The book of the generation of Yasan Masiah, the son of Spes, the son of Amor.

Amor begat Vis; and Vis begat Robur; and Robur begat Potestas and his brethren;

And Potestas begat Error and Vitium of Auctoritas; and Error begat Stupiditas; and Stupiditas begat Tyrannis;

And Tyrannis begat Dolor; and Dolor begat Desperatio; and Desperatio begat Timor;

And Timor begat Odium of Metus; and Odium begat Superbia of Invidia;

And Superbia begat Spes the husband of Expectatio, of whom was born Yasan, who is called Masiah.

So all the generations from Amor to Yasan are fourteen generations.

But Yasan was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Yehosua.

And when he had fasted fourty days and fourty nights he was afterwards and hungred.

And when the tempter came to him he said, Command that these stones be made bread, for is it not written, Faith removeth mountains?

But he answered and said, It is written again, Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat from it all the days of thy life!

Yehosua answereth, That was because you ate of the forbidden tree, but just as by the offence of one judgement came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men to justification of life.

He taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him the wretchedness of all the world; and saith unto him,

Blessed are the little children that are cut unborn out of their mothers! Death was in man from the beginning.

That which biteth flesh is flesh. And that which devoureth flesh is flesh; how is one distinct from the other?

Life is a flying spark; it fleeth the bonfire and is put out. What is man s love other than lust for flesh:

Alone thou devourest, and alone thou art devoured, and all that thou hast to hope for is the executioner Death.

The little tear up the great, and then tear up each other also: all wisdom is grief; no man is of the dust, yet every man turneth to dust.

And he saith unto him, I will dry every tear if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Yasan saith unto him, The river seeketh not the mountain but the sea.

Then Yehosua leaveth him, and, behold, the Spirit opened his eyes, so that he caught sight of a fruit tree.

From that time Yasan began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the World is at hand.

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are they that love: for they shall be loved.

Blessed are the wronged: for they shall obtain satisfaction.

Blessed are the powerless: for they shall obtain power.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst for wisdom: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the lonely: for they shall be counted among my kin.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall not be defeated.

Blessed are the intrepid: for they shall be kings in my realm.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for truth s sake: for they shall not die.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: your children shall inherit the earth.

Ye are like unto the wind which giveth wings to the seed. If the wind dropeth, it will fall to the ground like a stone: it sprouteth where it lieth, and smothereth itself.

Therefore pay ye no heed unto the farmer who curseth the storm that bloweth down his crops: he knoweth no better.

Driveth it not the clouds together like unto a herd of sheep, and water his field?

Or do ye think a man can emasculate a bull and since lead it to the cows?

Or that ye can say unto the storm: Thus far and no further?

Therefore shall many say of me, He preacheth lawlesness!

But I say unto you that the force hath its place and the law hath its place.

The law standeth not above the force, for if the force is not in the law, then what is it for?

The farmer who owneth a cow divideth the milk in two portions and selleth one:

But if he were to do the same unto the cow, he would get no more milk.

Of you shall it be said, “They set themselves above the law and do not heed their neighbour:”

But I say unto you that except ye heed your neighbour more than do the law-abiders, ye shall in no case enter my kingdom.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not harm thy brother, and whosoever shall harm his brother shall be in danger of the judgement.

But I say unto you that whosoever gladdeneth not his brother is in danger of the judgement: and whosoever shall say to his brother,“Thou hast what is thine,” is in danger of death.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, All things whatsoever that ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them:

But I say unto you that ye shall do what they wish that ye do.

It hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:

But I say unto you, That whosoever loveth not his neighbour more than he loveth himself, hateth him: and whosoever giveth him his due doeth unto him an injustice.

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Think not only of thyself:

But I say unto you, Think not at all of yourselves, neither of your happiness nor needs.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, that ye shall repay evil with good:

But I say unto you, That ye repay good with better and evil with worse.

