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3 UG (Unter Grund)

 Bartle Library

Bartle Library, Binghamton University, New York

 

 

I floated upward from the cave and found myself on a mountain top. I then went down the mountain alone, no one was there to meet me. I entered a forest. There, suddenly before me, stood an old man, who had left his hovel to seek roots in the forest. And thus spoke the old man to me;

 

“No stranger to me is this wanderer; many years ago he passed by. Waldo he was called, but he has changed.

 

Back then you carried your sins up to the mountains; will you now carry your fire into the valleys? Do you not fear the Arsonist’s punishment?

 

Yes, I recognize you. Pure are your eyes, and no loathing lurks around your mouth. You now appear like a young child.

 

Transformed is Waldo; he has become a child; an awakened one is he; how will he act in the land of the sleep­ers?

 

As in the sea have you lived in solitude, and it has supported you. Alas, will you now go ashore? Alas, will you again haul your body as yourself?”

 

 

I answered, “I love mankind.”

 

 

“Why did I go into the forest to live – – – and the desert for solitude?” asked the old man,. “Was it not because I loved men far too well?

 

Now I love God; men I do not love. Man is a thing too imperfect for me. Love of man would be fatal to me.”

 

 

I answered him, “Did I talk of love? I am bringing the gift of life after death to the sleepers?”

 

 

“Give them nothing,” said the old man. “Instead, take part of their load, and carry it with them – that will be most agreeable to them: if only it is agreeable to you!

 

If, however, you want to give something to them, give them no more than alms, and let them also beg for it!”

 

“No,” replied I, “I give no alms. I am not poor enough for that.”

 

TOMORROW:  4 UG  (Unter Grund)

 

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