Intorno al Calderone: intervista a Paolo Franceschetti

Conversazioni su Dio, spiritualità, magia.


In questa puntata del programma “Intorno al calderone”, Serena Paonessa intervista Paolo Franceschetti su spiritualità, Dio, religioni, magia.

Ascolta “Intorno al Calderone Prima puntata” su Spreaker.

Serena Paonessa è la coordinatrice della Myriddins’ School.

Le lezioni su Magia e Religione, del corso di Paolo Franceschetti, inzieranno a luglio. Per informazioni: [email protected]


1 commento

  1. vedendo l’Immagine pubblicata [la Mano reggente e regnante],

    di seguito c’è un’interessante Fiaba alchemica [che copio-incollo], tra le 13 redatte, pure on-line, antiche ma che veicolano Messaggi im-portanti [alla Maniera in cui la Coscienza può coglierli: ovvero, raccontati come fossero Sogni (v. Attività onirica notturna e com’è organizzata e come si espleta: suo Linguaggio, sua Modalità comunicativa; vedi su ciò Alejandro Jodorowski in ”Psicomagia” e ”Metagenealogia”, finalizzati alla Realizzazione della Guarigione e del Benessere, di ciascuno)],

    laddove im-portante significa ”che porta”, v. Struttura portante, e questo è il Sinonimo di Reggente, che è anche Sinonimo di Re o Imperatore, che dapprincipio regge [sta alla Base di, p. Es. il Regno] e infine è [anche] Regnante [sta all’Apice di, p.Es. la Società]: un Modo rivoluzionario di pensare o osservare o interagire con la Realtà, che può spiegare altrimenti ”il Senso della Lotta” o ”il Senso della Resistenza” o ”il Senso della Controinformazione” o altro, ma soprattutto IL SENSO [che significa sia Significato che Direzione];

    Felicità e Bene interiore-più-Felicità e Forza esteriore a ciascuno, eternamente.



    Once there were two proprietors in a city, and they had great wealth and large houses. The two proprietors had two sons; that is, each one of them had a son; and the two children learned together in the same schoolhouse. And one of them was a chakham [clever, smart, sophisticated, wise] and the other was a tam [simple, innocent, artless, wholesome] (not that he was a fool; rather, his intellect was simple, without sophistication). And the two sons loved each other very much, even though one was clever and the other was a tam and his mind simple; they still loved each other very much. Around a certain time the two proprietors began to decline from their wealth and kept declining and declining until they became entirely possessionless and destitute and nothing more remained for them except their houses. And the sons began to grow up and the proprietors told the sons: We haven’t [wherewithal] to pay for you; we cannot sustain you. Do for yourselves what you can.
    [The Simple Man and the Clever Man Learn Trades]

    The tam went and learned shoemaking. The chakham became a discerning person [bar havanah] (in other words, a smart and understanding person); he didn’t want to apply himself to such a common trade so he decided he would travel the world and look and see what he should do. And he was going around in the marketplace and he saw a large wagon with four horses in harness speeding through. He called out to the merchants, “Where are you from?” They answered him, “From Warsaw.” “Where are you going?” “To Warsaw.” He asked him, “Maybe you need a helper?” The merchants saw that he is a smart youth and motivated, and they liked him and took him along. He traveled off with them and served them on the road quite finely.

    When they arrived in Warsaw, since he was astute he decided, “Since I am already in Warsaw, why should I remain with these merchants? Maybe here there is a better place than them; let me go search.” And he walked around in the marketplace and began to inquire and ask regarding the men who had brought him, and whether here there is a better place than them. They answered him that these people (who had brought him there) are honest people and it’s good to be with them, but on account of this it’s very difficult to be with them since their dealing and trading is in very distant places.

    Meanwhile he went on and he noticed shop servants as they were going around the marketplace, and they were going around as they are accustomed to, with all their charm, with their caps and the pointy shoes and the rest of the charms which they have in their gait and how they go dressed. And he was a smart youth and this thing pleased him very much, since it’s a nice thing and it’s at home in one place. He went to the men who had brought him and gave them thanks and told them that it is not good for him to be with them, and as for them having brought him here, for that he had served them on the road.

    And he went ahead and offered himself to a proprietor. And the way it goes with servants is first one has to be a lowly worker (earning less and doing hard work), then later one reaches the levels of higher workers. The proprietor did hard work with him and would send him off to nobility to carry merchandise in the manner of servants, who must carry cloth upon their elbows; this work was very hard for him. Sometimes he needed to go up with the merchandise to upper floors, and this work was very hard for him. He decided, since he was a philosopher, a discerning person: “Why do I need this work? The essential is only for the ultimate purpose: so that I can have a wedding and be able to support myself. I don’t need to see to that yet; there will be time for that later. Meanwhile I would rather be out in the world seeing countries.” He walked along in the marketplace and saw merchants riding on a large wagon, and he asked them, “Where are you going?” They answered, “To Lagorna.[1]” He asked them, “Would you take me there?” They answered him, “Yes.” They took him there. From there he traveled to Italy, and from Italy he traveled further on to Spain.

