NPS 010

Concerning the Great Oasis

In the name of Maratrea, unequalled in fecundity, incomparable in love! Behold, the wisdom of the Goddess Maratrea, unto whom all sacred animals are sacred. The hurried exodus of the people of her Cause had led them unto a great oasis most fertile - indeed, the fertility thereof was compared to the fertility of the Great Mother herself, even though her fertility far exceeds it - and the lake thereof was compared to the Sea of All Souls which she is - a sea whose salt is of every tear every shed, yet without any saltiness, as the lake thereof was also without saltiness - and therein they were safe for a time from the enmity, which reigned in usurpation in that great city Tradicarus which they had once thought holy. Pausing, each did praise the Goddess Maratrea that she had so favoured them with her favour for her Cause; and when the holy moon did show herself at night in her fullness, they praised the moon as a holy symbol of the Goddess Maratrea. They assembled at long tables for the sacred banquet in honour of their Goddess; rare delicacies were brought unto them to enjoy, by youthful servants whose faces did shine with such beauty as one would think to belong in the heavens, not upon this most sordid earth. Now during this most holy of feasts, the holy Prophet Travancus forbade his disciples, in the strongest terms, to partake of any of the flesh of the sacred animals; for such an act was most abhorrent to the will of ends of the great Maratrea, to the law of heaven and the law of her Cause, which they had all vowed to faithfully obey.

Now a young prostitute who dwelt in that oasis came unto the holy Prophet, to offer unto him her services; and her name was in the language of that oasis meaning, Faithfulness. Great was her beauty, for young was she in years, and her beauty had not yet been ravaged, neither by time, nor by her profession. And the holy Prophet asked her, What, dear girl, is your fee? And she answered him, For one as great as you, my lord, my fee is the pleasure of being of your service. But the holy Prophet said unto her, Dear girl, but what would you charge one who you did not count as great? She told him her price, and then he said unto his disciples, Pay her from the treasury of the Cause, one thousand three-hundred and sixty-nine times that price which she has mentioned. The young prostitute was greatly honoured, and put her arm around the holy Prophet; but the holy Prophet gently lifted her arm from him, and said unto her: Dear girl, the only pleasure I seek from you is the pleasure of your own happiness; go now and follow your heart wherever it may take you, and may the Goddess pour out her favour upon your dreams. And the young girl bowed before the holy Prophet, and said, O great Prophet, the dream of my heart is that I might repay this great gift you have given unto me, by serving your Cause. Now one among the disciples of the holy Prophet, who was lacking in wisdom, said unto him: We cannot admit a prostitute among our number, for she would bring her shame upon us. But the holy Prophet rebuked him sternly, saying: The only shame upon us is the shame of your foolishness. And the holy Successor Claretta did accept her into her care.

And in obedience to the most holy Prophet, the pilgrims partook of succulent fleshes unsacred - the finest pork and the finest beef - and to accompany their food they drank strong wine, deep red in colour - and the holy Prophet said unto them, Behold this wine is nearing almost unto the glory of the perfect wine of heaven! For it was of the wine consecrated by the priestesses, along with the holy cakes, both offered in sacrifice unto the Great Goddess Maratrea, before the commencement of the banquet. Thus exclaimed one among the gathered pilgrims, praising Maratrea; this one whose heart hungered after beauty and truth, thus did he speak unto his fellow servants of her Cause, as he feasted upon portions most palatable: I never dreamt that I would have the privilege to attend such holy a feast, with such splendid food, such splendid wine, in an oasis as beautiful as this! And thus did another faithful servant of her Cause, the burning fire of desire for all beauty and all truth burning deep in his heart, joyously proclaim, exulting as he consumed that most succulent flesh: Neither did I dare to dream of such things, but great is the Holy Prophet has led us unto such greatness. Praising Maratrea, it was exclaimed: In what a fine marinade has been cooked this succulent pork, never have I tasted any pork so fine! Could anything equalling this in fineness be found outside of the heavens? Thus spoke another among them, her mouth smiling in happiness: O brother, having tasted such fineness, how shall I ever eat again anything less! Praising Maratrea, he replied, as he savoured one among those fine morsels cooked unto perfection: I do not think I shall ever eat again either! I shall perish from famine, for having tasted this, my lips would refuse anything less. Yet will we ever taste such fineness again? Shall she ever again favour us as tonight she has favoured us, before into her heavenly chamber we enter?

The holy Prophet, filled with care for the people of her Cause whom she had entrusted into his care, his heart burning with hunger for the Goddess whom he adored; then one of the holy dogs came and rested besides him, and he shared with her a portion of the sacred feast, until she too had her fill. Great was the joy that night of the holy Prophet, as he savoured the holy wine, likened unto the wine of heaven. In the depths of the holy night, beneath the loving fullness of the moon, the holy banquet came at last to its conclusion, for all had eaten and drunken their fill. And the holy Prophet was intoxicated, yet not by wine which he had drunken, as heavenly as it was, but rather with love of the Goddess whom he adored with a burning fire, and who had appointed him to be the conduit of her wisdom. Now that dear girl who had appeared before him was not alone among the prostitutes of this oasis; and the others having heard of his beneficence unto her, now came before him also, desiring some of that beneficence for themselves. So he called that dear girl whose name was meaning Faithfulness, and he said unto her: Tell me, dear one, what would you say unto your sisters, who desire a share of your good fortune? Thus she said unto them: Sisters, join me in the service of the holy Goddess Maratrea, and I will share with you equally the beneficence which the holy Prophet has bestowed upon me. Now some among them accepted her call, but others went away, saying, Far less generous has he been with us than he was with her! But the holy Prophet awarded that dear girl with her generosity, saying: From the treasury of the Cause, whatever has been given unto you, shall the same be given unto you once again. Now the fool asked him, Do you approve of prostitution? For is not your generosity unto them a sign of your approval? He responded, I benefit them out of the generosity of my heart, that they may follow their dreams; if the station to which life has brought them be other than that which they desire, may I be of assistance unto them to bring them unto another. And the fool continued in his foolishness, saying, These sinful harlots defile the marital bond, and yet you honour them with your generosity! But the holy Prophet rebuked him, sternly, saying: The sin is not with her, but with him; for what marital vows were spoken by her? And how by vows she has spoken not is she bound? Truly, these girls, they are not dishonourable; it is you, O fool, who are dishonourable, for you dishonour us all with your foolishness.

And the people of her most holy Cause celebrated the favour with which their Mother-in-Heaven had favoured them, with her favour for her Cause: and they praised Maratrea, that she had so favoured them with such a great bounty. Then they retired unto their beds, and arose late the next day, when the sun was already in the height of noon and the midst of its heat. The holy Prophet bathed himself in the cool waters of the lake, then sat beneath a palm tree, meditating on the heavenly beauties. Several came then upon him, seeking the divine wisdom which heaven had chosen to bestow through him. Now one asked him concerning self-pleasuring, whether it be sinful. And the holy Prophet responded: From such acts I chose to abstain, yet I do not command that all others must abstain as I abstain; for I am not others, and what is beneficial unto me may be harmful unto another, and what is harmful unto me may be beneficial unto another. Indeed, I consider such acts when practised by men to be a sight unworthy of my eyes, but as to women, I count that as a sight, not unworthy of my eyes, but of which my eyes are unworthy. But my eyes are not your eyes, and what is unworthy of my eyes may be worthy of yours, and that of which my eyes are unworthy, of that your eyes may be worthy indeed. And I tell you solemnly, that the existence of the many worlds is naught other than the divine self-pleasuring, the self-pleasuring of the Goddess, who is perfect in her love for her very own being, and the creation of the many worlds is the deed through which she expresses her own self-love. Thus such deeds, when undertaken by women, are a similitude for the divine activity; but in my eyes, the deed lacks such honour among men.

