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A CLUB OF SUPERNAL INTERESTS Christian Esotericism, Spiritual Science, Esoteric Christianity - All Authored by a Lodge of Christian Teachers (unless otherwise stated.) (All writings copyright) ©

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Order of the Golden Thorn-16th April 2008




THERE is nothing that separates the good men from one another in this world and beyond this world further, for they are combined.

In this true unity there is the bond which is both simple and strong, of their Humanity. And for those pledged to uphold and support their brothers and sisters in this fellowship of souls, there is no deeper or stronger friendship to be had, save but with the Gods and the Father Himself. There is no special key or code to be used, save the love of Goodness and the love that Goodness brings.

There is no formal membership that can overtake that signature of Christ that all men wear upon them right now. And should they subscribe to a devil or pretender, that signature still survives upon them, and protects and dignifies their being.

The noblest order of all the spheres of worlds dissolved and worlds to come, the highest and with true and glorious prestige, is The Order of the Golden Thorn. Other societies might mimic this order and some wear rules that they might appear to shoulder beside, but they do not, and there is naught to be taken seriously and neither to be coddled nor entertained, and none so worthwhile.

For this order knows itself without pretense, and its gathering have the deft mind of this knowing as well. Subscriptions, uniforms, outer signs and handshakes are for those who do not know one another, who do not have the significant means of perceiving who is who and what is what. Such extraneous means of acknowledgement might be self supporting but have no purpose of themselves; and they will in turn, by their mode of insincerity, exclude themselves from The Order of the Golden Thorn.

A mother does not ask her child for his passport every time she goes to hold him. Yet it can be with the animal world that in a manner of speaking, they do. Animals will outcast members quite readily for small reasons and sometimes fail to recognize them as being part of their own species if moderate changes ensue.

However, human souls are each different to a point, and same to a point as well; and as different and as same as one another. And despite of exterior changes, they do have the ability, when clear in mind and heart, to see the soul within and feel its palpable love.

Sometimes it is that men will go the long way around. They seek the invisible door, when that door really truly is the very heart itself; and not just in fancy, but in all discerning, all knowing, and more importantly all action as well.

The mystery schools have been in plain sight for eons. They have always been accessible to the ones who have championed both goodness and love. There are no fortresses or caverns, nor temples of worth, that exclude the exemplary. Perhaps to some it might be a sore point that they need to try a fraction harder or desist their selfishness before gaining entrance to the true treasures of the world. Perhaps to the downhearted it seems too difficult, and they yearn for someone else to be themselves but for them, and that they might sleep eternally, whilst their deciding is thusly given over....

The good news is that each good man is sensitive to the striving of another's. As a collective we know and sense when any man chooses rightly.


And there are no shortcuts, fast roads, smuggled loads or bribery that can get you to salvation. No secret words or special deals, no mysterious codes, privilege or pact, that will get you to the heart roads that lead to us. It is only with the sincere goodwill to all men that you can be prepared for what then will be ahead of you.

Life itself takes a leap when you commit to the pledged existence. When you can count more than one, and care abundantly for others; when you are ever ready to do what is needed, even at times with a cost to yourself; when your selfhood matures and settles into a quiet knowing and each word is weighed with multiple considerations, when your discerning is divorced from criticism and judgment and motivated only by kindness; when you can understand that Masters and even Gods have their bad days too....when you can take pause for a thought and reflect honestly on that which needs improvement about yourself and thereby work further into betterment.

The Middle Path so called, is not for the middle of the road man. It is for those individuals who are tired of pretenders and half faiths. It is for the men and women of this world who are repelled by greed and lascivious extremes, and prefer peace and humility to the uncharity of false pride and its attention-seeking associations. 


The wealthy have made a bad investment. Would that they would work to invest within their own character as much as they seek to amass their worldly power, they would have exceeded their hopes and fulfilled their greatest of desires. Conceit and carelessness in relation to other people, disables the perception and disqualifies the wicked from their own understanding. Further to that, if an individual persists in only selfish passions and pursuits, they are literally cutting off their future at the roots.

