LORD SCALES. Essence of the crystal fire! Monad of the soul’s desire! Faery orbs that haunt the night! A miracle of second sight! … Forgive me goblin jury, but in the height of my enthusiasm, I broke out into verse. Very poor verse I grant you, but is this not a very poor soul? At one moment, Jacques avows to avenge Bernadette de Belloc, at the next, he swears allegiance to the Janus who incurred her ruin and incarceration. And now we learn of a pitiful oath to bury her bones. Methinks that if Jacques was a noble soul, he would have killed the Janus at the start, and forgone the possibility of his own transmutation. Clearly his blue eyes were but a temporary artefact; for he stands before us now as the red-eyed devil he truly is.
DEMON DOCTOR. Yet I was rapt in astonishment at his subterranean odyssey. ’Tis clear that we are dealing with a mind of great power and imagination. But on hearing of such preternatural miracles, I am presented with moments of indecision. Were the orbs really spirits from another plane of existence? Was the golem a corporeal objective reality – or just a morbid hallucination and symptom of insanity? The sad truth of the matter is, the witness no longer knows himself, for the grand inquisitor has upset the balance of his mind; and now Jacques doubts us, as much as we doubt him. There must be many amongst the jury who regard the accused as no more than a moon-blind devil, who has renounced Light, and all objective realities of the visible world, for the dreams and phantasms of Darkness. Therefore, some test must be applied, to see if what occurred in the pit, really did occur, or if it was simply the product of mental aberrations. Is there any witness we can bring forth, apart from the Cyclops? (After all, Krew might also be a product of mental disease).
KREW. A product of mental disease? How very insulting. If I am a product of mental disease, then what are you?
DEMON DOCTOR. Forgive me Krew. I stand admonished. But you must realise that this is simply a matter of procedure. For there are certain officials in the lower regions of my domain, who are avowed atheists and neurological determinists. These miserable worms always imagine themselves to be in the possession of every fact in the world, and believe that nothing exists beyond the horizon of their own understanding. These are the spirits of perpetual negation. I refer to the three (dis)graces of dogmatic philosophy – self-conceit, credulity, and scepticism – whose favourite haunts of residence are the schools and Universities.
KREW. Oh well, in that case, please continue doctor; clearly, you a diamon after my own heart.
DEMON DOCTOR. Indeed. My Lord, I beseech you, for the sake of the sceptic worms, is there another witness who can confirm Krew’s statement of the pit?
LORD SCALES. Very well, your request is granted. I ask the bench: is there another witness who can verify the authenticity of Krew’s statement? We have already heard from Ricon le Rouge: that the pit exists is a demonstrable fact, as his own testimony proves. But the Demon Doctor raises a good point. What of the golem and the orbs? Were these mere flights of fancy? Or true apparitions of the occult? The court must know. Alas, we cannot summon the Janus, for his soul is dammed and forever lost amongst the ranks of Satan Gadreel. Is there another witness who can verify the truth of these events? Anyone? Anyone at all?
STAYR. Er, there is one witness my Lord. But I fear she will be very hard to summon.
LORD SCALES. Summon her we must. All attempts must be made to save the accused from the pyre. No one is beyond the reach of Diamonic Law. Pray, who is she?
STAYR. Grazide, my lord.
LORD SCALES. Grazide? The faery sentinel: she would make a fine witness indeed!
JACQUES. No! I forbid it! You must not summon her!
LORD SCALES. What are you so afraid of Jacques? Is she not your saviour and Heavenly Mediatrix? Have you not fallen in love with her adorable yet intangible body? Be silent, you wretched clay pot! Will the court please kneel. By the power of the Absolute, I summon Spinning Grazide! I call upon the heights! Draw her down like the moon! Let her lucent orb fill this cell with light!
STAYR. She comes! She comes at our bidding! See her glory passing through the vault. Oh what majesty!
IMP. What holy radiance!
DEMON DOCTOR. A most resplendent orb!
JACQUES. Oh! My Inviolate Rose!
