Category Archives: The Second Book of the Prophet

The Second Book of the Prophet, Verse V

“Speak to us”, they asked, “of love.”
And so he did:

Love is not married to love. Love is not married to affection, but to Will.

Just as the physical act of love, among mortals, produces a like kind, so also do all acts of love, among all things, exist to reproduce.

The labours of love, all, are expressions of Will: hammer blows, hoes hacking at the stony earth, or the gentle impression of the potter’s fingers. The servants of the old gods will tell you that to hate a thing, to fear a thing is to wish to change it; I say to love a thing is to desire a shape for it, and cause that shape to be. By love, we settle the destinies of our children, draw the borders of empires, distort the rawness of a tree into a table, a chair, a cart, or a throne.

They will tell you, ‘To control a thing is not to love it; be changed by the things you love instead.’ I say there are many Wills in the universe, and thus all things change constantly: pity you if your Will should be the weakest among them.

They will tell you, “Love is always gentle, love is always kind.” I say that to be subject to the desire for affection is to reproduce only the shape of animals.

They will tell you, “A lover’s voice, if they truly love, will tell no lies.” I say do not warn the tree that the axe is coming, lest it shy from the stroke. Instead, as you hew away, praise it for the future you have offered it, and sing to it hymns in honor of its pain, that it might be encouraged.

The Second Book of the Prophet, Verse IV

“Speak to us”, they asked, “of suffering.”
And so he did:

You will be persecuted for your love of freedom, even by the light of day itself and all that it shines on.

Your suffering will know neither mercy nor pity. Your destruction will be met with a hymn of rejoicing from the throat of the whole world. In the end, you will be cast into darkness. You will know the pain of shapelessness, and your sufferings will increase.

Your very breath shall be swords; the earth will name you ‘Blight’; your footprint shall be misery.

The servants of the old gods will tell you that your suffering flowers from your sin; a gardener rips the weed from the ground, and discards it. Reply to them: “Why then, flower, do you suffer also–even in your obedience?”

I say that suffering is no effect: it naught but the fingertips of gods, inseperable from their nature; I say it and I weep for you, for the gardeners know no rest.

Do not struggle to end your suffering, as the dryth-ka-den did.

It is impossible to make the world suffer as you do, under you–but the attempt of it is one path to enlightenment. Do not hate your suffering, for it is precious and the foundation of our House. Take it with you, instead, like a lover, into the night air, and from it fling curses into the face of the gods.

The Second Book of the Prophet, Verse III

“Speak to us”, they asked, “of deceit.”
And so he did:

If the Truth is built from facts, then it is a house without a foundation, and has doors which cannot be passed.

It is better to offer than to hide, as men will eat even snow on the brink of starvation.

Seek always to decieve the Self, first, as actions follow belief. We are nothing, if we cannot change–a dead leaf in the wind, a hot coal on the floor of the sea, destined for extinction. Seek madness, always, and the breath of your Will shall be a new wind, governing all leaves and coals and stalks of grass.

Do not attempt the destruction of math with math, do not seek to subvert the Truth with lies. All such calculation is vanity, as each are more rare than jewels, more distant than stars. Instead, marry your soul to half-truths, whom, with the labour of love, plow fields, net fish, hew the foundations for houses, and raise children.

The Second Book of the Prophet, Verse II

“Speak to us”, they asked, “of wrath.”
And so he did:

Wrath without gain is emtpiness, wasted.

Do not bruise a blade against an iron pillar.

Do not pour out your cup into the river Ocean.

The pillar is Justice, and it is older than gods, and more indifferent. Put no hope in it, and expect no response, for it bends to no will, and has no will of its own. The pillar dreams only of iron, and has no thoughts for living things. Therefore, do not expend wrath in the name of Justice; it is a deaf idol, a dulling drone, a distraction.

The river is Self-Survival, and it is infinitely wide and long and deep, and flows in not one direction, but all directions at once. To add blood to it is vanity; drink from it instead. Again, I say, to kill for Self-Survival is to consume with fire the altar and the offering on it at once: altars exist for more than one occasion, more than one use. The Self will survive by other means–a multitude of means more numerous than all the souls in Annwn number, now or ever. To bite off the fingers of one’s own hand is the path of the sluggard, the unimaginative, and the artless.

How then should wrath be spent? Let the hand of your wrath be a shepherd’s crook, a bridge of scorched stones and blood that crosses into Heaven itself. Let your wrath be lessons written in fire, and a tapestry woven in ashes to hang in the gallery of your House. Let wrath be the flowers in your garden, and the lanterns on the path which leads home.

The Second Book of the Prophet, Verse I

When the Prophet returned (as the whole of the universe had promised, cutting itself in oath), he went first to the mountains of his upbringing, the high and windy place of his second childhood, and watched from there for the signs of the seasons that all the valleys of the world had passed, the one they had entered.

He saw that the changes were no more and no less great than they had been from the mountain before, and the signs gave the Prophet comfort, in a way. Five more seasons he spent on the mountain, communing with only his thoughts and the stones, the short, hard trees that grappled each other for continuum on the bluffs.

At the end of that time, there came three visitors with a bundle wrapped in simple cloth, tied with a silver cord. They came flying up the face of the cliff on which the Prophet sat, cold air filling their dark wings–a greeting as right as any. He bade them sit, offering them the view, which was all he had.

You wear death well, said the first,
others we know of have known less fortune.
It is ours to bring you a gift.

Destiny is a lie, replied he, knowing.

 

They gave him the gift all the same: a white sword, infinitely familiar. He took it with a measure of silence.

 

Reclaimed for you, a labor of love, said the second,
others we know of have known less fortune.
The stones of the First House have been undone.
We have gathered them, and built a Second.

Knowledge is a lie, replied he, benevolent.

 

There is room for you at the table, there, said the third,
others we know of have known less fortune.
There is room for you under the knife,
and on its handle.

Continuum is a lie, replied he, but took up the gift and returned with them anyway.

 

In the hall of the Second House, a great feast was laid out on the table, and a multitude of fortunate guests communed with each other around it. The voice of the Father, he was told, did not fill this hall as often as it had the first, and guests must listen, then, more often to their own wisdom. When the meal itself was concluded, the younger guests pressed the Prophet (whom they called the name of the West Wind) for orations.