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Chapter 26


The Sixth Dispensation - - Beauty (part I)

The Divine Laecontes – “The Lover’s Kiss” – Winning the prize – “The Strength of a Nation” – The Gadarites – A statue marred and broken – The offended band of Gadarites speak out: Nakedness an offense to God; arts of man are vulgar – Laecontes speaks (1st Lesson) – Body created in God’s likeness – Nakedness is no offense to God – Clothe to enhance beauty – Passing on the greatest knowledge of all – No one benefited by hiding sexuality – Beauty born of love and passion and should not to be constrained – The people marvel at Laecontes’ words

 

1  And so the teachings of Abbahdon did likewise find place in the word of God, being written in the book which all men treasured as something holy and deeply knowing of every heart; containing within its pages an endless grace and a hidden wisdom.

2  And the years continued on, and the ages swiftly passed, and on the wheel of life did every man and every woman turn, to shape themselves through their own desires, whether great or small, into the image that they would be.

3  Entering into life and passing into death, to enter life anew, moving through the dispensations of mortal life to seek the God beyond, striving through their many struggles to seize the prize most cherished.

4  Now there passed another two thousand years, and there was born in the city of Sinope, a young man who became an artist of great renown, being called by patrons far and near: the Divine Laecontes, for of his creations there was no equal found.

5  For at the age of fourteen did Laecontes prove himself the master sculptor, being entered into the competition of the city, being himself the youngest to win so great a prize; having sculpted of pink marble, the statue which all men called: The Lover’s Kiss, which statue was large in size, having a measurement of 12 feet in height, and a width and depth of 7 feet each.

6  So great then was the beauty of the statue that all who saw it did melt within the soul, to swoon midst flames of deepest yearning filled with fiery breath; causing that they should seek to imitate the passions which the boy, Laecontes, had created in the stone.

7  And when he was asked from what source came his inspiration, the young Laecontes answered, saying: “From the love which my father and mother do even now bear for one another.”

8  And when he was asked again who his models were, he answered, saying: “It was my father and mother upon whom I gazed, and of their likeness and passion did I fashion the stone which you see before you.”

9  Thus answered Laecontes to all who asked of him, and in the moment of choosing did all the judges agree that the work of Laecontes must win the prize, which prize was a commission from the city of Sinope that a great statue should be created.

10  Now when all the artists saw that so young a man had won the prize, they were astonished; and many did deep admire the work of his hands, while others were filled with envy and bitterness.

11  Denouncing the judges before the whole city and speaking hotly against the youth, declaring his work brash and unworthy; prophesying out of jealousy that the youth must surely fail so great a task, to put the whole city to shame, for Laecontes was just a boy and the task must prove too great.

12  But through the fury and astonishment of those gathered did the young Laecontes prove himself humble and gently mannered, speaking without pride or boastfulness, but accepting calmly the prize offered.

13  And there was placed against his statue many bids for purchase, and that day did the youth carry home to his mother and father a scrip worth some forty thousand dollars in gold coins.

14  In this manner began the career of the Divine Laecontes, who in just six months did complete his first commission, which at the unveiling did cause many to gasp in deep and joyful awe.

15  For the statue was a mountain of stone measuring some 23 feet in height, and having a width and depth of some 17 feet each, being finely polished as a jewel which catches both light and shadow filled with living form.

16  And all which saw were filled with deep emotions for the statue was exquisite in composition and real likeness, being titled: The Strength of a Nation; which statue did depict in detail the coming together of a family in love and merriment; and in the center of the city was the statue given a place of honor.

17  Thus began the career and fame of Laecontes, who as a son proved devoted and faithful to both father and mother, and as an artist proved himself beyond the reach of any man, conveying through his art a power and vision beyond his years, yet possessing in his demeanor a gentle disposition filled with humor.

18  Being himself unmindful of such greatness as others would cast upon him, but ever quick himself to speak well the glory and accomplishments of others; becoming in his adulthood a man most greatly admired.

19  And there came to him the rich and powerful which sought from him the work of his hands, and they did eagerly commission him to make for them some great thing which would add to their own names the envy and admiration of their peers.

20  Now there arose in the city a great commotion because of Laecontes; for in the regions of Sinope was there found a certain faction which claimed themselves as most pious and devout, looking down with cold disdain upon their fellow man.

21  Being themselves outside the assembly of believers, being a contentious and troublesome band, speaking always their own rightness of belief while yet they condemned all others.

