Jupiter and Mercury in the house of Philemon and Baucis, Adam Elsheimer, c1608, Dresden.
But what mystery are you intimating to me with your name, Oh Philemon Truly you are the lover who once took in the Gods as they wandered the earth when everyone else refused them lodging.
You are the one who unsuspectingly gave hospitality to the Gods; they thanked you by transforming your house into a golden temple, while the flood swallowed everyone else. You remained alive when chaos erupted.
You it was who served in the sanctuary when the peoples called out in vain to the Gods.
Truly it is the lover who survives.
Why did we not see that? And just when did the Gods manifest?
Precisely when BACCHUS wished to serve the esteemed guests her only goose, that blessed stupidity the animal fled to the Gods who then revealed themselves to their poor hosts, who had given their last.
Thus I saw that the lover survives, and that he is the one who unwittingly grants hospitality to the Gods.
Truly, Oh Philemon, I did not see that your hut is a temple, and that you, Philemon, and BACCHUS, serve in the sanctuary.
This magical power allows itself to be neither taught nor learned. Either one has it or does not have it.
Now I know your final mystery: you are a lover.
You have succeeded in uniting what has been sundered, that is, binding together the Above and Below.
Have we not known this for a long time?
Yes, we knew it, no, we did not know it.
It has always been this way, and yet it has never been thus.
Why did I have to wander such long roads before I came& to Philemon, if he was going to teach me what has been common knowledge for ages?
Alas, we have known everything since time immemorial and yet we will never know it until it is has been accomplished.
Who exhausts the mystery of love?
Under which mask) oh Philemon, are you hiding?
You did not strike me as a lover.
But my eyes were opened, and I saw that you are a lover of your soul, who anxiously and jealously guards its treasure.
There are those who love men, and those who love the souls of men, and those who love their own soul.
Such a one is Philemon, the host of the Gods.
You lie in the sun) oh Philemon, like a serpent that coils around itself.
Your wisdom is the wisdom of serpents, cold, with a grain of poison, yet healing in small doses.
Your magic paralyzes and therefore makes strong people, who tear themselves away from themselves.
But do they love you, are they thankful, lover of your own soul?
Or do they curse you for your magical serpent poison?
They keep their distance, shaking their heads and whispering together.
Are you still a man, Philemon, or / is one not a man until one is a lover of one’s own soul?
You are hospitable, Philemon, you took the dirty wanderers unsuspectingly into your hut.
Your house then became a golden temple, and did I really leave your table unsatisfied? What did you give me?
Did you invite me for a meal?
You shimmered multicolored and inextricable; nowhere did you give yourself to me as prey.
You escaped my grasp. I found you nowhere. Are you still a man? Your kind is far more serpent-like.
I sought to grab hold of you and tear it out of you, since the Christians have learned to devour their God.
And how long will it take for what happens to the God also to happen to man?
I look into the vast land and hear nothing but wailing and see nothing but men consuming each other.
Oh D, you are Philemonn Christian.
You did not let yourself be engorged and did not engorge me.
Because of this you have neither lecture halls nor columned halls teeming with students who stand around and speak of the master and soak up his words like the elixir of life.
You are no Christian and no pagan, but a hospitable inhospitable one, a host of the Gods, a survivor, an eternal one, the father of all eternal wisdom.
But did I really leave you unsatisfied?
No, I left you because I was really satisfied. Yet what did I eat?
Your words gave me nothing.
Your words left me to myself and my doubt.
And so I ate myself.
And because of this, Oh Philemon, you are no Christian, since you nourish yourself from yourself and force men to do the same.
This displeases them most, since nothing disgusts the human animal more than itself.
Because of this they would rather eat all crawling, hopping, swimming and flying creatures, yes, even their own species, before they nibble at themselves.
But this nourishment is effective and one is soon satiated from it. Because of this, Oh Philemon, we rise satiated from your table.
Your way, Oh Philemon, is instructive. You leave me in a salutary darkness, where there is nothing for me to either see or look for.
You are no light that shines in the darkness, no savior who establishes an eternal truth and thus extinguishes the nocturnal light of human understanding.
You leave room for the stupidity and jokes of others.
You do not want, Oh blessed one, anything from the other, but instead you tend the flowers in your own garden.
He who needs you asks you, and, Oh clever Philemon, I suppose that you also ask those from whom you need something and that you pay for what you receive.
Christ has made men desirous, for ever since they expect gifts from their saviors without any service in return.
Giving is as childish as power.
He who gives presumes himself powerful.
The virtue of giving is the sky-blue mantle of the tyrant.
You are wise, Oh Philemon, you do not give.
You want your garden to bloom, and for everything to grow from with~n itself.
I praise, Oh Philemon, your lack of acting like a savior; you are no shepherd who runs after stray sheep, since you believe in the dignity of man, who is not necessarily a sheep.
But if he happens to be a sheep, you would leave him the rights and dignity of sheep, since why should sheep be made into men? There are still more than enough men.
