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June 14, 2011

The SLUGS

On G. I. Gurdjieff's Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson

Section I

6.  Beelzebub’s History

The Tales are recounted as Beelzebub, Hassein and Ahoon are on the upper deck of the “transspace ship” Karnak, under a large “glass bell.”  From here, they can observe the boundless spaces of the universe–which serve as an appropriate setting for such an extra-terrestrial story.  The Tales include Beelzebub’s narrations of his six visits to the Earth and his critiques of the life of humankind–all interspersed with his esoteric descriptions of ‘Objective science.’

 The story opens in “the year 1921 after the birth of Christ” by human calculation, or the year 223 after the creation of the World–according to “objective time-calculation.”  Beelzebub, his grandson Hassein, his servant Ahoon, and other kinsmen and attendants are travelling through the “spaces of the ‘Milky Way,’” or “Assooparatsata.”  Beelzebub has left his home planet of Karatas and is traveling to the solar system of the Pole Star in order to attend a conference.  Beelzebub has only recently returned to his home planet Karatas from our solar system of “Ors,” where he had been banished for many years of his life under conditions quite foreign to his nature.

 “Long, long before,” as a youth on his home planet of Karatas, Beelzebub had an “extraordinarily resourceful intelligence” and was taken into service on the “Sun Absolute” as an attendant upon “HIS ENDLESSNESS.”  Unfortunately, because of a certain misunderstanding –due to his youth and impetuous mentation–Beelzebub “saw in the government of the World” something which seemed “illogical” to him.  He gained support for his views among some comrades, also youthful and not yet fully formed, and then “interfered in what was none of his business.”  This almost brought about a revolution within the central kingdom of the Megalocosmos.

 Despite the “All-lovingness” and “All-forgiveness” of HIS ENDLESSNESS, Beelzebub was banished to “one of the remote corners of the Universe” –which happened to be our solar system, Ors.  He was assigned to live on the planet Mars.  At that time, the Earth had still to cool off after its “concentration” and no life existed upon the planet.  During his time in exile, Beelzebub set up living quarters and an observatory with a telescope, or teskooano, on Mars, from where he could observe the Earth and other “remote points of the Universe:” 

 “Thanks to this Teskooano I was sometimes fully able, while seated in my house on Mars, to observe almost everything that proceeded on those parts of the surface of other planets of this solar system …. (p. 270)

 Others from Beelzebub’s assembly re-located from Mars to exist on other planets of the solar system, including the Earth. Beelzebub and his kinsmen were able to pass by unnoticed among the three-brained beings of planet Earth, although they had to hide their tails.  Beelzebub recounts one incident concerning how he could not allow an “official doctor” there to examine him because “if I had bared myself, I should inevitably have betrayed my tail which there on your planet I skilfully hid under the folds of my dress.”  (p. 608) 

Like a character from another dimension of time, Beelzebub drops in upon the Earth at various periods in human history in order to study the strange psyche of those “three-brained beings” which arose there and to carry out certain assignments for Higher Individuals or Commissions.  Having an extremely long life by Earth standards, Beelzebub had been witness to the early cosmic catastrophes which occurred and the abnormal events which subsequently transpired on Earth through the course of human history.

Beelzebub’s first descent


to Earth was at the time of Atlantis.  This trip was on the spaceship “Occasion” which was used initially to transport Beelzebub and his kinsmen to Mars but then left for their use.  A kinsman living on Earth had become “mixed up in a very stupid affair” involving finances and the affairs of state.  [1] At the request of a council of his kinsmen, Beelzebub landed on the shores of Atlantis and journeyed to the capital ‘Samlios’ ruled by King Appolis to aid in the resolution of the affair.

