Friday, 14 July 2017

HCA: 'De blaae bjerge' (not published until 1972)

The Blue Mountains

Not far from the mountains lived a quiet, devout community where every member lived off the crops their industry caused the earth to produce, and the milk got from the animals put out to pasture that they tended. When any of them ate and drank, it was always done in contentment and with thanks to God. Every morning, in particular, each and every one would go outdoors and with their faces turned eastwards, they would worship the Invisible God who made the sun appear from the beautiful blue mountains and caused the swift mountain streams to plunge downwards and water their farmland and pastureland while storms thundered and lightninged, full of majestic splendour.
Now in this community there was a man who felt like taking a slightly closer look around him in the mountains and examining the watercourses, wind and weather. One day he set off and followed this urge.
After some time, he returned and said to the assembled community: ‘Dear friends, what you have believed until now about the blue mountains and a God up there is not what you suppose! We have been woefully mistaken. I have taken a close look at everything up there, and found it to be utterly different from what we thought it was. The mountains that look so beautifully blue down here are jagged, barren rocks, and the waters that gush up out of the caves are wild, destructive mountain torrents, wind and weather are natural mirages that arise and disappear of their own accord, the sun appears way beyond the far side of these mountains, and there is nothing to be seen anywhere in the blue mountains of a God in whose existence we had been led to believe.’
The community was taken aback at this statement from a man in whom they had great trust, and some said, extremely reluctantly: ‘In that case our fathers have deceived us, we have believed a fairytale to be completely true!’ and from that time onward they did not pray any more to a God who created wonders in the blue mountains, and from then on they worked unwillingly and lived with each other in discontent.
Many of them now went out into the mountains themselves in order to see what there was there that could be believed in, and they exhausted themselves in vain by climbing up and down, some fell into the abyss or got lost in the vast expanse of mountains so that they perished from starvation.
For one of the wanderers, however, a clearer illumination of the spirit took place, he looked at the immense blocks of rock and thought: ‘What power can have raised these? In my soul they arouse a mighty sense of grandeur!’ He was thirsty and found his way to the swift-flowing mountain stream, where he saw wild animals quench their thirst, and he praise him who let refreshment well out of the hard rock. High up, he saw how this destructive mountain torrent calmly meandered down in the valley, led ships from town to town, and was of endless benefit to humanity. He observed the flight of the clouds and the changing winds, and saw that all of them were governed by their own particular laws. The sun rose every morning precisely before the mountain summit where he was standing, and set once more, and he knelt down before the Invisible One who displayed his power in everything about him, and he realised the truth of the old belief that God lived in the blue mountains, but that one must not commit oneself to the dead letter of this belief but to the spirit contained within!

He then returned to his home, and preached his gospel to the community, and those who heard and were willing to understand worked once more with a happy heart, went outdoors daily as before and with their faces turned eastwards prayed to the Invisible One who caused the sun to rise, the swift-flowing water to plunge down and the storms to thunder and lightning in the blue mountains, and when they had prayed with faith and devotion, they returned to their day’s work strengthened, and the work of their hands was blessed, and every reasonable wish of their hearts was fulfilled.

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