heavens and stabilises the land in the waters. His breath is the breath of life and He causes water to fall and greenery to live”. Say to the barbarian, “Look about you and see God reflected as in a mirror. No mortal man has ever looked upon Him directly, but His reflection may be seen with immunity”.

The barbarian seeks a god he can see, but try and make him understand this is impossible, because of God’s very greatness and the littleness of man. Take the barbarian out next time the sun shines at its strength and ask him to gaze upon it. He will be forced to admit that it is beyond his powers to do so. Then say unto him, “See, it is beyond your power to look upon even the shield behind which Haula hides himself because of his brightness. Yet even this great god is no more than a faint, far off reflection embodying the ray carrying power from The Supreme Spirit. How then could you hope to look upon the source of power itself?”

The barbarians are still children and these things do not easily come within their understanding. Because of this it may be best if they were taught by simple tales, like children, and so brought into the hght gradually. A behef in The Supreme Spirit is of no great importance. An inquiry into His nature by the ignorant is purposeless foolishness. It is of much more importance to men that they believe in their own souls. Belief in a god of any sort without belief in the immortality of man and his godlike-ness serves no end. If a god existed without man deriving any benefit from his existence, it would be better for man to ignore him. This, however, is not the case. Man seeks unity and communion with The Supreme Spirit only for his own benefit. Man has a destiny founded in something greater than himself, and hence his need for that something.

The existence of a Supreme Being is not just something to accept, believe in and ignore. A belief, faith alone, cannot be ends in themselves, for nothing exists without purpose. Simple belief in a Supreme Being is not enough, we must know the purpose or intention of the Being. If we believe this Supreme Being created us, however this was brought about, we must seek to discover the purpose behind our creation. If we were created to serve some purpose, to do something we were intended to do, we must do it or earn our Creator’s displeasure. Does the potter keep the pot useless for its purpose, or the smith keep unwrought metal? Only things which serve the purpose for which they were intended are kept and cherished.

Therefore, we who are brothers, were taught not only to believe in a Supreme Being but also in our similarity to Him. The Supreme Spirit is not a stranger beyond our ken, the powers of The Supreme Spirit infuse every fibre of our bodies.

If we have difficulties among the barbarians, the difficulties here are no less.  The Truth we have seems not only unpalatable but also indigestible. Men seek tastier food, even though it is less sustaining, and few replace the brothers who depart. Would we serve better if we presented Truth as a draught diluted with water and honey?

The threat of the barbarian king is something upon which you shall be counselled. If you are threatened with the alternatives of death or transgressing our laws, you may transgress them within reason and the bounds of conscience. If, however, you are required to deny all that you hold to be good and true, to betray all that we hold sacred, then you must accept death for the sake of your soul. You will be informed about these things by Kuin of Abalon who comes later, so only the things you enquire about are answered.

For the sake of the barbarians it is perhaps best to call The Supreme Spirit, ‘God, The God without a Name.’ This will solve some difficulties, and if the barbarians think themselves superior because they contain Him within a name, let it be so and hold yourself in peace.

Say to the barbarians, “As the soul of man fills his body, so does God fill His domain. As the soul surrounds and contains the body, so is it with God and his creation. As the soul sees but cannot be seen, so does God see without being seen. As the soul feels, so does God. As the soul oversees the nourishment of the body, so does God revitalise the whole of His habitation. As the soul occupies an unfindable place within the body of man, so is the residence of God unfathomable. No man can know the seat of the soul and no man can know the seat of God.”

The barbarians make images of God to make Him more understandable. Are we much better who make images of Him in our likeness within our thoughts? Not perhaps because we believe Him so, but to make Him more understandable.

As man’s understanding of God increases, so does God recede; so that though through the ages man comes to understand God better, He ever keeps the same distance away. We who dwell in the light of The Supreme Spirit have come closer to understanding, not because we are better men but because we have devoted our lives to the search. If any man seek carefully and diligently enough he must find whatever it is he seeks.

The rest of this letter is missing, but on a small recovered scrap dealing with buildings, it refers to Galheda. Elsewhere it is stated Galheda rewrote it.

