From The Phoenician Letters (Davies and Zur, Mowat Publishing, Manchester, 1979).
- Letters 1 to 5 - work in progress
A series of ten letters from one having responsibility in the Sar-Ma'an, Brotherhood to the Prince of the Land of the Four Directions, at the Royal School of Ugarit, being an aspirant to the brotherhood.
LETTER ONE - Being Concerned with the natural world of elements and its lord the Earth-shaker Rimon, also of matters having to do with the government of the world.
LETTER TWO - In which the attributes of Nebo, lord of all teaching, are examined and discussed.
LETTER THREE - Considering the effects of Ishtar the secret, the lover, upon the world.
LETTER FOUR - Law and its ruler Nergal, lord of the Underworld, master of the limits of the created world.
LETTER FIVE - Marduk the magnificent, the ever-expanding, the master of life, the source of power. The principles according through which He operates, His effect upon the creation.
To the Son of the King, Lord of the Four Directions, in the House of Princes at the court of the King of Ugarit; the 3rd day of Nisan.
This message together with its instructions are sent at the request of your reverend sire, who has written to you telling you of this. The name of the writer will be kept from you until a later occasion. All statements from this source are under the seal of your father the king and may only be discussed with him. This dispatch is the first of ten in which the nature of gods, law and rulership will be written of, using the letters which you are learning in the school of princes at Ugarit.
Firstly, then, the gods. It must be very clearly seen that gods, if they be truly gods, govern all men and all creatures, from the highest heavens to the lowest depths, and their powers are not devoted to any man, city, state, or empire, but are the causes of all regardless of their rank or wealth.
The order in which the gods will be spoken of is as follows: in this letter RIMON, then NEBO the message giver, ISHTAR the perpetuator, NERGAL the dread judge, MARDUK the lord of growth, EA the shaper, ENLIL the creative, ANU the source. Then will follow SHEMESH Master of the Chariot, and SIN the driver. The first eight are concerned with the processes of creation, Ea hears, Marduk realizes the possibilities, Nergal limits them, Ishtar perpetuates them, Nebo harmonizes and names them, Rimon arranges the elements so as to give them a physical form, a chariot of the gods.
Let my lord the Prince take heed of these words, let him ponder the meanings thereof. All is Anu, even the former gods: chaos, the bottomless, the boundless, the salt and the sweet, the smooth swirlings, the centerless spindle, the vortex in chaos, the absent and the likeness of light, all are Anu. He is there and here; He is that, that He is. There is no other. He is all gods and all gods are Him. He is both pivot and rim of the circle. He is far from us and we are near to Him as our blood is to us.
In him in Rimon, the lord of the axe and the pomegranate, the lord of the storm and the thunderbolt. From a pomegranate comes a seed, from a seed a tree; from a tree come many pomegranates. Rimon strikes the earth and the mountains fall, the plains rise as mountains; He breathes and the storm flies before Him, sighs and the gentle rain descends upon the earth. He throws the thunderbolt and the heavens crack asunder. He strikes the air as a workman strikes his flint, behold the flash blinds the multitude. The seas flow forth upon the land and the land sinks beneath the sea. He smiles and the birds sing, corn grows, and there is food for all and the sun falls pleasant upon the face.
My lord Rimon is the bull of heaven and the lover of the corn-maiden. Look up into the heavens at night. See Him scatter the grains, the golden grains of the stars, upon the fields of heaven; Rimon is seeding the heavens. Count the stars in the sky, these are the plants He tends; He breaks the clouds of the heavens when there is need. He is air and the fire, the water and the earth; He mixes the fire and the earth and the mountains run like water, and the smoke of his furnace ascends unto the heavens. All things in the heavens and the earth are mixed by Him. He is the land we live in, He is our bodies, our blood, flesh, and life. Without air we die quickly, without warmth it takes longer, without water and earthly food we die after a little while. These things cannot be taken away from us, for they are our life. They are His gifts, in them and on them and in them we live.