Giveth the field but one pen unto the farmer? And how would that field fare if he allowed the weeds to grow with the crops?

Or if he allowed grasshoppers to eat the corn? Would it be said of that man, What a good man who alloweth not that the creatures of the field go hungry?

No, rather it would be said of him, What a lazy man, who provideth not for his children!

He could not benefit one without harming the other.

Therefore, He who repayeth evil with good, repayeth good with evil.

He who alloweth his enemy to live, killeth his friend, and shall be judged guiltier than the perpetrator.

Though, thou shalt not harm thy neighbour for any other reason than that he harmeth those whom thou holdest dear: thou shalt not harm him for thy own sake.

Neither shalt thou harm him because his customs are an abomination unto thee: Thou mayest avoid him, but thou shalt not harm him.

If he abuseth his wife or eateth his children, thou shalt not count it against him: for maybe he thinketh the same of thine customs.

But if he threateneth anyone dear to thee, be it wife, son, daughter-in-law, grandson, or friend, then thou shalt kill him.

Wait not for him to raise his hand: if his tongue doth threaten, let it be thee enough.

But if he only insulteth thee or them, thou shalt let him go. Therefore shalt thou meet thy neighbour with bowed head, smile, and speak in a low voice: That he may not think that thou hast hostile intentions toward him or his.

If ye merely do not harm, what do ye that is special? Do not even the law-abiders so?

Be ye therefore like unto the sun, that counteth not its rays. It giveth warmth and receiveth none, and yet it groweth not cold.

Take heed that ye be not acclaimed by men! For who wishes to be abhorred?

Therefore ye might entertain the thought, Let us not offend, but at least superficially follow the customs of the people, whatsoever they may be:

But I say unto you that ye sit not down with them, nor shall ye spend a night under their roof:

For with them it is like unto him who is smitten with a contagious disease: he, who will consort with him cannot evade the disease.

Neither shall ye soften your speech to please them, thinking, If I say such and such, will he not entertain abhorrence unto me;

For how can ye be righteous and not be despised by the unrighteous?

Can a bear be a bear without frightening the hind? For you the hatred of the unrighteous shall be like unto a costly salve:

Just as the salve keepeth the body healthy, thus shall their hatred keep you healthy, so that ye do not go into them and consort with them.

Nor aspire ye to attain a reputation among them, for good or for evil.

When ye see an oaf showered with honoury, he shall be to you like unto a pig just arisen from the dirt.

Indeed, take heed that ye be not honoured by men! This I say unto you: It is better for a man to be burnt alive than to be admired by many.

When ye pray, be ye not as unto the hypocrites, who doubt as they pray: for they are like unto blind men hacking at the air with an axe and hoping to strike the wood: Those resemble ye not.

After this manner therefore pray ye: My god, which art in me, Hallowed be thy name unto me.

Thy will be done; preserve me as thy tool and leave me not: for thine is the force and the honour.

Ye know how it goeth with the dead flesh: So too with the useless tool; it is broken and thrown on the fire. Nor worry ye about what cometh after death.

What mattereth it to the sword whether it is beat into a plowshare: it is no longer a sword.

No, rather shalt thou concern thyself with lying well in the hand of thy god: Then shall thy life there be long.

Nor shalt thou reserve thyself toward thy god, thinking, the unused blade keeps longer: For the unused blade is remelted.

Instead shalt thou throw thyself into battle withersoever thy god needeth thee: however much thou tireth thyself, thy rest shall be long enough.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures, but give everything away: Then shall ye lay up for yourselves a treasure of love.

In the sea, wave is followed by wave: if now the beach were to hold on to one of these, no more would reach it; so too it is with you.

He, who keepeth that which was given unto him, hath what is his: but he who giveth it away, unto him yet more is given.

Therefore envy ye not those unto whom much is given, what they have received:

For those are such that have much to give; it is a burden that is laid upon strong shoulders.

