NPS 083

And departing from the cataract of Taragansis, the holy Travancus and his party travelled unto Fluancotti hills, and they encamped there. And night fell upon them, and thus taught the holy Travancus in that there place: Behold that faith is evidence; the sight of the eyes being evidence also, yet the sight of the eyes is evidence only of the visible, while faith is evidence also of the as yet invisible. Praise there be to Maratrea; for in her we live, and move, and have our being; for we are her offspring, her children whom she became, willingly emptying herself of the fulness of her divinity, and dividing herself into many: this is the Great Work which Zarena worked upon Zade, to which Zade wholeheartedly consented, it being the urgent and burning longing of her heart, and of the heart of Zarena also.

And thus did the holy Travancus proclaim: Praise there be to Zade who was, to Zaretta who will be, and to Zarena who is!

Now the most holy Travancus spoke as follows: Behold that all persons exist in time, and that personhood is inescapably temporal; for a deity to be personal, it must exist within time; for any deity which lies outside time, is not a person, and to call such deity a person is to speak without sense. Behold that the Great Goddess Maratrea-Zarena exists within time, not outside or beyond it: without doubt she is a person, and indeed the greatest of all persons, that person who is the sum of every other person who has ever been or who shall ever be, the only person who knows her true nature in the fullness thereof; for the true nature of every person is one and the same, which is her.

Now as to those who say, that the future is open and as yet undetermined: behold that what will happen will happen, and our Goddess Maratrea-Zarena already knows perfectly all that will happen: for whatever is to come she perfectly remembers, in the circle of time. Our glorious Goddess relates to every moment of time: in every moment, she relates to that moment as the present moment, as she relates in that moment to every other moment by perfect memory and perfect foreknowledge, which are one and the same thing.

And how great is the error of those who say that the deity is unchanging, for behold our Great Goddess Maratrea-Zarena is ever changing. Unchanging are her fundamental nature and attributes, her essence and identity and character: but the immediate contents of her conscious awareness changes from moment to moment: such is true for all persons, for all who exist in time: for to be a person is to change, and to be changeless is to be not a person.

Great also is the error of those who say, the deity created time, or the deity willingly entered thereinto: for our Great Goddess Maratrea-Zarena did not create time as something external to her, nor did she from outside enter into it: for time is part of her divine nature, time is part of our Goddess Maratrea-Zarena, such that by existing in time, we exist in her.

Now there was a certain one who lived among the hills of Fluancotti, a cobbler named Madranze, now he had heard that a great teacher had come, so he went in search of Travancus, to inquire of many things. Now this Madranze believed that the heavenly life was without end, being of infinite temporal duration.

But the holy Travancus taught: To conscious awareness there is no end, but nor is there any infinite duration: for time, and consciousness which exists within time, is finite but unbounded: upon reaching its end, it ends not, but commences again at its beginning: not a new and different beginning, but the very same beginning: for the wheel of time turns again and again, but each turn is not a new and different turn, but the very same turn as the next and the last: or to say the same thing by different words, it turns only once. 

Madranze objected, saying: O teacher, you teach in error, for I know without doubt that heaven is endless life, an infinite succession of moments, every one different from the last, without repetition, without circularity.

The holy Travancus said: O believers in infinity, how is it that you are untroubled by the infinity in which you believe? If you truly understood infinity, how greatly would it trouble you; whoever truly understands infinity, is so troubled thereby, that their trouble leads them to deny it: but those who do not truly understand that in which they claim to believe, will continue to proclaim the infinite as truth. 

I tell you solemnly, that there be only a finitude of distinct lives: that as much as the day of a great king be different from that of the poor peasant, that as much as any day of this generation be different from that of the one that has been or the one to come, that there are only so many days that any human being might know, only so many lives that any human being might live, and that as immense as that number may be, how unimaginably vast, it is nonetheless truly finite.

By two spaces this principle may be proven: by the space of physical matter, and by experiential space. For the space of physical matter consists of particles located in three dimensions of space; and each of these particles has varying properties, which constitute further dimensions; and time also may be counted among the dimensions thereof: but physical space has the three marks: it is finite in number of dimensions, bounded above and below in every dimension, and discrete in every dimension. And whatever has the three marks, allows only a finite number of arrangements without repetition. Now experiential space also has the three marks: for the experiential atoms are located in experiential space: which has several dimensions, the dimension of the type of experience - be it of the five senses, or of some kind of emotion or feeling or pleasure or pain - and each of those types of experience has the dimensions proper to it - but this also has the three marks, being finite-dimensional, bounded and discrete: thus it permits only a finite number of arrangements without repetition.