GRAZIDE. Arise, lord Scales. Be seated Infernal Counsel. Hello Jacques. Have you missed me?
JACQUES. Grazide! My lady! See what men have done to me. I am racked, splintered, and broken into pieces! Pray, save me from the pyre! Let me fly away with you. These demons mock my case and lead me round in circles!
GRAZIDE. I come to speak on your behalf and to serenely illume the minds of disbelievers.
LORD SCALES. Majesty, we are struck and humbled by your effulgent beauty. If you will speak on behalf the accused, then you must first know the facts of the case – which I’m sure you do already – but I will repeat them for the benefit of the jury… Jacques Vallin, commonly known as The Mad Abbot, has been tried for earthly heresy and sentenced to burn at cockcrow. He appears before us, the corrupt product of a corrupt seed: an inbred bastard of witchcraft and despair. He has lead us to believe, in no uncertain terms, that his outward deformity is but a measly parable; for he suffers from an invisible sickness which is planted in his very bowels; and the mere fact that men do not perceive him to be sick, renders him even harder to be cured. Thus far, the story of his trial is one of cruel awakenings, whereby he came to realise that the laws of Nature do not reach those things which are above reason. And so, this filthy product of pathology, conspired to cure himself with diabolic pacts. He has made contracts and covenants with demons of all kinds, not least with his own familiar, the Cyclops, Krew. Despite being a worker of miracles, Jacques Vallin could never cure himself. By sword and flame, by sorcery and spoil, he has killed many devout men – both in this kingdom and further abroad. Yet his statement is quite unequivocal: for he believes that God raised him as an avenger of innocent blood. Perhaps most despicable of all, he stands accused of bringing the Great Death to Paris. His confession is black as pitch, his crimson crimes more countless than the teeth of Kronos. But the veracity of his sins we have yet to ascertain, for much of his confession was extracted whilst in the jaws of the Inquisitor’s machine. Nevertheless, this much we know to be true…
Jacques Vallin is a Luciferan: a heretic from an obscure sect of muddled faith. But this proselyte is not a Luciferan in the strict sense – for he equates Lucifer the light bringer with Jesus Christ, the son of God. Yet, like a Cathar, he also believes that Jesus Christ was not born of the Virgin Mary, did not suffer for mankind, was not placed in the sepulchre, and did not rise again from the dead. He refutes these things because he believes that the real Christ never assumed real flesh, and never dwelt in this world, except spiritually. Consequently, he denies Baptism and the washing away of sins; and he insists there is no sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration by a priest; he scoffs at the intercessions of saints and martyrs, and holds confession as worthless. What is more, he is under the impression that the true author of this material world is Satan. Like an epicurean, he does not believe that sensual pleasures will be punished in Hell; nor that Christian piety will be rewarded in Heaven. Alas, I fear that as soon as he feels the flames lick his corrupt flesh, he will cry out that he was deceived by the Devil, and that the Lord of the universe, whom he blasphemed and denied, is punishing him with tortures, both temporal and eternal…
Man is a slave to the stars. As Pindar once observed, neither fire nor brazen wall can keep out fate. Where it not for his miracles, Jacques Vallin might have lived out his life in total obscurity. But fated he was, born in shadow of the noon-day sun, and gifted by Krew with healing hands. With regard to our diamonic realm, he exhibits a tremendous power, and boldly claims himself as one of us. Even from his youth, he was visited by the faeries, not least by your effulgent Majesty. Many times he was overtaken by your Light; and oft’ you guided him by your radiant Truth. Indeed, it would seem the entire course of his life was set by thee. So before we continue, perhaps you would like to enlighten the jury on this matter…
GRAZIDE. The messengers of my invisible realm knock persistently at the doors of the senses. We have known Jacques before he came into this mortal world; and we have made our presence felt with inward fires, sweet perfumes, strange sensations and apparitions. These are neither figments of the mind nor morbid dreams, but transcendent powers of spirit. Alas, human flesh is weak; and had Jacques not been under my guidance, he never would have prophesied or healed. Indeed, all his works would have fallen short of his hopes and expectations.
