NPS 59

The discourse at Natova

Now there was a certain Fetarus who vowed allegiance to the holy Cause, and became an initiate thereof. Now Fetarus was a thief in secret, but his thieving he revealed not unto the Cause to which he had become vowed. Now all this happened while the holy Travancus and his party were sojourning in the town of Natova. And the lord of Natova, Dalorgus was the name thereof, his men came upon Fetarus in the midst of his thievery, and he placed him in prison. Now word of this approached the holy Travancus; and some said unto him, You must rescue him from the clutches of the usurpers, from the bite of that blood-stained mouth. But others counselled him, saying: This Fetarus has betrayed the Cause to which he vowed himself; why should that Cause therefore rescue him? And those who counseled assistance said, He may be tortured, he may be slain, he may be condemned to be sold as a slave; should we have that upon our consciences? But those opposed to this said, though Dalorgus be among the usurpers, he is reputed for his leniency; those things which you have predicted for Fetarus are unlikely to befall him. And the betrayal of Fetarus angered the holy Travancus, and he said, We will help him not; we will leave him to the mercy of Dalorgus, whose reputation for mercy precedes him. That night, the holy Travancus fell asleep, and began to dream dreams; and behold, the glorious Maratrea appeared before him, and she said: O my Prophet, listen to my words: do not abandon any one among the people of my Cause unto the usurpers, no matter what they have done, whether unto my Cause, or unto others, no matter how merciful at times the usurpers may seem. Go before the usurpers, and intercede with them on behalf of the people of my Cause, every last one; be not ashamed to plead for mercy, hesitate not to offer your word as bond for another. And the holy Travancus awoke, and the very next day he went unto Dalorgus to do everything that she had asked of him. He said unto him, O Lord of this town, whose reputation for mercy preceeds you, I ask that you take mercy on this here Fetarus, even though he has wronged those people entrusted to your fatherly care, even though in doing so he has wronged us his own people also, by tarnishing our good name among you, and impairing our good relations with you for whose gracious hospitality we are thankful; but as a father cares for his children even in the midst of their own wrongdoing, I come before you to beg mercy for him. If you would commit him to my custody, I will repay from my own treasury the value of all that he has stolen; and I give you my word that he will steal not again, and if he does so, I will answer to you for the value of whatever he has stolen. And Dalorgus granted the requests of the holy Travancus, and delivered Fetarus into his custody, who in turn delivered him into the custody of those he had appointed as Lords of Restriction; and out of the holy treasury, the holy Travancus paid unto Dalorgus the value of all that Fetarus had stolen. On that day was this principle established, by divine revelation, which is obeyed to this very day; that the Prophet-in-Council in conjunction with those to whom they have delegated this sacred task, must intercede always before the usurpers on behalf of the people of her Cause, on every matter in which the usurpers may hear them: whenever by false justice the any among people of her Cause be threatened, be it even that they have done all that they are said to have done, and be it even that they have wronged her Cause and broken their vow in so doing. And in every matter of taxation, and in every other matter, the Cause must intercede on behalf of its people. And even if the usurpers will accept not our intercession, offer our people every counsel and assistance in their dealings with them.

And thus did the holy Travancus teach: In her original undifferentiated state, the great Sabbath, she is likened unto a great stone block, then uncarved, yet soon to become a block self-carving: she carves herself into the many souls. And in her original undifferentiated state, she is not a block of plainness, but with myriad caves and grottoes honeycombed, its surface textured with indentations. Indeed, she is undifferentiated, not that she is lacking in parts, or that her parts cannot be distinguished, but that she is not differentiated in several souls, but as one single soul is united. They say that in the beginning there was a void, an emptiness; but I tell you solemnly, in the beginning, she was, but  empty was she not, rather full to overflowing, and being so full, so indeed did she overflow, and we are that into which she overflowed. And as she was in the beginning, so she remains even now, in her ever-remaining.
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