On the 14th day of Antiochus’ teaching in Rome
he was approached by a young boy
who had long scars on his face and neck
like serpents intertwined, they held him
they stroked his face and chin, like a mother they comforted him
and his voice was low and dark
like the earth, a grating sound
and all the men grew silent
though they were learned
and knew many philosophies
and knew of that which is not what it is
and of the aethers and the elements
and let the boy speak
regardless of his clothes, which were torn
to show him their generous spirits
“All these questions you ask”
the child began
“are only comments, they dance around the problem
with fine words and delicate manners they approach you
but you circle your real desire, arms locked at your sides
as children circle in our games
hands over eyes in giddy enjoyment
you do not wish to find
that which is obscured
you wish to not find it.”
At this, Antiochus closed his eyes
and rolled back his head
as if looking upon something both high and within
and withdrew his arms into his cloak.
Cassius, the doctor
who tended to those with sores
and lesions and poured into their wounds
grew angry and replied with a harsh voice
“We seek Truth
only that we seek, and we spend our lives in searching
with words we reveal that which is covered
we root out that which is false
those whose falseness is discovered in the contradictions of their language
there are none here who avoid truth
we are honest men, all
all that we wished to ask we have asked.”
And some of the men muttered, and nodded
but many more rested their eyes on the boy
on his scars, on his deformity
and they were uneasy.
the child spoke
“Then why has no one asked the question?
Why has no one said the words that we all long to hear
Why have I not heard those words on your lips, that you whisper in your sleep
when you are restless and your heart cannot stop pounding
inside your chest to be set free of its relentless tasks
of the prison that is your life, to which you enslave all the parts of your
Cassius began to sweat,
and was angry,
“You are only a crippled child,
what question could you ask
that I could not?”
And Antiochus spoke.
His voice was a cold breeze
and quickly silenced the assembly,
and they pressed their hands to their stomachs
and quickly drew their robes around them
as if they knew not where they were or where they were going
and were lost on a foreign road with no stars to guide them
all stars dead in the ground
“He wants to know,”
“what happens when we die.”
And he said, then:
the universe is dark around us
a mass of stars and air
but as thick as the wood of the trees
and it is into it that we go
when our bodies are killed
and we are only killed
killed by time and killed by life
i promise you, i promise you this!
that there is no such thing as a natural death
and being born is a sentence of death
and giving birth is an act of murder
every one of you have murdered your sons
you have murdered all of them.
and that is what being human means
and it is the physical shock of this
being born as what you are
the unbearable trauma
that forces the soul from its shell
as a man who clings desperately
to the edge of a cliff
may be made to release his hands
by a fierce wind.
There have been many that have said
that death is like a deep sleep
but it is not peaceful and it is not restful
and the ones that have told you this
seek only to make themselves feel better
better about what life is
but I do not care for your feelings
because your feelings are meaningless, completely
Death is a great horror:
immediately upon leaving the body
the deceased human being becomes the sole spectator
of a marvelous panorama of hallucinatory visions
all things became the cloudless sky
and a mountain of clearest glass
opens up from the blackness
and punctuates the air above it with it’s fingers
and causes pure death to rain towards him
and there are no words to describe
what it is truly like
you cannot know it
it as if god himself
had bled out onto the ground
and everywhere, everywhere
is the stain of it
we are soaked in it
and it all smells of copper
but this is false!
it is a spectre
it is a phantom
anguish of a writhing spirit
reflected against the purest backdrop of nothingness
because, oh, the death of a god! the pain of his blood!
that would give meaning.
But there is no god in death!
you will not see him, you will not find him.
god is deathless.
what use does god have for death?
that father of all things
what use has he for a broken toy? what use has he for the shattered vase,
the broken vessel?
what use has god for death?
and what use has god for the dead?
when you die you pass out of god’s realm.
you pass from his sight.
and the spirit stays
cocooned in the glass mountain
wrapped in those beautiful un-lights
until, whispered into his ear
those cold, nothing words
shudder downwards in a spiral
and, like earth spinning into water
broken apart into pieces unlimited in number
their very force causes deep lines of fracture
to appear in the very face of the mountain
those awe sounds and radiances
first pitch upwards
rising screams and calls
and then finally cease altogether
the silence echoing everywhere
lingering in space
and through every time
and the visions of the Afterdeath stop
and in one clean perfect moment
of absolute, impenetrable nothingness
But in grief we do not claw our chests
we do not tear our clothes
we do not gnash our teeth, for though it lasts as long as it possibly can
there is no suffering
and there is no lack of suffering.
no lack of joy
there is no cause
and no cause of causes.
God, the Great Pitier,
is not present to keep the tally or to write your name.
There is no death.
Because there is no life.
This is the question
and this is the answer.
We are all trapped together
we are all piled together,
with no order
just a pile of limbs and faces and legs and fingers
and you may cry out
please, please, please release me
please let me breathe
please let me stand
but there will never be any reply
as there was never any cry to reply to.
Once you have the answer
your life is over
all of you here
if you have heard my voice then
your life is over
your life is over.
Because you sought truth
and now you have it.
Death is Truth
and Truth is Death.