Unus_Mundus_Jacques_in_the_Foolscap_cinematic_montage_Nicholas_Shea

Court Transcript

LORD SCALES. ’Tis most revealing that Jacques Vallin shows neither pity nor remorse. I find him as ruthless as his half-brother Ricon, whom he killed in cold blood.

JACQUES. I do not deny it. But I cannot understand why Ricon holds it against me. After all, he is an Adamite who regards all things of God. In which case, I too am of God; and being of God, I cannot sin. So his murder is just in any respect.

RICON. The court does not understand that this smooth tongued healer of wounds is a servant of Antichrist! He is the unclean spirit that haunted our house! Yet he chastises me for being an Adamite. See how the conniving dog bares his teeth…

DOCTOR BUCKET. I must confess, I concur with Ricon. I see nothing in Jacques Vallin to convince me that he is inspired by angels – whether of God or the Devil. He is naught but a religious fanatic who dwells in error, as is evident by his speech, actions, dreams, illusions and reveries – all of which defy the laws of Nature. In fact, I am more inclined to side with Ricon in his Adamite faith, which is far more honest and truthful – for his philosophy is more akin with the workings of the cosmos. Evil is a natural necessity. And a God who remedies nothing, but allows all things to follow their natural course, is naught but fate personified. Alas, we are back with the cuckoo again. Jaques threw Ricon out of the nest; but given half the chance, Ricon would have done exactly the same…

JACQUES. Ricon, do you deny that you wanted me dead?

RICON. Oh! I was plotting your end the moment my father called you his “prodigal son”. Sister!

JACQUES. There: he admits it. So how can I be guilty? Kill or be killed. Is that not how Nature teaches us to live?

LORD SCALES. That consensus is so pitiful it makes you no different from an Adamite. And the man who measures himself by the hammers of Nature is not a man, but a beast – yet lower than a beast, since he reaches that consensus by the gift of reason – which makes Doctor Bucket the Devil’s whore; for as Krew said in his long lament: reason is the devil’s whore.[i]

JACQUES. What are you implying? That I should I have saved Ricon and sacrificed myself? That flies in the face of all your cuckoo philosophy.

LORD SCALES. What did Grazide tell you? If you keep my commandments it shall be well with you… But you broke Her commandments, and ’twas not well with you, was it? Alas your moral perceptions were blurred by hatred and selfish vanity.

JACQUES. Not vanity: self-defense.

LORD SCALES. Self. Self. Self. You own separate self – which I find to be more vain, narcissistic and intemperate, than the wicked emperor Nero, who burnt Christians as a source of light.

JACQUES. What was I to do? Should I have let Ricon live? Then what? Think of the consequences: he would have been free to continue his tyrannicide, slaying girls like a fox in a hen house.

LORD SCALES. That may be so. But nevertheless, you killed him with a fiendish barbarity.

JACQUES. I freely confess to the court that if I did anything evil, I did it by myself alone. Nor do I attribute any blame to the Devil or any other creature, but only to my own self-will, sensuality, and other such malign movements.

LORD SCALES. What a candid confession. You have become most saintly all of a sudden. Are we to believe that you are virtue personified?

JACQUES. Not at all. If all the Angels were to declare that there was any good in me, I would refuse to believe them, because I clearly recognize that all good is in God alone, and that without divine grace, there is nothing in me but deficiency.[ii]

LORD SCALES. What a slimy two-faced bum licker. He quotes Saint Catherine almost verbatim, and expects us to believe him. The fact is Jacques, you stamped on Ricon’s fingers.

JACQUES. He ruined everything. Grazide came for me that night. Me!

LORD SCALES. You think Her grace was confined to you alone? Perhaps Grazide intended to transform both you and Ricon. After all, he suffers just like you.