    Meanwhile, many years passed and he became even more knowledgeable[2] on account of having been in many countries. He decided, “At this time a person needs to look at a purpose,” and he began to think with his philosophy (that is, with his knowledge) what he should do. It seemed to him that he should learn goldwork, which is a major occupation and a nice craft, requiring great insight; and it’s a profitable craft. And since he was a discerning man and a philosopher, he didn’t need to study the trade many years; merely in a quarter year he received the skill, and he became quite a great craftsman. And he knew the work better than the one who had trained him.

    Afterwards he concluded, “Even though I have such a trade in hand, nonetheless I will not content myself with it, for today this is distinguished; maybe at another time some other thing will be considered important” — and went ahead and placed himself with a gem cutter. And on account of his cleverness he acquired this skill in a short time as well — in a quarter year.

    Then he thought to himself with his philosophy, “Even though I have two trades in hand, who knows if perhaps both will not be important. Therefore it is good for me that I should learn such a profession that will always be important.” He probed out with his insight and with his philosophy that he should learn medicine, for this is something that is always needed and always esteemed. And the routine is when one will study medicine one must first learn Latin, the language and its writing, and one must learn philosophy. And he on account of his insight (that is, understanding) mastered this also in a short time, in a quarter year; and he became a big doctor and a philosopher and an expert in all fields of wisdom.
    [The Clever Man Afflicted, the Simple Man Joyful]

    Then the world began to be like nil to him (in other words the entire world became like nothing to him); that is, he maintained that nobody has any sense at all; for on account of his great wisdom, since he was such a great craftsman and such a smart person and such a doctor, every person in the world was like nil to him (equal to nothing). So he decided that he would now accomplish a purpose and take a wife. He thought with this opinion: “If I would have wedding here, who will know what has become of me? Let me rather go back home, so that people will see what has become of me. I left as a young boy and now I have come to such greatness.” And he picked up and traveled home, and he had great afflictions on the way, for on account of his sophistication he didn’t have anything to talk about with anyone and he had no lodging like he desires. So he kept having great affliction continually.

    Meanwhile let us set aside the story of the clever man; we will begin to tell the story of the simple man. The simple man learned shoemaking, and since he was a simple person he had to study the trade a great deal until he got it, and he did not know the art entirely. And he took a wife, and he sustained himself from his work. And since he was a simple person and did not know the work as one should, therefore his livelihood was with a great deal of pressure and very limited. And he didn’t have time even to eat, because he always had to work, since he didn’t know his work entirely; except that while he was working, when he had inserted the nail and pulled through the cobbler’s thread, then he would take a bite on a piece of bread and he ate. And his usual way was that he was always happy and constantly only joyous.

    And he had all foods, all drinks and all clothing. He would say to his wife, “My wife, give me to eat;” and she gave him a piece of bread and he ate. Then he said, “Give me the sauce with buckwheat groats,” and she cut him off another piece of bread and he ate, and he gave much praise and said, “What a goodness and niceness this sauce is!” And similarly he ordered himself served meat, and again she gave him bread and he ate and also praised greatly and said, “What a niceness this meat is!” And so too other foods which he kept ordering himself given; and for each type of food which he ordered himself she kept giving him a piece of bread and he had a great pleasure from this and very much praised the dish. “What a goodness it is!” — just as if he actually ate it, for he would really and truly feel, in the bread that he ate, the taste of all the foods he wanted; on account of his great temimuth [the quality of being tam; simplicity; wholesomeness; naivete; innocence] and his joy, he sensed the bread’s taste just as if he were eating all those foods.

    And similarly he would say, “My wife, give me a drink of beer;” she gave him water and he would praise, “What a niceness this beer is!” Then he would summon, “Give me mead;” she gave him water and he also praised the same way, “What a good mead this is!” “Give me wine” or other drink; she continued giving him water and he had delight and praised the drink just as if he’s drinking it.

    And so too with clothing it was also thus. He and his wife together had one pelts [Yid. pelt coat; unfinished skin-with-fur coat]. When he needed a pelts, namely, to go to the market, he would say, “My wife, give me the pelts,” and she gave it to him. When he needed a tulep [fancy overcoat with fine fur on the inside and the fur rolled over onto the collar], to go amongst people, he would say, “My wife, give me the tulep,” and she gave him the pelts. He would have great delight and would praise, “What a niceness this tulep is.” When he needed a kaftan [long suit coat] to go to synagogue he would summon and say, “My wife, give me the kaftan,” and she gave him the pelts. He would give praise and he said, “What a niceness and what a beauty this kaftan is!” And so too when he needed to don a yupa [a long silk robe worn for formal occasions] she would also give him the pelts, and he would also give praise and had delight: “What a niceness and what a beauty this yupa is!” And thus with all things; and he was full of joy, happiness and wellbeing constantly.