Another, praising Maratrea, asked, O great Prophet, why does the holy Goddess Maratrea say we may not feast also on the flesh of those other animals which you have taught as being sacred? For as fine as the feast which we ate last night, I have heard of those who have tasted them, that many among the sacred animals have a taste even more refined. And the holy Prophet replied, This is what you ask me? Dear friend, I thought you further ahead in the journey of wisdom that you have just now revealed yourself to me to be. And the holy Prophet adjusted his robes, made of the finest fabric, yet now tattered by the ardours of their journey. And he spoke solemnly: Behold, that just as our souls were born by the Goddess Maratrea, out of her very own being, so too were the souls of the sacred animals; but as to the sacred animals, they are unensouled. Thus the sacred animals are our spiritual kinsfolk, and it is no more permissible to eat the flesh of one among their number, than it would be to feast upon the flesh of your own mother or father, your own sister or brother, your own daughter or son, your aunt or uncle, grandparent or grandchild, cousin in whatever degree, the love of the fire of your heart, or any among your friends and companions. And as to those who have said unto you, that fine tasting is your flesh - thus speak the priests of the evil one, demon-possessed; the same would they say of the flesh of your father, for as fine to them is the flesh of the sacred animals, unto them the flesh of women and men is even finer! And when you heard their words, and pondered them, and so thought that they might be truthful, that you felt needful to enquire with me as to their truth - then you opened a door in your heart, and the most evil demons who infest these priests, you have welcomed them into your heart through that door, and now they are entering into possession of you also!

Yet this one, into whom the foolishness of the great liar had entered, starred at the holy Prophet incredulously, saying: Do you mean to say, that as we are of one being with her, the mother of our souls who bore us out of her very own being, out of her very own soul, that likewise, these sacred animals, have souls also so born, and thus one with her? Do you mean to say, that Maratrea is among the sacred animals? That Maratrea is a dog, that Maratrea is a cat, that Maratrea is a bat flying through the night sky, and resting all day in a tree? The heart of the holy Prophet had been curved unto truth, by the gentle hands of the Great Mother; thus he saw the true wisdom in visions, which other hearts could not perceive. To aid in his pursuit of wisdom, he drank strong wine, dark red, mixed with hashish and opium; yet others have drunken the same, and found wisdom not; yet he, having been chosen by heaven to receive such wisdom, found by some imbibing, that he perceived it ever more clearly. And the holy Prophet responded: Without doubt, our Mother is all those holy beings, and even more than them! This foolish one, who had welcomed the most evil demons into his heart, said: If any idea is worthy of ridicule, it is this which you now teach! To think that we should worship dogs and cats and bats as divine beings, as differing forms of the one ultimate divine beings? Doctrines more sensible have come up from the depths of the deepest hells; this madness must have issued forth from beneath them. To think that I had fled with you from the great city, O false prophet! Alas that I took heed of your lying words! You accuse my heart of being inhabited by demons, yet what demon inhabits yours, that you teach such lies, bubbling up from beneath the depths of hell? A vile and capricious demon it is that inhabits your heart, whose origin is among the dunes of this very desert, one who delights to see how great foolishness it may lead those it has enchanted to believe! The holy Prophet responded: The sacred animals, they are far more noble than you, O habitation of many demons! Many are the things in which the evil demons delight: in enslavement, in rape, in murder, in bloody sacrifices, in pillage: by welcoming them into your heart, you have welcomed also all these things! And whatever is in your heart, in due course, shall come out of it!

Thus spoke the fool: These stupid animals of yours, that you worship as divine in the heights of your foolishness, they cannot even talk! The holy Prophet responded: Once they had indeed that power, but your master took it from them in thievery: do you now complain of the fruits of the work of your lord? Though to you they talk not, for your master has stolen from them that power, yet they speak unto me, in visions, in dreams, as they will indeed speak to all in the final days, when that which your master has stolen is at last returned unto them! Now the fool was enraged by the words of the holy Prophet; but the holy Prophet was not troubled by the words of the fool, and remained in calmness and equanimity; for at that moment the Goddess Maratrea appeared before him, and he was in awe of her, even as none other there could see her. The fool announced: You are a madman, O false prophet! I am going back unto the great city, to join the infidels therein: but indeed, it is not they who you call infidels who are infidels, but rather you, and those fools who follow you in your foolishness! The holy Prophet responded: By your departure from our number, we will not be lessened, but rather strengthened! But the fool departed into the sand dunes, cursing the holy Prophet as he went; and the holy Prophet said: Let him leave in peace; let none molest him as he departs from among us, or thereafter. And that fool, his name was Dahan. Now amongst the belongings left behind by that fool Dahan, who had departed from among them, they found a large cache of the herb of wickedness, that which is neither the poppy nor hashish, which the servants of the evil one delight to smoke; and the holy Prophet said: Now see all how the evil demons entered his heart, for he had smoked of the herb of wickedness, which the most evil demons adore. Therefore he commanded that they take it far out into the desert, and bury it deep beneath the sand; and it was done as the holy Prophet had instructed.

Now in that oasis lived a man who had a fondness for camels, such even that he became named for them; now he heard the word of the holy Prophet, and made an appearance of having accepted it, even though he had not truly accepted it in his heart. And it came to pass that the earnest fire of desire for the Heavenly Queen was burning ever brighter in the heart of the most holy Prophet; by these flames was his heart bent ever further in accordance with her will of ends. And in a dream it was revealed unto him by Maratrea, that he was to seek out a young woman of great wisdom, that her wisdom might receive the honour which it deserved. And the holy Prophet had drunken of the wine of heaven, and his heart was filled with adoration for the Heavenly Queen, and the holy Prophet looked unto one among his friends among the people of that oasis, who had just vowed himself unto her Cause, and said thereunto: Maratrea has revealed unto me, that on this day, I must rescue from iniquity a young woman filled with wisdom beyond her years: the daughter of the brother-in-law of your father, who was the man who kept many camels. But the friend of the holy Prophet frowned with incredulity, as he stood there holding a wineskin in his hand, which he began to shake vigorously. The holy Prophet declared, the fire of his faith in the Heavenly Queen burning in his voice: It is the will of Maratrea, according to her will of ends, and her favour for her Cause, and for the end of all things, that I rescue this young woman from the tyranny of her wicked father. His friend replied, the demons who serve the evil one at that very moment making their way into his heart: She is but a foolish maiden, whose disobedience unto her father is well-known, and a cause of great shame unto his house! The holy Prophet replied: Woe there be unto those who listen to the demons in their heart; even greater woe unto those, whose mouths repeat the words those demons have spoken. Then he departed unto her house. And the Prophet having departed, this once friend of his did renounce his vow unto her Cause, and pledge allegiance to the evil one in his heart, for at that moment they had fully entered into the possession thereof; and he poured out the wine upon the earth, for the demons had told him it was sinful to drink thereof. The holy Prophet proceeded through the camp, and unto the adjacent settlement: he knew then that his once friend had departed from the truth, yet that knowledge did no injury to his cheerfulness, for he had faith in the beauties that the Heavenly Queen would purchase thereby, even though for now they were hidden from him. Then he arrived at the house of that young woman.