Now Madranze objected: The stars have no end, for beyond every star, there is a star yet further; hence your second mark is lacking. Travancus replied: How would you know such a thing? Have you been beyond the furthest stars, or even to the nearest among them? Yet it matters not, for the three marks hold for that part of physical space in which human lives are lived: if it holds not for the greater part of space, the argument still succeeds. 

And the holy Travancus: O Madranze of great error, how might you live an infinite succession of days, when there be only a finitude of days which you might live? For to humanity there belongs a finitude of possibilities, and upon a sufficient finitude of time, such possibilities will be exhausted; thus we must repeat, or move ever further beyond humanity.

Behold the great trilemma: our existence permanently ceases, our existence endlessly repeats, our existence grows in scale without bounds. One must believe one amongst these three; may all be visited by the wisdom to choose in accordance with the truth, which is the recurrence of existence in the circularity of time.

For we can clearly prove that our existence cannot ever permanently cease; and what cannot end, surely cannot begin either! For behold that one knows the meaning of a sentence if ones know what it would be like for it to be true.  None can know the meaning of the sentence, "I will cease to exist", for none can know what it would be like for it to be true. As to the sentence, "Upon death, I go on to the afterlife", one can know what it would be like to be true, for one can conceive of going to afterlifes of varying kinds, and if one was entering into an afterlife, surely one could recognise the fact that one so was, hence surely one knows the meaning of the sentence, "Upon death, I go on to the afterlife". But as to the sentence, "Upon death, I permanently cease to exist", none can know what it would be like for it to be true, none can conceive of what it would be like for it to be true, and none could recognise it as occurring to them were it to occur; hence, it is a sentence without meaning. Now, whoever asserts the truth of a meaningless sentence, is without doubt a fool, and should be known by all to be such: and if they ever realised their own foolishness, they would immediately renounce this foolish doctrine.  Whoever speaks a sentence without knowing its meaning is a fool; and if we prove that none can know the meaning of a sentence, we have thereby proven the foolishness of all who have ever spoken it, or who will ever speak it.  Now if there are two sentences, such that one is the negation of the other, and one is devoid of meaning, yet the other meaningful, then we can know that the meaningful sentence is necessarily true. Behold therefore the necessary truth, that an afterlife exists.

Now consider also the sentence, "He dies, and in doing so ceases to exist".  Does this mean something different from "He dies"? We observe exactly the same things if one is true that we do if the other is true, so they cannot differ in meaning. Yet consider the sentence "He dies, then goes on to the afterlife": do we observe something different in that case from "He dies"? Indeed we do, for if there is an afterlife, then when we too go on to, by a multitude of accounts, we will meet him there. So the teaching of no afterlife is an empty triviality, but the teaching of an afterlife is not. So whoever says, "Death is followed by nothingness": they think they are speaking a profound thing, yet all they say is either meaningless drivel or inane triviality.

Madranze said: That the doctrine of extinction after death is utter foolishness, is a matter in which I am in complete agreement with you; beneficial indeed are your proofs of that matter. But clearly the third choice of your trilemma is preferable to the second. For what a horrid fate it would be, to find death followed immediately by birth, in the very same life! A great king in a time of peace, lives a long life of good health and great wealth and pleasure, and at an old age peacefully dies, to begin that enviable life again.  Yet in the slum beyond his gate, a poor man perishes, who has lived from birth to death in pain and hunger and poverty and disease and distress: and you would will that man the very same life again, exactly the same in every which way, forever and ever without end! No hell more horrid has a fervid imagination ever devised! 