Now, as future king, one of your titles will be "Tenant farmer of the God," and this is both your position and the position of all men. We are all tenants, stewards of his gifts; you as monarch are steward of the realm during your lifetime. Ignorant people think that they own the land. It was there before them and it will be there when they are buried with their fathers. Ignorant kings think that families own the land, but families also die in time. None can do good without land and water, warmth and air, O tenant farmer of the god. A man is entitled to the results of his work while he lives, but all his effort, without land, will be as nothing, for he cannot produce anything without it.
Therefore be wary; greedy men are always seeking to gain control of the land, for this is the way to power over others. The landlord has power over the tenant, the tenant has power over his workers and his slaves, all rests on the control of land. Men cannot fence the sea or the great rivers, but they are able to control the pools and wells. So another of your titles will be "Water Bailiff of the Lord." Now, my Prince, see and comprehend: all is the god's, and his people appoint over themselves a judge, a steward, a ruler in his place, so that all may share in the wealth of the god. Thus in our land no man may own the land he works on, or the water, no man, not even the king or the priests, and each man shares in the produce of all according to his labors, giving a portion to the god, from which the god provides for those who cannot labor. Each person who is fed from the god's share has, therefore, duties according to his station.
The king's duties are to give justice, control the strong, aid the weak, steward the land, and to defend the people against the covetous and violent who would take by force the fruit of the other men's labor. To aid him in his work he has priests and councilors, servants and the army. The priests hold the times; the councilors of the state hold the knowledge of men and interpret their moods to the king. The army and the king's servants put the judgements of the king into practice.
Now it is plain to see that the land is a gift of the god. It is equally clear that when men have farmed the land, dug it, planted and watered it, other men by means of war try to steal the fruits. Some claim that the land is theirs, and try to dispossess the tenants by force. For this reason we have an army, for it is plain that where force rules, a nation only has right to the land it can hold. The army is our fence about the land, and like a fence, needs to be kept in good repair. The best army is one which fights for what is its own, its wives, its children, its goods and its gods. Thus the people of the land are the best army, but they must master the arts of war. For this reason all men need to and are made to handle the sword, the bow, the sling or the spear, and must hold weapons and keep them in good repair.
In our land we have no fortresses, only storehouses, and the reason for this is that fortresses can be surrounded, and their occupants burnt out or starved. We rely for our defense on movement; our cities are built on hills and some distance from the great routes which cross our land, and in
this way we have warning of attack and are able to harass invaders from the sides while they are travelling from one place to another. Our storehouses for weapons and food are remote and upon the hills. We take our strategy from the vine and the river, both of which give way to force in order to evade, both of which seek the weakest point, and, encircling where they can, flowing around where possible, are thus able to conquer great obstacles. Each of them uses the dualities of the opposing force to gain its end.
Slaves are not able to fight in this manner. Laborers, having no flexibility and skills, no independence, cannot fight like this. Independent men, having both skill and knowledge and lively intelligence and an interest in the outcome, will fight like this, but it must be clear to them that they will gain therefrom. They are not therefore to be relied on when it seems to them that they may be defeated. For disparate ventures men of courage and power are needed, men who make situations and are not subject to them. Such men are captains and leaders, they are noblemen. You may have wondered why in our land the son of a nobleman is not a nobleman himself, but is subjected to ordeal and test before he is judged to be fit himself; the reason will be given shortly.
Even nobles cannot, at the last, be relied upon, for each of them embodies different attributes, each of them create different situations, each has his own sense of right and wrong, being true to his won nature. Therefore they need to have above them one who knows, understands, and is skilled in action. Such a man is a monarch amongst men, for he sees how best the various natures may be combined. He knows when to advance and when to retreat. He understands the causes of situations and their outcome, when to fight and when to surrender. Such a man considers the whole of his people and their destiny. But even the monarch is subject to a great man. There are very, very few great men and it is the duty of the king to seek them out. The great man creates knowledge, formulates law, stimulates action, not for one city or nation, but for all men. There are few; proud men cannot recognize them, selfish men cannot see them, cowards are afraid of them. Hear and understand, O Prince.
