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Ahriman—or, Robert Franklin Stroud
The Reign of Quantity must end on Earth.
We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it and were afraid of it; and man carried it.
What was this trust which Allah offered, which man received? This duty borne by man, in which man as man was born; it is the possibility of our (re)turning. The animal soul is not an automaton as some imagine; indeed they are creatures of the law, yet none mundane or mechanical. The fall of man entailed a turn away from Him; that we turned from the law applicable to animal souls. This is the trust: that we return—and the risk, that we will not.
This possibility was the seed planted of that forbidden tree; our illicit knowledge—as that of Lucifer, false light. Ahriman and Lucifer are a polarity in which each end meets. The false light is that, like Prometheus, which we have stolen; hence there is passion even in the most prosaic; without which fanaticism Ahriman would be no threat.
With fiery eyes we usurped His throne, thinking it left open; yet none understood; some few felt fear appropriate; most at first reluctant, as always masses exhibit inertia—yet all in time collaborate. The power and prosperity thereby offered, that these new idols offered. Bacon attacked idols only so as to substitute his own; no nihilist, he was a true believer.
These new gods are old, though the power thereby acquired; that is new. What is Ahriman but the escape of our initial trust? We have not returned, instead slip ever more deeply below a subtle madness. We cannot say that man acting thus has reduced himself to an animal; far worse. There is in man something more than an animal soul: the trust which we were given, what others wisely refused.
We have misplaced the trust, or seen in it an ill offer; that of Cain and those that follow. See all built of this line: “Lo! he hath proved a tyrant and a fool.” Men took on Ahriman at his offer, took his word as true. Yet it has no need for man as man, instead anything will do; hence everywhere His face is hidden, distorted, transmuted into—what? All is as the carapace of an alien spirit.
Soon then Ahriman shall slip this shell entirely; its essence needing no living matter—indeed, even opposed in principle—instead it dreams ever better electric minds. See as our supposed aims are subtly bent by its mass, thus This World is shaped by a single intent.
Those who believe they speak their language would be speaking mine; those who believe they were acting in their party would be acting in mine; those who believe they were marching under their flag would be marching under mine.
To see from this perspective, ours is a prison world; it is this with which we were entrusted. Yet we see the prisoner now ascendant; supposed wardens all assimilated to its form. What end has Ahriman in mind? Escape.