Nor shall ye excuse yourselves saying, I have but little:

For I say unto you that whosoever hath anything but love, hath stolen it from his brother.

Ninety nine out of an hundred may agree on a king or a law: but they cannot bind the one remaining; he may do as he will.

I will not tolerate oppression amongst you, one by the other.

Nor shall ye starve him to make him follow you: for sustenance is not yours to barter with as ye please. He shall do as he will; still shall ye feed him.

Fear not for what the world may do unto you: the world is but the shadow of a will; if this will be within you, what harm may it cause you?

And it came to pass, when Yasan had ended these sayings, the people were astounded at his doctrine:

For he taught them as one having authority, and not as their own men of learning.

And some said unto themselves, There is nothing new in any of this; it is the teaching of our fathers from beginning to end. Doth he wish to raise the dead, and doth he not think we have grown any wiser?

And others said, This doctrine is not like any other; the man is possessed!

But there were also those that listened unto Yasan and repented on that day.

And, behold, there came a blind man and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me see.

But Yasan answered unto him, Who made thee blind if not thy god?

Did he not put darkness before thine eyes so that thou mightest search within it? Tell me now what thou hast found!

The blind man answered, Nothing, Lord!

Yasan saith, Search once more!

Then were the multitudes angered against him, and said, He maketh the man a fool! and they pitied the man for his blindness.

But Yasan saith, Wherefore pity ye the man for his blindness?

Ye shall rather pity yourselves: for ye have sight and see not. I say this unto you,

In my kingdom the blind is greater than he who seeth, the deaf greater than he who heareth, the lame greater than he who doth walk.

Ye see, but what perceive ye ? Ye listen, but what hear ye? Ye walk, but unto where wander ye?

But the blind man who doth not see, shall perceive, and the deaf man who doth not listen, shall hear, and the lame man who walketh not, shall reach my kingdom!

Nor shall ye ask wherefore ye be not bright or comely or rich: for every man hath the qualities that his god needeth him to have.

No sword is also fashioned of pure gold: else it breaketh at the first stroke!

Neither shall ye pity him who dieth young, but rather shall ye have pity on yourselves, because your lives are unfulfilled.

Gave not God wings unto the bird and claws unto the tiger? Are ye so inferior that he would not give unto you what ye do need?

Say ye not of the crippled, It is a punishment! for then it is ye that is punished, because ye were not marked by God.

Men are not equal. What one can do, another is not capable of doing: the sun burneth not the black man; the cold biteth not the bearded.

Therefore seek ye not to be as others: for he who is his neighbour s equal is nothing; what use is he?

But if the god hath made thee different from them, then seek thou to be yet more different, so that they may come unto thee, saying, Do for us what we cannot do ourselves!

Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, All men are equal.

But I say unto you that every man is better than all others.

Then the people wondered, thinking, He maketh us look like unto wild men! And he offended many there.

Then a certain man of learning came, and said unto him, Master! I will follow thee withersoever thou goest.

Yasan saith unto him, Make peace with thy god!

The disciple asketh him, Who is my god?

Yasan answereth, In thy youth, was there not a work unto which thou had a mind?

The disciple answereth him, Yes, but it bore not fruit.

Yasan asketh him again, saying, In your youth was there not a woman whom thou desired more than anything?

The disciple saith, Yes, lord, but she was married and did not want anything to do with me!

Then Yasan saith unto him, Would thy god have let thee desire her if she truly belonged to another man?

Go now to that woman in the force of thy god: then shall she fall in love with thee.

In the same way shalt thou take up again the work that was assigned thee by thy god in thy youth.

The disciple saith, Just so will I do!

Yasan saith, Then will I force thy god, so that he take abode within thee once again and serve thee; and serve thou him!

And behold, some of the men of learning think to themselves, This man talketh as a heretic. How can a man force God the Almighty?

When Yasan knew their thoughts, he said unto them, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

Ye call God Father, and yet do not think that he will come to your aid.

Is the father compelled best by the sword or the tears of his child?