DEMON DOCTOR. Then would you mind telling the court of your allegiance? For there has been some argument as to your true Nature.
GRAZIDE. True nature? By what predicates should I be defined? Good and Evil? Why must I define myself so poorly? Where is the line between them to be drawn? And is there a single line that does not prove to be blurred? Doctor, you speak with a dishonest tongue, and I see through your schemes. What you really want to know is: am I fallen spirit?
DEMON DOCTOR. Well are you?
GRAZIDE. I am the Principle of Perfection to those who are being perfected…[i] How many times must you be told?
DEMON DOCTOR. Then where are you from? But before you answer the question, might I ask that you refrain from making enigmatic utterances, couched in esoteric diction.
GRAZIDE. Let it be known that I come from the mystery of the First Realm; but I require neither explanation, nor apology, nor symbol; for we have no symbols in that world. I dwell beyond the twelfth firmament, in the Kingdom of Light, amid the Halls of The Great Invisibles. That place which mortal men call Heaven. A world adjacent to this, but less than a hair’s breadth away.
DEMON DOCTOR. What does it look like? Are the streets paved with gold? Does the celestial city shine like a thousand suns?
GRAZIDE. My world is a mystical unknown, in which all your knowledge is refunded into ignorance. I would like to describe it, but your words are useless; and even the force of dreams will not assist you in this case. The First Realm is beyond the utmost stretch of your imagination.
DEMON DOCTOR. I am in great wonderment and amazement. Tell me, what occurs at mortal Death? How do men of this world, and in bodies of matter when they die, pass through all those firmaments, into the Hall of The Great Invisibles? How does man enter this Kingdom of Light?
GRAZIDE. Purgation, illumination, and ecstasy: these are the paths of the saint. But where there is no Love, there is no path, and no saint.
DEMON DOCTOR. Your Majesty, do you mean to tell us that Jacques Vallin, a self-confessed murderer and heretic of the deepest dye, is really a holy mystic?
GRAZIDE. I do.
LORD SCALES. A profitable conclusion but hard to prove.
DEMON DOCTOR. Or rather, easy to disprove! Just look at the accused! I must confess, he does not appear very enlightened to me, nor even self-aware. He is ambitious, effeminate, and a pretender to philosophy; his virtue appears quite vivid in his testimony, yet is never borne out by his actions. I do not see how anyone can vindicate him of his terrible crimes, nor even less, his love of money and luxurious way of life. All these things are contrary to sainthood. Illumination? Ecstasy? Are these not states of mental aberrations? Or symptoms of some hysterical disease? A sound and healthy mind can easily stop itself from entering into these passions. I myself am always strong enough to repel their onslaught. I know nothing, in the entire history of mental pathology, that is more disturbing and degenerate than the phenomena of ecstasy. Yet the accused seizes upon this repulsive sate as proof of his spiritual exaltation! Whereas a close examination of the facts reveals quite the opposite. The ecstasy he speaks of is nothing of the kind; ’tis simply the hysterical manifestation of his satyriasis – or rather her nymphomania!
JACQUES. Why do you test me? How long must I suffer you? What would you know of ecstasy? To speak of such immortal things in mortal language! Grazide, will you not defend me?
GRAZIDE. How would ye describe a rainbow to a blind man? I ask thee Lord Scales, what is the subject of this trial? The human soul or the human mind? If we are judging the human mind, then we are dealing with a finite lump of matter, mutable and given to overweening vanity, and with tragicomic notions of its own importance, and whose apotheosis forms but a small part of the verdict. But if, on the other hand, we are dealing with the human soul, then we are dealing with an infinite and eternal being, who already knows itself in relation to God; and as such is already aware of its sins; and whose apotheosis forms the verdict in entirety. Know ye not, that ye are all angels, all archangels, and powers? Ye are all fallen rulers of the great invisibles. Aye, ye are all emanations of the Light Stream, from one centre, one source, and one substance.[ii] All is One, and this is the whole of the Law.
