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Book of God's Word

Being cotemporaneous with the cycle of Fragapatti, Son of Jehovih. As the upper book is of heavenly things, so is this lower book of the earthly administration of God for the same period of time. And it is called the Book of God's Word, because it is of the first descent of God to the earth to establish his word with man. Through Zarathustra, a man of Par'si'e, came God to this end, eight thousand nine hundred years before the Kosmon era.

Chapter I

1. Hear My word, O man, saith I'hua'Mazda. Perceive My utterances in things that have been and that will be. Remember the lapse of time; open thy understanding to the substance of the affairs of the ancients.

2. Quibble not on names, saith I'hua'Mazda. Nor on places, nor words. All places are My places; all words, My words; all names, My names. All truth is My speech. All fact is My voice. By My commandments shall all the nations of the earth be made to know Me and My works.

3. The Master of the I'huans, Samati, High God of heaven, whose home was in Mount Vibhraj, a heaven created in heaven, a thousand miles high.

4. I'hua'Mazda said: How shall they know me, I, Holy Mazda? They are sealed up; their souls blind as death. Behold, the king, high ruler of Oas, king So-qi? Valorous with a strong sword. So-qi! So-qi! I call, but he heareth not. I go to the temple; it is closed against God, I'hua'Mazda!

5. Where are the altars of thy God? The place of the holy dance. So-qi heareth not. None can hear the Voice of I'hua'Mazda. Angels and Gods are scouted.

6. O man, canst thou measure swords with thy Creator? O that thou couldst open the curtains of heaven, and see! What is thy little learning? Shall a chick that is not hatched discourse on the philosophy of life?

7. Behold, O man, I have told thee that the natural senses cannot understand spiritual things. But I will reach thee; thou vain city, Oas. Thou, king So-qi! Thy sword shall fall from the hilt; thy mandates be as a breath blown away.

8. Hear me, O man, saith I'hua'Mazda: I opened the door a little, that thou mightst learn a little about the stars. And now thou art puffed up; vain boaster of thy knowledge, thou slammest the door in the face of thy Master!

9. Thou hast gone in darkness; a driveler to familiar spirits; lazy and longing to die. Then I said to thee: Behold, it is a good world; go, then, and be wise. Quickly thou wert changed; bewailing the stupidity of the ancients. What better art thou? Because I delivered thee from darkness, thou killest my prophets.

10. I'hua'Mazda said: I make thee free, O man, but thou deniest My person. When I suffer thee to fall in bondage, thou criest: O God, my God! When I deliver thee into freedom, thou goest with a sword and spear to lay thy fellows in death.

11. Hear, me, O man, what I have done for thee, saith I'hua'Mazda. Of A'su I cleft a rib and stood it up, saying: Be thou a man, upright in likeness of thy God. And My Voice made thee; what thou art, but was not, proveth I am. I said: Save thy seed, O man. I'hin stood aloof from the Asu'ans, and was holy; but thy brother, dwelt with them and brought forth unto destruction.

12. Be admonished, saith I'hua'Mazda. I smote the earth and broke it as an egg is broken; for I would cut loose the bound in heaven. Then all the tribes of men cried out: There is a Mazda! An All Power Unseen!

Chapter II

1. In those days when an army captured a large city, slaying the people, they carried back the spoil to So-qi, king of Oas, capital of Par'si'e, and received rewards according to the amount of plunder. The wars were between the different nations of I'huans. The sacred people, the I'hins, had nothing; they were unmolested.

2. I said: Whosoever lieth up treasures in this world, shall find no peace! But ye have built so great a city, ye hope nothing can break it down. Now I will show thee, O king: thy city shall prove the weakest of cities. I will raise up one man out of the seed of the I'hins; and, Oas, the mighty city, shall fall before his hand.

3. I'hua'Mazda, God of heaven, sent certain loo'is, highly learned angels, to look around, and afterward he called them and asked what they saw? They said: Work! Work! Ihua'Mazda said: Work it shall be! Go ye, holy masters of generations, down to mortals close around the city of Oas. And search ye out seed of the I'hin race, and by inspiration lead them to the fairest daughters of I'hua, in the city of Oas; and they shall be tempted, and anon a quickened fruit shall ripen in the city, sons and daughters. Again go ye to the I'hins, and by inspiration bring others and have them tempted by the improved fruit. And yet again repeat this method, and in the sixth generation ye shall raise up a son having the gifts of su'is and sar'gis, and ye shall call him Zarathustra.