As harsh as this may seem, nonsense has no place or opportunity to further itself and develop yet more of the same. Nature and Heaven demonstrate a supreme commonsense that guides all of the participants to employ themselves in either beauty or usefulness. Nature and Heaven do not support nonsense enterprises - they are all very short-lived and cannot perpetuate themselves.

Over time there have been many instances of catastrophe, where hundreds or thousands of men have been retired too early with epidemics or disaster, and many souls have been swept into the spiritual worlds all too quickly together, wrenched from their realities, dismissed from their duties and loves. But with these events comes also a solidarity between the folk who have had this experience together, and a forging of a kind occurs within that experience.

The Order of the Golden Thorn was begun also in such a way. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On the Edge- Heart to Heart- 1st April 2008


THERE are certain concepts, like over and under, above and below, inside and outside, empty and full, endless and finite, brief and prolonged, small and gigantic, purpose and obsolete; and these concepts, all of them, are matched because they insinuate a measure, a measure without prejudice, a measure of proportioning space.

Interestingly enough, these concepts give more of a picture of something else to that they refer to, rather than just the concept itself. For example: if I am considering something above or something below, it is the something which I consider in relation to it being positioned. The land is below the clouds on high. I am seeing land and clouds.

The concepts above are spatial verbs. They are used to set our bearings, to find our place within the inward space of our imagined planes... to position our selves in relation to that which we consider, to chart and to find.

And they are not intended to be anything more than general thoughts within ourselves - how high or low, how deep inside or far outside, how empty or how full, how endless or how finite, how brief or how prolonged, how small and how gigantic, how much purpose or lack thereof - the 'hows' are mathematically inconsequential to the task of this positioning. 


Is it hot or is it cold? Far or near? Wide or narrow? Our thinking references these dual plural contrasts in a multitude of positioning tasks daily. And although we may go on to ask how cold, how far, how narrow, it is by the very basic action of citing preference in dual extreme, that we ascertain ourselves amongst it all.

That is one way of thinking. And inevitably amongst its mix becomes also the determiners of:

• Is it good or bad?
• Wrong or right?
• Ugly or beautiful?
• Just or unjust?
• Dangerous or safe?
• Appealing or disdaining?

And the task of asking the above is really not within the mode of the question in its asking, but to find our own position literally, in relation to that which we are considering. If we are making an internal judgment about our neighbor for example, we are asking ourselves to decide more about how we feel about them and who we are in relation to them, rather than really judging are they good or bad, wrong or right, etc. It is not just about relativity, but finding ourselves in relation to our new bearings when they are put before our consideration.

This is important to cite because a lot of such discerning is under the guise of pragmatically understanding and judging that person or situation with some authority to do so, and meaningful deciding, whereas the true meaning is specific to ourselves and our own bearings and what it may mean to us in the future. There is very little truth to be had in the external reality we are trying assess.

As small a point as this may be, it is a stepping stone into recognizing just how thinking can misrepresent the truth of a person or a matter quite easily, and also if we cite these processes within ourselves, we have an opportunity to make many changes within our thinking, that are decidedly more difficult if we do not.

Discernment of itself is both necessary and practical.


In all life there is one Heart that beats, and that one Heart knows all. What is truly good and that which is not so good, is known by this Heart for what it is. For what it is, in relation to that which it is, is evident. And there is no question or debate about the quality or nature of any act within this reality, for the one Divine Heart that is, has named it for that which it is. This is independent of us, of our conscious questioning and deciding, it just is.

There is no persuading or hesitation in this knowing. No weighing, deliberating or changing this Heart. Assumption in its true and glorious context is most wonderful. The divine state of Assumption is when the individual knows the mind of the Heart, and further ascertains through that.

When folk speak of knowing their own hearts, it can be that it is the heart that can recognize the greater Heart's deciding. By the coordination and alignment of our heart to the Heart, we can experience Assumption.