 At the time, Atlantis was the greatest and richest of communities on Earth and its upkeep demanded considerable money and labour from the ordinary beings of the community. However, “various consequences of the properties of that … maleficent organ (the Kundabuffer) had already begun to be crystallized” in the three-brained beings of Atlantis (p. 110) and the implications of this had not been understood by Beelzebub’s naïve young kinsman.    Most significantly, Beelzebub explained:

 … one of the consequences of the properties of this organ which had already become thoroughly crystallized in a number of beings there was the consequence of the property which, while the organ Kundabuffer itself was still functioning in them, had enabled them very easily and without any ‘remorse-of-conscience’ not to carry out voluntarily any duties taken upon themselves or given them by a superior.  But every duty they fulfilled was fulfilled only from the fear and apprehension of ‘threats’ and ‘menaces’ from outside. (pp. 111-2)

 A crystallized egoism and laziness are some of the effects of the organ Kundabuffer upon the psyche of the three-brained beings, along with the passing of the true ‘conscience’ into the so-called subconscious.  King Appolis thus had to resort to using such ‘threats’ and ‘menaces’ in order to extract the resources necessary for the maintenance of the community. 

 Beelzebub’s young countryman had befriended the king yet felt that such means were unjust and so he challenged him over his “unconscionable conduct.”   This lead to the signing in blood of a ‘wager’ wherein the King agreed to use only those means indicated by Beelzebub’s countryman to collect his taxes, and if his subjects failed to contribute to the upkeep of the kingdom, then Beelzebub’s countryman would procure for the treasury as much as was necessary for the maintenance of the community.   Unfortunately, Beelzebub’s countryman failed to appreciate the effects of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer upon the psyche of the citizens, and very soon, they not only ceased to pay what was required but began even ‘snatching back’ what had been contributed before.  The young countryman soon exhausted his own funds, those of his relatives and tribe, and still more was required.  At this point, Beelzebub’s council was requested in order to resolve the difficulties. 

 The assembly deliberated and concluded that they would have to resort to the previous conditions of government.  However, they realized that this would certainly lead to a revolt which would endanger the King, who had been very fair and reasoned, and the other ‘power-possessing beings’ of the community.  Beelzebub’s kinsmen thus decided to direct the “fury of the rebellious beings” not against the King but instead against those around him within his ‘administration,’ but firstly to replace those in responsible posts with members of Beelzebub’s tribe.  

 The restoration of the old code did indeed bring about a ‘revolution,’ the destruction of “a great deal of property which they had accumulated during centuries” and of “the existence of those other beings similar to themselves who had already chanced upon the means of freeing themselves from the consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer ….”  (p. 119) Beelzebub explains that during such revolutions, when the overwhelming majority “fall into such a psychoses,” they always destroy those who had attained freedom from the consequences of the organ Kundabuffer.  The King ends up being restored to his position and a normal tempo established within Atlantis, and Beelzebub’s kinsman returned to Mars after his painful experience.   Beelzebub’s first visit to the Earth was relatively brief and his Tale begins to illustrate qualities about the strangeness of the psyches of those three-brained beings upon the planet Earth. 

[1]  This incident is similar to that in Beelzebub’s background: as he in his youth and impetuousness had disagreed with something in the running of the Kingdom, “interfered in what was none of his business” and almost brought about a revolution. 

Beelzebub’s second visit was eleven centuries later after the ‘Apocalyptic-fate’ of the submerging of Atlantis, the second major cosmic catastrophe for the solar system Ors.   The survivors of Atlantis and the kinsmen of Beelzebub, who had known ahead of time of the impending catastrophe due to the prophecies of their Party-Pythoness, were re-established either on the continent of Africa (or Grabontzi) or in three areas of Ashhark (Asia).  By the time of his descent, Beelzebub explains that the beings there “had already multiplied so greatly that they were breeding again upon almost all the newly formed terra firmas.”  These groups had further ‘invented’ peculiar religions, or Havatvernoni,’ involving “Sacrificial-Offerings” in honour of their gods and idols.  As Beelzebub explains, “the mentioned terrible custom of Sacrificial-Offerings was at that time, as it is said, at its ‘height,’ and the destruction of various weak one-brained and two-brained beings proceeded everywhere in incalculable numbers.” (p. 188)

 These abnormal practices became so widespread that the deaths (or Rascooarnos) of such large numbers of beings threatened the larger cosmic harmony of the solar system.  In particular, a Higher Commission was concerned about the natural formation of an atmosphere on the moon, which was being hindered by the surplus of the “Sacred Askokin” vibrations.  Beelzebub was thus asked by an Archangel on behalf of a High Commission to visit the Earth and try to eradicate such awful practices “through the ‘being-Reason’ they have in their presences.” 