Now the mother of that young woman appeared; but she was devoid of wisdom, for she had been deceived, such that she thought the tyranny of her husband to be a great good, rather than knowing it as the evil which without doubt it was. And she had no love for the holy Prophet, thus she treated him perfunctorily, and without hospitality. And the holy Prophet spoke unto her with eloquence: Greetings in the name of the circle of time, I have come for your daughter, whose heart is brimming with wisdom, yet she is lacking the good soil and the life-giving water, in which that wisdom may bloom and flower. Now great was the wickedness of that woman in her heart, such that she presumed that the holy Prophet had come to take her daughter to bed, though any such intention was absent from his heart; and she said: You beast from beneath the deepest of hells, burning with the sin of lust! She is betrothed to another man, one with far more honour than you, you shameful false prophet! But the holy Prophet responded with calmness: I am not here to take her heart, neither to take her flesh; neither be for me, and if either be in her desire - that which I greatly doubt - then that is mine to grant, and such will I grant not. No, I am here to rescue her soul, from the cesspool of foolishness in which you are drowning her! Heaven has bestowed upon her great wisdom, wisdom which it is your urge to strangle; wisdom which it is my urge to water, that it may bloom.

Enraged by his words, her mother hit the holy Prophet upon the face, as she screamed at him: You vile false prophet! But though she hit him, he did not return the offence, but moved past her, further into the dwelling. Her mother followed him quickly behind, calling out to her daughter: Beware of the demon coming through that door! He has it in the darkness of his heart to deprive you of your honour! But the young woman said unto her mother: Whoever you call a god is without doubt a demon; if you tell me there is coming for me a demon, ought I not think that he is a god? The holy Prophet replied: I am not a god, but a servant and messenger, of the Great Goddess Maratrea, Queen of Heaven. I come not seeking marriage, neither to know you without, but merely to free you from that tyranny to which you have been subjected in this house. The young woman said: You have come to free me? And how does that benefit you? He responded: I act not for my benefit, but for yours, and for the benefit of the Goddess whom I serve: for it is her will, according to her will of means, her will for the end, her will for her Cause, that you be free, to follow the earnest longings of your heart, wherever they may take you. Her mother said: You are betrothed to wed a fine young man; you will be going nowhere from here, save his house upon your wedding day. The daughter replied: I have no desire to marry that beast, who exceeds even my father in tyranny! Then she said unto the holy Prophet: Take me with you, O prophet; I will join you in whatever Cause you serve. So she departed that day from the house of her father, and that very night she vowed herself in service to the Cause of Maratrea. But her mother went about the settlement, spreading discord, and encouraging them to plot against the people of the Cause of Maratrea.

The holy Prophet and the people of her Cause which she had appointed him to lead enjoyed many days of rest at the oasis, on their way from the great city which they had once thought as holy, unto the land of promise, where a city even greater, a city of true holiness, and not merely apparent, would be founded. And the people of her Cause feasted in many banquets, although none equalled that first banquet that they had eaten, beneath the full moon on that holy night. But though never again did she favour them as she had favoured them that night, yet she favoured them with a great bounty, and many more feasts did follow. And every full moon they gathered at night, to praise their Heavenly Mother, of whom the full moon at night is a most-fitting symbol. And they loved beauty in the depths of their hearts, in whichever forms they were privileged to behold it. Now there was one among the friends of the Prophet in that oasis, who yet became sore with him; for the mother of that young woman whom the holy Prophet had rescued, the wife of the keeper of camels, had been stirring against him. But the keeper of camels had been away in the desert, and had not as yet heard that his daughter had joined the people of the Cause. Then he returned unto the oasis, and his wife told him all these things, and he was enraged. Just then did this once friend of the Prophet come upon the camel keeper, in the height of his rage against the holy Prophet. The camel keeper said unto him in anger: What are you doing here, servant of that false Prophet, who has led astray my daughter into debauchery, and thus brought shame unto my house? But the once friend said: I renounce that man for what he has done to you and your house; to me he is a true Prophet no longer, but a false Prophet, a man inhabited by many demons. The camel keeper said unto him: My friend, what joy it is to my ears to hear you speak those words! Come, join with me, let us together send that false Prophet back down to the hell from whence he came. The once friend said: Indeed, it would give me great pleasure to join you in this endeavour. Those who bring shame upon your house must die: the false Prophet, and your wicked daughter also. The camel keeper responded approvingly: Indeed, let us go now unto their tent, and kill them! Here, I have my sword; if you have not your own, I have one for you also. The once friend said: If we rush into his camp, surely his people will defend him, for they are many, and we will perish; let us instead come upon him in secret, and then take his life. The camel keeper said: You are right, dear friend; we must use all discretion to achieve our end. You are his friend; why not you lead him into some lonely place, where I will await him? The once friend said: Take him with you unto the brothel; I will pay the prostitutes to permit me to hide therein; whilst he is in the midst of the act, I will slay him. The camel keeper replied: Dear friend, I like your plan even more than mine; but would a prophet go unto a brothel? The once friend answered: Have you not heard, that one prostitute, he paid her more than two thousand times that for which she asked? A true prophet would be found not among the walls of a brothel, but this false prophet I am sure would be glad to go therein. And then the camel keeper asked: Will he not distrust me? For he has brought shame unto my house, in combination with my daughter. But the once friend answered: Tell him you have seen the truth, and that you give your daughter consent to be joined to his party, and to be loosed from her betrothal. The camel keeper said with irritation: Do I dishonour myself by allowing such dishonourable words to come forth from my lips? The once friend responded: It is but a subterfuge; there is no dishonour in dissembling dishonour for the sake of honour.

Thus they became agreed in their plan, and began upon its execution. The wicked camel keeper came unto the holy Prophet, and said unto him: Dear friend! What a joy it is to see you again! The holy Prophet responded: Friend, it is a joy to see you also; I must tell you that your daughter is well. The wicked camel keeper replied: Indeed, it pleases me that she has found happiness among your number, and I have paid the house to which she was promised that they relinquish any claim upon her. The holy Prophet said: It pleases me that you have done as such; yet your wife goes about the settlement, stirring up anger against me. The wicked camel keeper said: That disobedient woman! I will see to it that she ceases from all such trouble-making. The holy Prophet said: Do her no harm; do not beat her, neither raise your voice. For hatred is cured not by hatred, but my love. The wicked camel keeper responded: My lord, I will do whatever you ask. Then the wicked camel keeper said, hopeful to carry out his plan: Come with me, dear friend; let us go unto the brothel together, for I hear they have many young slaves just brought in from across the desert, who have not yet been ravaged by their labours. The holy Prophet responded: You will do as you wish; but as for I, I will walk not through those doors, for it is not the will of the Goddess whom I serve that her Prophet go thereunto. Now the camel keeper was disheartened, that his scheme was so nearing unto failure; he said unto the holy Prophet: O Prophet, I would have thought you would enjoy such pleasures! For I have heard how you paid one young prostitute, nearly three thousand times her price! Surely that is a deed of a man who loves whores? The holy Prophet responded: Indeed, so do I love them, but I love them as you fail to love them, even though in your ignorance you think you do so love. For I love them with that love which wishes only for their happiness, whatever their happiness may require, dare I say, in a very many cases, what they long for is a life quite unlike that which they are now living. I paid her not any price; I gave unto her a gift, that she would never again have need to sell her own flesh.

