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Chapter XLIV

1. AT this time Osiris' heavenly kingdom numbered thirteen thousand million angels, good and bad. And it was the largest heavenly kingdom ever established on the earth.

2. It was built after the manner of Sudga's; that is to say, modeled after Sanc-tu, in Hored, but more magnificent than Sudga's kingdom, and far larger. The arena-way was five thousand lengths of a man across; so that approaching visitors to the throne must crawl two thousand lengths in order to approach the throne. And they also had to repeat an anthem of praise, or a prayer, for every length crawled, going and coming. And they were, like at Sudga's, permitted to approach only to within a long distance from Osiris; whilst the array of lights around him were so dazzling that scarcely any could look upon him. And they that thus approached were so reverential that their minds magnified Osiris' glorious appearance so much, they verily believed they had looked into the Creator's face, and saw, of a truth, man was of his image and likeness. And thousands, and even millions, that thus crawled to look upon him, afterward went about in heaven preaching Osiris as the veritable All Highest Creator of heaven and earth.

3. Osiris made his Godhead to consist of three persons: first, himself, as THE FOUNTAIN OF THE UNIVERSE, whose name was UNSPEAKABLE; second, BAAL, HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, into whose keeping he had assigned the earth and all mortals thereon; and, third, ASHTAROTH, HIS VIRGIN DAUGHTER, into whose keeping he had assigned life and death, or rather the power of begetting and the power to cause death with mortals.

4. Osiris was the most cunning of all the self-Gods; for thus he appropriated the triangle of the Faithists; thus appropriated the names and powers of the Lord God, the false (now in hell), for only through Baal and Ashtaroth could any mortal or spirit ever attain to approach the arena of the throne in Agho'aden. And here again, they had to pass the high sentinel, Egupt, before they were entitled to the right to crawl on their bellies over the sacred p. 434 pavement, the way to the heavenly palace.

5. Only the vice-Gods of Osiris and his chief marshal could walk upright to the capital palace, and they with heads bowed low. And when Osiris was informed of Ahura's coming he sent word that he should come upright, with head erect, but veiled from head to foot. To this Ahura gladly consented; and, being thus veiled by Egupt and handed over to the vice-Gods and the chief marshal, he walked upright till he came to the high arch of the palace; here they halted, and Ahura saluted on the Sign OLD TIME LOVE, and Osiris answered in the Sign JOY IN HEAVEN. Whereupon Ahura left the vice-Gods and walked near the throne, and Osiris came down, and they embraced in each other's arms, not having seen each other for more than a thousand years.

6. Osiris signaled the vice-Gods and chief marshal to fall back, and they did so, and they ascended the throne and sat thereon, privately.

7. Osiris said: This is a great joy! To meet one's loves, is not this greater, after all, than all the pomp and glory of the Gods? Ahura said: True; but who is wise enough to live to enjoy so cheap a glory? We run afar off; we build up mighty kingdoms, and our places are replete with great magnificence; in search after what? Whilst that which doth cost nothing, love, the greatest good of all in heaven and earth, we leave out in the cold. More delight have I to again look upon thy buoyant face, and hear the music of thy voice, than I ever had in my heavenly kingdom of seven thousand million angels.

8. Osiris said: Is it not so with all Gods, and with mortal kings and queens? They boast of the extent and power of their countless millions; and yet they have not more to love them than would match in numbers their fingers' ends, whom they can take into their arms in the fullness of reciprocity. What, then, are pomp and glory? Are not kings and queens of earth but watch-dogs, to guard the stinking flesh and bones of other mortals? And are not the Gods equally base in their dirty trade of ruling over foul-smelling drujas?

9. Ahura said: It is so. But whence is this great desire to rule over others; to lead them; to be applauded; and to revel in the toil of millions? Would it not be wise for the Gods who understand this, to resign their mighty kingdoms and go along with their loves to feast in the great expanse of the universe.

10. Osiris said: True, O Ahura. But who hath power to do this? Certainly not the Gods. And is it not so with mortals? For thousands of years, have they not been told: Except ye give up your earthly kingdoms, and give up your riches, ye cannot rise in heaven. But, behold, the rich man cannot give up his riches; the king cannot give up his kingdom. They are weak indeed! As well expect an unhatched bird to fly, as for such souls to be but slaves in our dominions. This do I perceive also, of mine own kingdom, I cannot give it up; because, forsooth, I cannot get the desire to give it up, although my judgment saith it would be the highest, best thing for me.

