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Chapter X

1. WHEN they came to Utza, Hoab cried out: What do my eyes behold! As I live, here are people who once belonged to Zeredho, mine own heaven! By what strange law left they my kingdom to come and dwell in these torments?

2. Fragapatti caused the avalanza to halt, that information be obtained. So he called the druj, and there came thousands of them, ragged and drunken. Hoab knew many of them, and he said: Know ye who I am? And they answered: Yea, Hoab, God of Zeredho. Again spake Hoab, saying: p. 200a For what reason left ye my glorious kingdom to come and dwell in this hell in iniquity?

3. They answered, saying: Alas, that we left, indeed! But since it is so, it is so. Hear us, then, O Hoab, this is the reason: Even as mortals oft leave Purity in order to revel in sin. More reason we know not.

4. Then spake Fragapatti, saying: Jehovih saith: I have given man many talents. Because the roadways are not open for their growth, he plungeth into darkness. Think not that ye can draw a line, and say: O man, thou shalt not do this, or thou shalt do thus: for ye are powerless to hold him, whom I created to go forward. And if he find not a way to go forward, he will turn and go backward.

5. The drujas said: Yea, master: Zeredho did not fill our souls; we were thirsty for amusement and lightheartedness. We heard no voice but Utility. We sheared off all ornament and diversion, and art, and, finally, even music. We fain would hear from Zeredho, to know if perhaps they have not ceased to talk, and perhaps to live, because, forsooth, Utility hath spoken!

6. And they laughed and frolicked about like idiots and fools, mingling with harlots, and thieves, and liars, and drunkards.

7. Fragapatti caused the ship to move on a while, and then halted, and called other drujas, and questioned them in the same manner, and received answers of the same character.

8. Again they moved onward, and the same was repeated; finally, they came to a place where all was darkness and noise and confusion, where they even heeded not the ship, nor the calls made to them. Then spake Fragapatti to Hoab, saying: Hath it been proven to thee that man cannot stand still? Hoab said: It is true. This matter cometh close home to me. I perceive now that had I not come out of Zeredho, I had not witnessed these things, nor had I seen Zeredho as I now see it.

9. Fragapatti said: Be not hasty against thine own philosophy, for I will show thee thine own wisdom by and by. So they traveled seven days in hell, the lowest division of hada, where there was neither government, nor order, nor truth, nor virtue, but torments and wailings and cursings.

10. Fragapatti said: Thou hast seen that these many people know not their own darkness.

11. Hoab said: Is it not true, O Chief, that no man knoweth his own darkness? Who, then, is safe? Who knoweth he is not on the downward path?

p. 201a

12. Fragapatti said: Thou hast said man is the All Highest. But doth it not come home to us all, as to the ancients, that to do good with all our wisdom and strength, and have faith therein, that we are on the road to the All Highest?

13. Certainly thou hast proven, said Hoab, that Zeredho is not the All Highest, for it cannot retain its people. Even hell hath prevailed over her. And doth not hell prevail over all self-righteousness, and over riches and kingdoms and empires? If, therefore, hell prevaileth, is not hell the most powerful? And if the most powerful is not hell, therefore the All Highest? The ancients were happy in ignorance, for in believing in an All Person, a Creator, and that they should ultimately see Him, they had an object in view. But with the growth of wisdom, we find we cannot realize such a Person, and so have no object in view ahead of us. Thereupon, we recoil upon ourselves, and all is dead.

14. Fragapatti said: Hath man no lesson from the past? In the ancient times the Gods persuaded mortals to make stone idols and worship them. And they were sufficient until man attained more knowledge. Again came the Gods to mortals, inventing a large man-God in the sky, persuading them to worship him. He was a sufficient God till man learned to commune with angels; and the angels contradicted that philosophy. But hear me, O Hoab, have we not a lesson in this, which is, that we must ever have an All Highest Person so far ahead that we cannot attain Him? If this be true, when we have surpassed a Person whose figure and condition we can comprehend, is it not incumbent upon us to create within our own souls the thought of an All Person beyond our comprehensibility?

15. Hoab said: It seemeth so. But how canst thou teach thy soul to think of an All Person beyond man's comprehensibility?

16. Fragapatti said: For a basis to reason from, let us consider the etherean, the atmospherean and the corporeal worlds to constitute His body; and the motion therein and thereof, the manifestations of His Power and His Wisdom. Since, then, we ourselves have these things in part, we find, also, we have another attribute embracing all the others, which is combination concentrated into one person. Shall we not, then, give to Him, who embraceth all things within Himself, combination concentrated into one person? Otherwise, He is our inferior, p. 202a which cannot be. Therefore, being ourselves persons, are we not mere offshoots from the All Person? Otherwise, we could not have attained personality. Doth not a child take its personality because its mother was a person? Can man have an entity save he receive it from an entity? Could man be a person, save he sprang from a Person?

17. Hoab said: Thou art a great light, O Chief! Verily, hast thou unfolded a universe before me! Yea, there must be an All Person! O that I had seen this philosophy before!

18. Fragapatti said: Be not infatuated, O Hoab, with sudden appearances. For were I to show thee, first, what it is to believe in an All Person, Whose magnificence surpasseth the universe itself, and then that man can attain to be one with Him, even as a note in music is one within a tune, I would so far enrapture thy soul that thou wouldst do nought but listen. Let us, therefore, suspend our research awhile, that we may devise some resurrection for this hell of suffering millions.

Next: Chapter XI