And Philemon stepped before me, and began to speak (and this is the seventh sermon to the dead):

“Man is a gateway, through which you pass from the outer world of Gods, daimons, and souls into the inner world, out of the greater. into the smaller world. Small and inane is man, already he is behind you, and once again you find yourselves in endless space, in the smaller or inner infinity.

“At immeasurable distance a lonely star stands in the zenith. “This is the one God of this one man, this is his world, his Pleroma, his divinity.

“In this world, man is Abraxas, the creator and destroyer of his own world.

“This star is the God and the goal of man. This is his lone guiding God, in him man goes to his rest, toward him goes the long journey of the soul after death, in him everything that man withdraws from the greater world
shines resplendently.

“To this one God man shall pray. Prayer increases the light of the star, it throws a bridge across death, it prepares life for the smaller world, and assuages the hopeless desires of the greater.

“When the greater world turns cold, the star shines. “Nothing stands between man and his one God, so long as man can turn away his eyes from the flaming spectacle of Abraxas.

“Man here, God there.

“Weakness and nothingness here, eternally creative power there.

“Here nothing but darkness and clammy cold there total sun.”

But when Philemon had finished, the dead remained silent. Heaviness fell from them, and they ascended like smoke above the shepherd’s fire, who watches over his flock by night. But I turned to Philemon and said, “Illustrious one, you teach that man is a gateway? A gateway through which the procession of the Gods passes? Through which the stream of life flows? Through which the entire future streams into the endlessness of the past?”

Philemon answered, saying, “These dead believed in the transformation and development of man. They were convinced of human nothingness and transitoriness. Nothing was clearer to them than this, and yet they knew that man even creates its Gods, and so they knew that the Gods were of no use. Therefore they had to learn what they did not know, that man is a gateway through which crowds the train of the Gods and the coming and passing of all times. He does not do it, does not create it, does not suffer it, since he is the being, the sole being, since he is the moment of the world, the eternal moment. Whoever recognizes this stops being flame; he becomes smoke and ashes. He lasts and his transitoriness is over. He has become someone who is.

You dreamed of the flame, as if it were life. But life is duration, the flame dies away. I carried that over, I saved it from the fire. That is the son of the fire flower. You saw that in me, I myself am of the eternal fire of light. But I am the one who saved it for you, the black and golden seed and its blue starlight. You eternal being-what is length and brevity? What is the moment and eternal duration? You, being, are eternal in each moment. What is time? Time is the fire that flares up, consumes, and dies down. I saved being from time, redeeming it from the fires of time and the darkness of time, from Gods and devils.”

But I said to him, “Illustrious one, when will you give me the dark and golden treasure and its blue starlight?”

Philemon replied, “When you have surrendered everything that wants to burn to the holy flame.”

And as Philemon spoke these words, a dark form with golden eyes approached me from the shadows of the night. I was startled and cried, ”Are you an enemy? Who are you? Where do you come from? I have never seen you before! Speak, what do you want?”

The dark one answered, saying, “I come from afar. I come from the east and follow the shining fire that precedes me, Philemon.  I am not your enemy, I am a stranger to you. My skin is dark and my eyes shine golden.”

“What do you bring?” I asked fearfully.

“I bring abstinence-abstinence from human joy and suffering. Compassion leads to alienation. Pity, but no compassion-pity for the world and a will held in check toward the other. Pity remains misunderstood, therefore it works. Far from longing, know no fear. Far from love, love the whole.”

I looked at him fearfully and said, “Why are you as dark as the earth of the fields and as black as iron? I’m afraid of you; such pain, what have you done to me?”

“You may call me death-death that rose with the sun. I come with quiet pain and long peace. I lay the cover of protection on you. In the midst of life begins death. I lay cover upon cover upon you so that your warmth will never cease.”

“You bring grief and despair,” I answered, “I wanted to be among men.”

But he said, “You will go to men as one veiled. Your light shines at night. Your solar nature departs from you and your stellar nature begins.”

“You are cruel,” I sighed.

“The simple is cruel, it does not unite with the manifold.”

With these words the mysterious dark one vanished. But Philemon regarded me with a serious and questioning look.

“Did you take a proper look at him, my son?” he said, “you will be hearing from him. But come now, so that I can fulfill what the dark one prophesied for you.” ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Scrutinies, Pages 352-355.