22  Proving themselves most zealous and fanatical in following after Gadaris, a man which taught the fierceness and wrath of one God only; having written for his followers a book which would denounce in scathing words the teachings of Adamilus and Evelah and of all who came from Heaven.

23  Now the Gadarites believed that all men were bestial and filled with sin, being themselves worthy of death and suffering; and that except a man live strictly the commandments of Gadaris, then would the soul of a man perish in the grave to be no more forever.

24  Thus did it come about that on a certain day the believers of Gadaris were in the city, and seeing a statue of Laecontes they were filled with great offense; for the statue was of a man and a woman enraptured by love’s embrace.

25  And immediately there erupted violence against the statue, for the Gadarites did take up stones to smash against it, for they thought the statue vulgar and obscene; for in the statue were both the man and the woman fashioned in the nude, being themselves mingled together, through fiery passions.

26  Now of this statue, which was entitled: Consumed, did the Gadarites hurl the fierceness of their wrath, calling out in hateful words that the statue was an abomination and abhorrent in the eyes of their God.

27  And the citizens passing by were greatly dismayed to see the beauty of the statue marred and broken by the attack of the Gadarites; and summoning the officers of the law, they brought forth charges against them, and caused that they should be brought before the law to give account.

28  Thus was there brought before the magistrate the small band of the Gadarites, and the whole city did assemble to speak against them, for the statue of Laecontes had they robbed of all its beauty.

29  And the magistrate appointed that only one should speak for the Gadarites, and turning to the man he spoke to him, saying: “For what cause was this mischief done? Why did you break in pieces the work of our own Laecontes?”

30  And the man of the Gadarites answered scornfully, saying: “Will you say that abomination is beautiful to the eyes? Will you say that obscenity is a pleasing thing?

31  Behold how wicked and perverse you have become: For the god of Gadaris has proclaimed that the natural man is a curse and an offense; and that the nakedness of every man and every woman but a lewd and shameful thing.

32  Why then will you offend us with this open sexuality, seeing that you would make public what should be hidden, and bring into the light what should be kept in darkness?

33  Flaunting in open displays the intimacies of our nature, corrupting through vile representations the very children which are made to see our own perverseness, to become themselves in later years corrupted and obscene.

34  For the arts of man are base and vulgar, carrying in their form and likeness the depravities of our very essence; representing for all to see, a gross and ugly nature filled with many sins and hurtful lusts.

35  For this cause did we rightly destroy the statue of Laecontes, for we were determined that it should offend our god no longer. What then is this shattered stone when compared to the souls of men? For your very souls would we rescue from depravity and corruption.”

36  Such were the words of the Gadarites, and there erupted in the court a great and angry shout; for the citizens of Sinope were deeply offended in the hearing of such arrogant words; and they demanded of the magistrate the harshest of penalties.

37  But the magistrate did calm the people and when all was quiet, he spoke to the Gadarites, saying: “Seeing then that you have admitted your guilt, and did yourselves destroy the beauty of the statue, I shall even now pass upon you the judgment of this court…”

38  Now before the magistrate had finished speaking, there was heard a soft and rumbling murmur from the citizens which were gathered; for there came before the court the Divine Laecontes, and the whole air was filled with whispering.

39  And the magistrate rose from his seat to bow before the Master, and he spoke to him, saying: “By what means shall this court prove service to you, my lord?”

40  And Laecontes spoke, saying: “I would speak to all the people concerning the offense of the Gadarites, perhaps to turn aside their anger, to give instead both peace and joy.”

41  Then did the magistrate yield the floor, saying: “Speak Laecontes, and we will hear, and whatsoever judgment you demand, even this shall the court give unto you; for you alone are the creator of that which these have broken, and are entitled yourself to be their rightful judge.”

42  Hearing this, Laecontes spoke graciously, saying: “First permit that I might give answer to the Gadarites, for I perceive in their speech a dark and hurtful reasoning, which very reasoning would strip away the humanity of every man and every woman; to leave as dark and fearful the children which come from God.

43  For these have claimed that nakedness is an offense to God and that open sexuality is both lewd and perverse and condemned of God a sinful thing.

44  Reason then within yourselves and in your hand weigh most carefully, for I would present in your hearing the benefit of your nakedness and sexuality altogether, and if in your heart you should agree, then are you free to dance before God in the light of your humanity.