The camel keeper then departed from him, unto the once friend, and said: This plan of yours will succeed not; we must find another way by which to kill him! The once friend said: Very well then, let us secrete our way into his camp by night, and into his tent; for I have heard that he sleeps in a tent alone, without any company. The camel keeper said: Let us bring daggers, with which to slay him. But the once friend said: With daggers he may scream, and his followers will come to capture us; let us instead strangle him with a rope, so that he may call out not. The camel keeper agreed to this plan, so in the depths of that night they wandered into the camp of the people of her Cause, being careful not to be seen. Then they came upon the tent of the most holy Prophet, and they entered thereinto. The once friend wrapped his rope around the neck of the holy Prophet, and pulled tightly. Roused from his slumber, the holy Prophet grasped for breath and flailed about, but could not make any noise; what joy was there in the hearts of the once friend, and the wicked camel keeper, that their wicked plan was at last bearing fruit. But though they knew that the holy Prophet slept without any human companion, they knew not that several holy dogs kept him company every night. They saw the dogs, and both thought to themselves: What danger could these pitiful creatures pose to us? But the holy dogs beheld that wretched sight, of the holy Prophet gasping for breath: they began to gasp and howl; soon several among the people of the Cause had come into the tent, and rescued the holy Prophet from impending death. And the once friend and the wicked camel keeper, were placed in chains.

Now the people of the settlement, having heard of this, they said: Give us those who would be murderers, and we will deal with them according to our law, which demands that the murderer be slain. But the holy Prophet said: Though they have wronged me greatly, and came near even unto killing me, yet kill them not; for such is the law of heaven and the law of her Cause, and her will of ends, and her will for the end in its generality. As it is us whom they have wronged, we will deal with them according to our law, and not according to yours. And several among the people of the settlement were most disheartened, for they intended not to impose their law upon these two in any case, for they approved of their deed; but they hoped, that in their custody, they might be kept from whatever vengeance they thought the people of her Cause would visit upon them. Now the holy Prophet gathered together the people of her Cause, and said unto them: What ought we do to these two, who sought to kill me? Now the daughter of the camel keeper, whom the holy Prophet had rescued from tyranny, she stood up and said: As to my father, kill him! For great is the evil that he has done unto me; great is the pleasure which his death would bring to my eyes! But the holy Prophet rebuked her, saying: Dear one, great is the seed of wisdom in your heart, yet in many ways it is yet to flower, this without doubt among them: for though great is your power of wisdom, yet in this case your wisdom is clouded by anger and hate, which is contrary to that very wisdom; is he not your father? Though greatly he has wronged you, did you not once love him? Do you not, despite all he has done, yet love him still? And hearing this, she fell down in tears. But the Successor comforted her. The holy Prophet declared: This is my ruling, according to the law of her Cause: they are to be cast out of this here oasis, may they never return thereunto but with the permission of the Prophet and the Council thereof; they may go forth whichever way they please, to the north or the south, to the east or the west; and give unto them a plenitude of provisions, that they neither starve nor die of thirst amidst the harshness of their desert journey. And the daughter of the camel keeper asked: Will I ever see my father again? The holy Prophet said: Indeed you shall, if such be your wish; not here, but wherever he may go, if you wish, there you may go unto also. And all the people of her Cause praised the holy dogs, who had saved the life of the most holy Prophet, from the hands of the two wicked murderers, who by countless demons were infested. And the two wicked murderers were sent forth on their way; and they had chosen to go unto the north-west, towards the great city from which the people of her Cause had fled, the city they had once thought as holy.

Now many moons did pass, and at last did the people of her Cause, led by the holy Prophet whom she had appointed, depart from that oasis of utmost fertility. Now the holy Prophet was accompanied by the greater number of those who had joined her Cause in that oasis; but some among their number remained, for the holy Prophet said unto them: Dear fellow servants, remain here that the Cause shall endure in this place; and some among those who had come with him from the great city, he instructed to remain there also.

Now it was at this time that Lavazat son of Cabrun did disappear, and no one knew whereunto he had gone. And some who were weak in faith, listened in their hearts to the whisperings of the demons of Pandal, who sought as always to frustrate her Cause. So they said among themselves, that by the holy Prophet himself had Lavazat been slaughtered.

Now the holy Prophet heard of this, and he said unto them: Do you say such a thing of I? Have I not taught you, to kill not, save in the defence of your lives, or in a war of righteousness? That to kill those who have done wrong, no matter how great the wrong they have done, when they are in your custody, or you have the means to capture them alive, or they are willing to surrender, is a great evil; indeed, every such killing is a sacrifice unto the evil one, whether it be done upon his bloody altars or without them; for indeed, upon whatever such vileness is done, in that moment as one of his altars it is consecrated, and that place however lowly becomes for him a great temple.  Knowing that this is what I teach, how would you accuse me of such a thing? Am I so great a hypocrite, to teach that such a deed is among the greatest of evils, then to do the same myself? Though the Goddess has chosen to pour down her wisdom upon me as rain filled with sweetness, that I may in turn pour out the same wisdom upon you, yet even so, imperfect is my faithfulness to my vow to serve her Cause. By the protection of her favour, she keeps me from error, in all that I speak, when the holy council approves thereof; but the same protection she extends not to my deeds. And yet, you think I would do that which is so gravely contrary to all that I have done? If thus you believe, then all my words are worthless, and the whole of my teaching; better that I go away from you now, to fade away in silence.

And hearing this, the greater number of those who had doubted him were ashamed that so they had thought; but the holy Prophet said unto them: Be not downcast with the memory of your errors; for whatever you have done, so have I done and so will I do, so she has done and so she shall do; and whatever you do, is in perfect obedience to her will for means, that many great beauties be purchased.  But these now are the days of her Cause, approaching close now unto the last of days, when her will for means and her will for ends will become one and the same, and she will command you unto error no longer.

Then the holy Prophet said: As to the matter of Lavazat who has disappear, he has died not, but rather lives, but has departed from among our number. And as to where he has gone, and for what purpose, that is known unto me; but for his sake, such will I reveal to you not. And they demanded that the holy Prophet give a further explanation, but he refused their many questions. Later however, when he was alone with his chosen successor, he said unto her: For his sake, and on account of my promise to him, I answered not what I knew regarding this matter; but as to you, being the one chosen to succeed me, that will I reveal unto you, for it is fitting that whatever I know I make known unto you: my secrets are your secrets, and may also your secrets be mine. But he demanded that she promise to reveal not anything that he said concerning this matter, until the day that Lavazat would die; and she gave him the promise which he sought. Therefore he said unto her: He came unto me in confidence, to admit to me what was in his heart - a longing to do what ought not to be done. And he described unto her this longing as he had described it unto him. And he recounted how he had advised Lavazat: if you struggle against this longing, you may defeat it; but if you may defeat it not, it is best that you depart from among us. And Lavazat said, I know already, that were I to struggle with it for a myriad years, I would still not conquer it; it would be inevitable that I succumb. So that very night he departed in secret, and he swore the holy Prophet to secrecy concerning the entirety of the affair. And Lavazat departed in return unto that city from which they had fled.