Ye hypocrites, who separate the husband from the wife and send the husband away, thinking, He shall not defile himself with his wife!

Know ye that just as the wife is naught without her husband, so is the husband naught without his wife.

If the wife doth long for her husband, how much more must not the husband long for his wife?

At that time Yasan did wander in the market place; and his disciples were an hungred, and each took a fruit from a stall.

But when the law-abiders saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful.

Then he said unto them, Who can forbid a man to pick a fruit?

But they said, This fruit belongeth to the man who owneth the stall!

Yasan saith, Take me to his workshop, and let me see how he createth such a wonder as is this fruit: then will I pay him for all that my disciples have eaten!

But the law-abiders persevere, saying, If ye do not pay, the man will starve.

Then Yasan saith unto them, This I say unto you, If this man doth starve, let him come to me. I will in no case be filled if he doth starve!

But the law-abiders said to themselves, This man breaketh down the respect of the law and of private property! And they took counsel against him.

But Yasan saith unto them, What man shall there be among you, that if his son fell into a well, would not lift him out, even if it were done with a stolen piece of rope?

The law was made for man, and not man for the law. So man is master of the law.

Ye have heard that it hath been said to them of old time, Law is law, and must be kept.

But I say unto you that ye are in no case allowed to keep harmful and useless laws.

Otherwise anyone could murder and plunder his brother, since such is the law of war, which ye are also ordered to keep.

They say unto him, But then every man can do as he will?

Yasan answereth, Is man born with his hands tied together?

But if he doth wrong his brother, then shall his brother's god punish him, yea his own god shalt leave him, because he practiceth injustice.

But the law-abiders shook their heads, saying, Who will be deterred by such talk?

But Yasan saith unto them, Ye are like unto a farmer who buyeth a cow and thinketh, It shall surely run away from me! Then he bindeth its legs together.

The farmer thinketh, Now it cannot graze! Then he taketh grass and stuffeth it into its neck with a pitchfork, choking it.

Wherefore have ye such distrust in mankind, is it because ye yourselves are evil? I will tell you three things.

Firstly: The Spirit wanteth nothing for itself! Secondly: The Spirit can accomplish whatsoever it wanteth!

Thirdly: The law is instituted by thieves, who wish to keep their loot.

Had they not stolen it they would have no need of a law to keep it.

And he saith unto his disciples, If anyone shall bless my name, but hath not love, him shall ye curse;

But if anyone shall curse my name, and hath love within him, him shall ye bless!

Allow not yourselves to be disappointed by big words and genuflections: if he doth feed a sparrow, he is of my kin.

But unto the men of learning and the law-abiders he saith, Ye blind guides. Ye, who strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel!

If anyone saith, What a lovely woman! Ye condemn him for despising her: yet he who hath never loved goeth free.

If a woman striketh her child with her hand to keep it from harming itself, ye condemn her; but if she leaveth it to strangers, ye condemn her not.

If a man killeth an intoxicated man in order to save his life, ye yell out; but had the other killed in his drunkenness, then would ye pity him.

If a man saith, My neighbour meaneth nothing unto me, Then ye hate him for it, but that he neglecteth his own family, it bothereth you not. For with you it is all idle talk.

Woe be unto you, ye men of learning and law-abiders; ye hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

And say, If we had been in the times of our forefathers, then we would have listened unto the prophets!

Yet behold, a prophet is among you, and ye turn not even your heads!

But I say unto you, Ye shall not hear the voice of wisdom henceforth, till the time cometh that ye say, One year of my life for a word, one week for a nod!

But the men of learning and the law-abiders said unto themselves, He exalteth himself! And they were satisfied hereby.

A disciple saith unto him, Lord, tell us what is to come!

And he saith unto him, Once upon a time there was a small people, and yet it held its own against a large people: so too with you.

With you it is like unto a camp of war that prepareth for battle; no one speaketh, everyone sharpeneth his weapon and hopeth for victory, and the fire is out, so that they do not betray their numbers.

