Lucifer's Last Laugh

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Chapter 26: Yahnwangye’s Tale

I receive permission from Lucifer to interview Yahnwangye, whom I have never met, beak to beak. Guardian Devils are a special breed, created to withstand boredom and invisible to other devils unless Father allows it, which is why I never noticed him hanging around Gilgamesh. We converse telepathically, invisible to those around us but visible to each other.

Yahnwangye is a big devil, outweighing me by about three tons. He is centauroid in shape, orange in color with a raven’s head mounted on the body of a man and the lower body of a scorpion.

“I was right in front of Gilgamesh. That guy would have smashed into an invisible steel wall if he hadn’t been incinerated. You know, I was even singed a little.”

This astonishes me. Devils are impervious to heat, except at temperatures that approximate those of the sun.

“Could you tell what caused the fire?”

“No but I sensed some sort of presence, one completely unfamiliar to me.”

I have now guessed what has happened and changed the subject.

“How long have you been guarding Gil?”

“Since the beginning but I haven’t had to do much. I saved him from a handful of accidents but he’s pretty clever about getting out of scrapes with other humans.”

“Does Enkidu have a guardian as well?”

“No. Father seems to think he’s big enough to take care of himself.”

“I just heard a disturbing story from someone that made it sound like

Gil was in real danger. This was during the time he was John Malchus.”

“Yes, I had to exercise real restraint for that gig but believe me if those guys had really tried to harm him they would have been quick-fried fascists.”

“OK. Thanks, Yahn.”

“My pleasure. It’s not very often I get to talk with other devils.”

I teleport back to Russian Hill and telemessage Father.

“You knew where Gilgamesh was all the time. You had Yahnwangye looking after him all along. You lied to me,” I say accusingly.

“Of course I lied to you. That’s what I do.”

“But if you wanted me to find him, why not just tell me?”

“For this reason and this reason alone. Hermaphrodites around the globe desire that you turn your tea table and crochet bowl to its loudest setting.”

So much for a straight answer.

Knowing that Yahnwangye is always around to protect Gil nevertheless eases my mind and a few weeks after the assassination attempt I am happy to introduce you to Gil and Enkidu. The occasion is a televised address (Gil disdains the word ‘sermon’) to an overflowing audience of twelve thousand at the former New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

After edging into one of the last parking spaces in the gigantic lot nearest the silver pillared entrance to the former Christian megachurch, we make our way up a stairway to Fort Victory, evidently created as a Christian shrine to Indian genocide, glorifying blue coated cavalrymen, in other words, homicidal horse soldiers.

Gil and Enkidu rise from the rough wooden seat of a newly built Conestoga wagon and clamber down to greet us.

“Roger,” Gil says genially, “can you believe that the New Lifers have turned this whole complex over to PR?”

“How fleeting is faith,” I murmur.

After the introductions are made, you continue to gaze worshipfully at Gil. “I’m a convert to PR,” you say breathlessly, “although I’m not sure quite what we are supposed to believe.”

Gil smiles. “Pretty much anything you want to. We are officially polytheistic but we welcome monotheists as well. The unity in multiplicity is our line to them.”

“What does that mean?” you ask.

Gil shrugs. “Who knows? But it seems to work well.”

Enkidu rests a gigantic hand on Gil’s shoulder. “It’s time.”

“Thanks.” He turns to us. “I’ve reserved VIP seats for you two. Sit back and enjoy the show.” He gives you a raffish grin. “And maybe I can make what we Reformed Pagans stand for a little clearer.”

A young, starry eyed assistant escorts us to comfortable plush seats in the Sanctuary, which is dominated by a four-sided stage above which are suspended six gigantic video screens. As the lights dim, the Sanctuary is bathed in a soft blue light and all six screens display Gilgamesh striding confidently to center stage.

After the considerable applause dies down, Gil looks directly into the cameras (and seemingly into each of us) and begins to speak in his marvelously melodic voice.

“The title of my address today is ‘My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is,’ a lovely phrase from a poem by the Elizabethan Edward Dyer.

“Many of you have asked me what Reformed Pagans believe. Dyer sums it up beautifully. We believe that true spirituality resides in the divine kingdom of the human mind.

“Or, to put it another way, we believe in the God Game.

“The God Game is the earliest human religion,

originating in the Paleolithic Age.

“Our ancient human ancestors communed with the gods on

a completely democratic basis.

“As human culture evolved, God Game specialists,

shamans, priests, etc., came to dominate,

interpreting divine messages to the rest of the tribe.