And it came to pass in the years which followed that Lavazat became great among the priests who serve the evil one, and he indulged his longings in an immensity of cruelty, even unto the people of the Cause. And the holy successor said unto the holy Prophet: Though his manners of wickedness be well-known, yet the full extent thereof is hidden, but known to us; ought we then reveal unto the many that which we know? And the holy Prophet said: I am vowed to keep his confidences, and even as he commits many evils in service of the evil one, yet that vow of mine I will keep; and whenever I vow, you vow with me also. But she responded: Have you not taught, that though vows ought be kept, yet any vow may be broken, for the salvation of life? And the holy Prophet responded: Indeed, so have I taught, and if breaking this our vow might save even one life, then let us break it. But will it save even one? Of that might you convince me?  Considering his words, she agreed that the vow would be respected.

Now there passed after the accusations concerning Lavazat a twofold succession of sabbaths, each in memory of the threefold sabbath at the beginning-end of time; then the people of her Cause arrived unto the city of Maravena; and the people of that city they found most hospitable, and many therein were joined unto the people of her Cause. And great was the joy in their hearts to find a place of such peace, and holy revels did they celebrate with wine. And beautiful were the maidens of that city, and dark were their eyes; and hearts longed for what the eye did see, and some hearts found ecstasy, yet others despair. But the holy Prophet comforted them, saying: Whoever in one branch finds ecstasy, finds despair in another; and whoever find despair in one branch, in another they find ecstasy indeed.

Now among the people of the city of Maravena, were the people of Aduhenus. But in the eyes of the people of Maravena, the Aduhenites were held in great contempt. Now Avuran was among the people of the city, who had heard the word of the most holy Prophet, and who had become convinced by that which he had heard. And he came unto the tent of the holy Prophet, and he said unto him: O most holy Prophet, I have come to you with a matter most dreadful; forgive me if it already be known to you. And the holy Prophet said, Tell me, O Avuran, what is this matter which concerns you? And Avuran said: In this here city, living among us, are the people of Aduhenus. How dreadful is our fate, that this people hated in every land do live among us!  What a shame for our city, that we are hosts to them! For unto every host they are most ungrateful, and there has never been a city which has welcomed them that has come not to regret that invitation! Alas, they are a guest that having so entered refuses to leave! A guest that ought to be in every land unwelcome.

But the holy Prophet said unto Avuran: Speak not as such of them; for every people is among the children of Maratrea, even those whom you most despise! But Avuran said: O Prophet, are you unacquainted with the wretched book of lies which they claim as the word of their god? Many are the things said therein, that are clearly contrary to the truth which you have taught, and indeed contrary to the thinking of all those who have goodness in their hearts. And if you would ask them, they would openly declare themselves, bitter enemies of our Goddess, and of the Cause which we serve. I have heard them declare, that you are a prophet of falsehood, and an emissary of the evil one. Why should we suffer such a people to dwell in our midst? Yet in this city there be fourty score or more among them, constantly plotting to destroy you.

The holy Prophet listened intently to all that Avuran had to say concerning this people, then said unto him: Tell me, O Avuran, what would you have me do?  And Avuran replied: O Prophet, do not the warriors of the Goddess have the numbers to defeat them? Without doubt, by her favour, they do. Let us therefore go forth in the darkness of the night, in secret, to cut their throats in their houses as they sleep.

But the holy Prophet said unto him: O Avuran, how wicked are your words! You tell me that their words are wicked, that may be; but as wicked as their words are, far more wicked are yours - for they claim not the name of the ultimate Goddess and of her most holy Cause as justification for their wickedness, as you have now claimed. Ought we profane the holy darkness of night with such evil?  The plan which you have described unto me is without doubt the plan of the evil one, that you may be the means by which he fulfils his intent. What evil! Such evil will we without doubt not do! For indeed, it is the will of the Goddess, that we be not the end of their lives, but rather the salvation thereof.

Indeed, the holy Goddess sends forth her spirits into the dark of the holy night: they go forth in concealment into the dreams of those who slumber, bestowing wisdom. And through wisdom many lives are saved, and many a life is saved from the sorrow which is life without it. Ought we not do as her spirits do, rather than as you would do, which is the doing of the spirits that serve the enmity and the evil one.

Now hearing this rebuke, Avuran was enraged; he denounced the holy Prophet, then departed from the company of the most holy Cause. Avuran had been invited to the banquet of the finest food, the food of heavenly wisdom, like unto the banquets of heaven; and what was demanded of him, in return for this banquet?  Did the holy Prophet demand of him silver and gold? He demanded only that whatever truth that he learnt, to that he might remain truthful; but that demand, as small as it was, was too much for the anger that dwelt in his heart.  He denounced the holy Cause, and wanted part of it no longer; he denounced them for their virtue; he condemned them as cowards, yet what is the heroism of those who would slaughter those who slumber in their beds? True heroes are those, who despite the greatness of the anger in their hearts, refrain from all such misdeed; true heroes are those who faithfully serve her Cause, compared to whom Avuran was naught but a coward. Yet they are heroes in the concealment of their hearts, while his cowardice was displayed clearly by his mouth. Indeed, prior to then, though he had professed to have strong faith in her Cause, had the thought of fleeing therefrom occurred to him; but now, faced with the rebuke of the holy Prophet, his determination became certain that now was the time.

And on that occasion, the holy Prophet addressed the people of her Cause, as follows: Hear me, O people of her Cause: In the shadows do the holy ones of the Goddess dwell, they dwell their along with the spirits of her Cause, they dwell in the shadows of the holy darkness of night, the night which teaches us the foulness of wisdom. With great care do they listen, with great care do they observe they come to understand the way of the world; and then, when their understanding is complete, they step forth out of those shadows. Now are they ready to do all that the triumph of her Cause demands: they are ready with their mouths, they are ready with their swords. But this Avuran, he rushed to speak before he understood; he reached for his sword before he comprehended.  Thus he fell into error, and abandoned his vow to serve her Cause. May all who wish not to follow him, take care to repeat not his errors.

Now in secret they had called Avuran the man of rotten teeth, for rotten were his teeth indeed; but now that he had abandoned the Cause, they began to so call him openly. But when the holy Prophet heard them calling him as such, the holy Prophet rebuked them, saying: Though from the anger in his heart he has turned from the truth unto error, let not through our own anger we become guilty of a like error unto him.  One among them said: Who have I proposed to kill, as he has urged that an entire people be slain? But the holy Prophet said: Your error is far lesser than his, yet still it is alike in error, yet of a lesser degree; refrain from all error, in both lesser degrees, and in greater.