4. The loo'is, the angels who were guardians over mortals for such purpose, went and accomplished what had been commanded by God. And the child's mother's name was Too'che, and the father's name Lo'ab. Too'che was su'is born herself, and was by Sa'moan, an angel, obsessed before she conceived, and during the time of maternity not suffered to wake from her unconscious trance. And by the loo'is, her soul was oft taken to high heaven to behold its glories, and then to return and inhabit her own body. Thus, the child was born of All Light, and in that same day the obsession fled, and Too'che proclaimed within the city that no man was father to the child, but that she conceived from All Light, believing, because unconscious in gestation.

5. The learned men cast the horoscope, but found nothing in the stars to alarm the kings, or worthy of credence to the maiden's story. The loo'is went before God, saying: Behold, a child is born, capable of All Light. Then spake God, saying: I will come; go ye and lead the way.

6. When yet the child nursed, I'hua'Mazda spake through the child, whilst its own spirit slept. Then again came the learned men, chief of whom was Asha, son of Zista, learned in a thousand stars and all living creatures, and in the bones of animals no longer living. So Asha spake to Too'che, saying: Canst thy suckling talk? Whereupon God answered him, saying:

7. Not the child, but I, even I'hua'Mazda. Think not, O man, these small lips utter words prompted by this child's soul. I am come to stay the cruel hand of war; to make man know there is an Unseen Master. Behold, this child hath no sex! He is an Yeshuah (Iesu), a passionless birth.

8. To which Asha said: Can it be this woman hath a man hidden under her cloak, and hopes to evade the just punishment of the king! O, thou harlot! That toldest a shameful tale of conception without a man! Thy lies are now added to others to make good the first. Out of the city, wretch! or thou shalt be stoned to death, and thy child with thee!

9. Too'che made no answer, save with a flood of tears. Then spake I'hua'Mazda, saying: Hold thy hand on these lips, and perceive thou how I gesticulate with these little hands. Yea, take thou the little form in thine own arms.

10. Then Asha feared, but fain would hide his fear, and so took the child, whilst I'hua'Mazda spake, saying: O man, that thou couldst behold the spirit, and would temper thy judgment down to patience and wisdom!

11. Asha said: If it be in truth thou art the Mazda of the I'huan race, why hast thou come in so questionable weakness? What can a child do? Wieldest thou a sword with these little hands? I had hoped to see a God come in stronger shape, and in majesty of a thousand angels, winged, and in flames of fire!

12. I'hua'Mazda said: My wisdom is not man's wisdom; my weapons, not arrows and sharp swords. What is great in man's judgment is as nothing to me; what is as nothing to man, I will make great, for I shall overturn this mighty city. Because I am come in peace and love, the city shall be divided, man against man, and bloody war run riot in this walled kingdom.

13. Asha said: To what end art thou come? For if it be true thou art a God born in this questionable shape, thou hast some motive more than to overthrow the town. I charge thee, then, most precocious youth, tell me what thy purpose is, that justice may be done?

14. I'hua'Mazda said: The cities of man are as nothing in my sight; I come to teach man of other worlds, and that the souls of the righteous shall live forever; I come to deliver man from darkness into everlasting light.

15. Asha said: Thy words are wisdom, or else my sudden surprise hath unfitted my judgment. I will go now, that I may reflect on this wonder. To-morrow I will come again. Keep this matter quietly. For if it be known that I, of so high estate, have talked in temperance on spiritual things, I will be doomed to death.

Chapter III

1. When Asha had gone,I'hua'Mazda spake to Too'che, the virgin mother, saying: Take thou thy child away and hide thyself, lest the king have thee and thy child put to death. So Too'che departed with her child, and hid away in another part of the city.

2. Now Asha went direct to So-qi, the king, and related what had transpired. When he had finished, the king said: According to the histories of the ancients, when a God appeared amongst mortals, there were signs and miracles. Thou hast told me only words. Go, therefore, again to the child and say: The king desireth a miracle.

3. Asha returned the next day, but lo and behold, woman and child were gone, and not one of the neighbors knew whither. Asha said: If I go before the king with this story, he will have me slain as an inventor of lies. So he returned not to the king.