Let us now consider the slave. The slave has nothing of his own, even his offspring belong to his owner. All the fruits of his labor belong to another; if the war is Lost he will still be a slave; he may have a new master in a new land, his life is no better or worse. He has no will of his own; why should he labor harder? He will gain no more. Food and shelter and punishment govern his life. His gods are Rimon and Nebo and Ishtar.
The laborer is slightly more free, for by work and care and economy he has the possibility of becoming a man of skill, selling is ability for a greater return. His family is his own, his home may not be his own but he can go another place. But a man who remains a laborer all his life is governed by his belly, his appetites prevent him setting anything aside. He has little will and does not develop his intelligence, he is in bondage, his gods are Nebo, Ishtar, and Sin, for his thoughts, his feelings, are in the keeping of other people and events; he is driven as an ox to the slaughter. He will not fight except under compulsion from others.
The tradesman has hope, he and the tenant are sure that they will receive justice. they have hope for the future, they may train themselves and their children, improving their skills and abilities. If they are independent they are not bound by their birth, neither do their neighbors force them into doing what they do not wish to do. They employ others, taking the responsibility for the work produced. They gain command over others, for they know what they want and try to create conditions that will bring this about; they will fight for what they have and what they wish to obtain in the future. Nevertheless they are governed by others to the extent to which they would be envied or admired by them, for they do have ambition and pride. Their gods are Nebo, Ishtar and Shemesh.
These three are the foundation of the state; they form the greater part of the people. If they are happy, the state is in good condition. It is the duty of the king to keep the balance between them, for if one gains too much power over the other, then the wealth of the people will suffer. Each must have leisure, for it is leisure that enables men to grow; even slaves may attain nobility if they know leisure and know how to use it to advantage. It is the king's duty to foster such desires.
Now the wealth of a state lies in its ability to produce fruits; for an example, Paat, the city of Nebo, produces men of learning. All men wish their cities to have within them men of learning, therefore in exchange for this learning they send their wealth to Paat, for the city produces scribes and learned men who can speak and write in many languages, and this is also wealth.
Kaph-Zur, the city of the great god Sin, is wealthy, for it is skilled in the reading of oracles and omens. People come from many lands to have their questions answered; they bring gifts to the temples and the city is thereby enriched. Shekel, the city of Ishtar, is the home of coppersmiths
and the entertainers; from this city, as you know, come the best singers and dancers and musicians of many kinds. Each city exchanges what it has for what others have. For this reason it is important to consider the nature of value. Suppose that you have a pomegranate and there comes a man to you who has a bunch of grapes and he offers them to you in exchange for your pomegranate. It is simple to see that he values your pomegranate more than his grapes, and if you make the exchange with him you evidently feel that his grapes are more valuable to you. It is therefore a condition of exchange, free exchange, that both benefit from it.
Now if in some city there is only one maker of pots, and he has the only good clay in the district, anybody wishing to have a new pot must pay the price he is asking, even though that price be very high. Now it is the duty of the king that he may make certain that no man may hold the people ransom in this manner. To dictate to others in food or warmth, water, land or goods, prevents the free exchange of one thing for another. To do so prevents the flow of commerce, which in turn decreases the wealth of states. It is important to realize that the world of commerce and labor is the world of the first three sorts of men. The gods that govern them are Rimon, Nebo, Shemesh and Ishtar, and the god Sin has dominion over them all; this is His world.
To return to the noble. Such men are never many in number; they wish to press upon their limits, they wish to test themselves, maybe by arms,by skill, by adventure, or by travel. A nobleman is recognizable by his ability to check himself, to subject himself to discipline, to bring his appetites under control. These men are disturbing to the first three, for they devalue by their very lives the standards of men who are rules by their appetites.