But the holy Travancus replied: The doctrine you have described is not the doctrine which I teach; for though indeed, the poor man will live again his life of distressful poverty, and the great King will live again his life of ease, they will proceed not immediately from death to birth, but unto the heavenly realms, wherein is worked a great work. And in that great work, every wrong is made right, every enmity is turned to friendship and then to love, and every soul is coaxed into unity and identity with each other, until all have become one, and that one has become one with the divine: become Zaretta who becomes one with Zarenna, in becoming the Great Maratrea of the Great Sabbath.  Then as the Great Sabbath ends, the Great Maratrea divides into Zarenna and Zade, by which the Earlier Lesser Sabbath commences: and at its end, second division and the Great Emptying, in which Zade is emptied of the fullness of expression of the divine essence, willingly submitting to its reduction unto the diminutive, and divided to become the many souls of the many branches. So neither proceeds straight away from death unto birth, but through a great and glorious journey. And since, in that journey, all become one, and then the one becomes all again, it is not merely King who is reborn as King, and poor man reborn as poor man: such is true, yet also at the very same time is the King reborn as the poor man, and the poor man in the King: for every life has every other life as immediately preceding and immediately successor lives.

Yet Madranze believed not what the holy Travancus taught him, saying: This strange tale is not what has been passed on by the illustrious elders; I will believe what was taught to my forefathers, not this strange new tale of yours.

And Madranze said: O teacher of peculiarities, is it beyond your comprehension, that there may be minds greater than those of mere mortal humans? Travancus replied: By no means that there are no minds greater than ours; yet you must claim, that for every finite amount, there must be or will be minds at least that amount greater than that of any human mind, and minds even greater than that: an infinite hierarchy above us, reaching ever further distant: why would you believe in such a thing, such a horror repellent to heaven?

Your teachers have taught you that there is an infinite ladder above you, and they promise you an eternity of climbing the rungs: no matter how high you climb, you will always have an infinity of rungs further to go. Will not such everlasting climbing tire you? How it tires me to think of it! How such arrant nonsense tires all those in whose hearts lives the spirit of truth! For this teaching comes not from heaven, that knows naught of any such ladders: no, it is an invention of the one who abhors heaven, and who by heaven is abhorred.

But Madranze would hear not the truth, for in his heart he loved error. So he departed from among their number. But as those who remained, they were amazed at the teaching of Travancus, because he spoke with real authority, not as the false teachers and false prophets taught.

And the holy Travancus said: Behold that the wheel of time in its turning may be divided into two halves, into two era: that in which the many move away from their origin, and that in which the many move back towards it. In the first movement, the first era, Zade becomes the multitudes; in the second movement, the second era, the multitude become Zaretta. To the second era belongs the most holy Cause; the first era ensures its particularity, in those branches there descending.

And the holy Travancus said: What pleasure has she taken in entangling us her children, indeed her very own self, in this great tangle; and what pleasure does she take in untangling that which she herself has entangled!

Now a certain Peracus came unto Travancus; and this Peracus believed in his error that extinction follows death. And Travancus said unto him: Tell me, O Peracus, how may we know what is impossible, and what is not impossible?  Peracus replied, Alas, I am but a simple man, who has never pondered such a question; how may we so know? And the holy Travancus said: May we not know by inconceivability: that which we cannot conceive, we might thereby conclude is impossible; that which we conceive, we might thereby conclude is possible?  Peracus replied: I suppose, that if I can conceive of it, it must be possible, for I know not how to conceive of any impossible thing: yet being a simple man as I am, I would not conclude that if I cannot conceive of a thing, it must be impossible, for surely there are many possible things, of which I cannot conceive, which yet one wiser and more learned than I may. Travancus says: Indeed, you are not as simple a man as you think, for you have spoken the truth; and yet, we can divide in twain those matters which we cannot conceive: as those which, although we cannot now conceive, it is possible that one wiser than us, now or many years hence, may be able to conceive; and as those which we cannot conceive, yet have no reason to suppose that anyone wiser than us will have any more power to conceive than us. It would be unsafe for us to conclude, in the first case, from our inability to conceive of some matter, that it is impossible; yet in the second case, we have good reason to suppose, that no one can conceive what we cannot conceive, now matter how much the wiser they may be; so, we may properly conclude, in the second case, from our inability to conceive of some thing, to the impossibility of the thing itself.  Tell me, O Peracus, are you in agreement with me? And Peracus replied: I accept your proposals, you are a wise and convincing teacher, even to one simple of mind such as myself. Travancus continued: So then, can you conceive of the permanent cessation of your existence? Peracus replied: I can conceive of myself being dead and buried; I can conceive of others attending my funeral rites, of others coming upon my tomb; though I will not be there to witnesses these things, I can reasonably foresee what those who will witness them will see. But Travancus said: Yet, in that case, you are not conceiving of the cessation of your existence, but merely of your death and funeral and tomb; for, supposing on the contrary that there is a life after death, those people will in that case perceive the very same things: you cannot be conceiving of a certain thing, if its being not produces the very same conception. And Peracus thought for some time upon what Travancus said, then he replied: O wise one, you have convinced me: the future cessation of my existence is a matter which I cannot conceive. Travancus said: Well done, my friend, that you have come thus far upon the journey to truth, and indeed so quickly: you have told me that you are a simple man, yet those words of yours I can no longer believe. Now, O Peracus, might one wiser than you be able to conceive of what you cannot?  Maybe, by advancing in wisdom, you might come to be able to conceive of the future cessation of your own existence, as you now cannot? Peracus thought for some time on that matter, then he said: I think that none, no matter how wise they might be, would ever be able to conceive of the cessation of their own existence, for in conceiving, we are supposing what we would perceive were that the case; yet, none can perceive the absence of all perception, then neither can anyone conceive it either, no matter how wise they might be: their inability to conceive of this matter follows from its very definition, from its very constitution. Travancus said: And from the inherent inability to conceive of a future permanent cessation of your existence, you can know that such is inherently impossible, and that therefore an afterlife must exist. And Peracus said: O great teacher, through your wisdom you have brought me to the truth!  And on that very night, Peracus accepted the truth which Travancus taught.