11. Ahura said: Are not great possessions like unto dissipation? I have seen mortals who admit THE HIGHEST, BEST THING TO DO IS TO LIVE THE HIGHEST, BEST ONE KNOWETH, and straightway go off and pollute the body by eating flesh and drinking wine. They also know the right way, but to attain to the desire to put in practice what one knoweth to be the highest, they have not reached.

12. Osiris said: Yea, all this is dissipation. And if a man give away what he hath, is not that also dissipation? Can it be true, O Ahura, that even as we manipulate mortals, to drive them to war or to make them play peace, to make them destroy their kingdoms and build up others by our angel armies, which they know not of, that we ourselves are ruled over by the Gods in the etherean heavens?

13. Ahura said: It seemeth to me thus, Osiris, that is to say: That the etherean Gods above us rule us, but not in the same way, but by their absence from us when we do unjustly, and by their presence when we do righteously. We rule over mortals by direct action upon them, shaping their destinies by our heavenly wills, and they are often cognizant of our angel servants being with them. But when we cannot appropriate a mortal to do our wills, we withdraw our angels and suffer him to fall into the hands of drujas.

14. Ahura continued: Not that the Gods above us, O Osiris, send evils upon us; but that we foster evils within our own kingdoms which take root, like thorns and nettles in a neglected field, and they grow and environ us. Even this I have seen in thy heavens in the far future. It will come upon thee, O Osiris, and with all thy wisdom p. 435 and strength thou wilt meet the same fate as De'yus, and be cast into hell.

15. Osiris said: Were I to judge by all the self-Gods who have been before me, I should assent unto thy wise judgment. But hear thou me, O Ahura, for mine is not like any other heavenly kingdom, nor formed for mine own glory only. This, then, is that that I will accomplish:

16. I will cast out sin from amongst mortals, and all manner of wickedness; and I will give them a heavenly kingdom on earth. They shall war no more, nor deal unjustly with one another; nor have suffering, nor immature deaths, nor famines, nor sickness, but peace and love, and righteousness, and good works and nobleness.

17. For I will go down to them in person in time to come; and I will take with me angels high raised, and appoint them unto mortals, and give them corporeal bodies for their pleasure, and they shall be the teachers of man on the earth. And man shall put away all selfishness and deceit, and lust, and lying; and the races of man shall be taught how to beget offspring in purity and wisdom.

18. And in that day I will take back the drujas of heaven and engraft them on mortals and re-raise them up with understanding. Wherefore, O Ahura, though I fortify myself in all this, am I not laboring in the right way?

19. Ahura said: It seemeth to me a dangerous proceeding. I would compare thy plan to that of a teacher who took his pupil into a place of vice to teach him virtue. How can a heavenly kingdom exist amongst mortals, save with celibates? And they cannot people the world. Is there any other way but by the delight of the lowest passion that man can be born into life? What belongeth to the flesh is of the flesh; the spirit repudiateth the earth.

20. Osiris said: It hath been so said; but I will cast the higher love down into the lower.

21. Ahura said: Why, so thou canst; but, alas, will it remain down, and forever grovel on the earth? I have seen a sweet maiden wed to a vicious husband, and she lifted him not up, but he pulled her down. Will not it be so with the higher love, when thou weddest it to the passions? Behold the manner of the oracles! We appoint high-raised angels to answer the questions of mortals, to lead them to virtue and wisdom; but, alas, mortals come not to the oracles to learn these things, but to learn wickedness, and war, and earthly gain. Will it not be so with thy kingdom founded on earth? Instead of helping mortals up, mortals will pull down the angels to answer them in their most sinful desires and curiosity.

22. Osiris said: Thou hast great reason on thy side, and facts withal to sustain thee. Yet forget not, O Ahura, I shall have a temple built of stone on the earth, and a chamber where I can come and command the kingdom through the mortal king.

23. Ahura said: Behold, my mission is fruitless. I have now visited my three loves, Te-in, and Sudga, and thee. And I cannot turn one, even a jot or tittle. In this I have great sorrow; for I fear the time may come when great darkness will be upon you all.

24. Osiris said: I will consider thy wise words, O Ahura. And though thou now goest from me, my love will follow thee.

25. Hereupon Osiris signaled the chief marshal and the vice-Gods, and they came. Then Osiris and Ahura embraced each other and parted, both saluting in the Sign, LOVE FOREVER. Ahura retired even as he came, but backward, the vice-Gods on either side and the marshal leading the way. After they crossed the arena, Ahura was delivered to Egupt, and the chief marshal and the vice-Gods returned to Osiris.

26. Egupt passed Ahura on to his own attendants, who conducted him to his fire-ship wherein they embarked and set sail for his own heavenly place, Vara-pishanaha.

Next: Chapter XLV