4. But where Too'che and her child dwelt, there came a maker of songs, by name Choe'jon, and he spake to the virgin, saying: Where is the child? She answered: He sleepeth in the rack of hay; I will fetch him. So she brought the child from its bed of new hay, fetching straws with its mantle, neither had the straws roots.

5. I'hua'Mazda spake through the child whilst its own spirit slept, saying: I came to thee, O Choe'jon; I brought thee hither, for thou shalt frame songs about the virgin's babe. Choe'jon was frightened, but nevertheless, he said: Can it be true, in this enlightened age! A miracle! Shall I talk to thee,O child? Then I'hua'Mazda said:

6. Behold, thou speakest not to the child, but to I'hua'Mazda. Take these straws to thy writing-box and plant them in new earth, and in one day they shall grow and bear ripe wheat. So Choe'jon departed and planted the straws, and in one day, they grew and bore ripe wheat.

7. Choe'jon had sung his songs before the king, and so had permission of the court; and he went and told the king of the miracle. The king said: The philosopher, Asha, told me about this child, and I sent him for a miracle, but he returneth not. Thou hast come and said: Behold, a miracle! What value is a miracle, save to those who witness it? Shall thy king take a thing in belief only? Is not belief the fruit of darkness? Go, therefore, again to the child and bring it before me, that I may see with mine own eyes.

8. Choe'jon returned to the place, but, lo and behold, virgin and child were gone; neither knew the neighbors whither. But she was concealed in another part of the city. And now there came before her one Os'shan, who was weeping because of the apparent death of his son. To him I'hua'Mazda spake, saying: Weep not, O man; I have healed thy son and also given sight to thy daughter.

9. Os'shan trembled at such words coming from the lips of a child, and he ran away, finding of a truth his son was healed, and his daughter restored to sight. In his joy he returned to the place, but the virgin and child were gone. Os'shan was hostler to the king, and capable of audience, and so he went and told the king of his good fortune.

10. The king said: Asha, the philosopher, told me a fine story of this child, but when I sent him for information, he returned not. Then came Choe'jon, the maker of songs, telling me what he had witnessed. I sent him to have the mother and child brought before me, but he returneth not. Now thou comest with a miracle, such as were told in the dark ages. Go thou, therefore, and search the city over till thou findest this wonder, and bring it before me.

11. On the next day another man, even the king's brother's son, came before the king, saying: This day I have seen such a wonder as would have been marvelous in the days of angels and Gods. Behold, a little child hath spoken to me such words of philosophy as made me tremble. And yet, O king, thou knowest I am no coward. My house is hung with a hundred scalps. Ay, and this child already proclaimeth itself Zarathustra in communion with the God, I'hua'Mazda! To me it said: Why killest thou the sons and daughters of thy God? Think not that thy multitude of scalps are a glory before heaven. Behold, I am stronger with my little finger than So-qi, thy king.

12. So-qi, the king, said: It is enough. Save this mother and child be brought at once before me, that I may behold the truth of these wonders, every male child in Oas shall be cast into fire. The king's brother's wife had a child, and the son's wife had a child, and they foresaw that the decree of the the king touched them closely; so there went forth many, searching for Too'che and Zarathustra.

13. But the spirit, I'hua'Mazda, directed the mother to go beyond the gates, and led her far off into the Forest of Goats, where the tribes of Listians lived by fishing and hunting, and on goat's milk. I'hua'Mazda talked to the virgin, saying: Twenty years shalt thou tarry in the forest, fearing nought, for thy God will provide for thee. And when thy son shall be larger and stronger than other men, behold, thy God will manifest for the redemption of the races of men who are hunted and slain for the glory of the kings.

14. So it came about that the virgin and her son dwelt in the Forest of Goats until Zarathustra was a large man and of mature years, and his stature was equal to three ordinary men; nor could any number of men lay him on his back. But because of his gentleness like a young goat, the tribes of the forest called him the Lamb of God, signifying, strength and good-will.

Chapter IV

1. When So-qi, the king, issued the decree to have Zarathustra found and brought before him, otherwise all the male infants of Oas to be slain, the Lords sent travail on the king's wife and on the king's daughter, wife of Asha, the philosopher, and the two women gave birth that day to two sons, a month before their time, but nevertheless unto life and strength and beauty. Now, according to the laws of Oas, a king could not rescind or change his own decrees, for he had assumed the position of infallibility, whereupon he had doomed to death kin of his kin, flesh of his flesh.

