Agape: In Search of Universal Love
from the novel, The Lodging for the Rose
Rolf. A. F. Witzsche

Story 15 - In the Flow of Life.
page 96

      A voice spoke from within; "This is the scene that mankind lives in. It is its home, its treasury, the center and circumference of its being."
      "Does mankind see nothing else?" I asked. "Does it know nothing else? Is there nothing brighter that has an impact on its life and its world? Are it's eyes blinded by the fire of its rage, and its ears deafened by the thunder of its tumults and the choruses of crying?"
      The voice didn't answer me. Perhaps it had no answer for what I saw.
      As before, far down the river I came upon a draw gate strung across the water. Its inscription read; "The rights of woman acknowledged morally, civilly, and socially."
      As I approached, the keeper of the gate came out and welcomed me.
      I asked him, "what is the meaning of woman?"
      "It signifies mankind's humanity, the highest form of man," he said, "but I cannot let you pass," he explained. "You are too blind for this land. You can't see your own humanity. This land is too demanding. The baggage that you carry will break your heart. Turn back!" He opened his ledger and entered my name as if it were for a traffic citation. "The law of this land states that only complete individuals may pass beyond this point. I perceive that you are not fully alive. You're dead in mindless obedience and subservience to myths. The land beyond is to complex for you, it would destroy you. Turn back!"
      Obediently, I nodded. But before turning back I observed the inhabitants of the land. They were like people who had shed their chains, but not through tribulation. They had their ears and eyes open to the bounty of their own creating. It was a land of Kings and Priests to a higher image of humanity than I had ever seen. They were clothed with the sun, so it seemed, and had on their head a crown of many stars. Nor were they any longer divided by sex. They appeared as if they rejoiced for good reason in their sparkling bright humanity. The people I saw appeared to have been exalted by their embrace of a reality I had never seen. Veronica was among them, but too far for me to reach.
      "Turn back!" the gate keeper demanded for the third time.
      I drew away from the gate, and immediately I was back in the temple.
      I looked to the South, now. A feeling of serenity came over me. I thought of the warms of a tropical paradise. I could see the Southern Star in the sunlit sky. The river was called Hiddekel. Eagerly I touched the gate. The river took me through a land of cathedrals, gallows, and priestly thrones littered with swords. "What am I doing here?" I wondered. "That's not a tropical paradise," I protested to myself as there was no one to speak with.
      I traveled upstream again. I traveled in a stately royal barge, decorated with flowers. I also saw great tables of stone erected on the shore, some cut of white marble with holy inscriptions that should remain for all ages. But the golden lettering had faded. Only the blood beneath them was still fresh. And there were other tables of alabaster that carried the inscriptions of all the abominations of history. The images with the inscriptions had become blurred through the years. One was of the Whore of Babylon riding her scarlet colored beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And at her feet, the kings that worshiped her, who had no kingdom of their own, but received power as kings with the beast from her; and beside her where the merchants who had waxed rich by the abundance of her 'delicacies.'
      "No!" I cried. "I don't want to be here!" but the barge went on and I remained in it.
      There were other tables of stone that I saw that were still under construction. A lone workman carved the title of one: "The Thousand Year Anniversary of the Christianization of Russia, it read." Beneath it was the scene of an orgy of prostitution.

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 (c) Copyright 1998 - Rolf Witzsche
Published by Cygni Communications Ltd. North Vancouver, Canada