Yet there was a certain scoffer who had come with Peracus, one Yonaton. And Yonaton said: But surely we can conceive of the future cessation of our conscious existence, for our conscious existence ceases as we fall asleep each night, until comes the sleep from which one never awakens. But Travancus refuted him, saying: Yet how is it that we know that we slept? We know it by awakening. And when we remember our unconscious sleep, what is it we remember?  The last moments we recall, immediately prior to unconsciousness beginning, and the first moments we recall, immediately subsequent to its ending. So, when you say you conceive of the permanent cessation of your existence, which perception are you conceiving - that prior to unconsciousness, or that subsequent of it?  Certainly not the latter, since if the latter were perceived, it would not be a permanent cessation, but merely a temporary one. Yet, in the former, you are not perceiving anything different in the case of a permanent cessation than you would in the case of a temporary one, so how can you say that it is a permanent rather than temporary cessation which you are perceiving or conceiving? And Yonaton had no answer; yet neither was he willing to accept the teaching of the holy Travancus, so he departed with haste.

And the holy Travancus said: Behold this Great Principle, which all are morally obliged to believe: in the end, good is ever triumphant; for whoever believes not this principle is guilty of a great sin, for in denying the sovereignty of the moral law, they commit a great sin against that very law. Whoever reflects continuously on this matter must become convinced thereof. 

Now some further scoffers came, and these scoffers were from the clan of Sarciot, who were among the great clans of the hills of Fluancotti, and renowned as scholars throughout them, and they said: There is no moral duty to believe this or that, for our beliefs are beyond our choice, and we cannot have any moral duty in matters beyond our choice. For indeed, we have no choice in our beliefs: for no matter how much I wish to believe that this man Travancus is a snail, I cannot make myself believe such a thing. And I urgently wish to believe that his unpleasant visage is not right now before my eyes, but I have no choice but to believe that it is. But the holy Travancus refuted them, saying: Without doubt, some beliefs we have, we cannot help but have, no matter how much we will otherwise; and other beliefs we cannot have, no matter how much we might wish that they did: yet, how great an error it is, to infer that since in some matters choice is impossible, it is therefore impossible in every case.  You can prove with ease that there is no choice in the beliefs which you cite; but you cannot prove with the same ease that there is no choice in your belief in this great principle.

Now a man wishes to believe in the faith of the Maxaratans, even though he does not; so he begins to attend their temples with regularity, and he makes his acquaintance with the followers of Maxaratanus, and befriends them, and disassociates himself from their critics. Will his attempt succeed? There is a good chance that he will, yet the matter is not certain. His actions will tend to cause him to have a certain belief in the future, yet the causation is uncertain: his acts increase the chance that the outcome he wishes will be obtained, but does not guarantee it. Now, if one has a moral duty to bring about a certain state of affairs, and one has available courses of action which increase the likelihood of that state of affairs being obtained, but do not guarantee it, do we say that one has no choice in the matter, and that therefore the duty does not exist? By no means! If there is a way by which a state of affairs might be obtained, that is sufficient to conclude that there may exist a duty to bring it about. In the same way, there is a road which leads to belief in this great principle, and we are obliged to travel down the road as far as we can; that some perish on the road, not in this life reaching the end of that journey, does not in any way reduce their obligation.