The king must give them tasks that are worthy of their mettle, or they will create these conditions for themselves, and according as they are able to govern themselves, they should be set to govern others and so develop in themselves righteous magnanimity. Until then they should be held under discipline, they should be taught law, they should be tested by being sent to the frontiers to watch and guard the land. If their abilities lie in other directions than war and leadership, they should be placed under masters of their crafts until they can see in themselves the laws that are embodies within them, and the they in their turn become masters of their own business and capable of magnanimity to others, let them be placed in authority over others. When they have thus proven their nobility, the gods Nergal, Marduk and Shemesh have dominion over them.
There can be in a state or city only one ruler; when, therefore, a man attains the knowledge of a natural king, it is a point of danger in the affairs of the state, for such a man is the equal in real authority of the king himself. How, then, is the matter to be dealt with? This is the time at which the great man becomes important, and this is why it is important for kings to seek out great men: for they only posses the power to instruct kings in the way they should go. It is the power of a king amongst men that only he can recognize the authority of a great man, and a man who attains to the kingly level will accept the great man's advice. For remember, every king is potentially a great man, every noble and embryo king; every independent man may become noble. Slaves can become laborers, laborers independent. This, O my Prince, is the law of human growth. Therefore the gods of kings are Ea, Enlil and Shemesh, and the great man the embodiment of Anu, Enlil and Ea.
Now it is the work of kings to foster this growth, for only by so doing may a king become a great man himself. And the conditions for this growth are freedom, justice, leisure and instruction. If the conditions are good, skills develop, men specialize and co-operate, exchanging their skills so that they may be few from the necessity of being their own diggers and planters, reapers and threshers, tailors and shoemakers, carpenters and smiths. Then together they may produce enough for all to enjoy the fruits of their labors and be free to devote themselves to discovering their own abilities and natures.
But the basis, the foundation of all this, is the free access to land and warmth and water and air. All the products of man's labors are the field of Rimon; for men, by their arts, control for themselves the combinations of the elements, the mixtures of air and water, and fire and earth, that
are the gifts of Rimon. Men build their cities to protect themselves from his moods; they make wells and irrigate the land, wall, and shelters guard their seeds from tempest, they store the rains, they dig the earth and melt the rocks for metal, they embody in themselves Rimon. From a man and a woman come great nations, from one life many lives. A man can kill or nurture, free or enslave. So it is with us; we are Rimon; all is Anu.
Therefore when you go up into the temple of Rimon and bow before His image, remember you are bowing, as all men must bow, to the oceans, the rivers, the plains and the mountains, the sun, the moon and the stars, the spaces between the stars, the spaces between the clouds in the air and the clouds in the heavens. All that can be seen with the eyes, heard with the ears, smelt, touched, tasted, and felt by the body, all this is the god Rimon and His wife Shalla, the corn goddess, the compassionate one; they are the earthly presence of the great gods.
Who is this that shines in the Morning of the World, brighter than a thousand suns, Whose voice spreadeth to the ends of heavens, whose sound is as the thunder, Wakener of winds, binding chaos to make the worlds? Against him, who can stand, Thrower of thunderbolts, beloved of Enlil, The Warrior Son of Ea, He is the Lover who spreads his love abroad, In love all creatures grow. Stand at the edge of still water, take to yourself a stone, hurl it to the center, watch it enter water, See the fountain arise, then spreading over the surface, wider, wider and wider. Bigger and slower they spread, and the wider is the water, the further the cycles move, In bigger and bigger circles, smaller and smaller the wave, His is the power that spreads, His is the force that moves, He the lover that livens, All that living may be, He is the wave on the water, the chorus of the dawn, He is the light that awakens, He the sword that divides, He is the power that joins. When the priest who has travailed, who has fought against his sleep, Presses past the guardians, who speak before the Lord, Comes forward into darkness, that is only hidden light, Has the courage to battle, against the gods in him Takes a step into darkness, knowing the loverīs within Open his eyes to the lover, bending his neck to the power that keeps things what they may be Wars against the chaos that is lurking within his mind, and lays upon the altar all that he values most Then he who must bend both his head and his heart To the Lord of the Light within, Speaking the words of submission, may enter the presence of Him. Marduk, the Breaker of Chaos, great master of the night, Brother to the Hero, Priest King of all the priests Tempter of Erishkigal, the Battler of Enlil, Then shall the priest, heart burnt with pain, Be one with the love of Marduk.