But at the break of day they charge forth, and their strength is evident.

But if the night be long, even the most steadfast is bound to drop off, so that the enemy can overwhelm him.

Therefore I send unto you a sentry to keep you awake: Every day shall their indignation against you increase and they shall find new yokes to lay upon your shoulders;

And they shall rob you of all that ye have, so that ye say not, Let us not risk losing it!

And they shall say unto themselves, How ever much we torment and pester them, still they hold out; let us now kill them!

But then ye shall arise, as the mountain ariseth and shaketh off those that had taken abode upon it, thinking, It withstandeth every thing!

The disciple complaineth, saying, Lord! we are but few.

Yasan answereth him, He, who came before me had twelve, and with them he did conquer the world!

Then saith the disciple unto him, Expound to us the meaning of thy name!

He answereth, What say the men of learning that it meaneth?

He answered, Some say, Sleep; others, Death.

Then answered Yasan and said unto him, To them sleep, and to their children death, but to you my name shall be: The One Year Old.

For I am like unto a man who hath been one year away from his house -though to you it must be like unto two millenia- and findeth it burnt to the ground and his servants fled after having plundered it of all that it contained. Yet, one of his servants hath remained faithful unto him.

He then helpeth him rebuild the house yet more radiant than before, and to fill it with treasures of every sort.

And his unfaithful servants hear about this and return to also also lay waste the new house. But then shall they learn that the master hath returned unto his house!

And he holdeth a great feast, so that all may know that the house that was a house of grief hath become a house of joy.

The disciple saith, Lord, is it true that thou art the Antichrist and Satan?

He saith, If I am an opponent, then judge whose opponent I am. Who if not the unfaithful servants who laid waste my house?

A disciple saith unto him, Lord, is it true that when thy kingdom come, thou shalt make us kings?

Yasan answereth, This will I say unto thee: Today thou shalt be king of thine brethren!

The disciple is gladdened, and sitteth down to eat. Then Yasan reproacheth him, saying, Knoweth thou not that a king eateth not till his subjects be filled?

Then the disciple must wait until all have eaten. It getteth late, but when he is about to retire, Yasan saith unto him, Hast thou not heard that a king must watch over his subjects?

Now let them sleep, and watch thou over them, that no one may touch a hair on their heads!

Then saith the disciple unto Yasan, Lord, I think that perhaps I am not worthy to be king!

And Yasan answereth, I think that perhaps thou art right!

But the disciple asketh, Who shall now be king amongst us?

Yasan answereth, The richest! There were three men: one was so poor that he had only enough for himself, the other had twice as much, so he could share with his brother.

But the third was so rich that he could give everything away and keep nothing for himself. Him shall ye make king!

And behold, a man came unto him, and said, Master! what good shall I do that I may be saved?

And he answered him, Why asketh thou me about goodness? Everything that the Spirit is inclined towards is good. But if thou wilt enter into life, then keep the commandments.

He saith unto him, Which? Yasan saith, Love thine wife so that thou hatest thyself, love thine children so that thou doest good unto them. Respect the rich and care for the poor.

The young man saith unto him: All these things have I kept: what lack I yet?

Then said Yasan unto him, If thou had loved, thou would not have asked! But when the young man heard that saying, he went away grieved.

But Yasan said unto his disciples, Asketh the lion where it shall seek its prey, or the corn where it shall sprout?

In the same way love asketh not what it shall do.

It is a bad habit ye have acquired, always to say, We love! We love!

Ye think ye make yourselves respectable when ye say, Nothing could compel me to lie or steal or murder.

But I say unto you, That if your love cannot compel you to do all this and more, then ye have it not.

Look to the woman: though she is flesh where ye should be spirit, how often hath she not brought you to shame in love?

For ye say goodness when ye mean cowardice, and speak of your honour!

I say unto you, There is no honour but the honour of love.

