Monday, 6 May 2019

Parable of the tillers of the soil

Trodden with the cattle's feet
There are villagers, cleaving to the path of Cain, as tillers of the soil, who do not permit themselves to live close by to animals, nor to eat of animal flesh. They prevail over the difficulty of sustenance only accidentally and without grasping the action by which they achieve it. They do not know that they obtain the nutritional matter necessary to their continuation, and which is found only in animal substance, by consuming the unwashed vegetables that they have grown in the fields of their own dung. It is from the dung holding to the vegetables that their bodies take what is needed from animal life without the men knowing of it. And in telling of them, we see that the distant peoples of the distant villages have no need for knowing what we have a need for knowing. And it is also in answer to this need that we may bring before the mind’s eye the image of a worm which is the tiller of the soil in men. The worm begins by entering the most distant end of a man and moves upwards and against the passage by which he is rid of his dung. The worm goes on, and devours the soil of the man, and obtains the matter found only in the substance of animals, and returns it from the place of exile to the place of use, and changes it from motes of dung to motes of food. And in this way, as upon hearing tidings from the abyss, the man lives within the law, and is kept apart from animals.