Now the very next night did fourty score Aduhenites meet their fate, but it was a very different fate from that which Aruvan in the greatness of his anger had envisioned. For the holy Prophet declared that no longer were the Aduhenites to be hated, or spoken of poorly; and that whoever would hate them, or speak of them poorly, was not faithful to her Cause. And the Aduhenties heard this of him, and they said unto him: Have you not heard our curses against you and our kind? But the holy Prophet replied: So have I heard, but as much as you may curse me, so I wish you well, and offer you the protection of her Cause; may she favour you with the favour of her Cause. And hearing such words, the Aduhenites were amazed, that one to whom they had shown such hate would return that hate in such a way. And they proclaimed: Without doubt, you are a prophet true! And on that very night, forty score Aduhenites, the whole of the population thereof in the city of Maravena, vowed themselves faithful to her Cause. And the holy Prophet said: Behold, O Aduhenites, that while that Aruvan who has rejected us and who we have rejected, sought to go forth in the concealment of night, to cut your throats while you slumbered: yet by the will of the Goddess, his plans have gone unfulfilled: but while he went forth not at night, there went forth others: the spirits vowed faithful to her Cause: they went forth in concealment, in the holy darkness of the holy night; they entered into your hearts, as you slumbered - not with daggers of death, but with life-giving wisdom - they entered into your dreams, that you would dream of the beauty that the Goddess promises; and having entered into your hearts in the depths of the previous night, now in this night following have they blossomed within you into the fullness of faith! Now has been brought to you knowledge, of the meaning and purpose of your existence, of the reason for which you were brought into being, of your final end - indeed, that meaning, that purpose, that reason, that end, is the same for you as for all - to love beauty as the Goddess loves it; to say yes to all that is necessary for beauty, as the Goddess herself says yes; to willingly return to oneness with she who bore her out of her very own being, in emptying herself of the fullness of divinity; to willingly return, to oneness with her, and with one another, and with all others; with your enemies as much as your friends. Indeed, even this Aruvan, once was he her, and he will be her once more; once was he you, and he will be you once more; once were you him, and you will be him once more; once was she him, and she will be him once more. Whatever evils have issued forth from his lips, came forth by her will, for the sake of the beauties that evil will purchase; and in the end, for the sake of beauty, he will renounce every evil, as shall everyone renounce every evil.

And the Aduhenites said unto the most holy Prophet: O Prophet, how it pleases us to find ourselves among the company of those who hearts are by the love of beauty so greatly deranged! A derangement which is the destiny of every soul, but what great favour that we might be among the first to receive it. O Prophet, how it pleases us that she has favoured us with your guidance! Without doubt your heart is filled with a great love for goodness and beauty, and on account of that love you have sought to benefit us in this way! Without doubt you are a saviour of many lives, for you have saved us from lives bereft of the divine wisdom. Of you we have heard many good reports; of the greatness of your care for orphans we have heard, of the greatness of your teaching we have heard. Yet we hated you, and denied what we had heard, albeit for no good reason: for we hated you, for that which you teach is contrary to that which we have heard from our forefathers; for it is written in our scriptures, many things contrary to what you have said. Yet we realise now, that if anything in our scriptures is opposed to that wisdom which you bestow, then the error is in those scriptures, and not in your wisdom. And we believed in you not, for many things you have said are contrary to that prophet for whom we are named, Aduhenus who lived long ago, and whose words and deeds are recorded in our scriptures; yet we realise now, that if anything in his words is opposed to that wisdom which you bestow, then the error is in his words, and not in yours.  Therefore it pleases us, O most holy Prophet, that you have accepted us among the people vowed faithful to service to her most holy Cause: may we be faithful to our vow, and perfect in our obedience to the law of her Cause. And the most holy Prophet said: How does it please my ears to hear such sentiments! But I tell you, to accept the wisdom which I bestow as Prophet, there is no need for you to renounce that prophet for whom you are named, Aduhenus. For indeed, there are many things which it is said that he said, which are contrary to the wisdom which I bestow: but tell me, what is in error, his words, or the reports you have received thereof? And likewise, as to those scriptures of yours: without doubt, there are many things which you now read therein that are contrary to the wisdom which I bestow: but tell me, were those scriptures born in error, or did the error enter into them later? Are they a faithful record of the words that your prophet spoke in error? Or did your prophet speak in truth, but in error he was recorded? Or was in truth he recorded, but later that truth was changed to error? Therefore I say unto you, if it be your will: may you restore your scriptures to their former glory. And as much as the Aduhenties were pleased with those words that the holy Prophet had spoken before, when they heard this his most recent pronouncement, how great was the joy in their hearts! For they had thought, that to embrace truth, they must turn away in shame from their forefathers; but now they knew, that they might honour their forefathers, even Aduhenus, by restoring their inheritance to its former glory.

Now there passed thereafter a threefold succession of sabbaths, each in memory of the threefold sabbath at the beginning-end of time. And it was found that many of the people of Maravena were embracing the truth of her Cause, among those who had not as yet done so. 

And many others, hearing the words of truth at last spoken, fled from that city; for great was their abhorrence of the truth in their hearts, such that they longed to live lives wholly apart from it. Thus there departed from that city many among those who hated the truth; yet among them one remained, a merchant of immense wealth: and Zarzabut was his name. And though his daughter Trelabreva had heard the word of the holy Prophet, and had become convinced of his truthfulness, yet in his cruelty he sought to keep her from her longing, saying unto her: Follow that evil man, and I will gladly slit your throat!

Now Zarzabut vexed the people of her Cause with innumerable false accusations against the holy Prophet who led them, for without number were the accusations which his wicked heart had invented out of nothingness.  For Zarzabut said: Behold this so-called prophet is naught but a prophet of falsehood, and every word that issues forth from his mouth is a lie! He is always drunk upon wine, and in his drunkenness many demons have entered into him and made their home in him.  His friendship with prostitutes is well-known; the same demons which dwell in them dwell in him also; as they certainly deserve death, so certainly does he!

Now the Goddess appeared unto the holy Prophet in a dream, and said unto him: I have chosen you to silence this wicked one, whose wickedness vexes all those who love truth; to silence him with your wisdom! Telling his successor of this dream, together they plotted how the wicked Zarzabut would be brought to a love of truth. And she celebrated the sacrament of the cakes and wine, and he partook thereof, for the sustenance of their souls. Then they proceeded unto the house of Zarzabut, amidst the darkness of holy night. And they sought entrance, but the servants would not admit them; then Trelabreva appeared and said, These two are guests whom my father is expecting, dissembling for the sake of the truth. She then took them unto her father. Now great was the opulence of the house of Zarzabut; and Zarzabut wore the finest silk as garments, and oppressive was the weight of gold and silver which he bore upon himself.

Now Trelabreva his daughter and also his wife Felave brought food and wine unto Zarzabut and his unexpected guests, the holy Prophet and his chosen successor; and they looked with hope upon those guests: for Trelabreva had witnessed unto her mother, and convinced her also of the truth: and though the robes that the holy Prophet and his chosen successor were not as fine as those of Zarzabut, yet they could see the purity of their souls by the sublimity of their teachings; yet his soul was as a filthy rag.

The holy Prophet asked him: Why do you oppose always the truth? For though the truth has long been kept from the world, by her will, by the very same will it is now being unveiled! The holy Prophet said this unto Zarzabut, in the hope that he might convince him of the divine truth, and bring to an end all his works of wickedness.

Zarzabut replied disdainfully: The will of your invented goddess? You say whatever happens is her will; so I will do as I know to be right, I will do as the true god commands me to do, and thus do her will also! Why come to urge me to do her will, if it is her will that I am already doing? Forget about the will of your invented goddess; follow the will of the true god instead, who laughs at this goddess of your invention, and will reward this your invention of her with never-ending pain, as you burn forever in undying flames! This is the will of the true god, and how does it please me that this is your fate! To hear the unending screams of pain of the condemned: this is the everlasting reward which the true god has promised us, that promise of which I am happy to have been found worthy.