You know, Oh Philemon, the wisdom of things to come; therefore you are old, oh so very ancient, and just as you tower above me in years, so you tower above the present in futurity, and the length of your past is immeasurable.
You are legendary and unreachable.
You were and will be, returning periodically: Your wisdom is invisible, your truth is unknowable, entirely untrue in any given age, and yet true in all eternity; but you pour out living water, from which the flowers of your garden bloom, a starry water, a dew of the night.
What do you need, Oh Philemon?
You need men for the sake of small things, since everything greater and the greatest thing is in you.
Christ spoiled men, since he taught them that they can be saved only by one, namely Him, the Soil of God, and ever since men have been demanding the greater things from others, especially their salvation; and if a sheep gets lost / somewhere,it accuses the shepherd.
Oh Philemon, you are a man, and you prove that men are not sheep, since you look after the greatest in yourself, and hence fructifying water flows into your garden from inexhaustible jugs.
Are you lonely oh Philemon, I see no entourage and no companions around you; BACCHUS: is only your other half. Y
ou live with flowers, trees, and birds, but not with men.
Should you not live with men? Are you still a man?
Do you want nothing from men?
o you not see how they stand together and concoct rumors and childish fairy tales about you?
Do you not want to go to them and say that you are a man and a mortal as they are, and that you want to love them?
Oh Philemon, you laugh?
I understand you. Just now I ran into your garden and wanted to tear out of you what I had to understand from within myself.
Oh Philemon, I understand: immediately I made you into a savior who lets him self be consumed and bound with gifts.
That’s what men are like, you think; they are all still Christians.
But they want even more: they want you as you are, otherwise you would not be Philemon to them and they would be inconsolable, if they could find no bearer for their legends.
Hence they would also laugh, if you approached them and said you were as mortal as they are and want to love them.
If you did that, you would not be Philemon.
They want you, Philemon, but not another mortal who suffers from the same ills as they do.
I understand you, Oh Philemon, you are a true / lover, since you love your soul for the sake of men, because they need a king who lives from himself and owes no one gratitude for his life.
They want to have you thus.
You fulfill the wish of the people and you vanish.
You are a vessel of fables.
You would besmirch yourself if you went to men as a man, since they would all laugh and call you a liar and a swindler, since Philemon is not a man.
I saw, Oh Philemon, that crease in your face: you were young once and wanted to be a man among men.
But the Christian animals did not love your pagan humanity, since they felt in you what they needed.
They always sought the branded one, and when they caught him somewhere in freedom, they locked him in a golden cage and took from him the force of his masculinity, so that he was paralyzed and sat in silence.
Then they praise him and devise fables about him.
I know, they call this veneration.
And if they do not find the true one, they at least have a Pope,whose occupation it is to represent the divine comedy.
But the true one always disowns himself since he knows nothing higher than to be a man.
Are you laughing, Oh Philemon I understand you: it irked you to be a man like others.
And because you truly loved being human, you voluntarily locked it away so that you could be for men at least what they wanted to have from you.
Therefore I see you Oh Philemon, not with men, but wholly with flowers, the trees and the birds and all waters flowing and still that do not besmirch your humanity: For you are not Philemon to the flowers, trees, and birds, but a man.
Yet what solitude, what inhumanity!
why are you laughing?
Oh Philemon I cannot fathom you.
But do I not see the blue air of your gardener What happy shades surround your Does the sun hatch blue midday specters around your Are you laughing,
Oh Philemon? Alas, I understand you: humanity has completely faded for you, but its shadow has arisen for you. How much greater and happier the shadow of humanity is than it is itself!
The blue midday shadows of the dead! Alas, there is your humanity, Oh Philemon, you are a teacher and friend of the dead.
They stand sighing in the shade of your house, they live under the branches of your trees.
They drink the dew of your tears, they warm themselves at the goodness of your heart, they hunger after the words of your wisdom, which sounds full to them, full of the sounds of life.
I saw you, Oh Philemon, at the noonday hour when the sun stood highest; you stood speaking with a blue shade, blood stuck to its forehead and solemn torment darkened it.
I can guess, Oh Philemon, who your midday guest was.
How blind I was, fool that I am! That is you, Oh Philemon!
But who am I! I go my way, shaking my head, and people’s looks follow me and I remain silent. Oh despairing silence!
oh master of the garden!
I see your dark tree from afar in the shimmering sun.
My street leads to the valleys where men live.
I am a wandering beggar. And I remain silent.
Killing off would-be prophets is a gain for the people.
If they want murder, then may they kill their false prophets.
If the mouth of the Gods remains silent, then each can listen to his own speech.
He who loves the people remains silent.
If only false teachers teach, the people will kill the false teachers, and will fall into the truth even on the way of their sins.
Only after the darkest night will it be day: So cover the lights and remain silent so that the night will become dark and noiseless.
The sun rises without our help.
Only he who knows the darkest error knows what light is. Carl Jung, The Red Book, Pages 315-317