LORD SCALES. But if Jacques is already one with God, then what is your business with him?
GRAZIDE. To purge his dross. All men are purgations of matter. Until men are cleansed, until they are purified of themselves, they shall not return to the First Realm. There are many angels who watch at the gate. But countless pilgrims loose their way, for the path is treacherous and full of trials: narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! [iii] Yet broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many go in thereat.[iv]
DEMON DOCTOR. It seems a great injustice that this grand scheme of yours should allow for so much suffering.
GRAZIDE. All men must undergo sufferings, and pour themselves into different bodies. Ever since The Fall, mankind has been in great affliction and tribulation by his pourings into different bodies. All seeds of Adam are purgations of the Great Invisibles. So Jacqueline has fought with Adam’s flesh; but I have strengthened her spirit, and revealed to her the mysteries of the Light Stream.
DEMON DOCTOR. As the devil’s advocate, I might offer the jury a contrary opinion. For did you not torment the accused by exemplifying a vague feeling of totality; did you not promise her a conscious organic wholeness which you never delivered? Some might deem your angelic spirit as destructive and intrusive. For you are an incorporeal being who meddles in mortal flesh.
GRAZIDE. All mortal flesh is the work of my aerial race. By our chymic art, we mould matter according to our schemes. The soul’s inception into flesh is due to contact with our supernal reality. We are the intermediaries and engineers. Have we not tallied the hairs on every head? Have we not writ each mortal face and trait? Are we not the authors of the braid, which predestines each according to his lot?
DEMON DOCTOR. Ergo, according to the Cathars, you are indeed servants of Satan, who is the Lord of Matter.
LORD SCALES. Poor Jacqueline. She stands with a frightened look and her lips tremble; for we have sowed her mind with doubts… She fears she is not the true author of her destiny; and what is more, at this late hour, she wonders if she is indeed entitled to those spiritual favours which have been so long denied her. And now a terrible thought strikes her: that Grazide and her aerial cohorts are indifferent to her suffering; that their mysterious agenda goes beyond the confines of her wits. Despite all her earthly trials, she fears her entire life has been a cruel experiment, perpetrated by pitiless spirits, who deceive the whole world. She bleats like an innocent lamb who suddenly realises that the shepherd is also the slaughterer.
GRAZIDE. Let me assure the court, I have been up to Heaven and looked about; and I have seen the grand scheme of things, which God, in his infinite wisdom, has set in motion. An infinite being knows the outcome of all things. Indeed, the sentence of this trial is already passed and the verdict set. Jacqueline is in Paradise.
DEMON DOCTOR. Forgive me effulgent Majesty, but I still have many questions… Are you the same orb that was present at her transfiguration?
GRAZIDE. I was her transfiguration.
DEMON DOCTOR. But by whose magic was she raised into the Light Stream?
GRAZIDE. Mine and mine alone. I transformed her soul into a light of exceedingly great purity. Refined, most pure, and immaculate. A precious pearl of great price.
DEMON DOCTOR. Are we to infer that the Janus was merely incidental in the process? What part did he play in the matter?
GRAZIDE. He prepared the work, and brought Jacques to the proper place at the proper time.
SATYR. I find it hard to believe that you would require the assistance of a mere mortal. Or that Heaven would sanction such profane magic.
GRAZIDE. You would not believe the profanities and terrors sanctioned by Heaven. Even as I speak, untold legions are tormented by the smoke of darkness and malignant fire. And they will come nigh unto destruction and dissolution. The Janus is amongst them.
SATYR. I thought as much. The Janus was infinitely deceived. He tried to unlock the secrets of the Essence, but his Aristotlean magic was just the deluded fancy of a mad warlock.
GRAZIDE. Nay, his magic was true, but without me, he would have accomplished nothing. Nothing.
DEMON DOCTOR. Then what begat the golem? And what soulless Monad came forth by such Rabbinical spells?