One of the odd things here is, that over time there have been moral and philosophical arguments contending that there is no exact wrong or right in any situation. But in point of fact there is - and The Heart knows it. In the overall picture, individual entities and their commodities are all with a given space. They have a place and a quota and a size and a coordinate that is entirely knowable, measurable and fixed. It would be nonsense to imagine a reality where there was no fixed reality. It might not be known to us, for this whole, and the positioning within the whole, is too large to comprehend. Yet nonetheless it exists and is, and in truth, has place, space, bearing and measurability.

And isn't it exciting to know this? One of the fundamental most frightening misconcepts of this age has been that everything within the Cosmos and beyond is undefinable, unknowable, not only to ourselves but in general existence. What a relief it is to say out loud that everything does have its place, space and bearing, and even the wrong and the right of each and every situation also has its exactitude!

If you can possibly acknowledge that everything really does have its place, you can begin to appreciate it and see it, at least in some aspects, for what it is. Your relationship between it and yourself, is more measurable than by generalities - and depth perception can ensue.

Individuals who rest with fundamental religious tenets do so because they have experienced Assumption and the reality of The Heart's deciding, and put that experience into laws and behaviors that are meant to signify the Divine. And with a dedicated zeal, all attempts at new or original thinking are inhibited, for it is determined that there can be no individualistic deciding outside of The Heart and subsequent Divine Law.

Such a sense of correctness can be a comfort - particularly when all in daily life has proven to be unreliable. Yet the contention that The Heart is ever aggressive or reciprocatory is unproven - it can be savory or sweet, but it is not retaliatory.

Within perfect place - i.e. that space infilled truly and exactly - everything literally has its place. What this means is that no action or judgment on behalf of a man for example, will alter the place, positioning or lot, of that which is being judged.

You can lock a criminal up to stop him doing harm to others, or if you have charity you might try to help encourage him out of his ways. But do not lock up a criminal to punish him, for there is no worse or more apt punishment, that by which he has already become and is.


A man's soul concedes to Karma because he seeks betterment. He seeks betterment because he seeks a better place to be within and without himself. Our higher instincts command that we improve our conduct until we can rise again to that place which we formerly knew (another chapter), and there is no punishment or law that could coerce a man more effectively than what he already has in place in acknowledgment of where and who he is currently.

If we reprimand a child it is with a view in mind to discourage that which he has done in bad behavior. We do not reprimand for the sake of punishment alone. Would you punish a child who has learnt their error, or repented their problem? Would you punish a child too young too know?

Equally still it is the same for a man. When we view a man with venomous criticism or damning judgment, we are invoking a punishment that is aggressive and unhelpful. It is not the place for a man to judge or punish another, by thought or by action, ever.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beyond the Threshold- 21st March 2008

IN all things of human experience, there comes a threshold where a duty is fulfilled, a quota completed, a karma conceded and quelled, an expectation realized, a promise enacted, a generosity given, an exercise performed, a good word said... with all of these and more, there is an acceptable threshold we can come to where we are released by that which we were committed to and are then now free to withdraw. And it needs be said here, at this passage's such threshold, that this is still a fine and goodly thing to make such a completion, and it is neither delinquent nor derelict to leave at this point of said completion.


But if one were to go on, to exact a little more than mere duty requires, to act beneficially after the karma is conceded, to be better than expectation fancies, to give greater than promised, and then perhaps even more, even again... to be able to speak beyond words, to offer a man your own shirt, live with an audacious aptitude for openhearted generosity, then you may know what it is to meet the heavenly quota - being one with the brotherhood and sisterhood of the Saints.

Parents will go to all lengths to push through their tiredness to care for their young - often with an exaggerated labor, in an effort to do not only what is required, but also some added extra "just in case". They are working harder than duty alone commands, and with love and willingness in every detail.

Speaking plainly about this phenomenon, we are not saying that it can be advised on the other hand to be overbearing or outstay a welcome, add too much to a given recipe, drive sideways off a bridge, become tedious to others by being overly persistent or tireless in fervor - nay, there is also a very special quality needed which is being able to know in advance what may or may not be good to further, that has value to it to others.