 The transspace ship Occasion landed on the Caspian Sea and Beelzebub carried out his mission in Tikliamish–one of the three newly arisen ‘centers of culture’ in Ashhark.  In the city of Koorkalai, Beelzebub began visiting establishments which were gathering places, such things as cafes, restaurants, clubs, dance halls, meeting places and such.  There he could “observe and study the specific peculiarities of the psyche of the beings of the locality …,” to determine “their real inner essence-attitude to their custom of sacrificial offerings” and thus enable him to arrive at a ‘plan of action.’   There he chanced to meet ‘Abdil,’ a priest knowledgeable of the local religion and of the psyche of its followers.  Abdil was unusual in that “the function called ‘conscience’ which ought to be present in every three-centered being, had not quite atrophied in him ….”  Beelzebub then explained certain cosmic truths to Abdil, which led him to become “‘compassionate,’ and ‘sensitive” towards the beings surrounding him” and to realizing that:

“… all beings, of all brain systems, without exception, large and small, arising and existing on the Earth, or within the Earth, in the air or beneath the waters, are all equally necessary for our COMMON CREATOR, for the common harmony of the existence of Everything Existing.  (p. 196)

 After Beelzebub’s efforts to enlighten Abdil, he began independently to espouse his new understanding at a religious festival where he was the chief priest.  He spoke beautifully and persuasively, with a spellbinding effect upon the audience, invoking even ‘sobbing bitterly’ among those awakening to the horrors of their Sacrificial Offerings. 

 Abdil became the ‘fashionable priest’ and was asked to speak in other temples, until eventually he became popular throughout the whole of Tikliamish.  Unfortunately, over time, his colleagues were not so happy about his influence.  As Beelzebub explains:

 “Evidently these colleagues of his were afraid that if the custom of Sacrificial Offerings were to disappear, their own excellent incomes would disappear also, and that their authority would first totter and finally crumble.

 “Day by day the number of this priest Abdil’s enemies increased, and they spread new slanders and innuendoes about him in order to lower or destroy his popularity and significance. …

 “At last, it came to the point that the priesthood began to bribe various beings who had “Hasnamuss’ properties[1] to plan and commit every kind of outrage upon this poor Abdil; and indeed, these terrestrial nullities with the properties mentioned even tried on several occasions to destroy his existence by sprinkling poison on the various edible foods offered to him. (p. 203)

 Although the number of his ‘sincere admirers’ continued to increase, at least initially, the “whole corporation of the priesthood could stand it no longer ….”  The priests held an ecumenical trial, excommunicated the priest and organized additional means for his persecution.  Little by little, this had a strong effect upon the psyche of the ordinary beings, so that everyone began to avoid him and “repeat every kind of calamity about him.”   Tragically, “the climax of unconscionableness on the part of the colleagues of my friend and the other terrestrial ‘God-like’ beings around him … brought all this to an end; that is to say, they killed him.  … and his planetary body had been hacked to pieces.”  (p. 204) 

 Beelzebub had come to value Abdil as a kinsman and suffered grief on hearing such news.  Fearing the further desecration of Abdil’s planetary body by his enemies, Beelzebub hired men to retrieve it and transport it back to his raft, for return to his spaceship Occasion.  On arriving at the Occasion, Beelzebub received an etherogram from Mars requesting his speedy return.  Beelzebub thus decided to dispose of his friend’s body by taking it with him and “giving it to the presence of the planet Mars.” 

 Beelzebub’s second visit came to a sudden and tragic end with the death of his friend, although fortunately, the preaching and persuasions of Abdil had had a strong effect on a great many people. 