You will now have learned to chant these songs in the service of Marduk. Now listen to their meanings, for we speak in parable and song and only thus can He be known.
Take a youth that is learning, being set to his trade. Let it be that of merchant. He works amongst the goods, feeling and growing into these goods. He learns them moving to his masterīs orders at his masterīs stall. Selling to people, making good his trade, his master favors him and entrusts to his care more work, more trade, more gathering, choosing, exchanging. He learns to travel, seeking the best sources. He learns to listen to what moves men, and using what he knows, becomes flexible, able to gauge both his masterīs and the peopleīs need. The merchant wishes to expand to another market place, and leaves the youth, grown to man, to steward the stall. The merchant is pleased with his servant and asks him to undertake a journey. This he does, undertaking also to trade on othersī behalf. Fortune prospers him, he meets no brigands, makes from his journey profit, both for himself and his master. He finds also means to increase his masterīs trade, learns to judge men, makes many friends in commerce and many patrons his trade. His word is valued. Men come to him with trust, ask him to undertake matters of moment on their behalf. He learns his way amongst the soldiers and the tax collectors. His word is truth. His master frees him, for as a freeman he is of more use to the merchant. He gathers trade around him. The kingīs servants listen to his words. He knows the value of speech and silence. He gets him a wife and home in the city. His household is well known. He does not boast before his fellows. Neither are gold and fine jewels displayed upon his womenfolk. He acquires servants and sets them to work. His words are discretion. He has business in many places. The kingīs servants love his gifts to the gods. They prosper his travels. His servants grow many. His trade expands.
He goes down to the seaīs edge. He makes friends amongst the sailors of the deep. He travels over the salt ocean to far lands. His work prospers. He is trusted amongst the speakers. The king sends him on embassy. His word is truth, his discretion is valued. He is loved by men and women. He increases greatly. He does not fight. His eye is upon value. His fortune increases. His sons follow in his footsteps. He provides for the important matters. Upon his death he is greatly mourned in many cities, for he numbered his friends in thousands and his servants in their ten thousands.
In his life he showed forth the power of Marduk who battled Chaos, for he was beloved of many, and the power of love spreads order and strength amongst the nations. Had he been weak, he would not have prospered. When he bent his head, he gave honor, but the shoe was never thrown at him for he was a man. His household obeyed him, for they loved him without despising him. But above all he was trusted. Trust in Marduk and you also will be trusted. It is not well to trust in worthless matters. A little glitter a little pain, flashing eyes and teeth, covering lies, these cannot be trusted. But trust in the Lord Marduk. He will be before you right hand. He will lift up the bent neck. His influence fades not, for He is ever with you. His is the power to heal. He battles against the lies of disorder.
Thus, O Prince, can one see the civilizing power of Marduk. See in the streets of your city a man and a maid. He shines before the people as a sun in splendor, she as the moon keeps her face to her lord. As they pass, old men sitting in their doorway smile. Old women cease to scold and the soldiers do not jostle. See in the market as they move, ripples of smiles upon the faces of the people, spreading amongst the throng. Such is the power of Marduk. See you that golden glow that wraps them as one that is the mark of his power. It is not the power of Ishtar, much more fiery and passionate, Mardukīs power spreads peace in man.
Your father will have told you that it is necessary for your judgements to be strict and firm, for it to be swift and certain. Magnanimity is the gift of royalty, but its measure must be exactly controlled. The reason for this is seen when the consequences of indulgence are seen. Suppose a servant, well beloved, breaks the law and is brought before you for judgement. It is easy for you to be kind, but what of the other servants, those you do not look on with favor? They will consider the laws are there to be broken. And the people seeing your servantsī disregard for law will no longer obey. The floodgates have opened. Every man is free to seek his own ends and purposes, and will need to be his own lawgiver, judge, soldier and king. The people will be divided against themselves and also will the nation.