O scoffers, of two errors have I convicted you, yet there remains a third: You say, that we cannot have a duty to do what it is impossible for us to do; on the contrary, I tell you solemnly, that one has the duties which one has under the moral law, irrespective of whether one has the power to fulfil those duties. Your inability to obey the law is a mitigation, yet only a partial one.  For paintings are brought to the gallery of the King; some are accepted, on account of their beauty, while others are sent away on account of their lack.  Are the flawed paintings to blame for their flaws? Did they paint themselves?  No! And yet, is that any reason for these paintings to be admitted to the gallery? By no means! In the same way, our impotence in obeying the moral law does not in any way nullify that law; if we cannot obey the moral law, the flaw is not in that law, the flaw is in our very own nature. Now, should we punish the painting for its flaws? No, we should not, for it did not paint itself. In the same way, since we are not authors of our own nature, if our nature renders it impossible for us to obey some moral law, we ought not be punished for that lack of obedience; yet that moral law is not thereby in any way nullified.  Those who teach this error, that ought implies can, have confused duty with culpability; if we cannot obey a duty, we are not held culpable for our lack of obedience, yet the duty applies to us all the same.

Now, from this great principle, it clearly follows, that the life after death exists, and that it is good, and that in it every wrong of this life shall be made right. For, if death is followed by infinite nothingness, then the one who lives a life of agony and despair, will never receive any compensation, and then good will not have finally triumphed in their case; and the one who caused their agony and despair, will never be made to make amends for the agony and despair they have caused, and thus in that way also the good will not have finally triumphed. Therefore, anyone who believes in this great principle, will believe in a good afterlife; therefore, as it is morally obligatory for us to believe in this great principle, it is thereby morally obligatory for us to believe in an afterlife which is good.

But the scoffers objected: You claim that you have a moral obligation to believe this principle which you call great; whether you do or do not, is of little import, for without doubt your belief in it is irrational! You have no evidence to justify your belief, naught but wishful thinking to motivate it!  Travancus refuted them, saying: Tell me, O scoff-filled ones, what is the relation between ethics and rationality? Are they two entirely separate realms, with naught having anything to do with the other? Or do they together form a cohesive whole, such that one fits neatly with the other? The scoffers replied: There may be no doubt, that ethics is naught but the subjective whims of those fools who believe in it, but reason is objective truth. Travancus said: Thus you claim; but how do you know that is true? You say that ethics is subjective yet reason is objective, yet by what argument can you prove that? The scoffers said: We can prove the subjectivity of ethics, by the great dispute which exists regarding it, and the irresolvable nature of that dispute. Travancus responded: Yet the matter of reason, as much as that of ethics, is beset by great disputes, which are as much irresolvable as those of ethics. If your argument succeeds against the ethics you abhor, it must always succeed against the reason that you love; and if your argument fails against the reason you love, it must also fail against the ethics you abhor.