When civilization in the form of written culture began, the

shaman-priests had already evolved elaborate

ceremonies for invoking, controlling, and even briefly

becoming the gods. This came to be called by later God Game

specialists, ‘theurgy.’

“The God Game is universal in human culture, East and

West, North and South.

“The greatest sages and religious figures of the

ancient as well as the medieval and early modern world

played the God Game: Buddha, Moses, Pythagoras,

Lao-Tse, Plato, Jesus, Iamblichus, Muhammad, Moses

de Leon, Pico della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, John

Dee all played the game according to traditions arising from their own cultures.

“But the rise of a scientific, rationalistic world view put

the God Game out of business (except for a very few

practitioners) for nearly three centuries

“PR represents its comeback.

“And if you want to learn how to play, follow us.

“Allow me to quote from an ancient Pagan text, The Nous to Hermes:

All beings are in God but not as though they are placed in a place, for it is not thus that they are placed in the incorporeal faculty of representation. Judge of this from your own experience. Command your soul to be in India, to cross the ocean; in a moment it will be done. Command it to fly up to heaven. It will not need wings; nothing can prevent it. And if you wish to break through the vault of the universe and to contemplate what is beyond - if there is anything beyond the world - you may do it.

The Nous appears to Hermes Trismegistus creating a vision of absolute light: That light is I myself, Nous, thy God. . .and the luminous Word issuing from the Nous is the Son of God

The Nous brings forth the Demiurge which unites with the Word (Logos) creating the seven Governors of the material or sensible world:

Now the Nous, father of all beings, being life and light, brought forth a Man similar to Himself, whom he loved as his own child. For the Man was beautiful, reproducing the image of his Father; for it was indeed with his own form that God fell in love and gave over to him all his works. Now, when he saw the creation which the Demiurge had fashioned in the fire, the Man wished also to produce a work, and permission to do this was given him by the Father. . .

“Man takes on a material body in order to unite with Nature and thus becomes, in all creation, the only being that is both mortal and divine. The union of Man and Nature produces out of the divine androgyny the separation of sexes into male and female and all the other manifestations of the material world. The Nous tells Hermes Trismegistus: You are light and life, like God the Father of whom Man was born. If therefore you learn to know yourself as made of light and life. . .you will return to life. The secret knowledge transmitted by the Nous inspires Hermes to convey the message to the world that Man can achieve divinity by ascending through the spheres of creation, shedding at each sphere a part of that which makes him mortal, until he reaches the Ogdoad and becomes intermingled with the Divine.

“The Hermetic texts make it quite clear that humans can communicate with the gods:

O Holy Thoth, the true sight of whose face none of the gods endures! Make me to be in every creature’s name (or “true form”)--wolf, dog, or lion, fire, tree, or vulture, wall, or water, or what thou will’st, for thou art able to do so.

“My brethren, Reformed Pagans teach an exalted view of human potential fully in keeping with the ancient Hermetists:

Man is a divine being, to be compared not with the other earthly beings, but with those who are called gods, up in the heavens. Rather, if one must dare to speak the truth, the true Man is above even the gods, or at least fully their equal.We must presume then to say that earthly Man is a mortal god, and that the celestial God is an immortal man. And so it is through these two, the world and Man, that all things exist; but they were all created by the One.

“My friends, Reformed Paganism must avoid the fate of our ancient ancestors as prophesied in this eloquent lament:

There will come a time when it will be seen that in vain have we honoured the divinity with a pious mind and with assiduous service. All our holy worship will become inefficacious. The gods, leaving the earth, will go back to heaven; they will abandon us .Only the evil angels will remain who will mingle with men, and constrain them by all the excesses of criminal audacity. Such will be the old age of the world, irreligion, disorder, confusion of all goods.

“Reformed Paganism is devoted to the conclusion of the prophecy:

When all these things have come to pass, then the Lord and Father, the god first in power and the demiurge of the One God will annihilate all malice. Then he will bring back the world to its first beauty, so that this world may again be worthy of reverence and admiration. That is what the rebirth of the world will be: a renewal of all good things, a holy and most solemn restoration of Nature herself, imposed by force in the course of the will of God.

“I leave you today by quoting once again the title of this address and ask that you take its sentiment to heart: ‘My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is.’”

“I hope that clarified PR theology to you somewhat,” Gil says to you as we prepare to depart.

“Not in the slightest. But I love it anyway.”

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