The Parables of Pseudo-Nadox
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An Anonymous Foreword
1 You may have heard from some that these words are but a shadow of those of strange and foreign prophets. 2 Whether you believe or do not believe these slanderers, I implore you to consider this: 3 Was Klavigaar Nadox not the Sage Most Wise, the First True Teacher? 4 And was it not said in the histories of the Klaavigars, "As Ion taught Nadox, so Nadox taught Ion?" 5 If Nadox taught even Ion, surely his wisdom must be the true origin of these words; 6 we know that the greater cannot shadow the lesser, and so these words cannot be a shadow.
7 Just as a highblood with the black blood of Klavigaars in his veins begets highbloods with the black blood of Klaavigars in their veins, 8 these words which bear the wisdom of Nadox beget sages who bear the wisdom of Nadox. 9 This is my word of wisdom for you; now I urge you to make yourself as exalted as Ion through the wisdom of these parables of Nadox!
Of the Leper and the Three Rich Men
10 Outside of a certain town there once dwelt a leper, who had neither a piece of bronze in his hand nor a piece of cloth on his body. 11 Like swine he would rummage through heaps of rubbish for scraps, and likewise he would make his reclining place upon heaps of dung. 12 Now it happened to be that a rich man from the town was passing by the leper, 13 and the leper cried, "Master, O master, I beseech you—help me! Help me!"
14 Now the rich man felt sympathy for the leper, so he produced from his pouch a balm-filled vial. 15 And he said to the leper, "Behold, I offer you my balm; anoint yourself with it and be well." 16 So the leper fell at his feet and cried, "Master, O master, how kind you are to this worthless servant!"
17 Thus the leper anointed himself with the rich man's balm, and, behold, his sores vanished, and he was well. 18 But as before he rummaged through heaps of rubbish and made his reclining place upon heaps of dung, and, behold, he was well no longer. 19 Now it happened to be that a second rich man from the town was passing by the leper, 20 and the leper cried, "Master, O master, I beseech you—help me! Help me!"
21 Now the second rich man felt sympathy for the leper, so he produced from his pouch ten pieces of silver. 22 And he said to the leper, "Behold, I offer you my silver; dwell in this squalor no longer." 23 So the leper fell at his feet and cried, "Master, O master, how kind you are to this worthless servant!"
24 Thus the leper traveled on the road towards the town, seeking accommodations, but he was set upon by robbers. 25 And the robbers struck him violently, seized the coins, and left him by the roadside. 26 Having nothing else he rummaged through heaps of rubbish and made his reclining place upon heaps of dung. 27 Now it happened to be that a third rich man from the town was passing by the leper, 28 and the leper cried, "Master, O master, I beseech you—help me! Help me!"
29 Now the third rich man felt sympathy for the leper, so he spat upon the leper and said, 30 "Pig, may your carcass rot along with the rest of the rubbish on this heap." 31 And he produced a bronze coin from his pouch and flung it at the leper with great force. 32 And the leper declared, "Damn your bronze! 33 You are nothing more to me than a fly on the wall—complete irrelevance. 34 I desire no aid from you, nor from any other; all that I have received has produced only future misery. 35 I have walked a lifetime upon the path of suffering, and I will walk upon the path of suffering for lifetimes yet to come."
36 And immediately the leper came to his senses, and ran to the third rich man, embracing him. 37 So he cried, "Brother, O brother, how kind you are to raise up this worthy fellow!"
38 Surely this leper now walks upon the path of apotheosis.
Of the Thracian Pilgrims
39 Once there was a wanderer among my kin, a Sufferer, who came upon a Way and into the midst of a band of Thracians. 40 Now he spoke to them of Ion king of Men, and of Adytum his radiant throne, 41 and they said to him, "Teacher, O teacher, bring us to this Adytum, that we may witness Ion's glory!" 42 And the wanderer said, "There is a road to the east of here; if you wish, follow me to Adytum, that city of a thousand spires."
43 Now the Thracians followed the wanderer for a thousand lengths, and behold, they were set upon by bandits. 44 The Thracians were mighty of arms, but they were outnumbered and many of them fell upon the bandits' swords. 45 And some of them said, "Surely, this road to Adytum is a dangerous one fraught with peril; should we not return to our homeland?" 46 But the wanderer said to them, "Look to the distance: Do you not see the spires of Adytum? 47 Surely, if you endure this road a little longer, we will reach our destination." 48 (Now the spires were an illusion, conjured up by the wanderer.) 49 And the Thracians grumbled and said among themselves, "Let us do so."
50 Now the Thracians followed the wanderer for another thousand lengths, and behold, they were struck with disease. 51 A fever hot as the blacksmith's forge burned within them, and the spirit of delirium fell upon them. 52 And so they saw dream visions and babbled and prophesied, and during that time they were in piercing pain. 54 And some of them said, "Surely, this road to Adytum is a pestilent one fraught with affliction; should we not return to our homeland?" 55 But the wanderer said to them, "Look to the distance: Do you not see the spires of Adytum? 56 Surely, if you endure this road a little longer, we will reach our destination." 57 (Delirious, the Thracians did not notice that the spires were no closer than before.) 58 And the Thracians grumbled and said among themselves, "Let us do so."
59 Now the Thracians followed the wanderer for another thousand lengths, and behold, there were no provisions. 60 Now they scoured the barren land for every bitter herb and miserable insect, and found none. 61 And they drew lots and butchered the unfortunate among themselves, consumed their flesh, and satiated themselves. 62 And some of them said, "In the distance we cannot see the spires of Adytum; what is the meaning of this?" 63 (Now at this time the number of the Thracians was a thousand; at first there were ten thousand.) 64 So the wanderer said to them, "Do you not tower above this barren land, as the spires of Adytum once did? 65 Adytum city of Men is no more, but Adytum city within Men has come to be. 66 You are Adytum, city that is the throne of Ion king of Men!"
67 Surely Ion king of Men reigns eternally within us. 68 Through peril, he grants us strength; through affliction, he grants us wisdom; through hunger, he grants us glory of apotheosis.
Of the Men and the Bears
69 Once I said to two of my disciples the following: 70 "Once there was a man who, through cunning, slew a bear. 71 Now the man consumed the bear, and the bear was in him, and behold, he was a bear. 72 Elsewhere there was a bear who, through strength, slew a man. 73 Now the bear consumed the man, and the man was in him, and behold, he was a man. 74 Who was better, the man-turned-bear, or bear-turned-man?"
75 And the disciple on my right said to me, "Master, O master, I say that the bear-turned-man is better. 76 Having become a man he has gained a man's cunning, through which he raises himself up." 77 But the disciple on my left said to me, "Master, O master, I say that the man-turned-bear is better. 78 Having become a bear he has gained a bear's strength, through which he raises himself up." 79 And I said to them, "My disciples, I say neither, because what fool becomes what he has conquered?"
80 Surely when one feasts upon mortal flesh, one should in exult in the glory of the self, 81 but when one feasts upon divine flesh, one should exult in the glory of the gods.
Of the Burning House
81 Once there was a man who was fast asleep in his house when his house caught fire. 82 The fire roused him from his sleep, and behold, his body was burning, and all his house was burning. 83 And though the fire burnt his skin, fat, and muscle, he calmly walked out of his house. 84 Outside of his house a crowd had gathered, and they asked the man, "How did you survive?" 85 And the man said, "The house was burning, 86 and the flesh was burning, 87 and the senses were burning, 88 and the mind was burning. 89 But I myself was never burning."
90 Surely our world is but a burning house, and we its denizens!