Thus objected the scoffers: None can live without rationality; for without reason, one cannot conclude, that some thing is poisonous, and that therefore if one wishes to live one must not drink it. Here, a cup of poison: your refusal to drink it is proof that you accept reason. But we cannot prove that in the same way anyone accepts ethics, for even those who believe in it admit, that the world is full of those who disobey it, and many of them live prosperous lives. But the holy Travancus responded: There are many people who reject reason, or rationality, or logic, or who have not ever heard of these things. If I go ask the starving peasant regarding logic, will he believe in it? Will he have heard of it? These words you adore - reason, rationality, logic - they are absent from his mind, and what he needs, is not those words to fill his mind, but bread to fill his empty stomach! The scoffers said: Indeed, many have not heard of reason or rationality or logic, yet they follow these things even though they do not know what it is that they follow; even if their lips utter a rejection of these things, they are merely contradicting themselves, for they claim to reject what their every thought presumes.  Travancus replied: Yet, if we are to permit that defence to rationality, surely we must permit the same defence to ethics also! For even those whose lips claim to reject ethics entirely, yet so many of their acts comply with its demands.  For though many sin, who commits every sin? And even for the greatest sinner, how great is the number of sins from which they refrain? The bandits come, and they slaughter a village to plunder what little wealth it has; yet they act kindly towards their own children, though they slay many, they slay not them.  So even though in many ways they disobey the moral law, yet still in many ways they comply with it. A law which they mostly obey, but from which at times they deviate, and those occasions of deviation are no evidence against the existence of the law, or its objectivity. And as all mostly obey ethics, they also mostly obey rationality; and you would admit that many deviate from rationality at times, but if their occasions of deviation are no evidence against the objectivity of rationality, then such occasions cannot be evidence against the objectivity of ethics either. And you say to me, that those who disobey reason soon perish; if they disobey it a little, they will live, indeed many are those who live and prosper despite disobeying reason in many little ways. The false prophet comes, deluding himself that he speaks for the god, and many follow him, and give him their wealth: surely he has prospered by his rejection of reason, and if he had not disobeyed it, he might never have come to such wealth? Now certainly, the one who disobeys reason in every way they can, will very soon perish: yet the one who disobeys it on only some occasions, may even prosper by so doing. In the same way, the one who disobeys ethics in every way they can, will very soon perish: yet the one who disobeys it on only some occasions, may even prosper by so doing. Often indeed do murderers live, yet they live because they are judicious in their choice of who to murder; if they murdered without discrimination, if they kill everyone without distinction that crosses their path, on that day they themselves with perish at the hands of another, as even great enemies unite to defend themselves against this indiscriminate murderousness. Now this great principle promises, that in the end, which may even be beyond the end of this here life, good will finally triumph; but this principle does not exclude that evil has over good its temporary victories. And let me speak of a like principle: in the end, which may even be beyond the end of this here life, truth will finally triumph; but this principle does not exclude that falsehood over truth has its temporary victories. The first principle guarantees, that reality will always favour ethics in the end, even if for a time it instead gives its favour to the unethical; the second principle guarantees, that reality will always favour rationality in the end, even if for a time it instead gives its favour to the irrational. Behold the many parallels that exist, between ethics and reason: by these parallels we may know, that in objectivity they must stand or fall together, for any argument for the subjectivity of one is equally an argument for the subjectivity of the other, and any argument for the objectivity of one is equally an argument for the objectivity of the other. And behold the many structural similarities that exist between ethics and reason: both value states of affairs positively or negatively, both impose duties and prohibitions. 

Thus we must conclude, that together they form one conclusive whole, rather than two separate and independent parts, such that each has naught to do with the other, such that one might be accepted without accepting the other, such that one might be rejected without rejecting the other. Therefore, whoever has a moral obligation to believe a certain thing, must also have a rational obligation to believe that thing; and whoever has a rational obligation to believe a certain thing, must also have a moral obligation to believe that thing. For if reason and ethics made contrary demands upon our beliefs, how would one decide which to obey? No! They are two voices speaking in unison, together they form a beautiful harmony.

The scoffers objected: You say that by morality, we must believe certain things that we are morally obliged to believe, even in the absence of any independent evidence for them. Yet, there is no doubt, that by reason we ought only believe upon sufficient evidence. So reason commands to withhold belief, and your morality commands belief: thus is established the contradiction which proves the foolishness of your false doctrines! But the holy Travancus refuted them, saying: Indeed does reason say, believe not except of the basis of sufficient evidence; and indeed does morality say, believe, in spite of the absence of any independent evidence; and yet, there is no contradiction: for the moral obligation to believe is itself a form of evidence, and sufficient evidence to so believe, according to reason. The scoffers said: That is no evidence according to reason. Travancus replied: So say you - but can you prove the correctness of your position? We believe that murder is a sin, but can we prove its sinfulness? By appeal to some broader principle, but can we prove that principle? In morality, we must accept some principle, which we know in our hearts to be true, but which we cannot prove, and in such a principle the chain of moral proofs must always end. In the same way, in reason, we must accept some principle, which we know in our hearts to be true, but which we cannot prove, and in such a principle the chain of rational proofs must always end.  And behold what I solemnly declare: That the existence of moral obligation to believe is rational evidence of that belief, and this principle of reason cannot be proven, and need not be proven, but we are free to accept it without proof.

But the scoffers of the clan of Sarciot loved not the truth which Travancus had come to reveal, so they departed with haste.