2. Accordingly, after search had been made in vain to find Zarathustra, the king repented of his decree, but knew no way to justify a change of commandment. Asha, hearing of this, came out of concealment, saying to himself: Now will I go to the king and hold him to his decree, even demanding that he slay me also. So Asha came before So-qi, and after saluting, said: O king, I have heard of thy strait, and am come to thee that I may counsel thee.

3. The king was angered, and he said: Asha, my friend, hear thou thy king: Thou camest before me, relating a marvelous story regarding an infant son of the virgin who saith she never knew a man. Now, according to the laws of the City of the Sun, any man stating for truth that which he cannot prove, is already adjudged to death. Shall not the law be fulfilled, because, forsooth, thou art near me in blood?

4. Asha said: Most assuredly, O king, the laws must be carried out. Are they not the all highest? For it followeth that man being the all highest person, his laws, above all else, must never be set aside. Therefore, thou shalt have me slain. Think not I am come before thee to plead an excuse, in order to save myself; rather let all men perish than that the king's decrees go amiss.

5. The king said: Thou art wise, O Asha. The laws cannot err, for they are the standard by which to judge all else. And he who hath risen to be king standeth by nature the infallible highest of all things. History hath proven this. But yet hear me, thou who hast wisdom from the movements of the sun and moon and stars: The king, being the all highest, how can he be bound? Cannot he decree new decrees forever?

6. Asha said: I will not deceive thee, O king! I know thou art arguing not for me, but for thine own infant son, and for thy daughter's infant son. Neither have I come before thee in prowess, though I love life. But here is the matter: If thou change one law, thou admittest that all laws made by man may also need changing; which is to say, wisdom is folly. How, then, shall the judge judge any man by the laws? Is it not setting up error in order to find truth?

7. The king said: Thou reasonest well. Methought this morning, in my walk in the market gardens, when the soldiers were spreading the scalps of their enemies in the sun to dry, whether or no, in ages to come, the weaker nations and tribes of men might not attempt to justify their right to life. And were the kings to admit fallibility in their decrees and laws, no man can foresee the end; for even slaves and servants and women will raise up against the laws, and claim their right to life. Wherein, then, would the earth be large enough for all the people? Yet, wherefore, O Asha, cometh this heart-ache of mine against killing mine own son?

8. Asha said: What are thy sympathies, O king? If thou wert to justify the escape of thy child's death for sympathy, would not my wife and my children justify their sympathy in desiring me to live? Nay, sympathy is the enemy of law and justice. It is the evil in our natures that crieth out for evil. The laws must be maintained; the decrees must be maintained; the king's word must be maintained. No man must suffer his judgment to go higher than the law, or the decree, or the king.

9. Asha said: This is the City of the Sun. If this city goeth back on its own laws, what will not the tributary cities do? Will not they also begin to disrespect the laws, or say: Perhaps the laws are in error? This will come to anarchy. To one purpose only can a great city be maintained. To divide the purposes and judgment of men is to scatter to the four winds the glory of our civil liberty. Was it not disrespect of the laws, combined with superstition, that caused the nations of ancients to perish?

10. The king said: What shall I do, O Asha? My son hath smiled in my face!

11. Asha said: Thou shalt send me and thy son and thy daughter's son, and all male infants to the slaughter's pen, and have us all beheaded and cast into the fire. Otherwise, it will come true what the infant Zarathustra hath said: Behold, my hand shall smite the city of Oas, and it shall fall as a heap of straw.

12. Think not, O king, I am superstitious and fear such threats; but this I perceive: Suffer the laws to be impeached, and every man in Oas will set up to interpret the laws to be wrong and himself right. And thy officers will rebel against thee on all sides, and the glory of thy kingdom will perish.

13. After the city had been searched for thirty days, and the virgin and child not found, the king appointed a day for the slaughter, according to his former decree; and there were ninety thousand male infants adjudged to death, the king's son among the rest.

14. Whilst these matters were maturing, the Lord went to Choe'jon, and inspired him to make songs about Zarathustra, the infant that was stronger than a king. And also songs about the decree of death to the ninety thousand infant sons of Oas. And the beauty of the songs, together with the nature of these proceedings, caused the songs to be sung in the streets day and night; and the songs, in satire, approved of the horrors, so that even the king could not interdict the singing.