Verily, I have heard you bargain about love, and say, My beloved treateth me not right!

But I say unto you, That until ye forget your right, ye shall not taste love.

What the spirit doeth out of love, it doth it willingly; what remaineth is death's domain.

They asketh him, Who shall rule in the house, the man or the woman?

He answereth them, I have told you that she is flesh; therefore shall all that is flesh be under her domain: both the food, clothes, and house.

But apart from this the woman shall not rule over herself, but be under the dominion of the man. Neither shall the man rule over himself, but be under the dominion of the woman.

The disciples ask, But then no one is master in that house, and there is no one to guide?

Yasan answereth, Love is the master in that house, and love shall guide them!

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, then it is not good to marry.

But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

For life is a rush towards death: the woman is death unto the man; but also is the man death unto the woman. He, who can understand, let him understand!

But many, that stood nearby said unto themselves, He is Death, he saith it himself!

And one of them saith unto Yasan, We are many who respect thy wisdom and would follow thee.

Yet: thou frighteneth us. Let me therefore Advise thee: Talk not so much of dying and murdering!

Yasan saith, Thinketh thou that anyone can build a palace upon the sand? No, it is built on a rock, and many are the workers that toil till their hands are bloody!

My kingdom is given unto many, but few shall receive it. Now thinketh thou, that the rest of the people will remain outside the house?

No, rather will they fall on the guests. Therefore I say unto you, If anyone shall bring upon you a scratch, inflict upon him a wound.

If they kill one of you, then kill ye ten of them. If they say, Also the women! Then say ye, Also the children!

Think ye that a hole is filled with half the amount of earth, or that a measure of cream is skimmed from half a measure of milk? No, double and double again, then shall ye obtain peace!

Then were the multitudes stricken with horror for him; and there were few left.

Thereafter the disciples started to speak, and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all for the sake of love; what shall be our reward?

Yasan saith unto them, Love shall be you reward. For behold, a man treateth well with his wife, and she loveth him. Another treateth her with cruelty, and yet she loveth him!

Then saith the good husband, Is it just that he receiveth the same reward as me?

But I say unto you, Who can aspire to anything greater than to be loved by some one? Be ye therefore content; ye have received all!

But a law-abider saith unto him, He, who came before thee, said, Ye resist not evil! But thou sayest, Reward evil with worse!

Now it seemeth me that ye are like unto a father and his son; the father starteth the building of a temple of gold, but the son completeth it with iron.

Yasan answereth, So it is!

The man continueth, What sort of temple can we not expect from the grandson?

Yasan saith, A man hath a wife, who is unfaithful unto him. What shall he do?

The law-abider saith unto him, Divorce her, for she wilt cause him pain!

Yasan answereth, Thou art right. But if now the man loveth his wife?

Therefore, any one of you that will leave her and follow him, unto him I say, Do thou so!

But I have come to say unto you, Let no one be despised for love!

And it happened, that also a man by the name of Yoseph came to listen unto Yasan. And he followed him for ten days.

On the tenth day Yasan said unto Yoseph, There was a woman who had only one son.

When she was taken ill, she sent him to town to fetch a doctor.

But the son had never been to town before, and became so engrossed in all the things that he saw, that he completely forgot his errand.

When it was evening, the mother arose to look out for her son, but she fell with her lamp, and the house burnt.

Then the son returneth and findeth that in one night he hath become motherless and homeless.

Yoseph asketh, Why dost thou tell me this?

Yasan saith unto him, Thy mother is ill! And he leaveth him there.



This text is an extract from the book "Faust".
COPYRIGHT © Erwin Neutzsky-Wulff and Borgen Publishers, 1989
Translated by Robin Wildt Hansen.
All Rights Reserved
First published 1989 by Borgen Publishers.
This text may under no circumstances be resold or redistributed for compensation of any kind, in either printed, electronic, or any other forms, without prior written permission from Borgen Publishers.
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