Now they asked the holy Travancus: Tell us, O most holy Prophet, what ought we believe concerning the many scriptures of the many religions? And the holy Travancus recounted the following tale: Once, there was a wise man, and into his possession had come many precious gems. But the bandits knew of his gems, and sought to steal them from him. So he dug a pit, and at the bottom of the pit he secreted his gems, then he departed. Now, along came a fool, who saw this pit, but knew not what purpose it served, nor of the gems secreted within it; but he saw this pit, and he thought: I know not for what purpose this pit was dug, yet I know a purpose for which it might be of great use to me, for I am in need of a cesspit, and what a fine cesspit this pit will make! So soon did this pit become filled with dung. Many years passed, and there came a man upon whom had been bestowed great wisdom, and he saw the cesspit, and by his wisdom he knew what was secreted within it, so he dug it out, and found therein the precious gems that had been hidden there.

And they said: O most holy Prophet, you speak in similes which we cannot comprehend; O most holy Prophet, enlighten us as to their meaning. And Travancus replied: Very well, the first wise man is the true prophets of ancient days, and the fool is the false and lying prophets, and the precious gems is true revelation from our Goddess Maratrea-Zarena, and the dung is the lies of the false and lying prophets, with which the true revelation has been obscured; and the second wise man is the prophets of these here present days, upon whom has been bestowed the wisdom to uncover what has been obscured. And hearing this, they understood the answer to the question which had been asked of the holy Travancus.

And the holy Travancus spoke as follows: Behold that infinity is a lie which the pallid Pandal has devised! For some say death is followed by infinite nothingness, and others that it is followed by infinite somethingness, yet both have believed the lie that Pandal teaches, which is the lie of infinity. For everything which is, is finite, and nothing which is infinite is. And his false and lying prophets have taught you an infinite deity, but every deity which exists is finite, and every deity which is infinite exists not; and among all deities, the greatest among them is the Great Maratrea of the Great Sabbath at the Beginning-End of Time, yet she too is finite: she is greater than any other, indeed she incorporates every person who has ever been or who now is or who will ever be into herself, for she has been them all and will become them all, and perfect is her memory of being them, and perfect is her foreknowledge of becoming them, for her perfect memory and her perfect foreknowledge are the very same thing: yet even being so great, she is finite. O Circle of Time, aspect of the divine nature of the Great Maratrea, how immense is your circumference, that is beyond the comprehension of my mind! And yet, you too are finite: I know not your circumference or your age, but Maratrea-Zarena knows, and in becoming one with her, I will too come to know this as she does, as indeed shall all, in becoming not other than her. O Branches upon Branches which Maratrea-Zarena has divided, Branches upon Branches which Maratrea-Zade has become divided, how great is your number, such that it is beyond my comprehension, yet that number too is finite: but though I know not your number, Maratrea-Zarena knows, and in becoming one with her, I will too come to know this as she does, as indeed shall all, in becoming not other than her.  Opposed to the twin yet opposed lies, of infinite nothingness and infinite somethingness following death, there stands the truth: that all souls willingly become one with one another and with the ultimate deity, the Great Maratrea, who in turn will become the many souls again, in circular time.

And the holy Travancus taught as follows: Now the Earlier Lesser Sabbath is divided into two eras; the former era is like unto the Greater Sabbath; the latter is preparation for Second Division and the Great Emptying. It is in this latter era of the Earlier Lesser Sabbath that the holy Navaletus arises, the captain of the Causal Spirits; it is immediately prior to its end, at its penultimate moment, that there arises the pallid Pandal, as the antithesis to the holy Navaletus. Now they asked the holy Travancus: Tell us, O most holy Prophet, are these two eras equal in length, or is one longer the other? And the holy Travancus replied to them: Wise indeed is your question, for it is a question which only one possessing wisdom would ask; the former era greatly exceeds the length of the latter era, although the exact proportion between them has not been revealed to us.

Now the most holy Travancus spoke as follows: I tell you solemnly: that there are some which are true, and others which are false; yet others that are both true and false, at the same time and in the same way. For they have taught you this law, that nothing both is and is not, at the same time and in the same way; and they have taught you this law as being of universal applicability, without any exception. But I tell you solemnly, that while the application of that law is truly vast, it is not universal; that while the exceptions to it are few, they are not naught. And they asked him: O most holy Prophet, please give us an example of which you speak. And he replied: This sentence is false.  

And thus did the holy Travancus exclaim: How many are those who are in urgent need of that salvation which Maratrea-Zarena alone can offer!