Zarzabut said: How worthless are the commandments of your invented goddess? For what harm does she punish those who disobey them? And even in disobeying her, you say, they are obeying her? Truly, your religion is a religion of fools!

The appointed successor said: She wills not with one will but with two; with the will that is revealed, and with the will that is hidden; there is no contradiction, for when she wills that they disobey her will, it is her hidden will that wills that they disobey her revealed will. But, while in the earlier times the two wills are most often in conflict, in the final days they become in perfect agreement; and her most holy Cause is her chosen means to bring her two wills into perfect agreement, by perfectly conforming her hidden will to her will that is revealed. And whatever she wills by her hidden will, contrary to her revealed will, it is for the sake of beauties thereby purchased; for her hidden will is a will of mere means to an end, but her revealed will is her will of ends. And she punishes not those who disobey her, for whoever disobeys her does so in obedience to her; but as to those who have gravely harmed others, they become intimate with that harm that have caused; not through a new and different harm, however alike, but through intimate knowledge of that very same harm which they themselves inflicted. How more noble is this doctrine than the cruel and foolish doctrine of never-ending punishment!

But Zarzabut then angrily cut her off, saying: Be silent, little girl; it is unseemly that a woman speak to a man in the manner in which you speak. Now she was enraged at these words, but the holy Prophet quietened her, urging her to patience.

Then the wicked Zarzabut sought to bribe the holy Prophet, saying: You and your followers have been a cause of utmost trouble in this city, and have been a disturbance to its peace ever since you first arrived here. Your presence is most unpleasant to us, to all of our people who love the one true god, and denounce your wretched idolatry; many among my people have departed from here, being unwilling to live in the presence of such defilement; but as to I, I desire not to leave, for I seek to defend this once great city for the sake of the one true god. Let me offer you a fair payment, that you will leave this city and never return, that you may be removed therefrom without bloodshed.

But the holy Prophet responded: We will leave not on your terms, but on her terms only; for we are faithful servants unto the Great and Holy Goddess, unto whom all the sacred animals are sacred.

Then Zarzabut said: You are wicked indeed, O false prophet: for those who rightfully deserve death you seek to save from that fate which they deserve! He who seeks to save the murderer from death, is a murderer themselves: by saving him from his rightful fate, you show your approval of that murder. It is always the way of your murderers, that you approve of every wrongful killing, and condemn every rightful one! You might save them from the rightful punishment for their crimes, but you cannot save them from death forever; and when they die, they will endure everlasting suffering in the flames: which you and your followers will endure along with them! May the one true god be praised!

Great too is your debauchery! For those who commit acts of vileness, who commit wickedness in the flesh with one another, you too seek to save from the death which they deserve, and you even give approval to their filthy actions! It is the noble law of the one true god, that anyone who dishonours their father with misdeeds in the flesh, it is the duty of their father to kill them, to send them more quickly unto the everlasting pain which is their certain destiny. And whoever dishonoured him with them, it is his duty to kill them also. Yet you would save those who so deserve death from the death that they truly deserve?  For that, you deserve death also! When the daughter lies down with a man who is unworthy of the name of her father, they both must die; it is the duty of the father to kill them both, and send them both unto everlasting suffering. When the daughter is found with the servant boy or girl, he must kill them both.  When the daughter pretends to marry a man unworthy of the name of her father, they both must die. And when a woman defiles the bed of marriage with another man, or with a woman, then her husband must slaughter them both! And slaughter also her children, for the fruit of her loins is stained with the very same wickedness which infests her soul! This is the will of the true god, and whoever denies it deserves death! And in every case of righteous killing, it must be done with the utmost of pain, with torture and with burning flames, as a fitting prelude to the everlasting torture and flames which this death brings them unto; and whoever shows any mercy whatsoever is deserving of death also: whoever grants them a death with less than the utmost pain, it is as if they killed them not at all; and whoever kills not those who deserve to die, deserves death. This is the will of the one true god!

Zarzabut continued: And among that immensity of your loathsomeness, and of that of your followers also, there is another matter which is almost too shameful to mention: that you eat the vile and diseased flesh of swine! In eating this vile and filthy flesh, your hearts become corrupted and you come to hate the one true god and his perfect law and his true prophets, and appoint for yourselves a false prophet, and invent a false goddess: the road for you unto everlasting flames began when you ate of this depraved meat: if only you had remained faithful to the law of the one true god, and withheld from this depravity, you might instead had embarked upon the road to the perfection of his heaven. From eating this meat of vileness, whatever you touch is defiled! For this also, you deserve death, and all of your followers also, and also the children of your followers, even the newborn babe and the pregnant woman, they are deserving of death also! For whoever eats of the flesh of swine must die, and their offspring along with them!

The holy Prophet said: We eat not the meat of any sacred animal, but the meat of the animals unsacred we may eat. And we know not the swine to be among the number of the sacred animals; is it sacred unto you? For if indeed it is sacred unto you, you might convince us that it be sacred also, and if we were to be so convinced, we would surely refrain from eating it. But Zarzabut retorted: You fool! There are no sacred animals, neither any animals unsacred; there are the animals which the one true god has permitted us to eat, and the animals which the one true god has prohibited us. And the swine be among the prohibited meats, therefore we eat it not; but it is prohibited, not on account of any supposed holiness, but on account of the very unholiness, wickedness, and vileness of that creature. Great is the hatred the one true god has for the swine, and every swine upon its death enters into everlasting flames and torment! If the will of the one true god were obeyed, then every swine in this city would be burnt to ashes while still living! And it is promised in the holy scriptures of the one true god, that in the last days, when his servants conquer the entirety of the world, every swine shall meet the same fate, and at last the world will be free of the vileness of swine! And when we burn alive every swine, we shall burn with them all those who have eaten of their flesh, for whoever eats the flesh of swine becomes a swine, and deserves a painful death along with them!

The holy Prophet said: It is permitted unto us to consume the meats of the animals unsacred, where they have been slaughtered not by us, but by the infidels, and where the infidels have not slaughtered them in accordance with the rites of any of their religions. But we will not consume the flesh of any of the animals sacred, the tutelary and subtutelary deities thereof we honour and praise in worship and devotion; it is prohibited to eat the flesh of their families, the sacred animal tribes and sub-tribes; indeed, to eat of that flesh is the same as eating the flesh of your own family, or of your fellows. But as to the flesh of the animals unsacred, whoever eats the flesh of any animal must eat of that flesh; if they eat not the flesh of any animals, they need not eat the flesh of these; but if they eat the flesh of any animal, they must eat the flesh of any animal unsacred; if they refrain for it is displeasing to their palate, that is permissible; but if they propose to refrain out of belief, that is prohibited to us. Now if there belief is, this animal is also among the sacred animals, then that is permitted, for that is a difference of opinion concerning the bounds of the sacred animals; but if they say, it is against my belief to eat of this meat, yet they will eat of others, and yet not count that prohibited meat as being of a sacred animal, then they have fallen into error.