CHAPTER TWENTY

THE TEACHINGS OF SADEK

All men within the Brotherhood are to be taught to live by these ordinances, which provide for the discipline of the spirit:

Men shall be made to abstain from all manner of wickedness and hold fast to all that is good. They shall become speakers of Truth and followers of uprightness, and justice shall be upheld in their hands. The virtues are staffs which will aid man in his long journey through life to the gate of his soul’s unfolding.

There are guides upon the path, guideposts and places of rest and shelter for the weary. There is provender to be found by the wayside and there are many things to be discovered along the trackways. (About two paragraphs missing).

The Master shall admit into the Brotherhood all who have, by diligent study and rigid self-rule, established themselves. They shall become one with those who climb the steps, and find their appointed place.

The Master shall instruct them in the School of Light and Life, revealing unto them all the secrets of their nature and the manner of the soul’s release. There shall be no unnecessary chastisements here and no particular rewards. Austerity for its own sake shall not be practised.

Every man who comes under the Master’s hand, led forth by his nominator into the presence of the acceptors, shall bring with him all his skill, knowledge and possessions. He shall have been properly observed, judged and questioned before coming before the acceptors, and shall not do so until he has been here for one year.

The next symbols shown are those representing the Design and The Law, these are the great unchanging things, lasting forever, they were the same in the time of our first forefather, as they will be in the time of our last descendant. (Much missing.)

No man shall remain within the Brotherhood, who does not live by these our ordinances. The man who walks in filth befouls not only his own floor but also the thresholds of his neighbours. Unless a man walk in cleanliness of body and purity of mind he shall not be counted among us, and no one shall call him brother.

The soul must be wrought with the hard smiting blows of adversity and sorrow. It must be gently moulded by the waters of humility and charity, it must be chased by understanding and patience. These are things which form a shape of harmonious beauty. But other things shape it in ugliness, these are: falsehood and greed, deceit and malice, cruelty and haughtiness, together with other evil qualities.

The just reward of those who follow the path of ease and indolence is condemnation in the recesses of disgrace and shame. There will be sorrowful groans and tear-shedding in the misery of soul loneliness.

These our ordinances are not made to provide for the comfort and ease of man, not even for his bodily welfare, but for the benefit of his eternal soul. Here his soul is to be purged and quickened to life by the strong waters of wisdom infused with the greatest amount of Truth he can tolerate. Only by himself submitting his soul to our discipline can any man acquire benefit from our mode of life.

Man was raised out of the womb of Earth to rule its surface, but here the existing powers gather into two camps of everlasting hostility. Life opposes death, the champions of light challenge the champions of darkness, Truth confronts falsehood. There is a leader of light and a leader of darkness, a commander of life and a commander of death. The legions of wickedness oppose the legions of the upright.

At birth all are cast out upon the battlefield of life and join the legions arrayed on one side or the other. According to his rank in the legion of Truth, so does a man fight against falsehood. By his standing in the eyes of the commander of light, so is a man placed in opposition to his adversary in the legion of darkness.

The wicked will be delivered to the sharp edge of the sword, but the good will be remembered. So it was in the first days, when our ancestors left Kaburi and followed the Master who guided them across the seas. They came over the pathless waters, forsaking soft living and delusions which amused the eye.

The wicked are not only those who knowingly do wrong. An evil man is one who seeks to justify the wickedness and weaknesses of others. The fires kindled against them became a raging flame in which their legions were swallowed up.

Now that you are invested with new life, open your eyes and behold the works of The Supreme Spirit with understanding. Always follow the path you have been shown, so that your steps lead you towards perfection.

Never incline towards degrading thoughts or look into the eyes of lust, for these things have led great men astray and brought down mighty ones. Be clean in all ways. Never profane the temple of man by lying with a woman whose flow is upon her. Be clean within and without, in body, thought, word and deed.

Such things were done by those from whom we were divided. They lit their temple lamps in vain and the smoke from their dark altars was blown aside. You shall not be as those who walk in darkness. Though we are oppressed on every side, this is the time of travail heralding the birth of the Great Master. You are not like those who shall be cut off from the tree of life, to fall to the ground and return to nothingness. You shall always attend to the welfare of your brother and not deceive your neighbour.

You are to live in dedicated communities, marrying and begetting children. Your sons will grow up like strong oak trees and your daughters modest like the violet. Your sons are to wear swords and your daughters a headdress with a veil which may be drawn across the face.