A perfect example of this is with the athlete who feels his body to be weakening and his natural threshold to have arrived, by which he should and could stop participating in the race.... and when he keeps on moving past this point of tiredness he feels the heavenly accelerant to follow. Yet if it is to the detriment of his body, if for example his moving forward caused his heart to arrest, then there would be no value in him having gone further. The going further in itself may make him feel a rush of elevated passion, energy and exhilaration, but it requires a useful purpose that goes beyond self-fulfillment, in order for it to power onto a higher and advanced stage of enterprise. Such energy could easily expire a man and often does when greed alone is motivating the persistence.

There are those who would press beyond the threshold but with no value to others in their extravagances - and here is the true answer as to why wealthy men desire continually more, thrilling to strive for it, with never a consummated fulfillment. Yet self-serving outside the threshold of the natural quota simply creates more karma to be answered at a later time.

Please refer to diagram 1:

When Jesus healed the sick it was at the point in time where they had actually resolved or completed their illness [meant that they had completed their cycle of life and were about to die]. He healed them from dying and passing on. For most it had to be at the end stage of death before the healing could be given; i.e. the cycle set needs to run its own proper course first - and why often it is that blessings take place at the lowest of times and conditions. You have to get to the threshold in order to go past it. 


A lot of folk actually desist before getting to their respective thresholds or completion of any situation. For some it is chronic, where they will measure their words and their money. They are forever reluctant - may try to escape duty, leave early, avoid responsibility, never pay the full sum required and eventually depart their own lives ahead of their allotted schedules. Those individuals have lost some of their sense of participating fully to the end, let alone going further.

Both poets and scientists know what it is like to go beyond their threshold of given knowledge and push into findings that take them into new understanding. And naturally, quite naturally, it is so important to have fulfilled all of the criteria beforehand, leaving no stage incomplete, before advancing further.

Now here is something really interesting: threshold-jumping requires an active choice. Running a cycle set can be motivated by karma, Higher Self determined, yet not actively consciously egoicly decided upon. Whereas once that threshold has been reached and that run made complete, it is then at a point where a true decision can enter in and further what has gone before.

By definition, Charity is giving what is needed, Love is giving even more after having given what was required.

At the very point of death our beloved Christ had completed His earthly set and obligation. And only when He had arrived at the very summation of this time, could He willingly venture further into yet another commitment - past the threshold of Death itself and thereby resisting all Death to Mankind as well.

The sets of Seven offer us a full complement within any manifestive presence. Outside of the 7 is the realm of the 8 - past the threshold of 7.

If that element of the new, of this future 8, cannot succeed within itself, if it has not intrinsic goodness, it will at some stage require fulfilling and will appear as a 6 until it has done so.

Three numbers together often refer to the three realms we immediately note them in:
  • The first being of the World and the external conditions
  • The second being of both the future and the spiritual conditions (for they are one and the same).
  • And the third being the nature and spirit overall.
So by this standard,

777 indicates that:
  • All is complete and stable within the physical worldly conditions.
  • All is complete and satisfied in the spiritual condition surrounding.
  • All is sound within the nature and presiding spirit overall.

This can also be indicated by (a dot within two circles - please see diagram 2).

888 indicates that:

  • The physical world is primed for positive change - possibility exists.
  • The spiritual conditions (thought world generally, and natures of Men) are co-operating with divinity.
  • The Nature and presiding Spirit is having a stronger presence - both in the physical conditions and also in the Heavenly ones too.

666 indicates that:
  • There is an incomplete task or obligation which requires fulfilling in a definite, demonstrative way.
  • That there is a deficit of spiritual understanding currently and a presiding disquiet perpetuated by the disorder.
  • That the overall nature and spirit is not functioning well in other ways and has a weak presence within all respective realms.


