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Chapter 23


The Fifth Dispensation - - Fortitude (part I)

Ages pass, divisions grow – Culture of the lovers of God – A newborn son – Dreams of falling stars – The young boy Abbahdon – Abbahdon is left blind by sickness – Gaia meets Abbahdon – One chosen to teach the ways of fortitude and grace – Abbahdon grows in knowledge and wisdom – A commission to examine Abbahdon – A test for Abbahdon – A question of greatness – Abbahdon identifies his interrogator

 

1  And the world turned and the ages passed, and the children of men multiplied upon the earth of Terralee; and man continued to increase in knowledge and power, subduing the earth to bend it to their rule, having dominion over all living things.

2  Reaching into the very heavens to search among the stars, being anxious to establish through science some greater and greater dominion; creating through technology a life of ease and quick convenience.

3  Becoming in their manner and speech ever more sophisticated and disdainful of spiritual things, seeking always the easiest path instead, paying lip service to God but always turning away therefrom, to busy themselves with things temporal and quickly passing.

4  Being themselves seduced and led astray by their own knowledge and beliefs, being self-deceived and filled with pride; judging the value of every man and every woman by the outward appearance only; seeking always the good opinion and favor of common men while making jest the name of God.

5  Demanding always that God surrender to the ways of man, to yield before their wisdom; proving themselves willful and disobedient and unwise, being themselves indifferent and lazy with regard to spiritual things, claiming the things of God all too hard and not worthwhile.

6  Becoming themselves the mockers and scoffers of those who would seek the God of Heaven, to hold them up to scorn and ridicule, thinking them foolish and simple minded.

7  Thus did the children of God make greater still this division among themselves, yet did the lovers of God continue faithful in reaching out to Heaven, being happy and content in living well the simple life.

8  Being in their professions and labors as farmers and musicians, poets and writers, astronomers and mathematicians; having among themselves a great many master builders and craftsmen of every kind.

9  Yet being themselves content to stride upon the earth with gentle steps, appointing themselves the caretakers and protectors of all living things; seeking through many efforts to heal and bless the world which God had made.

10  Singing songs to Mother Earth and blessing Father Time, speaking into the very ethers, the words which fell from God, even as the gentle rain; becoming in their heart filled with rainbows and endless starry skies.

11  Causing that the lovers of God should prefer for themselves the wild places of the earth, gathering and living in small villages and country towns filled with charm and grace; finding joy in godly things filled with holy laughter, being themselves not seduced by the philosophies and technologies of men, but instead ever seeking the richness of life filled with happy labor.

12  For those which sought the God of Heaven would seek by every means to dance within the light, finding joy in each the other and every man their neighbor; celebrating as in days of yore the holidays of Adamilus and Evelah.

13  Gathering oft within their homes and gardens to study deep the ways of men, seeking within their quorums to increase the borders of God’s domain upon the earth, to fill the world with light and peace and joy.

14  Enduring well the mocking jest of those which did not believe, placing in their love for God the sum of all their faith and trust, knowing full well that God was likewise faithful; speaking to each other words of encouragement and hope.

15  And as the ages passed since the coming of Moshe, the lovers of God did look forward to the coming of still some other teacher who would speak to them of fortitude and goodly strength; keeping all the while the words of God within their heart, striving day by day to see revealed in themselves both wisdom and benevolence, faith and justice.

16  Thus did the divisions of man grow greater in the passing of the ages, being separated by things temporal and spiritual, for the many did choose to live a rushed and hurried life, to surround themselves with distractions great and small.

17  While yet the few did choose instead the simplest life, surrounding themselves on every side with God and simple things, counting their wealth not by money or possessions, but in friendships and love and good devotions; counting on the fingers of their hand the things accomplished for the sake of God, of which they themselves partook.

18  Such was the world of Terralee in the passing of the years; and again there passed some two thousand years, and in Heaven did God the Father speak unto Areta, the Great Mother Goddess, saying:

19  “Behold, my Love, how the years have passed, causing that even now we should give to the children of men, the fifth dispensation of Heaven.”

20  And there was born in the village of Alpia, near the wilderness of Maag, an infant son who was the darling child of his father and mother, being himself their first and only child.

21  And when there had come the appointed time, there was convened the ceremony of blessing and naming, and the father did give to the infant son even his own name; which thing filled the whole village with wonder, and there arose within the great quorum a great many whisperings filled with awe.

