38-The Soul Fisher

In the name of the Great Life, may the distant light be exalted!

The fisher put on radiant garments, set on his shoulder an axe on which there was no rust for demons and the wicked Magus. Whenever the fishermen saw the fisher, they would come and gather around him. They say to him,

“You are a lucky fisher, who has not caught the fish of the marsh! You have not seen the food of the fish within its receptacles.

We shall enroll you among the fishers. You will be our major shareholder, and you will take a share (of our profits) as your own. Give us a share in your vessel, and you will take a share in ours! You should take a share from us and give us a share in your vessel! Give us a share!

We will bring you a share of what we have, so combine your ship with ours, and wear black just like we do, so that when you lift up your lamp you will discover that the fish do not see your reflection, and your vessel will bring in the fish. If you listen, you’ll catch fish, throw them in your boat, and do business. If you don’t listen to our shareholders, you will eat salt. If you do what we ourselves do, you will eat oil and (date) syrup. You will make porridge and fill up cups, and distribute them to all the fishermen, and we will make you leader of us all! They will gather by your side, oh leader of us all! The principals will come to be behind you. They will be your humble servants, and you will take a third of what we have.

Our father will be your servant, and we will come to be called obedient to you. Our mother will sit down with your handmaiden and tie dragnets. She will come and be your maidservant, and tie cords of every sort for you. She will divvy up the rocks, and throw the lead (weights) in the netting.”

The netting sighed that it is heavier than the world! She divides the water with the cord when the fish come. And they are caught not knowing the way that they’re going, and not knowing how to return back to their way. Like walls that collapse, they come and fall upon the good. The fish neither leave to rise up, nor turn around to face the embankment. They sink under the surface and are restrained with the circlet. They are carried off in droves and beaten back from the crown. She has a fishing weir, which the fish enter and get held back against the bundles of the weir. They have set up a lattice between the two compartments. They have set up seines and set lines filled with unripened dates, the bait that offers a meal of death.

Woe to the fish who perceives them, whose eyes do not see the light! Wise are the fish who recognize them. They pass by all the baits. The snares, the gillnets, and the seines there are their lair, which only one out of a thousand will see, and only one out of two thousand will see twice. They seized it, appropriated it, and hung a bell over its entrance, a bell that was forged with evil, which will captivate all the people of the world. At that point, the waters are commingled so that the hemlock and deadly vinegar overwhelm those who imbibe. Woe to the fish who enter them!

When the fisher heard this, he gave the prow a good kicking. The fisher gave the boats of the fishermen a good kicking. The fishers floated on the marshes, gathering together like reed mats (or perhaps mice), and not getting up. The pole strikes and splatters, and the fish of the sea land upon the muttering fishermen. The whirlpool whirled in the marsh water. He spoke, shrieking at the top of his voice. He spoke with his sublime voice. He said to the fishermen,

“Come before me, oh shameful fishermen, poison-making fishermen. Go, go and catch your own stinking fish. Keep back, get down, leave your group, and go to the end of the line. I am not a fisherman who catches fish, and my fish are discerning. They will not be caught with a hook of unripened dates, a bait which (my) fish do not eat. They will not turn to submerged gillnets or deceptive lanterns. They will not descend from the surface of the water and go into the deceptive weir, and they will not share the water that seeks to fall upon the good.

If the fishermen throw a net upon them, they will break through the net and escape. There will never be a day on Earth in which fish fish fishermen. There will never be a day on Earth in which the dove loves the crow. Damn you crafty? birds and damn your worthless kind! Woe to your father the heron, whose lair will be in the reeds! Woe to you, starving kingfisher, whose wings will never dry on land! Woe to you, stinking pelican, who will see the fish and sigh. They cry out and weep with bitterness when they strike at the fish but do not catch it. Woe to you, Pied Crow, who takes fish from the depths.

Hail to the one who is saved from the talons that seize fish! Hail to the one who is saved from the men who watch the Earth! Go, planets, go be part of your houses! Water will not mix with pitch, and light will not be counted with darkness. Any associate of yours is not going to be called an associate of the righteous. A good man keeps good company, and a bad man keeps bad company, and neither will your boat will join with my boat, nor will your seal be set on my seal.

This one is the head of you all, so be his kingdom! This is your savage father, trapped in the black waters! As for your mother, who ties nets and the twin unfortunate pits, I struck her with a staff of water, and split her head down the middle. I will guide my friends, set them up in my ship, and pass them over every tax collector. I will pass them over the den of inquity, the place where fish are caught. I will pull them away from the fish eaters, and you will perish in your dwellings.

I and my true friends shall be ensconced in the abode of life. I shall put them up on thrones beneath stainless banners.”

The Seven were defeated, and the alien man remained victorious. The man of proven righteousness was victorious, and he led his entire nation to victory.

The Life speaks and is victorious, and victorious is the man who has gone there. The End.

About C.G. Häberl

Dr. Häberl is an Associate Professor at the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL). He was born and raised in the State of New Jersey, and received his PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. In addition to teaching Arabic and Aramaic language courses at AMESALL, he teaches content courses on the modern Middle East at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES), of which he was the Director from 2009-2012.
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One Response to 38-The Soul Fisher

  1. Joel Gordon says:

    Awesome work there. I really like

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