Black Books

  1. I. 1923.

[I]. Verily, he came again in the middle of the night.

I heard his shrill, terrible whistle, when he whistled to the great bloodhound, who hurried to fulfill his master’s wish like an arrow whirring arrow from a bow.

Truly, Oh my soul, he is here. His nearness is hideous.  My eyes can’t make him out. Tell me, whose countenance do you see? Whose form?

S. Verily, you have spoken correctly- he’s really here. I tremble,

I heard the piercing, gruesome whistle. That is He. He is a mighty hunter, a hunter of men. How should I describe him, the strong one?

He breaks all human arts into two with lightning hammer from a dark cloud, -no human eye can see him.

But when he whistles, his pack suddenly ride up, drawing each bow, the spear hits its target, hissing and crashing.

A lord of men, who is like his hounds, he chases them trembling before him, made cruel from anguish, obedient in the fear of death.

[I]. What mighty one do you describe? I really feel the terror of his invisible presence. Tell me, will he speak to me?

Why does his appearance spread fright, he who was my friend?

S. He will speak to you. He has laid the cruel bow on the ground and sheathed his flashing sword.

He is a red-haired bearded man, his body and his feet are wrapped in animal skins.

His eyes shine with the light of the Gods and his countenance has the marble pallor of the Godhead. Yes, his gaze is fixed, it cannot be reached by human arts.

He clucks softly with his tongue and the terror shoots up, as if you stepped on a poisonous serpent.

A master-everyone is an unquestioning follower-since-who would even think of resisting? Hold your tongue, what would you dare utter in his presence?

He is a mighty one-what fearful riddles has he brought us! He will speak to you, but don’t speak first.

He doesn’t look at you. He speaks softly from afar. You can’t hear him.

He still hasn’t turned your way. He addresses the far-off dawn-devising the gory work of the hunt-his hounds stand tense-who wants to resist his pack?

His gruesome whistle freezes the blood, and each of his hounds carries  a whole man like a rabbit to its master’s feet.

What does he say to the dawn? Verily a master, a mighty one, a terror before whom every question dies.

Now he looks toward you, indifferently according to the manner of a true God and says to you:

He: Are you the one who overcame me? Can you laugh?

No, you can’t. Because you don’t understand how it was possible for you to overcome me, and yet you did it once-once and for all.

Can you tell me what this singularity meant?

What did it mean that you overcame me? And what do I mean? Divine me and tell me who I am, you overcomer!

[I] . You are verily a God, before whom everything wretched in us feebly falls into the dust.

You are a master, a mighty one, attended by fright, before whom everyone waits on each of your signs with mortal fear, with pricked-up ears, trembling like hounds, the human pack awaits you.

You are indubitably a God, a death terror would lame me if I spoke otherwise.

The terror emanating from you loosens bound tongues and compels true speech.

Who dared to play before you and dissemble? How could I once have overcome you?

I can’t understand how that was possible. But a true dream told me that I did it. Yes, I have overcome a God without knowing it.

He: You could do this because you didn’t know it. Yet tell me, what is a God? What do you call a God?

[I]. God is the almighty being, before whom there is no escape.

One falls to the ground in speechless horror. Nobody calls obedience into question.

One is captivated by his power. He who hears his whistle, his blood is frozen. No one calls obedience into question.

The master of such a terror is truly a God and that you are, even if you are an apparition.

What difference does it make, whether an apparition is clothed in the mantle of a God or an actual being?

Who dares here to toy with a gold scale?

No one thinks whether it is appearance or actuality. A faint click of your tongue is enough, Oh hunter of men!

He. Tell me, overcomer, what does it mean that you have overcome a God?

[I]. It wasn’t a sacrilege, or something unwitting, it was the only thing I could do, since I had to defend my life, even if a God attacked.

And apparently you wanted to spare me, otherwise you could have killed me easily.

I was then sick from an illness that had claimed the lives of many, but it quickly and easily went away.

I am aware that you saved me. Indeed you wanted to test my courage and determination.

Thus I interpret the overcoming to you: I couldn’t and didn’t want to leave you in a state of the deepest unknowing.

You must learn wisdom, since what is a king with power only and no wisdom? Isn’t his power badly directed, if it lacks wisdom?

He. You have divined well. What do you call wisdom?

[I]. I call wisdom right action coming from right thought.

He. That is well said. Yet what is right?

[I] . What is right is what is in accord with the whole, and the whole leads to greater life.

He. That is also well spoken. I have promised you, overcomer, that I will learn.

My power needs wisdom. But why does a God born without wisdom still have power?

Interpret this to me![I].

I told you, God is the overpowering being. Wisdom is the opposite, it is mild, it is never violent, it does not shatter, nobody feels fear and grovels before it in the dust.

Because a God is a great power, he mostly lacks wisdom.

So it is.

He. This is well spoken, but I don’t like what you said. Should wisdom destroy power? Answer!

[I] . Wisdom destroys unjust power and gives right form to right power.

He. You have put this well, overcomer! ~The Black Books, Vol. VII, Page 228-230