45  For this I tell you truly: that the body of your flesh is made of God, being in itself most beautiful and desirable, revealing in its comely form the image of God the Father and the Mother; bearing in its form and passion the similitude of that God from which you come.

46  For in the softness of your flesh is there made known the line and form of God, which softness would beckon the hand to touch and the lips to kiss; and in such sweet communion touch again the God within you, whereby you might know the depth and wonder of all your soul, filled with goodness and rich reward.

47  How then can you sin, being naked, for even God did draw you from the womb as one naked and unadorned, causing that you should know in the beginning of your life that nakedness is no offense to God; but rather that it is a natural and unaffected state wherein you are unable to hide yourselves away.

48  Why then will you call wicked and vile that which God alone did make? For which of you were born fully clothed from your mother’s womb?

49  If nakedness be sin, then have you yourselves made God the author of such offenses, for in your own beginnings did God likewise fashion you.

50  Thus by your own doctrine would you make God the author of confusion, which doctrine is made of men and not of God, causing that God must yield before the words of men lest you call him false and darkly fallen, as though he were a devil.

51  Know then that if you would clothe yourselves, then do so only that you might enhance the beauty of the body which God did give you.

52  But if you would clothe yourselves because of shame, then are you guilty of sin; for by your own shame do you affront the God which made you, to bring against your God a hurtful accusation filled with guilt and reproach together.”

53  Such were the words which Laecontes spoke to the Gadarites, and turning to the whole court, he continued, saying: “Consider then your sexuality, whether you would hide it away, to cover it up in darkness, and this because of such shame and guilt as you are made to feel through the doctrines of men and not of God.

54  Consider then the societies in which you live, for in your living do you pass to your children the things which you yourselves did learn through the living of your days, giving to your children the knowledge of your life, being content yourselves that they should improve upon it, to make it greater than before.

55  By such means is civilization made to progress through many advancements, one generation giving to the next the knowledge of things both past and present, to make brighter still the future yet to come.

56  For in your labors and occupations do you teach your children the skills of trade and industry, of science and technology, being hopeful that the children, when they are grown and full matured, might add to the knowledge which you yourselves did give.

57  What then is the greatest knowledge which you might give, whereby the children of men might grow in joy and rich fulfillment?

58  Behold I tell you truly, as if from God above, that the greatest of all knowledge is found in love and sweet communion; for the greatest knowledge which adds to every other, is the deepest knowing of relationships between men and women.

59  Becoming of itself the first and truest art, filled with endless beauty, being dressed in form and language, with romance and mystery and happy wonder.

60  For this cause do I create statues of the man and the woman; to celebrate in stone, the grace and beauty found in you, being hopeful that you yourselves might likewise see.

61  That in such sweet communion as you would see reflected in the work of my hands, even this would you imitate among yourselves, to pass the art and knowledge of all your love throughout the generations whereby it might be improved upon, to grow richer still.

62  But if you will hide away your sexuality, to keep it in the darkness, benefiting neither yourselves nor your children, then shall the beauty of your inner selves be lost and tainted through endless guilt and shame.

63  Causing that each generation must discover anew the things which you already know, only that they might lose it again and again with each succeeding generation, and this through fear alone; effecting in your deeper selves a wounding of your soul, to be yourselves forever shackled by such shame and guilt as these Gadarites would cast upon you.

64  To make of every man and every woman a stranger which you must scorn, becoming within yourselves, alone, and filled with deep suspicions; being yourselves constrained by many inhibitions, which inhibitions are as a wall of hurt and frustration, to separate you from those you desire to love.

65  For this I tell you, as if from God above, that beauty is born of love and passion; and if these two be constrained through the teachings of men, to become as filled with guilt and shame, then does the beauty of your life slip and fade away, to leave you empty and alone.

66  What then shall we do to these Gadarites? How shall they be recompensed? For they would have you think that they have destroyed the beauty which I have fashioned.

67  Yet are they themselves deceived, for the statue which they destroyed was made only of stone, while its beauty still remains, which beauty is found in those who give and receive love; for you are the beauty which I would capture, to hold it in the stone; and this can no man destroy.”

68  Thus did Laecontes speak, and turning to the magistrate, he spoke, saying: “Let these go, yet have them bring a new stone to my shop where I might carve it. This alone shall prove a just compensation.”

69  And hearing this the citizens of Sinope marveled, thinking to themselves that surely was God revealed again to mortal man; and from that day did the fame of Laecontes grow greater and greater, to fill the earth with expectations.

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