 “And indeed, the quantity of slaughterings for Sacrificial-Offerings began very perceptibly to diminish and one could see that even if the custom were not abolished completely with time, it would at least be considerably mitigated.  (p. 205)



[1]  Hasnamuss refers to an individual in whom, for one reason or another, “data have not been crystallized for the Divine impulse of ‘Objective Conscience.’” (p. 235) 

 Beelzebub’s third visit was not long after and his aim was to continue “the uprooting among these strange three-centered beings of their terrifying custom of doing as it were Divine work by destroying the existence of other brain-systems.” (p. 197)  This time, Beelzebub visits the two other major areas of civilization in Ashhark (Asia).  He sets up firstly in the city of Gob, the center of culture in Maralpleicie, [1] and then in Kaimon, the major city of the third group on the continent of Asia. During this visit, Beelzebub’s travels take him also to India (called Pearl-land) and through the mountains of Tibet. 

 Before the second great catastrophe and the sinking of Atlantis, hunters and their families from Atlantis had begun to inhabit the area around the Sea of Beneficence, which is where Beelzebub landed for his third visit to the planet Earth.  They had travelled there to hunt for the ‘Pirmaral,’ a deer-like creature whose horns were highly valued in Atlantis for their healing properties. The fertility of the valleys, the abundance of fish and animals, fruit trees and rich soil, were such that the hunters and their families had no desire to return to Atlantis; and soon “adapting themselves to everything, multiplied and existed, as is said, ‘on-a-bed-of-roses.’”  (p. 211) 

 Another being from Atlantis who was already settled in this area was a member of the sect ‘Astrosovors,’ which genuine learned society existed in Atlantis under the name of ‘Akhaldan.’  Members of the society in Atlantis had previously determined that “something very serious had to happen in Nature …,” but had been unable to determine what was the impending threat.  This initiate had been sent out from Atlantis in order to study both natural and heavenly phenomena and to report back to the society.  He had settled on the shores of the Sea of Beneficence and established relations with the hunters and their families before the second catastrophe occurred and Atlantis was submerged.  This learned being latter married the daughter of a hunter and was chosen to be the ‘chief’ or ‘king’ of the emerging community.  Over time, the city of Gob was established on the south-eastern shore of the sea of Beneficence, and by the time of Beelzebub’s visit, it was the grandson Konuzion of this genuine initiate who was king as these duties were passed by inheritance. 

 During Konuzion’s reign, he had determined that beings of his community were become less and less capable of work, and that crimes, robberies and violence were on the increase.  After his investigations, he determined that it was the habit of chewing the seeds of the plant ‘Gulgulian,’ the poppy, which was the cause of these phenomena.  When beings introduced this substance into themselves:

 “… they saw, understood, felt, sensed, and acted quite otherwise than they were previously accustomed to see, sense, act and so on.

 “For instance, a crow would appear to them to be a peacock; a trough of water, a sea; a harsh clatter, music; good will, enmity; insults, love and so on and so forth.  (p. 214)

 The King initially tried to prohibit his subjects from chewing the poppy seeds and enforced his commands through increasingly severe fines, punishment and surveillance; all to no effect.  Unfortunately, due to another “peculiarity of the psyche” of his subjects, namely the characteristic of “curiosity,” even greater numbers turned to chewing the poppy seeds to find out what effects those seeds had which were prohibited with such insistence by the King.

 Wise King Konuzion decided then to deal with this evil indirectly through the invention of “a very original ‘religious doctrine,” then broadcast among his subjects.  In this doctrine, it was stated that not far from the continent Ashhark was a larger island, “where existed our ‘Mister God,’” and that upon their deaths, souls would be liberated from their organs and limbs and taken to this island for their fate to be decided by this Mister God.  Further, the King taught that there were many ‘spirits’ who walked among the three-brained being with a ‘cap-of-invisibility,’ such that they are able to watch citizens and then to report their findings to Mister God on the ‘Day-of-Judgement.’   The island on which Mister God Himself exists is called ‘Paradise’ and existence there is “just Roses, Roses;” with rivers of milk, no need to work, everything in superabundance, even young and lovely women, with no diseases, in fact, not even “those ‘lice’ or ‘flies’ that give us all no peace … and blight our whole existence.”  (p. 218)

The alternative smaller island to which souls might be assigned was that of “Hell,” where:

 “All the rivers … are of burning pitch, the whole air stinks like a skunk at bay.  Swarms of horrible beings blow police-whistles in every square; and all the ‘furniture,’ ‘carpets,’ ‘beds,’ and so on there, are made of fine needles with their points sticking out.  One very salted cake is given once a day to every ‘soul’ on this island; and there is not a single drop of drinking water there.  Many other things are also there of a kind that the beings of Earth not only would not like to encounter, but not even to experience in thought.  (p. 218) 