So, too, shall it be with those who are counted with us but are faint-hearted in the performance of their obligations. They are men who melt away in the furnace.  Here we do not practise discipline and austerity for the futile mortification of the flesh. We do these things for the sake of our souls, even as a warrior exercises to keep his muscles supple for the fray and so preserve his life.

Ninety-two generations have to be born. Then gods and men intermingled will do battle, and there will be great carnage on that catastrophic day when war is waged in the red-hued darkness amid mighty blast. That is the time of which it is written, ‘fire shall leap forth from the heart of a stone’.

These things have been written about, so we concern ourselves only with the ordinances governing the Brotherhood. This is the place to which you belong and if you leave unsecured it will be upon your own head.

Those who declare that beyond the gate of death there is a place of torment where demon torturers inflict unspeakable agonies upon the wicked, are led by a misguiding light. Certainly, there is a gloomy place of sorrow haunted by Dark Spirits, but they do not inflict torment by fire. They are there because they are evil and their companionship is awful enough to bear.

Do not come to us holding heathen gods in your heart, even though they are within a hidden and closed recess. Purge yourself of all false beliefs outside the gate.

Here all brothers are to practise the way to full soul realisation in common.  Here Truth will bind one with the other. Humility, modesty and justice will govern our lives. There is to be no straying of heart and eye towards improper and unworthy things. Every man is to command or obey according to his rank.

If anyone is found to have lied upon admittance, whether it be about the past, the tribal allegiances or possessions, amends are to be made by labour. No madman, no simpleton, no one who is blind, deaf or dumb is to be admitted.

If anyone strike someone of higher rank or refuse to obey instructions given, then if the striker have rank it is to be lowered and amends will be made by labour and restraint of food. If anyone strike another of equal rank, without just cause, the rank of the striker is to be lowered and amends made by labour.  If two men fight, the ranks of both are to be lowered.

If anyone lie with intent to deceive, or if injury or sorrow be caused to another, amends will be made by labour. If anyone cause damage or loss to something belonging to another or to all, amends will be made by labour. If any man expose himself improperly and heedlessly before another he is to make amends by labour.

If anyone defame another behind his back he is to make amends by labour, but anyone may accuse another to his face before witnesses. If anyone rebuke another in anger, amends will be made by labour. If anyone bear a grudge and make it known, an apology will be given with humility and accepted with good grace.

If anyone speak filthily to the hearing of another, amends will be made by labour. If anyone wastes metal or cause the loss of metal, amends will be made by labour. If anyone bathe in water used by another or in unclean water, amends will be made by labour.

From the hour of darkness beginning the seventh day, until the hour of darkness beginning the first day, is a time of rest and meditation. It is to be a time of tranquillity for soul communion and sacred study. The only labour to be undertaken is the providing of provender for animals and their care and attention. Food may be eaten, but it is best if prepared the day before.  Decorative trees and plants may be attended to; relaxing pastimes may be indulged in and all essential tasks undertaken. An essential task is one which cannot be done on any other day or is made absolutely necessary by circumstances. On the day of rest all are to wear clean raiment, and the chastisement of children is to be deferred until the morrow.

The first concern of a man should be his wife and children and anyone else under his care. He should not cause them to go unfed or underclothed to provide for the needs of another. If anything belonging to anyone or to all is lost or taken away and hidden so that it is not known who has it, the thing is to be made accursed in the hands of its possessor. If later it is found in the possession of anyone, that person is to be expelled from the Brotherhood, not for what has been done but for the curse.

When something is found which has no owner, it is to be taken to the sanctuary and remain there for one month. If it remain unclaimed it is to be restored to the finder. No one is to take anything from an outsider except for fair and full payment, and no one is to join an outsider in buying and selling.

We are ruled by a council and this is to be twelve men and a master. There will be a high council of five and a low council of seven within the full council.  There will be a half council of four chosen by the full council, to be judges in disputes and overseers of chastisements.

The high council is to appoint headmen who will lead the brothers in groups of twelve. The low council will appoint beadles who will report to it. All are to obey the headmen and beadles and those of higher rank than themselves, but they may complain to the low council about any instruction given them.

(The larger part of this and the next chapter are lost and it has been difficult to assign a proper place or order to anything. Perhaps no more than a tenth of the original remains.)

