Study of Beelzebub's Tales




1 The Arousing of Thought


At the same time, in the whole region of my spine there began a strong almost unbearable itch, and a colic in the very center of my solar plexus, also unbearable, and all this, that is these dual, mutually stimulating sensations, after the lapse of some time suddenly were replaced by such a peaceful inner condition as I experienced in later life once only, when the ceremony of the great initiation into the Brotherhood of the “Originators of making butter from air” was performed over me; and later when “I,” that is, this “something-unknown” of mine, which in ancient times one crank—called by those around him, as we now also call such persons, a “learned man”—defined as a “relatively transferable arising, depending on the quality of the functioning of thought, feeling, and organic automatism,” and according to the definition of another also ancient and renowned learned man, the Arabian Mal-el-Lel, which definition by the way was in the course of time borrowed and repeated in a different way by a no less renowned and learned Greek, Xenophon, “the compound result of consciousness, subconsciousness, and instinct”; so when this same “I” in this condition turned my dazed attention inside myself, then firstly it very clearly constated that everything, even to each single word, elucidating this quotation that has become an “all-universal life principle” became transformed in me into some special cosmic substance, and merging with the data already crystallized in me long before from the behest of my deceased grandmother, changed these data into a “something” and this “something” flowing everywhere through my entirety settled forever in each atom composing this entirety of mine, and secondly, this my ill-fated “I” there and then definitely felt and, with an impulse of submission, became conscious of this, for me, sad fact, that already from that moment I should willy-nilly have to manifest myself always and in everything without exception, according to this inherency formed in me, not in accordance with the laws of heredity, nor even by the influence of surrounding circumstances, but arising in my entirety under the influence of three external accidental causes, having nothing in common, namely: thanks in the first place to the behest of a person who had become, without the slightest desire on my part, a passive cause of the cause of my arising; secondly, on account of a tooth of mine knocked out by some ragamuffin of a boy, mainly on account of somebody else’s “slobberiness”; and thirdly, thanks to the verbal formulation delivered in a drunken state by a person quite alien to me—some merchant of “Moscovite brand.”