NPS 043

On the Great Prostitute

Now they brought unto the most holy prophet Travancus a young girl, and they said unto him: We found this girl prostituting herself; how shall we punish her for such filth? But he rebuked them, saying: There is no filth in this room save for you, you wicked fools, who would insult her with such words; I declare her innocent! They said: Do you deny that she has been prostituting herself? For many witnesses will testify to the same. He rebuked them, saying: You fools, it matters not whether she has done as you claim that she has done; even if she has indeed so done, she is innocent all the same! Then he said unto her: Dear girl, tell me, what is your name? And she replied that her name was Merelda. And he asked her, Tell me, is it true what they say, that you have been prostituting yourself? And she answered him, Indeed, it is true. They said: See, she is guilty as we have said! Her own words convict her! But the holy Prophet rebuked them, saying: She is guilty of naught; but you are without doubt guilty of immense foolishness! Then he asked her: Dear girl, why have you prostituting yourself? Merelda replied: I would rather that I not, but how else shall I eat? The holy Travancus turned to her accusers, and said: When she was hungry, did you feed her? They replied, She is not our responsibility! The holy Travancus saying: You wicked fools, if she has prostituted herself for want of food, it is your fault that you have fed her not. Of her prostitution I declare her innocent; but of the very same, I declare you to be guilty! Now tell me, wicked fools, in what manner do you wish to be punished? What manner of cruelty had you devised in your heart for this poor girl, that we might visit the same upon you? Hearing this, her accusers fled in fear. The holy Prophet then said: Dearest Merelda, you may be our guest as long as it pleases you, and you will eat whatever I eat; may you never have need to prostitute yourself again. And she was entrusted to the care of the holy Claretta. The holy Travancus then spoke unto them, as follows: May there be no shame for the prostitute; for truly, our Heavenly Mother is the greatest and most perfect of all prostitutes! None who come to her does she refuse; while the earthly prostitutes refuse those who can pay not their price, she refuses none at all, for she is without price. The earthly prostitutes join their bodies but for a brief period; but the heavenly prostitutes joins her soul to the souls of many, and that union is without beginning and without end. Therefore, whoever is a prostitute upon the earth, should be not ashamed, for they are like unto the great prostitute in heaven, the ultimate Goddess whom we adore. Now they asked him, Truly, if it be as you say, to be a prostitute must be a great honour; why then would you take care of this young girl, that she may be a prostitute no longer? The holy Travancus answered them as follows: It is a great honour when it be freely chosen; but great is the soul that can withstand this ardurous and arduous path; therefore, may none feel compelled to embark thereupon by circumstance, but only when their souls are fully prepared. None shall therefore go visiting unto a prostitute of the compulsion of circumstance; but one may go unto the prostitute of free choice, with the consent of the active enamouration and of the Great Order, if one has any of either. (And the scribes have said: This being true of enamouration, is true of marriage also.) Some among them said unto him: O prophet, you say that she charges no price; yet do not the least of prostitutes charge the least, and the greatest among them the most? If she is the greatest prostitute, would she not be like unto a precious jewel, that none among the living could afford? They said this because their hearts were unwilling to accept his teaching, and they sought to undermine him. But he answered them as follows: Truly, she charges the greatest and the least; for she charges naught at all; yet also does she charge life itself, and one's very being and existence! They knew that what he spoke was true; therefore their foolishness was silenced.

And the holy Travancus said: Prostitution I recommend against, for the purpose of sex is to foretell and remember the union of souls, yet so often prostitution works against this understanding; but whatever I recommend against in the general case, in specific circumstances I might give differing advice.

Now the critics said: Travancus spoke against punishment, saying it is of fraudulent justice, and teaching restriction alone: yet here he is threatening with punishment those who sought to punish this girl. But they were refuted: for while he threatened them with this, and they feared his threat, he had no intention of ever carrying it out: but he so threatened them, for if anyone is deserving of punishment, it is not her, but them: and were they to punish her, the very same punishment would be delivered unto them in the heavenly chamber.
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