 Beelzebub decided to use this religious teaching to help effect his aim of eradicating sacrificial offerings.  Specifically, Beelzebub taught that the spirits with their ‘caps-of-invisibility’ who watched men’s deeds and reported to Mister God, were none other than those beings of other forms which existed among them.  Not only then should beings not destroy the existence of such beings, but further, “we ought to try to win their favour and to beseech them at least not to report to Mister God those little evil acts of ours which we do involuntarily.” (p. 220)

 Beelzebub befriended a local being there, the proprietor of a ‘Chaihana’ (a café or bar)“very famous for its reddish liquid,” who would help him spread his invention throughout the  city and country.  Not only did this serve to further diminish the number of sacrificial offerings, but it also led to various “comical farces” witnessed by Beelzebub and Ahoon.  Locals would drag respectable merchants off their donkeys, or woodcutters off their carts, while releasing the donkeys and oxen; troughs were placed in public places to throw in the choicest morsels of food for dogs and other stray beings; and most peculiar of all was their custom of paying attention to the voices of beings:  “As soon as they heard the voice of a being of any form, they immediately began to praise the names of their gods and to await their blessings.  It might be the crowing of a cock, the barking of a dog, the mewing of a cat, the squealing of an ape, or so on.” (p. 22)  Unfortunately, donkeys, which were very abundant there, would “bray whenever it enters their heads to do so” and so, any time day or night one might hear ‘the voice of that silly being.’  Beelzebub recounts one of his comical scenes:

 “So, my boy, it was established there in the city of Gob that as soon as the sound of the voice of the donkey was heard, all who heard it had to flop down immediately and offer up prayers to their god and to their revered idols, and I must add, these donkeys usually have a very loud voice by nature and their voices carry a long way.

 “Well, then, as we walked along the streets of the city Gob and saw the citizens flopping down at the braying of every donkey, we had to flop down likewise so as not to be distinguished from the others …. (p. 225)

 As a consequence of Beelzebub’s intervention, sacrificial offerings entirely ceased and Beelzebub and Ahoon moved on in their travels to Pearl-land or India. 

Instead of travelling on their ship Occasion, Beelzebub and Ahoon took a raft down river to a remote city in Maralpleicie, where they began again to frequent the local ‘Chaihana.’  Here they met some traders planning to visit Pearl-land in order to exchange local turquoises for pearls, which were abundant in the waters of India.  Beelzebub and Ahoon joined their caravan and travelled through a region of various ‘terra-firma-projections’ (mountains), ‘unusual places,’ until over a month later they arrived in the city of ‘Kaimon,’ the chief point of existence of the third group on the continent of Ashhark. 

The beings in Pearl-land, now Hindustan or India, had also originated from Atlantis.  The earliest settlers had been blown off course by a storm in their travels to search for pearls.  They latter returned while bringing their families and establishing colonies.  Pearls-bearing beings had become almost extinct in Atlantis as the pearls were so popular for various trinkets and Talismans, used for the “gratification of their quite absurd egoism,” but were still abundant in the waters off Pearl-land.  These “destroyers of the pearl-bearing beings” then settled in these lands and also “bred in large numbers.” 

 Once again, Beelzebub decided to attain his objective by means of the local ‘Havatvernoni’ or Religion, but he found that there were many of these “having nothing in common with each other.”  Beelzebub explains that there are generally two forms of religion.  One form of religion arises from the “functioning of a psyche proper to Hasnamusses,” who are beings who lack the capacity of ‘Objective conscience.’  The second form of religion is that which arises from the instructions of “genuine Messengers from Above,” sent as helpers of the COMMON FATHER to aid the three-brained beings to destroy in their presences “the crystallized consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer.”   In Pearl-land, this genuine messenger had been Saint Buddha who had attempted to enlighten the Reason of the populace through ‘objective truths of every kind,’ particularly as concerned the cursed organ Kundabuffer and how to free oneself of its undesirable crystallized consequences. 

