Elia is a modern philosopher and man of wisdom who travels the world with his disciples and offers his views on both ancient and current issues.  He is the latest stage in the evolution of men of wisdom; he speaks freely and fallibly, is not a saint or prophet, and is not out to set up a religion.  At every stage of his travels his stresses this point:  that he is but a man, but that human wisdom is of sepreme and sublime value.  As always, his enjoins his listeners to self-awareness and critical thinking, and bids them to start their inner journey and to find themselves before they seek externally.

On Martyrdom

On the Martyrs’ Day, Elia spoke,

Your greatest saints have become martyrs.  And your martyrs, though they had been average men, have now become saints. 

But what remedy you would have if your martyr apologized for his martyrdom?  What calamity would befall you if the martyr’s icon, or his flag, or his hand, spoke out, ‘I am sorry for your centuries of tears.  I did not mean to cause you so much sadness, and I bid you stop weeping’?

Then the apocalypse would surely come over you, and life would lose its salt.  You will learn that your sadness is bigger than you and that you are a branch, not a trunk!

Your martyrs bring out the best in you and sometimes the worst. And many of you seek their deepest sadness when a martyr gives up his life.  Yet sadness is not of the martyr, and indeed, not of any misfortune of life.  Sadness, my brothers, has much deeper roots, roots reaching to the core of the earth and reaching all the way to the sea shore. 

The sadness sticks like tentacles to your interior;  its roots permeates your inner organs and end up converging in your heart.  Take this piece of truth:  sadness exists independently, martyr or no martyr.  But since you need enactments and plays, as did your alchemists, the martyr bears witness, not to his cause, but to your deep-rooted desire for tragedy. 

But I do well to remind you:  give the sadness its due, but do not let drain you.  Let the sadness pass through you, and out through your feet into the live earth, just as electricity requires an earth outlet.  Do not carry your sadness as a mark on your forehead, nor make it your distinctive headdress which sets you apart from the nations.  For sadness is like a good tool; it works its effect for a set time and is then retired to the blacksmith to be refashioned anew.

Do not let tragedy unmoor your feet.

Utilize your sadness as a ladder, but do not make it your end.  And even though it might be your shovel, do not let it take the place of your treasure.  For the surface of the sea is no substitute for the depths nor is the bottle a substitute for the wine.


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