Easter

Monday, July 11, 2011

Christ, Lay Your Hand on Good Hearts- 23rd March 2008

Up from the mire,
Of a stark romance,
Where the fat dragons slump,
Oozing black blood,
Blocking the pathways,
And cracking the bridges;
The crazy tort of hell's demons,
Claim the crossroads,
In tattered uniforms,
And bright clanking medals.

Up from the pike,
From that furnace of servitude,
Beelzebub's infestations party,
With fantastical weaponry,
Cackle laughs amidst devilish gaiety -
Compounded tempests of anger and outburst.

In cut-throat mirth,
And snide rivalry,
Lascivious gropes,
And dark revelry,
In compounds of sulfur,
And gaseous cavern,
Putrid and rank,
Crowded and leaden.

Make sweet the stench of Hell's discord;
Aright the lies of fruitless promise;
Defend, 
Contend,
Amend the curse,
That enters the space,
Of the pure and the blessed.

Amid the wrangling discontent,
Feverish self-important,
Self-appointed woes;
The tangles,
Dark prophesies;
Haggard muse,
Malnourished seer;
In melodies hummed,
From the battlefield,
Contaminated prayers,
Whims and sins,
Now living an apology.


And deeper still,
The old, but not yet wise,
Recite their will over impish minion,
That prick and pierce their skin -
But with no bloods spill,
For their life has long expired.

Unbeknown to they,
Entombed in death's embrace,
False words like bones,
Will not dissolve their space;
Such refuse of the insincere,
Gives providence its undertow.

Maimed by falsehood,
And corrupted by nonsense,
Troughs of licensed prophets,
Align their charts with Mars.

Bars of gold,
Pitted with envy,
Are stored in the holds,
Of the incongruous wealthy,
Along with their souls,
And their ledgers of plenty.

The vapors are peppered,
With extracts of disease;
And ghosts collect tombstones,
Of all the lives they have lived.

And blind to the mime,
That the angels perform,
(For the grace of their shadows,
Is flattened by farce),
They jip and they jive,
With a quip and a song,
In mutual longing,
This foul avid course.

Oh Christ,
Thou hath risen!
Your Body is real!
Your Eyes comprehendeth,
The pity of Hell;
Your Hand,
Lay on good hearts
And to others do heal,
In mercy and vision,
Our Life Corporeal!

Easter



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Death & Taxes- 14th March 2008

THERE is a humorous saying that in life you can only be sure of two things: death and taxes. And the humor seems to come from the sadness in that line, rather than the real truth of it in relation to certainty.


Someone once said (or at least if they didn't, they are saying it now) that the qualities in Man each resonate the instincts of the Gods; and that we should never come to know laughter, certainty and sorrow, if it did not exist also in the heart, mind and experience of Heaven in prime reality.

The grim Death and Taxes perspective pervades the thinking of too many women and men today. With it comes an attitude of gritting one's teeth and sad resolution - it is a statement of the hardship of life with there being little reward; it is an expression of hopelessness and lack of control. It is far more than just trying to be pathetically funny.

Men are constantly reminded, irrespective of their wealth, that their lives are dogged by death relentlessly. Now here is the interesting point to be had - historically it used to be that when a man caught a flash of his own mortality and possible departure from this life, he would immediately be inspired to try to do better, be better and cherish the moments left. In other words, thoughts of Death were both sad yet inspirational.

If you listen carefully to the hum of a man's thoughts in today's world you will find that they do not carry along any one thread for very long. They expire quickly and most thoughts are in very quick snatches of one or two refrains. A large amount of these thoughts are purely reactive or simply off the beginning point; whilst the reflective thoughts at best will go in a certain direction, but rarely progress on to there being further realizations from that thinking. Thinking itself may be about more complex items, yet it is far more simple and less energetic than ever before. 


Early man had the strength, persistence and cheerfulness of a small child. Man today has the experience and maturity, but the cognition is dull, the thinking is not elastic to circumstance or new thought, and the curiosity and cheer is next to none. This writing is not just to complain but to cite a symptom of the thought-depressive condition that finds humor in Death and Taxes. For if men largely experience grim and frightened nonsensical thinking, how is it that they can venture forward into the happiest of spiritual concepts, which are energetic, expansive and require perseverance in application as well.