JACQUES. Just like me? He is nothing like me! Ricon knows nothing of the flesh. Nothing! Besides, his blood is not special like mine…

LORD SCALES. Ah yes, your “special” blood – which the eminent Satyr has just been examining in detail… I have his report here. Perhaps the Satyr will read it to the court…

SATYR. Thank you my lord… I the undersigned, Satyr Styx, doctor of philosophy, and master of Infernal Faculties, testify that Jacques Vallin, who was born in shadow of the noon day sun, and resident at the abbey of Belloc, in the district of [withheld], is a Luciferan of the first order. Whilst I can confirm the existence of a transsexual braid, I also testify, that ’tis not possible to explain by purely natural or even astrological means, that which has happened to Jacques Vallin. Nothing makes me believe, according to what I read in the detailed reports of the Inquisitors, that ’tis simply a matter of heretical magic. On the other hand, I am certain that ’tis not a matter of madness either, because his familiar has observed him since birth with a rigorous vigilance and can verify his wits are sound, although sometimes impaired by his condition…

That such crystals of blood are incompatible with all life, and much less with the maintenance of normal mental states, respiration, pulse, humours of the blood, etcetera, is a complete mystery. Although his intellectual life is intense, his human relationships are flawed, for his mind is kept in a constant state of dissonance… This extraordinary case, rather I would say exceptional case, can in no way be explained through any secular data. The inflammation of his skull, which is most probably the cause of many mental aberrations, has nothing to do with his healing gift, which the Cyclops asserts is from him alone, (his transsexual state being merely a parallel condition). As for a bodily transformation by sorcery, I doubt it would have made the slightest difference to his condition, for the dissolute state of his blood is beyond the cure of any mortal…

LORD SCALES. Alas Jacqueline, you failed to realize that your Titanic transformation could only come by the grace of God, and not by the magic of a deranged magus.

JACQUES. Grazide was at the heart of it, not the Janus. She who dwells beyond the time-stream; the Mediatrix who penetrates, sustains and transmutes all things…

SATYR. My lord, I must admit, I am undecided on the true nature of these spiritual orbs. If Grazide is the immortal Mediatrix, then why did Ricon see demons? Methinks you were deceived Jacques. Did Margot not warn you that these faery beings were fallen spirits?

JACQUES. Grazide changes her appearance at will; she can dissolve in the air like salt in water, and recrystallize in any form she chooses. If Ricon saw demons, then her intention was to frighten him away.

SATYR. Is that so? And you are immune to her deceptions? Love is blind my lord. For I believe Ricon saw the truth: the Janus had summoned dark forces – as was evident in the hauntings. The orb that Jacques equates with the Blessed Virgin is no such thing, but a fallen spirit cast down from Heaven with all the other Titans. For even fallen angels can appear as beings of light.

JACQUES. Satyr, you are blind as a bat and stupid as an ass!

SATYR. I see more clearly than you! Let me remind the court of that angel who stood in the way of Balaam, who was sitting on his ass. The ass saw the angel standing in the way, but Balaam could not see the angel, and beat the poor ass to send her forward.[iii] That this fallen angel appears to you as good, and to Ricon as evil, should be a matter of great concern to the jury.

JACQUES. Most noble Lord, I cannot believe that Satan, if he wished to deceive me, would have recourse to such a perverse course of action, as to root out my faults, and implant virtues and spiritual strength. I will gladly listen to the charges brought against me, plead my case, and submit myself to judgement, as becomes any mad fool, provided that the accusers who charge me comprehend the mysterious flux of reality. That a demon can appear as an angel of light, or that an angel can appear as a demon, is only evidence of this. Our pendulum of perception swings between many heavens and hells. And further, if a demon who is damned, may by the salvation of God, ascend into an angel, then surely, the contrary must also be true; as is proved by Satan, who was cast down from his rightful place.

LORD SCALES. Do you infer that Satan is destined to rise from Hell and retake his throne in Heaven?

JACQUES. What I infer is that nothing can be seen without excluding that which is not seen. And Ricon saw demons by excluding angels.

SATYR. Then what do you infer from our shadows?

JACQUES. That the grace of God is ’oft confused with the work of the devil…

SATYR. Ergo, the Orb was of God, and that is all? Reductio ad absurdum. The more sleep one has, the longer one lives; therefore, to sleep all the time ensures the longest possible life! The logical conclusion is an absurdity. And ’tis equally absurd to insist, that because fallen angels can ascend to heaven and vice-versa, that all angels are ministering spirits, sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.[iv] Only faithful angels do this, whereas rebellious angels always try to ensure damnation.