22  For the father was himself the Presiding Patriarch of his village, and when he had given to his infant son even his own name, many spoke to him, saying: “Good Father, if you will give to your son your own name, then by what name shall we call you? For your name have you given to another.”

23  And the father answered, saying: “Let then my name be ‘dust’, for this my son is greater than I, being himself before me; for this I dreamed in a dream: Behold, a star from Heaven fell, and in the womb of my Beloved did the star find rest and sweet repose, to come forth anew even as this child which you see.

24  And not this only, for I beheld again within my dream the falling of yet another star which star did chase after the first which fell; but in what place it came to rest I know not of.”

25  Thus did the father speak, and all which heard were filled with marvel, wondering whether or not the infant son should be sent by God to become himself the teacher of heavenly things.

26  So the dream which the father had was spoken in many ears, going from village to village and town to town; causing that many others should put forth their own infant sons and daughters as likewise being the one appointed of God to teach, and in the passing of the years did the whole assembly, in all its quorums, become excited and filled with anxious breath.

27  Now the infant son was called Abbahdon, and as he grew many were made perplexed because of him, for he seemed as other boys in many ways, being filled with mischief and laughter always;

28  Yet did he not speak as a little child, for there was in his speech and manner a deep and knowing wisdom far beyond his years.

29  Being at a tender age eager to learn from the Book of God, beseeching his father and mother oft to read to him the things which God would say; causing that the father and mother should teach the boy to read the book for himself, when he was five years of age.

30  Now when Abbahdon was twelve years of age, there fell upon him a dreadful fever, and many feared that he would die; and despite the prayers and blessings of every quorum, still did the fever ravage the boy, to leave him blind and weakly thin.

31  And the mother, weeping many tears, took the son into her arms to comfort him, saying: “See, dear Abbahdon, this burden which the mortal life has cast upon you, to try the faith of all your soul.

32  Be you strong, therefore, and do not yield to bitterness, neither seek the pity of any man, for God has not forsaken you, but shall walk as quiet beside throughout the sum of all your days, to fill you up with knowing.

33  Being yourself empowered from above to see within your soul what the eyes alone cannot see, and to hear what ears alone cannot hear; becoming yourself, in God, a discerner of the heart and a knower of hidden things.

34  Suckle now upon my breasts and here most quietly lie; for your father and I shall restore to vigor the strength of all your flesh, to make you strong in breath and limb.”

35  Thus spoke the mother of Abbahdon, and day by day did the father and mother, and many others also, nurse him back to health and vigor; and notwithstanding that he was blind, even Abbahdon did strive daily to master the darkness in which he lived, to fill it up with joy and laughter and graced by happy light.

36  Now on a certain day when Abbahdon was alone in the garden by his home, there approached most quietly a little girl, being herself twelve years old, whose name was Gaia, being herself bright and filled with tender charms; and seeing Abbahdon sitting alone, she did love him, for in her eyes was he seen as one most beautiful and rare.

37  And feeling the presence of someone near, Abbahdon rose up from his place with calmness, saying: “Who is there? Come and plainly speak.” And the girl, Gaia, spoke unto him, saying: “It is I, Beloved; and I have journeyed from far beyond to find you.”

38  When, therefore, she did answer, there awakened within the mind of Abbahdon a piercing recollection filled with dreams of fiery passion; and holding out his arms, he spoke, saying: “Beloved!”

39  In that moment did Gaia rush into the arms of Abbahdon, and they did hold each other in a soft embrace filled with kisses sweet like honey; and in the heavens did the very angels smile and sing with the joy of it, seeing that God was made complete in the love of a boy and a girl upon the earth.

40  Then did Abbahdon sigh into the ear of Gaia, saying: “I am blind Beloved, and cannot, myself, see the beauty of which you are fashioned.”

41  But the girl, Gaia, did rebuke softly her only love, saying: “The great Abbahdon can never be blind, for I shall become your eyes and heart and inward soul.

42  For it is given that there should be revealed in you the chosen one which God would send to teach the ways of fortitude and grace.

43  Know then that this affliction which has befallen you shall prove itself a trifling thing; for you shall prove yourself greater than any sorrow, holding up with happy cheer the light which comes from God.

44  And though in this mortal life you should seem as one made blind to other men, yet shall you teach to many others to see what the eyes alone cannot see, and to hear what the ears alone cannot hear.

45  Let not this blindness trouble the soul of my Beloved, because you are unable to see my likeness or my image; for such as I am, even this shall you clearly see with the eyes of your inward soul.