Of course there are many behaviors which men do employ in order to feel more cheerful, when it is that they are morally depressed. When the thinking is rigid and tardy, you will find that the personality will become more and more careless - pursuing hobbies and event activities which are implied to be 'fun' or carefree. 

People are not naturally careless or stupid; and for those that do not develop intellectually from birth, there can be a true child-like condition which is blessed in nature, and still very energetic also. However, there is a very real correlation between the narrowness of thinking today and fun seeking.

This is to say, that if people in general are afflicted by a mentality which is more restricted than ever before, it tends to give over to a society that will seek out recreation before religion, self-soothing before self challenge, parties before study, physical relationships before mindful relationships, holidays before culture, gambling before sharing (stocks included), card games before conversation.

The question therefore here to ask is: How can we improve our own thinking and that of the world, so that folk may be enabled to pull back from the tread-mill of 'fun' and experience some life that is in-depth and varied? How can we develop our own thinking elasticity and awareness that leads us on into further thinking, questioning and findings - that prove to be exhilarating, inspirational, and wisdom-filled?

The one element that narrow thinkers appear to lack the most, even though they are attempting to mimic a childlike playfulness in their persona, is a strong and healthy imagination. They may have an imagination which presents images of fear or lewd images when provoked, but not a healthy imagination that can take them into unknown, unrevealed concepts.

One could say that it is a lacking in the imagination which has led to this condition - but that would not be true. The powers of the Imagination have never been developed to the extent that they can be today. In the past all men and women have had windows into the spiritual worlds and the psyche of their race or family, which could inspire their thinking and prompt thought which was outside of their immediate experience, but this was not imaginative thinking. Imaginative cognition requires a self-conscious egoic individual, a starting point in participation and a co-creative determining, working out from that individual. Imaginative cognition as experienced in the mind of the thinker within the physical world, is where the thinking is transcending up into the mind of the spiritual thinking ... for imaginative cognition is Spiritual Mindfulness. 

The Hans Christian Andersen story of The Tinder Box takes the listener/reader into a journey that walks, meets and explores - speaks with creatures of a sort and then asks the fellow traveler (the person imagining this story as it goes along) to travel down into a hidden place and look behind doors one, two and three. The Tinder Box really does spark the imagination quite perfectly for it opens the thinking as it goes. It is not predictable yet nor is it merely fantastical either. There are pursuits and reasons and tangible items amongst the unforeseen fantasy.

Guided meditations encourage individuals into a more relaxed and lively thinking often more because of the storytelling than the actual meditative condition itself. During the storytelling the person has decided to go along with the imagination and experience what is being put before them. They are lifting out of the tedious thoughts and judgments, and temporarily giving over into new findings and experiences (albeit in the mind). And both good stories and good guided meditations do achieve a real boost to the thinking as a whole, invigorating and expanding.

It is easy to understand why individuals can go to dangerous lengths with narcotics, alcohol and extreme practices in order to try to 'expand' their thinking. The young in the West have been known to participate in extreme sports that are physically threatening, in the name of 'fun'. 'Fun' is the most unfunny word in the dictionary. Its etymology actually means: 'futile'. It later took on the meaning of 'to fool' - to hoax - it is about false appearance - and if something was described as being 'funny' it meant that it was not quite right or what it should be.

So there is the truth in the very word itself. If someone tells you that they just want to have fun, or they ask you what could be wrong with that, there is everything wrong with it.

Death and Taxes were walking along the road together one day and they came across a big gathering of people. The men and women from the town had come out to vote at their biennial election for Town Mayor.

The clouds were threatening imminent rain and a very cold wind bit into any bare skin. A small band was playing music that whined a discordant muse, and several children danced a performance that had been taught them, and they waved quite proudly to all who boringly looked on.

There was a cart used for conveying prisoners, with people in it chained foot to foot. They were there in application for a public pardon, which also was scheduled for this occasion. They each had a sign around their neck saying what it was that they were publicly begging forgiveness for.