DOCTOR BUCKET. Oh this is all very tiresome. I reject these immanental explanations of the world: they are above the laws of Nature, contradict all reason, and are an insult to common sense. Jacques might have listened to Grazide in good faith, but we cannot deny the possibility that his own mind clearly arranged all her words and uttered them to himself… A construct of his brain. Jacques speaks of ecstasies, raptures and trances. But are these not evidence of morbid, cataleptic, and hypnotic states? According to the Satyr, Jacques, in his fallen state of corruption, can do naught but evil. For without Divine grace he has not the strength to do good. This is total nonsense. For if Jacques, when destitute of divine grace, can do naught but bad, what becomes of his free will? Ergo, he can be neither saved nor damned by the intervention of any angel. In saving Jacques, God only praises Himself for bestowing His grace, and in damming Jacques, God damns Himself for withholding it! Either way, God is an idiot![v] Quad erat demonstrandum.

KREW. You make such gross transgressions! And you blur the issue with your rational tongue which ossifies the living realm of spirit into static axioms. Such is your pretence to determine things beyond your reach; your logic contravenes the order of divine decrees, for the Deity is far beyond the limits of your reason. You argue for the laws of Nature, but the laws of Nature cannot reach those things which are above reason. We do not become wise through reason alone. That which is reasonable is not necessarily wise; and that which is wise is often undone by over exacting reason.[vi] Christ locates the soul of man in the heart, not the head.[vii] Your world of reason is founded on a doctrine of watertight cisterns; and you oppose any notion of reality that lies beyond your own perceptions. But even your little sconce is suffused by the invisible word of God, which transcends your understanding, yet is manifest everywhere and permeates all Creation.

SATYR. We digress. Need I remind the court that Ricon is an officiated priest of Satan, and he brings with him a certificate of authority, signed by Belzeebub, the Prince of Devils himself. I have it here! Look! A true statement of the crime! Jacques, you claim that Ricon broke your trance and communion with this orb; and that you killed him whilst in an altered state of mind.

JACQUES. Yes.

SATYR. What? Like a somnambulist who cannot tell the difference between dreams and reality? I find that explanation ludicrous. ’Tis perfectly clear to me, that your actions were inspired by demons from the orb.

JACQUES. Not demons. I have told you already: the orb was a heavenly vehicle for the Mother of God, carried from Her celestial throne to this forbidden wasteland.

SATYR. Do you confute my certificate of truth?

JACQUES. It should be noted that Ricon, in what you call a certificate of truth, contradicts himself at every turn, both in respect of his Adamite faith, and in the beings he describes from the orb – which he asserts were not of God. I saw the Holy Mediatrix, presided by celestial angels; but Ricon saw hideous he-goats with fiery eyes. Is that so surprising? For surely a man given to diabolic commerce with the devil will see exactly what his soul expects… And an atheist like Doctor Bucket, who expects nothing, sees nothing!

DOCTOR BUCKET. And what did you expect Jacques? That this preternatural orb had the power to transform you into the shape of a woman?

RICON. Not a woman – a wolf! So that he might fulfil his blood-lust, and reek havoc amongst God’s flock, slaying and eating holy men, like the wild beast he truly is!

LORD SCALES. Alas, the more incredulous amongst us cannot conceive that such a transformation is possible, whether with the enchanted hide of a wolf, or that of a woman – which in some cases is supposed to aid the metamorphosis.

KREW. Do you contend his transsexualis patholigica, like lycanthropy, only subsists as a woeful species of mental disease – a melancholic state of mind, broken with occasional fits of insanity, in which poor Jacques imagines that he is female?

LORD SCALES. No. What I contend is a disease of separate selfhood. For the accused cannot see that the goodness of God is ever whole, and is never more near to us than when we are without any likeness of the body – either male or female… And further, ecstasies that do not produce considerable profit, either to the persons themselves or others, deserve to be suspected.[viii] Further, I am convinced that if His Majesty were to reveal Himself to so great a sinner as the accused, he would not dare to offend Him ever again—if not through love, then at least through fear of Him![ix]

JACQUES. You are devils all! I would rather be stolen away by the faeries than be judged by the likes of you!

LORD SCALES. Jacques Vallin, here is a cap, painted with three demons tearing out your soul. Please put it on.

JACQUES. Why? Am I en-route to the stake?