Your father may wish to expand his domains. He may loose the army as locusts upon the lands. Who shall prevent him at this time? He would capture many slaves and receive much ransom for the glory of our land. His army would collect much booty. But where should conquest end? Should he continue to the land of the Elephants? To the land of the Yellow men? To the land of the frost and snow? To all the shores of the Inner Sea? The further out he spreads his army, the further they are from the centre of power, the source of decision. The time between an event and the centreīs news of it and response to it would become longer. The incentive for the war leaders to judge and act for themselves would be greater; as they relied more on their own decisions, so they would be more convinced of their own abilities, and some would inevitably attempt to gain crowns for themselves. Large portions of the army would have to be left at centers of lands to maintain order, and this would weaken the centre of our land.
All greatness is dangerous. When the earth shakes, all men lose their foundations, cities die, oceans lose their place. Who knows the path of the lightning, who can create the roll of thunder? When the floods come, what is man? Where is his greatness? Can he bind the winds or loose them like the latchet of his shoe? When the great rains fall, where is the ability to fight great battles? The rains come and he is helpless. They go and he goes about to repair the damage. In the sight of Marduk, man is as dust. Man is ground in the mortar of the gods. Mardukīs heart holds love for his creatures, for His power is withdrawn after a space; His lightning travels over and beyond the mountains and the voice of His light becomes fainter and passes across the heavens. The floods come and go. Men must bend to the will of Marduk. In former times there have been many great empires. At this time its power is expanding, is growing daily, its king is collecting by the earth-load the riches of the subdued nations. Its leaders are enjoying the fatness of the meat. Soon they will be weakened by their liking for rich food, many women and slaves, gold and silver. They will become dependant on their empire growing, for such wealth depends on much conquest. As they lay waste the land, so they need new land to lay waste, in order that the flow of tribute may be kept.
What endures is the disciplined spirit and power to sway and control the power of expansion. Consider our friends of the Great river in the West (Egypt?). In their lands, every year the river floods the land, bringing down upon it layers of soil from the mountains. They restrain it and, catching the water as a thorn catches the cloak, slowing it, use the water and the soil to renew their fields. So from a yearly flood they profit greatly. The great winds blow and the sailors catch them and use them to travel over the ocean to the far countries. In every power there is danger, in every danger, hope. Danger controlled is power for man. Fire is danger for animals. Fire uncontrolled is danger for man; controlled, it is power to cook, to make tools and weapons. Power in man over man, controlled, is kingship; uncontrolled, is tyranny. Kings bring peace and order, tyrants violence and destruction, as well as great purpose and drive. But rulership by man over man is not given to enable men to die in their ten thousands. That is not peace and order, it is sickness spread by the sword. It is a plague among the civilized nations, as if madness were to be spread. Nations grow to greatness, conquering great nations. Thus it is even more important that a great nation should be controlled by law and that the more importantly still, conquered nations should be ruled justly, wisely and magnanimously. When this law is broken, the greater the nation the greater the fall. Empires pass to empires. A nation whose border is controlled with power and strength, which is conscious of its greatness, which loves its people and its land, such a nation may not be worth capturing. It may be better for great kings to make peace with it. Remember this, it is four times important for us to know.
Have you seen the fields of corn left to the weeds, thorn and thistle? The fresh green weeds first, then the slower, stronger weeds, each displacing the other till only the thorn bushes are left; then, slowly, large bushes start to grow, and trees. Each patch of plants forcing the previous patch out of the area, until the trees are left to dominate and the land becomes a wilderness. All trace of man is gone. All growth is of the same nature, it expands to fill as much of the land as it can. As with great men and nations, so also are the priests.
Bear this well in mind, O Prince. If a man be shown how to be happy and joyful through all tribulations, he is sure that the path he trod to gain this envied state is the correct one, and further, that it is the most blessed task on earth to show to others the truths that have been given to him. It would seem to him that those who refuse to believe what he tells them are blind, and that the truth is not in them, and it would seem to him to be a holy task to bring others to this state, by force if necessary. Not only this, but all other ways are lies, for he did not come to his state through them, but only through which was given him this result.
