The Great Gospel of John

Epiphan's doubts and questions

[5.212.1] Epiphan said, "Good master, this explanation of yours seems to me to be like lightning in the night! For a moment the path and the area is lit up indeed, but if one wants to go further, then one sees nothing at all. But it is becoming somewhat lighter for me nonetheless, and I take from your words that you are a very competent expert in nature and a great anthropologist.

[5.212.2] According to your opinion, man hides infinity in himself of course, and thus also eternity; but whether he also can understand infinity and eternity himself, the substantial power, the light and the life, even with the best instruction, is another really very significant question. I do not want to talk about the impossibility of that, however, as if such a thing should be quite unattainable for a very enlightened human spirit "for the talents of man are various, and one person understands something very easily which remains locked away forever for another despite years of effort, thinking and striving "but anyone who has been around even just a little ever over the old limits of usual human animalistic life on the Earth will agree with me that it is no easy thing to get to grips with these expressions.

[5.212.3] Man can understand and temporally learn much; but to shed a clear light on such expressions, for whose full explanation an eternity must be necessary, that I would indeed like to call into a certainly not unfounded question nonetheless. Man only learns one thing after the other and needs time for this. If he learns much, he will also need a lot of time for this, and should he learn endlessly much, he will also need endlessly much time for this. The human life, however, is only a short one, and thus it will obviously need to have a very clear path in order to learn endlessly much.

[5.212.4] You have indeed said something about an original divine spirit, which is stuck in the soul as the soul is in the body, and that this spirit as the creator of man in infinity and eternity is quite at home as identical with such expressions and penetrating everything with its light and with its eternal life. Well, that sounds indeed very wise and also very mystical "something which however was always known to all the theosophists, wise men, priests and magicians, but which has nothing to do with the issue, by the way "but where and how can a person put himself with such a spirit of his into a connection that is well and clearly known to him and generally effective, so that he stands there as a perfected spirit man of God, sees and understands everything most clearly and is a true lord and master of all nature with the power of his original will? That, dear master, is quite a different question!

[5.212.5] Whoever can answer me this question purely, truly and equally effective for life, for him I will have great respect. But he may not come to me with the certain mystical flowery words and phrases; for from this nobody has ever learnt something very good and very true, and the whole of humanity has for that reason never come any further or higher, but instead only ever deeper in its spiritual intelligence. Thus everyone who wants to teach his fellow man something higher should speak clearly and understandably, otherwise he would do better to be silent. Whoever is a magician and can perform miraculous things should do that for the pleasure of the lay humanity with just as great a mystical secrecy; for there it is in the best place and does not harm anyone. But if the magician wants to form pupils in his art who should achieve over time the same that he performs, then the secrecy should be put aside and the very purest and unrestricted truth should step into its place.

[5.212.6] Why did Plato and Socrates find so few practicing followers? Because they were mystics, they certainly did not understand each other and thus even less so were ever understood by anyone else! Diogenes and Epicure spoke clearly and understandably according to their understanding and therefore found also a great number of practical disciples, and that for a religion which gives the people here on this Earth almost no pleasures at all and makes them cease totally after the bodily death.

[5.212.7] Epicure was rich and recommended the good living for the duration of life because after death everything was over. Diogenes wanted to be more generally useful with his religion, because he saw very well that Epicure's teaching can only satisfy the rich, but must make the poor only even unhappier. He therefore taught the greatest possible privation and restraint of human needs, and his supporters were and still are the much stronger, because every person could get to grips with his clearly presented principles indeed without all mysticism.

[5.212.8] Aristotle was much admired for his powerful and clever manner of speech and was a great philosopher. But his disciples have never grown too large in number, and even the few were constant investigators and specialists of deduction and their theories of possibility often went as far as to be laughable; for whatever seemed to them to be possible any way logically, could also be physically possible in certain circumstances. Truly, a very useful teaching for magicians, and the Essenes have long been occupied with it, although they are Epicurists and also partly cynics for themselves and for their own household!

[5.212.9] But where is the great truth of life hidden, which shows some moments in the course from which one at least might ask the question and say: Should that all seriously be a game of whim of the casually ruling chance? Should the cause be indeed more foolish as a produced and ordering principle than his works, or can a fully blind power form a being that is aware of itself and thinks maturely?

[5.212.10] The mystics present an all-powerful and highly wise God "and millions ask: Who is He, and what does He look like? But to this question there never follows a plausible answer. Yet people soon make use of poetry, and at once the Earth is swarming with great and small gods, and the idle people shy of thinking believe in it, and such a belief is almost a double death to man; for it makes him physically and morally lazy, idle, inactive and thus dead.

[5.212.11] But whoever is a true wise man, he may step forward with the grain of truth into the open daylight of people and show them clearly the original foundations and the purpose of his being, and he will set an eternal monument in the hearts of millions of people for all times of time; for a true person will constantly welcome the pure truth to the highest degree.

[5.212.12] You, dear friend, as it seems, want to be a true teacher of the truth, and there also seems to be no lack of capabilities for this; therefore answer me these questions which as far as I know no person has ever answered clearly, brightly and truly enough, and you will give our hearts an extremely great encouragement! But do not come to us with a half truth; for there is in any case already no lack of them among us!"

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