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

THE LAWS OF MALFIN

May your souls be enlightened by the Central Light. May all you who assemble between the great pillars at the appointed times be cared for by The Supreme Spirit, as you care for His earthly affairs. May He keep you, as you keep His laws. May you receive the grace of enlightenment from the centre of the Sacred Circle and may an eternal fountain open for you, from which your souls may drink and be refreshed. May you receive the gift of everlasting regeneration.

These are the laws of the outsiders, which you have to obey, and they can be justly added to those you have, for right recognises no origin. They are in two parts: those which are to be wholly yours and those which govern you among the outsiders.

If one whose position requires him to bear witness to a transaction give false evidence concerning it, so that an outsider is at a loss, he is to be bound and given over to the outsiders. If an outsider suffer loss the one causing it is to be deprived of his rights and made to labour in the place of captivity, until the loss is made good and twice the amount has been paid to the council. He must not be re-established in his rights.

Only a man of good repute having no interest in the things being judged, can witness to it with immunity. If he accept a payment his voice is not to be heard.

No one who gambles or lends money, or who buys to sell, or collects payments or taxes may sit in judgement. Neither may a man whose house is in turmoil or who has been condemned in judgement.

No one may sit in judgement on a kinsman, a friend or an enemy, unless no other judge can be found. No one may attend upon a judge in the absence of those who oppose him, so that he may gain favour. The words of a lying witness are to be disregarded, unless otherwise proven.

If voices be raised in anger before the seat of judgement, or anyone behave unseemingly, the matter is to be left until the morrow. When sitting in judgement a judge must remember that it is more wicked for a rich man to steal than for a poor man. Or for the wellborn to act basely than for the lowly to act likewise. It is more wicked for the strong to strike unjustly than for the weak to do so.

If anyone by boisterous behaviour cause damage within the grounds of a man’s dwelling place, or injure anyone, he shall go to the place of captivity until the damage or injury is made good, and the same amount is to be paid to the council.

Every landowner must have his land hedged in and if it is not hedged, or the hedges are broken, he will have no claim for any damage caused there by strayed animals, but they must be driven out without hurt or harm. If anyone damage a hedge or fence he will be responsible for anything happening through the damage.  If anyone damage any property or cause harm to an animal belonging to the outsiders, he will be handed over to them.

If a man find a beast straying upon his land, he may secure it and demand a payment in compensation for loss or damage.

If anyone offend against the laws of the outsiders, he will be given over to them for judgement under the laws of the outsiders. No one is to be given over to the outsiders until he has been heard by his own judges. If anyone is to be judged by the outsiders a man from the council is to sit with him.

If a man draw a weapon in an assembly of people he shall surrender the weapon to anyone who ranks above him. If he refuse to do so he shall be seized and brought before the judges for punishment. He may not recover the weapon except by payment of its value. If anyone threaten another with a weapon, it is to be taken from him and may not be recovered without payment of its value to the council.

Men are entitled to the privacy of their wives, men to the privacy of men and women to the privacy of women. A family is entitled to the privacy of a family.

Anyone who commands another in his power to do a deed shall stand as though he did it himself.

If in company with a man whom many come to take and slay or injure unlawfully, then draw your weapon in his defence. If anyone use the language of slaves in your presence, it is not sufficient to remain silent. If you do not rebuke him because he is powerful, then depart from his company. To do nothing is wrong, for men are told not to remain passive before the face of evil.

The scandalmonger and scaremonger may both be delivered to the place of captivity to requite the harm done. If no harm is done the liar is still a person without repute and his punishment is that he will not be believed even when he speaks truthfully.

Hypocrites are two-tongued loathsome creatures who, like grass snakes, cannot be grasped in the hands. If any establish themselves as hypocrites, drive them out and let them afflict the outsiders.

There are punishments prescribed for wrongdoing and much advice given to prevent it. Punishment is only acknowledgement of failure. Wrongdoing arises from failure to deal with weaknesses, failure in upbringing, failure in teaching, failure in establishing rules of conduct and failure in discipline, whether imposed by self or others. When a man comes before the judges for punishment they do more than half their duty when they condemn him. They should also enquire within themselves, “Wherein have the people failed with this man? Was he guided rightly or wrongly, a