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Chapter XIII

1. O man, to know the creations of thy Creator, and the things He hath placed in thy reach!

2. To apply thy knowledge and understand with reverence the work of His hand!

3. How considerate of thy little wisdom, and thy love of liberty, which He gave unto thee.

4. Even before He had perfected thee, He called out unto thee to behold His creations. And thou tarriedst not to learn, but ran away, half completed, to vent the exhuberance of thy soul, which He gave unto thee.

5. Behold me, thy God; I am thy elder brother which He sent after thee. Come thou, and learn wisdom of thy God.

6. Thou tarriest in the grade; thou art not aroused to know thy Creator. Thou turnest thy back to me, and sayest: Behold, there is no God!

7. I beseech thee, turn about, and hear the wisdom of my words: I will teach thee to know thy Creator; to hear His voice, and to see His hand.

8. And thou shalt rejoice in thy life, and teach thy brethren to rejoice also.

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9. Thou hast a corporeal body and a spiritual body: Hear me, and I will open thy understanding.

10. Thy spirit hath eyes and ears and judgment. Nevertheless, the beginning of thy two parts was, at the same time, quickened into a one person, because of the presence of thy Creator.

11. O man of the earth, would that thy spirit and thy corpor stood even in wisdom and power all the days of thy life!

12. But thou art so delighted in the earth, thou hast left thy spirit unfed. And it standeth within thee, as a spear of grass covered with a stone.

13. And thou seest not spiritual things; nor hearest the Unseen. For a stone lieth upon thy soul.

14. Yet, thou hast great learning as to corporeal knowledge; and great vigor as to corporeal judgment.

15. And thou ratest thy neighbor a fool, because, forsooth, in contradistinction to thee, he heareth and seeth spiritually.

16. And thy God weepeth for thee; because, in the time of thy death, thou shalt stand in heaven in grade one, even as the spirits of the beasts of the field.

17. Thy present knowledge shall be void, and thy vigor, only as a newborn child. And my angels who are wise and strong shall take thee about, in hada, the heavenly plateaux that rest on the earth, and divert thee with things proximating betwixt the two worlds, that thou mayest be made to comprehend thyself and thy Creator's work.

18. As thy corpor was fed on corporeal substances, so, then, shall thy young spirit be fed on atmospherean substances, which thy guardians shall provide unto thee.

19. Consider the wisdom of thy Creator, Who sent me to fetch thee into places of delight.

20. O that I could take thee to the highest heavenly places! That thou couldst stand before me, and talk face to face!

21. But even as a newborn child is unsuited to feed on corn and nuts, thy spirit is as a starveling in high heaven. And I take thee to the nurseries where I have provided for thee according to thy weakness.

22. Thy mother was provided unto thee before thou wert born; and my heavens arranged before thy spirit entered therein. Thou shapedst not thyself in thy mother's womb; and, behold the perfection of thine every part.

23. Trust thou in thy Creator, but seek thou also to go with Him, and thou shalt attain easily to the highest mountains He created for thy glory.

24. O that thou hadst not contaminated thy corporeal part by the flesh of the beast and the meat of His living creatures! This is as one of the stones that covereth up thy soul, and blockadeth thy way to the upper grades.

25. Thy young spirit must remain within the atmosphere of the animal creation for a long season; like unto like, hast thou fashioned thy spirit to the flesh of thy body.

26. According to the atmosphere of things, as to the purity and sweetness, behold, thy Creator hath fashioned them in relative ascent above the earth. That which stinketh, resteth on the earth; that which is pure, is upward and high.

27. Consider the place of the hells of the spirits of the dead, and the weapons of warfare in their hands. As the corporean is to corpor, so is the spirit as to the atmosphere of the earth.

28. O man of the earth, consider what thou puttest into thy mouth, for the atmosphere thereof is the food of thy spirit. And the habit thereof will be entailed on thy spirit for a long season after thy mortal death.

29. If thou hast been a gross feeder on flesh, thy spirit will seek to linger in the atmosphere of gross feeders still dwelling on the earth. The slaughter-house and the cook-house and the eating-house shall be the places of thy spirit's resort.

30. And thy spirit shall feed therein and thereon; and thy companions shall be millions and millions of drujas; like vultures that flock to a dead carcass, and thou can not away; like a loadstone, are these haunts to the spirits of darkness.

31. O man, I have heard thee, in thy fullness, say: I must have my flesh-food; I must have my wine and beer and tobacco and opium.

32. I say unto thee, if thou hast not strength in this day, neither shalt thou have strength tomorrow. What strength shall thou gain by the loss of thy corporeal body?

33. Consider thy corporeal body as a ship, in which thy spirit is sailing across a wide sea of water. Better that thy spirit learn to acquire strength whilst it hath a corporeal body to ride in. After death, it floateth in the direction thou hast shaped it. Neither hast thou power to go against the current.

34. Remember, O man, these are the p. 767 lessons of thy Creator, which he gave unto thee, to learn to master the elements of thy surrounding.

35. Stretch forth thy hand unto thy Creator, and swear thou unto Him, thou wilt conquer every passion that is unclean, and every habit not conducive to the purity of the growth of thy spirit.

36. This is the beginning of thy resurrection; and thou shalt be thine own judge and master.

37. Neither shalt thou call out: God, God, exalt my soul! or, O Lord, save me and raise me up!--until thou hast first begun to do something for thyself.

38. O, that thou knew where the virtue of prayer beginneth! And that he that practiceth the All Highest he knoweth, hath the ear and the hand of his God! Wherein the prayers of the righteous accomplish, whilst the prayer of the ungodlike is void as the wind.

39. Certain men were down in a deep well, and they laid flat down on their bellies, and prayed to be taken up, yet, they would not even raise their eyes to look upward. And others, at the top of the well, let down ropes, and they called down to them beneath to look up, and catch the ropes, but they would not. And, in course of time, they at the bottom said: Alas! our prayers are not answered!

40. O man, that thou wouldst put thyself in the way of thy God! To put away the uncleanness of the body first, and the uncleanness of thy spirit afterward.

41. To seek for things that are pure and good, instead of criticisms and philosophies, that rise up out of thy contaminated flesh-house.

42. Whoso desireth resurrection, let him begin to resurrect himself.

43. Make not thy confessions, which are betwixt thee and thy Creator, before men; but covenant thou with Him, within thine own soul, saying nothing of this for the laudation of men.

44. Thy spirit is as a seed of a beautiful tree, which thy Creator planted; give thou it good light and a clean soil, that the blossoms and the fruit thereon may glorify thy Creator and thee.

45. Such is the resurrection of the spirit of men. Wait not for a Savior to save thee; nor depend thou on words or prayers; nor on hearkening to good sermons, flattering thyself, thou hast done well; but begin to save thyself.

46. By purifying thy flesh, by purifying thy thoughts, and by the practice of good works done unto others, with all thy wisdom, love and strength.

47. For through these only is there any resurrection for thee, either in this world or the next.

Next: Chapter XIV