46  For have you not a heart which feels? Have you not hands which touch, or arms which hold? Have you not soft lips to kiss on mine, or suckle at my breasts? How then shall you not know of such beauty as I am made?”

47  Thus did the girl, Gaia, speak; and from that moment did she come daily to the home of Abbahdon, to sit beside him or in the gardens stroll; speaking always of things to come and the things which they must do.

48  Now Abbahdon had a prodigious memory, and every day did Gaia read to him from out of the Book of God, which thing caused that Abbahdon should memorize in perfect order even all the writings and sayings contained therein.

49  And when he was completed in the knowing of the book, he began with equal vigor to memorize the nine commentaries of Moshe; which books he likewise mastered when he was just twenty-two years of age.

50  And all which knew of Abbahdon did marvel at the depth and breadth and height of all his knowing; and the fame of him spread as a fire hotly fanned, going from quorum to quorum, and from city to city, and from country to country.

51  And across the seas and through the airs did the name of Abbahdon fly, to become as one of great renown among the lovers of God; for within the assembly did many which ruled believe this Abbahdon the one which was sent from Heaven.

52  For at no time had any man or woman memorized word for word the Book of God, or memorized also with equal zeal the nine commentaries of Moshe; and there came from out of the Solemn Assembly, many scholars which would converse with him on every subject, being anxious themselves to test him.

53  Seeing then the greatness of his learning, and the humility and calmness of his soul, the scholars did write to the Council of Lords many reports concerning him.

54  And the President of the Council, whose name was Micah, being himself a native of Coppocia, even he was commissioned by every Lord to go and examine this Abbahdon for himself, to see if he was the one which was come from God.

55  Now Micah set aside the robes of his office, and as a simple scholar did he journey secretly to distant Alpia near the wilderness of Maag, appearing himself as a humble traveler in search of holy things.

56  And going to the home of Abbahdon and Gaia, he spied the young man sitting near the river’s edge; and approaching near to him, Micah spoke, saying: “Please pardon, good sir, I seek the man Abbahdon.” And the young man answered softly, saying: “I am he.”

57  Then did Micah speak, as though surprised, saying: “Are you then the great Abbahdon?” And the young man answered him, saying: “I am only Abbahdon, this and nothing more.”

58  Now Micah desired to test the youth, so he spoke again, saying: “There are many which say you are great in learning and wisdom. If then this be true: Are you not great, being yourself above all other men?”

59  But Abbahdon answered, saying: “Who can tell where greatness lies? For oft does it walk unseen through the affairs of men; and when it is gone, then do others see but lately clear the greatness felt among them, being made aware through its absence, but seldom in its presence.”

60  When Micah heard this, he pondered deep within his heart, and again he spoke, saying: “Yet, notwithstanding so sad a truth, still does there come that rare moment when the greatness of another is clearly seen.

61  And if any man should deny what is made so clearly manifest, then is that man false and undeserving of the greatness which God would place before him.

62  Consider then, Abbahdon, how that in your knowing of the word of God, and in your mastery of the commentaries of Moshe, you are far beyond the learning of every man and every woman.

63  Since this is true and above dispute: Will you not agree that you are made as someone great in the knowing of all these things? How say you: Is not your learning great; and if this be so, are you not great also?”

64  But Abbahdon did reject his words, saying: “Why will you tempt me? For if I say: ‘I am great,’ then do the very words destroy the greatness of which you speak, being shattered and broken by prideful words.”

65  Now when Micah heard this, he marveled, for Abbahdon could not be tricked into prideful speech; and after a little while, he spoke again, saying:

66  “You have spoken well, Abbahdon. Yet is it whispered of you that you are the one who deeply knows. Tell me then: Who am I? What is my name and place? Reveal to me what your eyes cannot see, but which your heart most deeply knows.”

67  And as he spoke, there came from out of the house to the riverside, Gaia, the Beloved of Abbahdon; and recognizing immediately the man Micah, she did gasp with a sudden start; yet did Micah quickly hold up his hand to silence her.

68  But Abbahdon smiled at the hearing thereof, and he answered, saying: “You are Micah, President of the Council of Lords; appointed by those which preside to see if, perchance, I am the one which is come from God.”

69  And hearing this, Micah was exceedingly astonished and filled with wonder; and kneeling before Abbahdon, he exclaimed aloud, saying: “Surely, then, are you the one which is sent by God to teach us.”

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