LORD SCALES. Oh no, this conical mitre, which was worn by the Pontifex Maximus, symbolizes the spiritual power descending from heaven upon your head.

JACQUES. You mock. I refuse to wear it.

LORD SCALES. But we made it especially – from your very own paper.

JACQUES. That’s foolscap not fool’s cap!

LORD SCALES. But this little water mark is a sign of your divine kingship; like the god of Heliopolis who arose from the primordial water-womb as the conical pyramidion.

JACQUES. Divine kingship? The water mark is a jester! You trivialize my trial!

LORD SCALES. Do you think we are here for our own amusement? You summoned us, remember? We came to judge your soul. Abide by the rules of The Infernal Counsel, or I will throw your case out of court. In the blink of an eye, we will return to whence we came; then you will burn at dawn as earthly justice decrees. Is that what you want?

JACQUES. No my lord.

LORD SCALES. Then do as I say, and put on the cap.

JACQUES. Very well, if you insist. Shall I turn to the East or West?

LORD SCALES. The West, after all, you are a heretic. Ah, it suits you well, does that. Very fine, very fine indeed.

JACQUES. Pssst! Krew, the court makes a fool of me! Must I wear this ridiculous hat? How humiliating! Look at me! I look like the pope: the devil himself! Tell them to remove it: it burns my scalp!

KREW. Oh, what’s a little hat between friends? Wear it with pride. The crown of your redeemer was far heavier and more painful than that.

LORD SCALES. Indeed. Ponder what thou art Jacques Vallin; ponder what thou wert, what thou wilt be, ever ponder… Ponder too, the Essence, the Cause, the Substrate, the magic of such miraculous metamorphosis. For truly, you are unaware of the terrible depths of your disease. As if the bones of a fallen Titan could raise you to the angelic heights of femininity! You murdered Ricon in vain – and all for the glorification of your own body.

JACQUES. What was I supposed to do? Let the Titan become an open secret? The iron was in the fire. Transmutation was at hand. ’Twas only a matter of time. Soon the Janus would call me away, and I would go deep into the benthal bowels of earth… Into The Well of the Titans, and beyond the nether realms of Hell.

LORD SCALES. Do you realise how foolish that sounds? The mouths of fools bubbleth out folly;[x] fools covet those things which are hurtful to themselves;[xi] and the eyes of fools are in the ends of the earth.[xii]

JACQUES. The ends of the earth hold secrets that I have yet to tell.

LORD SCALES. Here’s a pig’s bladder on a stick. I want you to shake it about whenever you speak. Imp, please pass this bladder to Jacques…

IMP. Oh! How pretty! Look: it has little bells. Ting-a-ling; ting-a-long! Might I keep it when we are done?

LORD SCALES. By all means. But in the meantime, please hand it to Jacques. Ah! What a fine jester he makes. Never has he worn such fitting garb!

JACQUES. Before you judge me mad, and consign me to the realm of fools, you must hear of the Titan rite – of the crystal cave and the wands of transformation.

LORD SCALES. Very well. But I’ve heard quite enough from you for the time being. So let Krew tell it. Speak Cyclops…

i. Martin Luther.

ii. Jacques quotes from The Doctrine of Saint Catherine.

iii. Numbers, 22:23.

iv. Hebrews, 1:14.

v. Doctor Bucket is my alias for the atheist playwright Samuel Beckett – surely the greatest pseudo-intellectual ever to be honoured by the intelligentsia. Although Beckett himself never said any of these things; he was spiritually myopic and incapable of any philosophical reasoning whatsoever.

vi. Extract from ‘Wisdom and Destiny’, by Maurice Maeterlinck. Part 29: ‘To say “this is reasonable” is by no means the same as to say “this is wise.” The thing that is reasonable is not of necessity wise, and a thing may be very wise and yet be condemned by over-exacting reason.’

vii. Saint Jerome. “Plato located the soul of man in the head; Christ located it in the heart.”

viii. Augustine Baker. “Ecstasies that do not produce considerable profit either to the persons themselves or others, deserve to be suspected.”

ix. Saint Teresa of Avila. “The Interior Castle”, Chapter V, 4.

x. Proverbs, 15:2.

xi. Proverbs, 1:22.

xii. Proverbs, 17:24.

Copyright (c) Nicholas Shea 2010