Thus the priests, for the best of all reasons, are always seeking to gain more and more allegiance for their own creeds, and will be very difficult to control, for they will be the cause of many small wars, chiefly amongst themselves. So our history teaches that many times enemies have found the way of attacking our country is through the gods, which they and many of our neighbors share. Many noble families are convinced that they are the friends of the people and that they only possess the right to govern, for they love their servants and the inhabitants of their land, and they are sure that by natural expansion all would benefit by a growth o f their own power. The monarch of a country is tempted more than any other by this knowledge. For how could it be other than true, that what is good for him, is good for his people. But remember O Prince that thus do all men think and feel, for they know it to be true and without question. There have been kings in our history who have tried to drive the people along the threads they would not thread, which to them have been good and profitable. In every case, such well-meaning activity has resulted in rebellion and the downfall of yet another dynasty.
Consider the whirling wind, the hurricane. First the air becomes hot, and men sweat so that they feel a terrible pressure upon them, then there falls over the earth a terrible and uncanny quiet, then the wind steadily starts to blow, building up to terrible gusts of wind, then comes a noise as of a screaming monster, and then, in the distance the shrieks of the people. The trees and plants are plucked from the soil, then wise men seek shelter in the strongest stone buildings and the terrible hurricane comes, lifting into the air all tents and loose coverings; and then the quiet centre passes over, making strong men feared in their bones. Then the vast shouting tumult comes again, and as it travels into the distance, the wind dies away, leaving the streets swept clean of all loose matter. Whole crops are ruined, streets empty of all living, the fields stripped bare as through from locusts. And the farmers, if lucky, are able to plant again, but if not, there is a year of drought and starvation to follow: such is the power of Marduk, such is the Master of Winds.
Who can tell His power, who can control His might? Such is the anger of kings, such is the mercy of love that may shatter the soul as it stands. Who can know its power? It can strip the soul of man to the bare bone, removing from him all belief, all hope, all self, so that, alone, trembling and as nothing, he may stand in the presence of the beloved. Who can know the way of Marduk? In his presence, there can be no other, alone, deserted, shattered, its will broken under the millstones of Him, the soul must bend to the wind and the thunder and the lightning of his presence. The heavenly waters must wash away all semblance of the soulīs reality until, bereft and as nothing, the storm passes, leaving the land of the soul swept clean, but with its existence still present, it feels the love of Him. His mercy that shall never be taken away. So that the stars may continue in their courses, that order may be established in the world, so that its real nature be perceived and that power, known for what it is, the power to change, to keep things living by the power of death, that all things by His power may be transformed, that all creatures come from him, living or dead, that they are all one, and depend one upon the other for their existence. Who shall declare "There is only one way" will not have seen the full power of Him but his soul remains as yet imperfectly purified, for in his love there is no other, there are not many ways or one way, there is only His reality. He is the essence of creation, out of nothing he portrays the beauty of his creation. But, O Prince, fall not into the trap of thinking or feeling that He, Marduk, is all-powerful. He is but the tool of his father. His power descends from Enlil and Ea. He only embodies it. Therefore, O Prince, remember that great as His power is, central to all as it may be, there are powers greater, more noble, quieter, more subtle, more general, without destructive potential, being more near to the great Anu, who is above them all.
From all that has been written, there is one thing above all to remember, the truth of Marduk is this. He is whatever He wishes to be, His shapes are endless. He is the cause of them all. Love is of many forms and can illuminate anything, in heaven or earth, for He is the changer of shapes, the one who cannot be restricted for long. Does the earth love the sun, or the moon the earth? Does the sun love the stars or the stars love the deep? Yes! And the green plants of earth love the creatures that eat them, and the mouse loves the hawk. When the wind fades, has love faded? And the flood, does it love the earth and the sea? If you can see this, you will know that the apple you eat loves you. It is on fire with the passion to be transformed to a higher being in you. Life loves death and all are bound in perfect love, for they were never, and will never, be separated.
4th of Elul.