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To the Horsemen:

I am the Antichrist. I have arrived. I saw your website and after I read it I remembered a dream a little like what Death says in his 'The Last Days Have Always Been.' I have had more of them a few times since the first one a few months ago. There I was, in a clearing, talking to myself. Somebody heard, and came to listen. I don't know who it was. I was telling the forest and the wind that the Cathars were right about one thing. Matter is not to be trusted. Material rots away. Gold tarnishes. Churches fall. So what use are they? I don't know who it was that came to listen. I never saw them before. He or she nodded and walked out of the clearing towards a building with a set of steps. There was a village beyond it. I moved to stand there and started my talk all over again. I said that the scheduled services a church or a mosque or a Hindu temple or a synagogue might have imply to us that G-d only listens at certain times of day, or of the week. I said that if Jesus preached in the sunshine and in the rain, though the Gospels almost never mention rain, why is a building needed? Why is there a need for the gold and the precious stones, the paintings and statues? If the Sermon on the Mount was pronounced outdoors, why read it indoors? Men and women and children came to listen, and I spoke until I had nothing further to say, and when I was done some thanked me and went away; some went away without saying anything; others laughed and dispersed. I walked to another building with steps on the same street and began to talk again; still more people stopped to listen. I didn't shout. I didn't hector. I just talked. A new day requires new faith. A new world requires new vigilance. Whenever I've looked back at the building whose steps Ive stopped upon, it is always a house of worship. I am now waiting for the dream Death actually described, when I stand before a forest of microphones and call for that very new faith. I may not be waiting much longer. In fact, it may actually occur sooner than I have dreamed it. I have since begun to walk from town to town in my country, talking to any who will listen from any set of steps before any house of worship that will allow me. It seems that every time I stop to speak, a group will listen. Some will thank me and go their way, others will say nothing and leave, while still more will jibe at me and also walk away. I don't have any adherents yet or anyone traveling with me in the dreams, but I don't know that that's something to worry about yet.

My question for you is, what do I do now?

--Name Withheld

-Ah, not my realm a' expertise. But one thing, right? How come you used the word? How come you call yourself th' Antichrist? Don't ya know that's a bad thing? I'm no expert but I think that 'Antichrist' is something other folks call you. W.

-I agree with my bro' here. You don't call yourself th' Antichrist. You don't call yourself anything; how often in the New Testament does Jesus identify himself? Doesn't matter how 'anti' you are; you still have to use his methods so others will think you are somebody other than who you actually are. Also, whether you actually try out the 'loaves and fishes' thing is up to you, but remember that starvation causes hallucinations, among other stuff. Don't drag anybody into the desert where there's no sustenance. You don't want your potential congregation to start wondering if you're really there. F.

-My brothers raise good points. Let me make another. Why did you begin by talking of those things which are made of matter, if matter is not to be trusted? The trappings which religions have drawn about them are real, indeed. You should be saying that they are not preferable. Might do, therefore, to leave the Cathars out of your exposition. St. Francis preached to birds (really; I saw him do it), and I have no idea how he got away with that. What, after all, do birds have to give up? Their ignorance! Too easy. Was St. Francis working his way up the animal kingdom to humankind? Whatever the answer, I'd appeal always to humanity as humanity, warts and all. Oppose their toys and possessions as well as their lack of knowledge if you would be taken seriously ; in this way you at least aspire to a transcendence. Even if your listeners almost never achieve it. P.

-Let's get practical here and keep the nitpicking to a minimum/ Continue on your ministry!/ that's the first thing/ you'll encounter the indifferent/ the fervid/ the detractors/ pay no attention to any of them at first/ people will offer you things/ refuse them/ your footsteps will be followed by some who are not even there/ allow them to do so/ you can't stop them, anyhow/ they aren't there, after all/ dont hire a press agent/ don't publish a schedule/ keep y our plans secret/ better yet, don't have plans/ go where your fancy takes you/ nobody is more intrigued by anything more than withheld information/ even if there is no information to withhold/ look at how ridiculous people can get just to garner publicity/ U. S. presidents showing off their appendix operation scars in national newspapers/ Malaysian prime ministers exhibiting their children's homework with A's on them for the TV cameras/ well, the Malay equivalent of an 'A'/ when you begin to answer questions, take them only from those who dont carry microphones or 'notebooks'/ you will be astonished at the number who follow/ who comment/ and who damn you/ but you seem to be expecting that