 Unfortunately, the lives of beings at that time were ‘abnormally short’ and Buddha also was to ‘die prematurely’ and within two generation, the beings gradually began to change everything Saint Buddha had indicated, until “the whole of it was finally completely destroyed.”  This was due particularly to that “maleficent particularity” in their psyche, called Wiseacring. [2]  Not only did the beings wiseacre with all of Saint Buddha’s indications and counsels, but this time, even to ‘superwiseacre.’  For example, Saint Buddha had described one of most effective means of rendering ineffective the crystallization of the consequences of the properties of the organ Kundabuffer as being through “intentional-suffering:”

 “… and the greatest intentional-suffering can be obtained in your presences if you compel yourselves to be able to endure the “displeasing-manifestation-of-others-towards-yourselves.  (p. 242)

 Such endurance towards others’ manifestations displeasing to oneself could alone “crystallize in their common presences that ‘Partkdolg-duty’ which in general is necessary for all three-centred beings.”  (p. 243)  Unfortunately, this was one of Buddha’s injunctions subject even to ‘superwiseacring,’ as this ‘endurance’ which should be produced while existing among other beings similar to themselves, was pursued either singly or in groups with others who thought the same way as they did.  They even organized special colonies for this purpose—monasteries, in which they attempt as they say, ‘to save their souls.’

 It was on the basis of another of Saint Buddha’s instructions, also subject to such wiseacring, that Beelzebub planned to introduce his intervention:

 “… it seems Saint Buddha also told them:

 “You, three-centered beings on the planet Earth … have the full possibility also of coating yourselves with this most sacred part of the Great All-embracing of everything existing and of perfecting it by the required Divine Reason.

 “And this Great All-embracing of all that is embraced is called “Holy Prana.”  (p. 245) 

 Generations of the contemporaries of Saint Buddha began then to wiseacre with his teachings of cosmic truth and in this case, formed:

“… a very definite notion to the effect that that same ‘Mister Prana’ already begins to be in them immediately upon their arising.

 “Thanks to this misunderstanding, the beings of that period and of all subsequent generations including the contemporary, have imagined and still imagine that without any being Partkdolg-duty they are already parts of that Most Great Greatness … convinced that they were already particles of Mister Prana himself …. (pp. 245-6)

 Beelzebub’s point is that Buddha did not simply assure his contemporaries of their being Divine Beings, parts of Mister Prana himself, but taught that they had to attain such through their own Partkdolg-Duty of conscious labours and intentional suffering.  In a sense, one has to attain his soul. 

 Anyway, Beelzebub decided to use this error of theirs and so, he “invented-a-detailed-addition” to this religious teaching suggesting that:

 “… that ‘Most-Sacred-Prana,’ about which our Divine Teacher Saint Buddha had explained, is already present not only in people, but also in all the other beings that arise and exist on our planet Earth.

 “A particle of that fundamental Most Great Great All-embracing, namely, the Most-Sacred-Prana, has already from the very beginning settled in every being of every scale, breeding on the surface of the planet, in the water, and also in the atmosphere.

 “I regret to have to say here, my boy, that I was then constrained more than once to emphasize that these words had been uttered by the very lips of Saint Buddha himself.   (p. 247) 

 Once again, Beelzebub worked to persuade his friends of this truth and the desired results were rapidly brought about.  The beings ceased to destroy the existence of other beings for their offerings and even came to regard these beings as like themselves.  Once again, this led to the witnessing of comical scenes, like people walking on stilts in order to avoid crushing insects or other ‘little beings,’ or wearing “‘veils,’ least poor-little-beings-like-themselves in the air might chance to enter mouths or noses,” and even for new rules to prohibit the use of their planetary bodies for the first being-food.  Beelzebub remarks: “E-h-h-h-hkh … my boy.”

