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Gustav Meyrink – God’s mirror, and Man’s

October 5, 2014

“A silver mirror, if it had sensation, would experience pain only until it is burnished. Once its surface is smooth and shining, it reflects all the images that fall upon it, without pain or grief. Blessed is that man… who can say to his own self, ‘I too have been burnished.’ …

When a man rises up from his bed, he believes himself to have cast off sleep like a garment; neither does he know that he has become a sacrifice to his senses, and become the victim of a deeper sleep by far than the one he has just left behind him. …

Men tread not a path at all, neither that of life nor death. They drive like chaff before the wind. In the Talmud it is written: ‘Before God made the world, he held a mirror to his creatures, that in it they might behold the sufferings of the spirit and the achievement that ensue therefrom. Some of them took up the burden of suffering. But others refused, and those God struck out of the Book of Life.’ But you tread a path you have chosen of your own free will, even though you know it not. You are self-elected.”

(from The Golem [1915], translated by Madge Pemberton)

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