Chapter V

1. When the day arrived for the slaughter of the male infants, not more than a thousand mothers appeared at the place of execution with their infants, the others having risen in the night previous and departed out of the gates, upward of eighty-nine thousand mothers.

2. When the king went to the place of execution, having set apart the day as a holiday, and not finding but a thousand infants present, he inquired the reason, and, having been told, he said: Can it be that mothers love their offspring more than they respect the decrees of the king? Asha was standing near, having stripped himself ready for execution, and he answered the king, saying:

3. Because they love their offspring, is it not the love of the flesh? And doth not the law stand above all flesh? In this matter, then, because they have evaded the law, they have adjudged themselves also to death.

4. Then came Betraj, the king's wife, bringing the infant. Betraj said: Here is thy son, O king, ready for the sacrifice. Asha reasonest well; there must be an All Highest, which never erreth; which is the law of the king. Take thou my flesh and blood and prove thy decrees. What! Why hesitate? If thou swerve one jot or tittle, then shalt thou open the door for all men to find an excuse against the law. Doth not the sun blight a harvest when he will? Yea, and strike dead our most beloved? Art thou not descended from the Sun Gods? Who will obey the laws if thou, thyself, do not?

5. The king said: Behold, it is yet early morn; let the officers go fetch all who have escaped beyond the walls, and both mothers and children shall be put to death. Till then, let the proceedings be suspended. Now there had congregated a vast multitude, anxious to witness the slaughter; and when the king suspended matters, there went up cries of disappointment. And many said: When a thing toucheth the king, he is a coward.

6. The king returned for his palace, leaving Asha standing stripped for the execution. And the multitude cried out: More is Asha like a king than So-qi. Let us make him king. King So-qi! We will not have a sheep for a king! And none could stay them, or be heard above their noise; and they ran after the king and slew him with stones, and they made Asha King of the Sun. And there was not one infant slain according to the decrees.

7. God saith: Think not, O man, that things happen without a cause, or that all things are left to chance. In my works I go beforehand and plan the way, even more carefully than a captain lieth siege to a city. Before Zarathustra was born I sent ashars to choose out my personages. Think not that Asha made his own arguments; but by virtue of the presence of my ashars, whom he saw not, he spake and behaved in my commandments, not knowing it. And even so was it with the king's wife; my angels also inspired her to speak before the king. And those that fled out of the city, were inspired by my hosts of angels.

8. God said: Yet with the king's decree I had no part, for I foresaw he would do this of his own will; and with the multitude in slaying the king I had no part, for I saw they would do this on their own account. Neither would the multitude hear my voice, even though I had spoken to every man's soul; for in them tetracts were the ascendant power.

9. God saith: The multitude slew the king because he had gone so far from me he heeded me not. And I made Asha king, because he came so near me my power was with him through my ashars.

Chapter VI

1. During the infant age of Zarathustra, God manifested no more through him; but he sent Ejah, one of his Lords, to be with Zarathustra, day and night. And Ejah taught the infant wisdom in all things, but showed himself to none else.

2. When Zarathustra was half grown, the Lord began to manifest through him, giving signs and miracles and prophecy before the Listians who lived in the Forest of Goats. This forest was of the width in every direction, save the east, of forty days' journey for a man, and in all that region there were no houses, the inhabitants living in tents made of bark and skins.

3. The Lord inspired Zarathustra to teach them to build houses, and tame the goats, and to live in cities, and otherwise subdue the earth through righteousness; the chief centre of their habitations being on the river Apherteon and its tributaries. And it was from these inhabitants that sprang in after years the migrants called Fonece'ans, signifying, out of the mountains. Nevertheless, these people were I'huans, but because of the cruelties of the Par'si'ean kings, they fled and lived in the forests.

4. The Lord said to Zarathustra: Behold the people who fly from the kings! I have made them kings over goats and over the beasts of the fields.

5. And from this time forth the Listians styled themselves shepherd kings. And Zarathustra taught them of the Lord, that man should have dominion over the beasts of the forests, but that no man should hold dominion over his neighbor. Consequently, every man of the Listians styled himself a king, and every woman styled herself a queen.

6. Again the Lord said to Zarathustra: Go thou, my son, whither I will lead thee, and thou shalt find a people sacred to the Great Spirit. So Zarathustra wandered beyond the Forest of Goats, and came to Hara'woetchij, to the south of the mountains of Oe'tahka, where were three large cities and twelve small ones, inhabited by I'hins.