 After successfully eradicating those terrible practices of animal sacrifice, Beelzebub decided to return to the ship Occasion through the mountains of Tibet, a trek uncommon even for the beings of the day. He organized his own caravan with ‘horses,’ ‘mules,’ ‘asses,’ and ‘Chami-anian goats,’ and so on, and a number of “your biped favourites.”  Their route exposed them and their beasts of burden to numerous ‘wild,’ dangerous and ‘cunning’ beings, especially through the nights.  On route, one night was passed in a shelter, as indeed, the travellers were exhausted by the ‘constant warfare with these wild beings.’  This settlement belonged to the sect then famous in Pearl-land, the Self-tamers, “purported to be based on the direct instructions of Saint Buddha.” 

 Beelzebub notes that whenever a new common Havatvernoni, or religion, arises, its followers “immediately begin to split up into different parties, each of which very soon creates its own, as it is called, ‘sect.’”  (p. 256)  Beelzebub explains how such sects then become simply another factor for the degeneration of the religions and psyches of your favourites:

 “The particular strangeness of this peculiarity of theirs consists in this, that those who belong to any such sect never call themselves ‘sectarians,’ the name being considered offensive; they are named ‘sectarians’ only by those beings who do not belong to their sect.

 “And the adherents of any sect are sectarian for other beings only as long as they have ‘no guns’ and ‘ships,’ but as soon as they get hold of a sufficient number of ‘guns’ and ‘ships,’ then what had been a peculiar sect at once becomes the dominant religion.  (p. 256)

 Such sectarian violence has almost never ceased upon that ill-fated planet.

 Anyway, the Self-tamers were sectarians who arose due to a distorted understanding of Saint Buddha’s teachings concerning the issue of ‘suffering-in-solitude’ and they had settled in such a remote inaccessible location in the mountains of Tibet in order to produce this effect upon themselves.  Beelzebub would ‘shudder’ even in recalling how the members of their ‘Orthodoxhydrooraki” community were carrying out in practice “the special form of ‘suffering’ they had invented.”  This monastery, where they stopped to water their animals and rest, had a large interior square with a strongly built wall around it, against which were rows of small, strongly built compartments.  These ‘cells’ were entirely walled in with the exception of a small aperture at the bottom, large enough for a hand to pass through a daily ration of a piece of bread and a small jug of water.  Indeed, these monstrous cells were occupied “for the permanent immurement of the already ‘deserving’ beings of that sect ….”  Inside their cells, members of the sect practiced their “famous manipulations of what they call their ‘emotions’ and ‘thoughts’—until the total destruction of their planetary existence.”  (p. 260)

 Further, the care of these ‘fanatic monks’ in cells was carried out “with great reverence by those sectarians who were candidates for that immurement, and who, while waiting their turn, existed in the said large building that stood in the monastery square.”   Even worse:

 “… the ranks of these unfortunate ‘fanatic monks’ was being filled up by other members of that peculiar sect, constantly coming from Pearl-land.

 “In Pearl-land itself all the adherents of that sect already knew of the existence of that special ‘convenient’ place for the actualization of the finale of their religious doctrine, purporting to have been based on the extra instructions of Saint Buddha; and in every big center they even had what are called agents who helped them to get there.  (p. 261)

 Beelzebub and Ahoon certainly did not leave the monastery with any agreeable sensation or happy reflections on the horrors they had witnessed, in “that melancholy place of sacrifice to the same wretched organ which, in the ruminations of certain Most High Cosmic Individuals had had for some reason or other, without fail, to be implanted into the presences of the earliest three-brained beings of that ill-fated planet.”  (p. 261)

 The caravan continued then through the mountains of Tibet, where there had been such “abnormal growth of the elevations” and where they encountered “hardships of every kind” until they arrived at a river which they sailed down to the Sea of Beneficence and to return to the ship Occasion.  It would be many centuries before Beelzebub would descend again to the planet Earth, although at times he would “attentively observe these favourites of your, through my big Teskooano.”  Back on Mars, Beelzebub became involved in the projects being conducted there to divert water upon the planet through canals in order to irrigate additional lands for wheat and crops.  Beelzebub always had an interest in such machines and appliances as were being invented to undertake these projects. 



[1]  After the third catastrophe of the great winds, the city of Gob and the country of Maralpleicie are buried under sands to form the Gobi desert, which is in northern China and Mongolia. 

[2]  ‘Wiseacre’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as: One who thinks himself or wishes to be thought wise; a foolish person with an air of wisdom.

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