Some stalls had been set up, where merchants and farmers had brought along their offerings for sale. There were booths also where consultations could be made - mainly to do with agriculture, veterinary, or general health questions - where people could go and ask the knowledge of the person behind the table. There were no astrologers or spirit-seers, but there were midwives and priests - all animated in great and lengthy discussion.

There was just one central ballot box, where papers were dropped in, one by one. And the candidates were all in a line, withstanding the wind and trying best to already look official. Becoming the Mayor was a favorable position, as people always bribed well and the Mayor himself was generally above the law, as he made the law. Not only was it prestigious, it assured a comfortable life for the duration.

Both Death and Taxes decided it might be fun to join the Candidates line. "Why not?” they said to one another, "for we are both handsome and appealing to the many!". And so they sauntered up to the line and Death went to one end and the Taxes to the other.

Death was dressed well, but his suit was very worn. There were actual places where the material on his coat were so stretched thin that the frail weaving was pulling apart. His breath smelt like green beef - rotten, putrid, rank decaying meat. His teeth were few and they too were worn back. His skin hung about him in folds of many many wrinkles and his bones creaked audibly as he took his place within that line. He smiled proudly.

Taxes also had an air about him that was not so pleasant. His appearance spoke of leprosy or some similar disease where the endings had shriveled back.... for his finger tips were all missing, as was the end of his nose, and his spiky hair sprouted at irregular lengths; he did not look well at all. There was an odor to him too, but it was more of a burnt delivery with an element of feces mixed in. His suit did not fit him, being at least two sizes too short - and his shoes were too tight, even over his stub-like toes.

A small tornado of storm pirouetted past the waiting candidates and the ballot box jumped several feet into the air. When it came down very quickly, all of the names within the ballot box had mysteriously changed to Taxe’s. Someone said later that it was at that very point of the day that every man, woman and child grew shorter by two inches each. The food lost its flavoring too and the milk, its cream. The cows deflated and the bread also lost its puff - even the wind lessened to but a breeze.

Death stepped forward and with a stroke of his invisible hand changed all of the names from Taxes into Death.

Ever so suddenly then all of the people, each and every one of them, turned into stone.

"You always do that" complained Taxes to Death, and Death just shrugged resolutely.

"What do you expect?" he answered back - "Don't you realize that once you have taken from them your tithing, the rest is mine anyway?"

And then the two departed shuffling back down the dirt road that they had come from.
 A whole month had passed by and a bird flew over head. It saw from its height that something was very wrong with the scene he saw below. When he drew courage to work his way closer, not one of the enormous crowd was moving - and then he realized that they could not, for each and every one of them had been turned into stone.
So with sadness driving him on, he undertook a journey, which lasted countless hours in a little bird's life - until he reached the golden halls of Gladness, where the Christ Child was in residence. He tapped with his beak on the broad tall gates and they opened immediately. There in the garden beyond the halls sat the Christ Child Himself. He seemed to have a light of His own coming from Him. It was not too bright a light, just vaguely visible really, but very beautiful if you did see its glow.

He knew the reason for this visit and put gently a small spray of an unknown flower onto the ground right before the little bird.

"Here," he explained "if you take this to the Stone people and place it on the ground where they stand, they will enliven again and all will be back as before. They will not remember what did change them. They will not thank you, but I do, little friend."

The little bird stepped forward to receive this magical gift and bowed his head with a loving shyness. Before he took it into his beak to carry, he asked just one thing -
"Master, how could this happen when these are good people, who did not deserve to be turned to stone?"

And the Christ Child replied by asking:
"Tell me little friend - what was it they were doing just before this terrible happening took place?"

And to this the little bird considered, and recalling the line of men and the box and the booths he replied,
"I believe that they were choosing a man to be a leader of all of them."

"Oh" said the Christ Child, "well, as long as men will give the unworthy a high position, and place one man above another in power and privilege, then you can be sure of one thing to always follow - Death and Taxes".

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