7. And the Lord had been with the I'hins, and foretold them Zarathustra was coming, so that it was proven on both sides. The Lord said to the high priest: Thou shalt suffer Zarathustra to come within the walls of the cities, for he is pure.

8. So Zarathustra went in, and, in the time of worship before the altar of God, the Lord appeared in a great light and commanded the high priest, saying: Behold, I have brought my son to thee. Him shalt thou anoint as a priest according to the I'hin laws; and thou shalt teach him the rites and ceremonies of the ancients.

9. Accordingly Zarathustra was made a priest and was otherwise accepted as an I'hin, and bestowed under the rod with water and with fire. And he also taught the sacred words and the art of writing and making tablets; and of weaving cloth and making clothes from flax.

10. Seven years Zarathustra remained with the I'hins, fasting and praying, and singing and dancing before the Lord. And then the Lord commanded him to return through the Forest of Goats, the which he did, teaching before the Listians whithersoever he halted for a rest, and the Lord was with him, working miracles.

11. At the end of another seven years the Lord said to Zarathustra: Behold, the dawn of light is come! Thou shalt, therefore, bestow thy mother with thy people, and I will lead thee to the city of thy birth. Zarathustra said: Tell me, O Lord, of the city of my birth?

12. The Lord said: It is a great city, but it shall fall before thy hand; for I'hua'Mazda hath turned his favor away from its kings.

13. In two days' journey Zarathustra came to Oas, and entered into the city, but he brought no provender with him. Now, it was a law of Oas, that all strangers coming into the city, should bring provender as a testimony of fidelity to the laws and to the king. So, when he came to the inner gate, the keeper asked him for provender; but Zarathustra answered him, saying:

14. Naked I came into the world, and Ormazd asked me not for provender. Is thy king greater than the Creator?

15. The keeper said: I know not thy words; shall a servant explain laws? To which Zarathustra said: Thou art wise; neither shalt thou suffer for disobedience in letting me pass. The Lord will give thee food.

16. When he had spoken thus, there fell at the feet of the keeper an abundance of fruit, and the keeper feared and stood aside, suffering Zarathustra to pass in. The keeper not only told the people of the miracle, but ran and told the king, likewise. This was Asha, who had reigned since the death of So-qi; and Asha no sooner heard of the miracle than he imagined the person to be the same whom he had seen in infancy.

17. Asha, the king, sent officers at once to find Zarathustra, and bring him before the court. But the Lord knowing these things, inspired Zarathustra to go on his own account; and he went accordingly before the king, even before the officers returned.

18. The king said: Who art thou? and for what purpose hast thou come before the king?

19. Then spake I'hua'Mazda through Zarathustra, saying: I am I'hua'Mazda, God of the I'huans. He through whom I speak, is Zarathustra, whom thou sawest in his mother's arms. We twain are one. I have come before thee, O king, because of two reasons: thou hast sent for me; and I desire to use thee.

20. The king said: Speak further, stranger, that I may approve of thy words.

21. In the time of So-qi, said I'hua'Mazda, I made thee king of Oas, and from that day to this my ashars have been with thee and heard thee oft praying privately for information of the infant thou sawest; for it resteth heavily on thy judgment whether or no man be immortal. Sit thou with me this night privily, and I will show thee So-qi's soul.

22. Asha said: Thou wert to smite the city and it would fall. Behold, it standeth! Yet I desire not to stand in my own light. Then Zarathustra spake on his own account, saying: Fear not, O king, for this philosophy. As thou wouldst bend a straw, so do the Gods wield the nations of the earth. The city will fall ere six years pass, and thou shalt be reduced to beggary, and yet thou shalt be happier than now.

Chapter VII

1. When night came, the king sat privately with Zarathustra; and I'hua'Mazda cast a light on the wall, and the soul of So-qi came and appeared before Asha. So-qi said: Knowest thou who I am? And Asha said: Yea, So-qi.

2. So-qi said: True, O king, the soul is immortal! And then it disappeared. Asha said: It seemeth to be So-qi. And yet if it were he, would he not have called me, Asha, instead of, O king? Then spake Zarathustra, saying: Call thou for some other spirit? Asha said: Suffer, then, the soul of my wife to appear.