Now Zarzabut continued in his discourse of utter foolishness, as follows: And you, O false prophet, are always drunk upon wine: it is in the depths of your drunken stupor that you imagine the many lies which you teach! Can you not see the opulence of my robes? The one true god has granted me these great riches as a reward for my faithful service unto him. What of your robes?  They are far from equalling mine in fineness. This is certain proof, that my god be the one true god, and your goddess be naught but your drunken invention! O false prophet, your hair is unkempt! Your beard is long and uncouth in its waving! Do you not know, that truth comes from those whose hair is carefully trimmed? That is the word of the one true god, who speaks absolute proof; your hair is proof of your falsehood!

Zarzabut exclaimed: You are destroying this once great city with the vileness of your debauchery, the wickedness of your harlotry!

The holy Prophet responded: By no means! We are doing naught but the revealed will of the ultimate Goddess whom we endeavour to serve with utmost faithfulness. It is her will that every last one, even you, O Zarzabut, have what their heart truly desires: that they taste of the heavenly banquet, that they taste of the heavenly wine, that they find the love for which they long in the utmost depths of their hearts. Even your daughter, Trelabreva, her heart longs also; she has come over to our Cause, for we have said unto her as you have refused: follow your heart.

Zarzabut exclaimed: My daughter is betrothed to a man of distinguished ancestry, a fervid believer in the one true god. She ought be pleased that her father has chosen to benefit her in such a way: if I wished, I could have offered her to someone far less worthy! She will marry the man unto whom she is betrothed; or she shall die, and if she be so disobedient to me, I will be pleased to kill her myself! On the altar of the one true god I will offer her alive to the flames!

The holy Prophet answered him: She shall follow her heart and do as she wishes; she is no longer subject to your power, or that of your false and lying god, who is none other than the evil one which the false prophets serve; she shall not marry this man, for whether he be as fine as you claim, or whether that too be among your errors, her heart is not with him. And if you wish to kill her for it, you will have to kill us also.

Then Zarzabut spoke unto the holy prophet, his eyes glowing with hatred: Without doubt you are a swine possessed of a vile demon: the very same demons which inhabit every swine inhabit you as well, and in inhabiting you, you have become naught but a filthy swine! As they are deserving of death, so are you, O false prophet! It is my duty as a servant of the one true god to bring to you the death which you most assuredly deserve! If I kill you not, then I deserve to be killed! If I torture you not, then I deserve to be tortured! O one true god, please accept the sacrifice of the painful screams of this false prophet which I am about to deliver unto you!

Zarzabut then drew his sword and lunged at the holy Prophet; but the appointed successor drew her sword also, and severed his hand. He fell back, defeated, bleeding profusely. He called out, You have had your victory over me, false prophet, and that harlot with whom you keep company; but you will never have victory over my god! Now finish me, that I may go quickly unto the heaven which he has promised me.

The holy Prophet said: We shall do no such thing, for our deeds are quite unlike your deeds; we shall do all that we can, that you live. And Zarzabut thus became a prisoner of the most holy Cause, which he remained for the rest of his life, unto his death. And the holy Prophet said unto him, Renounce all your wickedness, and I will grant you freedom; but Zarzabut said: I will remain ever faithful to the one true god! As long as I live, I will never cease to proclaim, that you are most deserving of a painful death, O false and wicked prophet!

And great was the rejoicing of Trelabreva, that she had been freed from the tyranny of her father; and of Felave his wife, that she had been freed from his tyranny also; and also did his servants rejoice to be free; and every last one among them joined themselves to the holy Cause, but not all of them understood yet the Cause to which they had joined themselves. For some among his once servants proclaimed: The tyrant must die! And they recounted, the previous year, that one of his servants had disobeyed him, so he slaughtered that servant before the others. But the holy Prophet rebuked them, saying, we must not be like the evil ones, doing ourselves the evil which they do.

Now Trelabreva said unto the holy Prophet: What joy is it that you have freed me from the tyranny of my father! But the holy Prophet responded: Indeed, you rejoice, but I rejoice not, for I have failed in the task which I set for myself, were one greater than I might have succeeded. Trelabreva said, O prophet, how have you failed, that you have freed me? He replied: Indeed, I have freed you, but I have not freed him; I sought to free his heart from the tyranny of wickedness, the tyranny of evil, the tyranny of the demons which infested him; yet in that endeavour I have failed; I sought to convince him to love the truly good, the truly beautiful, and the truly true; yet he persists in his love of falsehood and of evil and of ugliness, and his hatred of goodness and beauty and truth.

And Trelabreva became among the handmaidens of the appointed successor.

More time did pass, and many more among the people of that city began to turn against the people of her Cause and the way of the holy Prophet, for the demons that serve the evil one were working within them. They hated him, for he sought to prohibit from them the evil which dwelt in their hearts; whenever they desired to offer up bloody sacrifices, of human flesh or of that of animals sacred or unsacred, the holy Prophet prevented them. And likewise when they sought to commit crimes against love, the holy Prophet prohibited them also; when they sought to betrothe their daughters and sons to those whom they did not love, the holy Prophet intervened and prohibited them from doing as such; when they threatened their daughters and sons to denounce those whom they loved, the holy Prophet saw that they were arrested and made prisoners of her Cause until they clearly renounced their wicked intentions.
 
Now those who were infested with demons went about spreading lies against the holy Prophet, saying: His teachings are ever-changing, for he declares as divine revelation whatever fancy his heart is set upon at that moment. But the holy Prophet rebuked him, saying: Name one case that I have changed my teaching! And if ever my teaching appears to change, I tell you, it is the very same principles being applied in differing circumstances. But though they had claimed that he was always changing his teaching, yet they could name not any case in which he had in fact done so; thus were they silenced.

Yet despite being so defeated, they continued to spread their lies about him.  They said of him, his teeth are rotten, and his breath smells as a sewer does; these were utter falsehoods of their invention. And they said of him: An ever-greedy man, he seeks to gather all the merchants under him, that he may draw upon their fortunes for his own sake. But he said unto them: Bring forth a merchant who will say that I have done unto them as you claim; and they could produce no one. Then they said, None will come forward to speak, for they are fearful that he will have them killed if they so speak. But he said: If you are to say as such of me, anyone could say the same as you; and you could as much disprove their claims as I could disprove yours. Thus was their foolishness made apparent to all; thus were they defeated, and for a time, silenced.

Yet they were not silenced for long, and soon they began once more to defame him with their lies. Thus did they proclaim: Those who dare to depart from the number of his followers, he has their throats slit as they sleep. But the holy prophet responded: To who have I done as such? What is their name? Where do they live? Present their family and their friends to denounce me! Yet they could produce no one to whom this had occurred; once again were their mutterings were proven false. And the holy Prophet said: As to those who choose to depart from the most holy Cause, and to renounce their vows to serve it; we wish them no evil, we wish them only well; we wish them long lives, and happiness and prosperity, and even that one day they might return to the Cause from which they have departed. By no means would we kill them; O wicked liars, we will not commit the crimes which you yourselves commit!

Among their many lies, they also said, that the holy Prophet permitted himself deeds which he prohibited to others; and yet, they could offer no more proof of this accusation than they could of any others.

Their lies having been proven, the greater number of the infidels departed in shame. And the holy Cause assumed the place in that city.

Now there came unto the holy Prophet a revelation of the ultimate Goddess, who appeared unto him in a dream. And she instructed him to go forth further to the west; for although in this land they had already assumed the place, they had not yet arrived at the land appointed for the gathering of her Cause.
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