The Sword of Paracelsus: Third Journal Entry

Dungeon 001

Day 63



A word, I believe, of Boehme’s own coinage.  A flashing forth in the darkness.  An ardent fire-breath in the poisonful Mercury and Black Bile of the heart.  In the bitter Astringency of the Turba, a boiling, upsurging sude of sudden brightness. 

I have seen this flagrat here in my dungeon.  Strange as it sounds, it is here in my prison that I have felt the first faint flutterings of the spirit of freedom.  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.  Certitude, certitude, and the birthing of the painful longing that gives birth to all things.

Is this not the irony of ironies?  The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear with hearing.  And yet to those who hunger and thirst is given the great blessing.  I did not believe this until I came here. 

All my life I chased after words and their meanings.  All my life I prized language, yet I never really knew language.  I did not recognize the paradoxes words conceal:  that death is life, weakness strength, and sorrow joy.  Until I was plunged into the dark fire of this pit, I did not see the brightness behind all things.       

Today, as I chipped away at the mortar between the stones, there came to me a revelation of a most unexpected kind.  Mingling alternately with the dull strokes of my own rude tool I heard a distant sound:  a tap, tap, tapping.  A gentle, steady, patient beat, faint but clear.  A regular ticking clock-work sound, as if some man or machine (and hoping past all hope I dare believe it might be man) were gradually picking its way towards me from the other side!  Blessed thought!  It spurred me to redouble my efforts, and soon another block of stone broke free.  There are now five that I can remove and replace at will.               

Meanwhile, the vermin—my former word for them—continue to thrive.  In the chinks between the corner-stones the baby rats squeal with delight.  Their cries no longer fill me with the tincture of anger or despair.  Instead, I smile at the sound.  I smile because I know the tiny creatures are gobbling their food—my food—under the watchful eye of mother-love.  And so the love-lubet rules over the fire-lubet …            

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