3. Again the light appeared, and the soul of Asha's wife inhabited it, and he saw her. Asha said: It is, indeed. And then she disappeared. Asha said: Had it been she, she had spoken. Zarathustra said: Call thou for another spirit. Asha called Choe'jon, the songster, who looked like no other man under the sun. And Choe'jon also appeared; and even sang one of the songs about the slaughter of the infants.

4. Asha said: It was like Choe'jon; but had it been he, he had surely mentioned the miracle. Then Zarathustra said: Call yet for another spirit. And Asha called, and another appeared; and thus it continued until twenty souls of the dead had shown themselves, and talked with him, face to face, and every one had related things pertinent to themselves.

5. Then spake Zarathustra, saying: To-morrow night shalt thou again sit with me. Now, on the next night, twenty other spirits of the dead appeared and spake face to face with the king. But yet he believed not. Then spake I'hua'Mazda through Zarathustra, saying: What will satisfy thee, O man? For I declare unto thee, that spirit is not provable by corpor, nor corpor by spirit. There are two things; one groweth by aggregating, and the other groweth by dissemination, of which All Light is the highest. As by darkness light is known, and by light darkness known, similarly diverse are corpor and spirit known.

6. I'hua'Mazda said: Thy generations, O king, have been long bred in unbelief in spirit, and unbelief is so entailed upon thee that evidence is worthless before thee. Who thinkest thou I am?

7. Asha said: Zarathustra. Then Zarathustra asked him, saying: Who thinkest thou I am?

8. Again Asha said: Zarathustra. To which I'hua'Mazda said: Because thou seest with thine eyes this corporeal body, and heareth with thine ears this corporeal voice, so dost thy corporeal judgment find an answer.

9. But I declare to thee, O king, there is a spiritual judgment as well as a corporeal judgment. There is a spiritual man within all men, and it never dieth. The spiritual man, which is within, is the only one that can discern spiritual things. It is the only one that can recognize the spirits of the dead.

10. Then Asha said: How shall I prove there be not some element belonging to thee personally, that is as a mirror, to reproduce a semblance of whatsoever is within thy thoughts?

11. I'hua'Mazda said: What would that profit thee if proven? And what profit if not proven? Hear me, then, for this is wisdom: There are millions of souls in heaven that are in the same doubt thou art now in, not knowing that they themselves are dead. Especially those slain in war and in unbelief of spirit life.

12. The king said: Who, then, sayest thou, thou art? I'hua'Mazda said: First, there is Ormazd, Creator, Who is over all and within all, Whose Person is the Whole All. Then there are the unseen worlds in the sky; then this world, and the stars, and sun, and moon. After them, mortals, and the spirits of the dead.

13. Hear me, O king; because the dead know not the All High heavens, the Ormazd, Whose name signifieth Master of All Light, sendeth His exalted angels down to the earth as masters and teachers, having captains and high captains, that their labor be done orderly. The highest captain is therefore called I'hua'Mazda, that is, master voice over mortals and spirits for their exaltation.

14. Know, then, O king, I, who speak, have thee and thy city and thy country within my keeping. I am come to stay man's bloody hand. And through Zarathustra will I reveal the laws of Ormazd; and they shall stand above all other laws. Because thou art the most skilled of men, I made thee king; because thou hast seen that man must have an All Highest Law, I have come to thee. Yea, from thy youth up, and during thy long life, I have spoken to thy soul, saying: Asha, find thou the All Highest: Asha, thou shalt have a strange labor before thou diest! Asha, thou, that hast attained to the measurement of the stars, shalt find a Power behind the stars!

15. The king said: Enough! Enough! O stranger! Thou turnedst my head with wonders. I scarce know if I am living or dead, because of the mastery of thy wisdom. Alas, my kindred are dead; my friends are fools! I have none to tell these wonders to. All thy days shalt thou live in my palace, and whosoever thou demandest for wife, shall be granted unto thee.

16. I'hua'Mazda said: Till I come again to thee, O king, keep thine own counsel. For the present, I must return to the forest. Give me, therefore, of thy choicest ink and brushes and writing cloth, and send thou two servants with me. Asha said: Suffer thou me to be one of thy servants, and I will abdicate my throne!

17. I'hua'Mazda said: I shall need thee where thou art. Thus ended the interview with the king. The next day Zarathustra returned to the forest, to write the Zarathustrian laws.


Continued

Index to Oahspe