Sometimes, you know, I wonder/ at why I picked that particular dream in my essay/ why I decided to portray that moment of a hypothetical Antichrist's zenith or near-zenith in influence/ but I have no insight into my own 'thought process'/ or however it plays out, among the ion and photon nets of which we consist (weve figured on that much...)/ we never really did/ we four were set in motion and we continue in motion/ there may simply be no answer available/

My next piece of advice would be, when the head wound is inflicted, hope for your own sake that it's a graze/ but looks worse/ else, what shall it all have meant, if you don't remain to call down the Tribulations?/ it doesn't count when somebody else does it/ also, my bro's are correct/ 'Antichrist' is not a name one who wishes to survive gives oneself/ let someone else paint you with that brush/ if it's true, it will happen/ not the other way around/

If you are the one we've been expecting since we read Revelations/ or should I say, when Petey read St. Johns brain, after he no longer needed it/ and, we hope, didn't leave out too many details/ welcome/ I suppose, here humankind at last may better our own trail of destruction/ long ago we outstripped them by leagues/ we've been running neck and neck for a while now/ but don't expect an easy time of it/ think how much furor a man caused who drew a cartoon purporting to depict the Muslim prophet Mohammed/ how much more will a living, breathing, visible target bring forth?/ and recall that at the end, your chances of 'winning' are minimal/ whatever 'winning' might even consist of/ consider that most closely/ I think that's why most who have the dream I described roll over and go back to sleep/

Did want to mention that (for the benefit of our readers) the Gospels only mention rain once/ probably since that part of the Mediterranean is arid of climate!/ In Matthew 5:45 Jesus says, 'He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, while the rain falls on the righteous and those who are not'/ I don't recall any other mentions/

And good luck, adversary/ why so? because we too are curious about what becomes of us, after Armageddon/ to say nothing of before and during/ we may want to err on the side of caution/ reread again my essay on 'the last days'/ you may need it/ --D.

Dear Horsemen:

In Jean Baudrillard's The Transparency of Evil; Essays on Extreme Phenomena (1993; Verso, London), the author notes how the rise of autoimmune diseases like AIDS and 'Lupus' has coincided with the appearances of drugs which have cured or largely eliminated some of the worst diseases to attack the human race. Was this coincidental or otherwise? Does Pestilence or the rest of you have any thoughts?

--Name Withheld

-Bored antibodies. Gotta be it. W.

-My brother's thought is well considered, but let me have at this. I believe the answer is, simply, that Nature abhors a vacuum. When the Byzantine Empire beat back the Persians to the east, the Avars attacked from the West. These miracle drugs, mine admitted enemies all and now seriously overused at that, have kept untold not-yet-dead humans out of the ecosystem (the relatively recent invention of cemeteries notwithstanding). The mindless earth needs you, that the flowers may grow. Sorry, but in the end it's what you're good for. So other diseases have stepped up to take their place, if from a differing direction (that is, within as opposed to without).

Pardon the following digression, but I have wondered. Does any man or woman really think that eventually all the beasts within your blood, upon the rusty nail or elsewhere shall be dispatched, and you'll all live forever? Do you want to see your children and your friends die before you do? Do you want to be alone in the desert when all the plants too are expired and there is nothing but wind to tend the dunes? What exactly the purpose of eternal life (and therefore eternal consciousness) when it becomes something similar as we? Does some remote part of you want to be like us?

Admittedly, none of these queries may be germane. Other rulers had similar problems (one thinks of the Sun King, Louis XIV...), yes, but I suppose what brings the above up to me is my occasional amusement at the life of the Emperor Octavian Julius Caesar Augustus (60 B.C.E. 14 C.E.), who upon his passing at age 74 had outlived every suitable successor and was forced to give over his office to the sinister, twisted Tiberius. What must it have been like to see every man one might have named as a son and heir to the Empire fall before he did? No wonder his last words were, 'Have I acted out the comedy well? Then applaud as I exit!' You should all be so prescient upon your own dispatch. P.

I could swear AIDS began as a simian disease, and it crossed over into the human race because somebody did it with a monkey. But I've been wrong before. F.

Copyright 2014 by K.G.Grifiths

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