GRAZIDE. In my realm, such clumsy words have little meaning. Essence? Monad? In the beginning was the Word, because the Word is the cause of all things which have been created by the mind of God. Trismegistus and those lowly Greek Chaldæans, called the Father, that is mind; and the Son who is its offspring Logos. Whence that saying of Plato’s: “A Monad begat a Monad, and in it reflected his ardour”, which means, The Father begat the Son who reflects his love back upon the Father.[v] God created the World on account of His Love. You ask me what begat the golem? Hatred. An insatiable hatred of flesh. The Janus hungered for The Uncreated Light, as the fallen angels hunger for their lost estate. But all this hunger is creaturely, and is below God, who gives of Himself freely, whereby no enlightened creature ever hungers.
DEMON DOCTOR. But Jacques still hungers. Ergo, he is not enlightened; ergo, he is no saint; ergo, his only Love is self-love.
GRAZIDE. Like most mortal fools, you restrain yourself to reason. But my heavenly works are beyond your logic and material remedies.
DEMON DOCTOR. Unfortunately for us, reason is all we have. Was it reasonable to let Jacques suffer in such monstrous flesh? A whole life lived as a man? And why did you abduct him for three long years, then leave him for dead in the snow? That is hardly the action of a protective loving spirit.
GRAZIDE. There is a time and purpose for all things under heaven. I did not leave Jacques for dead: on the contrary, I delivered him. For I had a servant in the abbey of Belloc.
STAYR. The Janus?
GRAZIDE. Precisely. It took three years for the Janus to find the pit; three years to learn of its significance; three years to build the engine; and three years for the planets to reach their stations. Alas, Jaqueline’s miraculous transformation was sabotaged by his ignorance. The crystal font was smashed; the blood was spilt; the harmonic lost; the circuit broken. My aerial race gives a unanimous warning to all mankind: do not summon our help, then meddle in our affairs!
STAYR. Look! She has flown away!
LORD SCALES. Fascinating. She was a Platonist.
DEMON DOCTOR. How so?
LORD SCALES. She asserted, in no uncertain terms, the Pythagorean doctrine of transmigration of souls. A doctrine that Jacques derides. Yet how he longs to be poured into the body of a woman! Alas, I fear that his next life will be spent as an ox.
JACQUES. How perverse that men must first be made beasts to be made wise. None of this is real. ’Tis just a mad dream. Unless I am in hell already. Or the lunatic asylum! Yes: most certainly I am there. This earth is a fallen realm. You are devils all.
LORD SCALES. Devils? Then what are you, little man? You useless bag of bones! Under the unity of the Godhead, your beloved Grazide places our fallen race of Diamons between divine and human. Which infers we are closer to Heaven than you.
SATYR. Quite so. Jacques has fallen far deeper into the realm of matter.
LORD SCALES. Having questioned Spinning Grazide, and listened to her testimony, I trust the doctor is satisfied and has enough evidence to continue with the case?
DEMON DOCTOR. Indeed my lord. I am convinced, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Grazide and her aerial cohorts are quite real, and not the morbid fantasies of a ludicrous transsexual. Though I cannot speak for the worms in the universities, who, I am sure, will reach a different conclusion altogether. No doubt they will regard Grazide as an auric hallucination, and Jacques as a dupe, lunatic, or liar.
LORD SCALES. Forget those measly parasites. The trial will continue. Jacques, you have told the court of your failed metamorphosis. But we have yet to hear your defense concerning the fall of Belloc. So would you please face the jury, speak up, and tell us how this came to pass…
i. Dionysius on The Divine Names: “God is a Principle of Perfection to them that are being perfected; a principle of Deity to them that are being deified”.
ii. Pistis Sophia.
iii. Matthew, 7:14.
iv. Matthew, 7:13.
v. The Great Commentary of Cornelius A. Lapide [The Gospel According to John: The Eternity of The Word].
Copyright (c) Nicholas Shea 2013