    When he had finished a shoe — and probably the shoe had three corners, because he wasn’t able to perform his craft totally well — he would take the shoe in his hand and praise it highly. And he had enormous delight from it and would say, “My wife, what a beauty and what a niceness this little shoe is! What a sweetness this little shoe is! What a honey, what a sugary little shoe this is!” She would ask him, “If that is so, why do other shoemakers take three gulden for a pair of shoes, and you take only a half thaler (that is, one and a half gulden)?” He replied, “What’s that to me? That’s the other person’s business and this is my business. And besides, why do we have to talk about other people? Let’s just start calculating how much I win here in this little shoe when it changes hands. The leather costs me so much, tar and thread cost so much, the filling between the skins so much, and likewise other items so much; now I profit ten groschen when changing hands. Well, why should such a profit from changing hands bother me?”

    So he was only happy and cheerful at all times, but to the world he was a laughingstock; here they got what they desired, for here they had someone to mock however they pleased, for he seemed to them like a lunatic. People would come and intentionally start speaking with him, in order to have something to make fun of. And the simple man would say to them, “Just without mockery.” And as soon as they answered him, “No kidding,” he listened to them and started talking with them, for he did not want to further suspect witticisms — that perhaps this itself [their reply] is mockery — for he was a tam. But when he would eventually see that their intention is to ridicule, he would say, “So what if you are cleverer than me? You’ll still be a fool, for what do I amount to? So if you’ll be cleverer than me you’ll still be a fool!” (That was all the usual way of the simple man. Now we will again talk about the clever man.)
    [The Clever Man Arrives Back in Town]

    In the meantime, there was a commotion, that the clever man is traveling and is coming with great pomp and great sophistication. The simple man too came running to greet him with great joy, and said to his wife, “Give me quick the yupa! Let me go and greet my dear friend; let me see him.” She gave him the pelts and he ran out towards him. Now the clever man was riding in a carriage pompously; the simple man came out to greet him and welcomed him joyously, with great love (and said to him), “My dear brother, how do you do? Praised is God for bringing you and giving me the privilege of seeing you.” And the clever man looks at him; for him the entire world was also nothing (as it was stated above, that all the people of the world amounted to nothing in his regard, for he considered himself smarter than all the world) — all the more so such a person who looks like a crazy. But nonetheless, on account of their childhood love, that they loved each other very much, he drew him close and traveled with him into town. Now the two proprietors, the fathers of these two sons (that is, of the clever man and the simple man), had died during the time when the clever man was out in countries, and had left behind their houses. The simple man was in his place, so he moved into his father’s house and inherited it.

    The clever man, however, was in foreign countries and had no one to take possession of the house. The clever man’s house came to an end and was lost and nothing at all remained of it, so the clever man had no house to enter in when he arrived. He traveled to an inn and suffered anguish there because it wasn’t the kind of inn that he wanted. And the simple man had now found himself a new thing to do and would always run to the clever man with love and joy. And he noticed that the clever man had affliction from the inn, so the simple man said to the clever man, “Brother, come over to me into my house. You’ll stay with me and I will gather my entire belongings into one bunch and you’ll have my entire house.” This was agreeable to the clever man, so he went into his house and stayed with him. And the clever man was always full of suffering, for he had left a reputation that he is a great wise man, a great craftsman, and very much of a great doctor. A nobleman came and ordered for him to make him a gold ring. He made him quite a wonderful ring and etched out engravings with very wonderful paths, etching out in it a tree that was a total marvel. The nobleman came and the ring did not please him at all. He had enormous suffering, because he knew in himself that if this ring with the tree would be in Spain it would be quite esteemed; it would be a novelty there, but here it’s not liked at all. And similarly, one time a great nobleman came and brought an expensive diamond that was brought from distant lands, and he brought with him another diamond with an image and bid him to etch out just as this image is; so should he etch out on the diamond that he brought him (which was from distant lands). He etched out precisely like the image, except he lacked one thing which nobody at all would discern except him alone. The nobleman came and took the diamond and he liked it very much. But the clever man had great agony from the shortcoming that he lacked; he thought to himself: “As smart as I am, now should I make a mistake?”

    And similarly in medicine he suffered as well: when he came to an ill person and he gave him treatments of which he knew clearly that if the patient should just survive he would certainly have to be healed from the treatments since they’re very excellent treatments — then however the patient died. The public said that he died because of him, and he had great affliction from this. And likewise sometimes he gave an ill person treatments and the ill person became healthy, and the public said it’s a chance occurrence (in other words, he became so healthy not through him). He also suffered very much from that. So he was full of afflictions constantly.

    And similarly, when he needed a garment he summoned the tailor and took pains with him until he taught him to make the garment in the fashion like he wants, in the way he knew. The tailor hit upon it and made the garment just as he wanted, except the tailor erred on one lapel and didn’t hit it off well. He suffered great anguish from that because he knew in himself that although here no one discerns it, “If I were only in Spain with this lapel, they would laugh at me and I would look ridiculous.” And so he was always full of suffering.

    And the simple man used to always run, coming to the clever man with joy, with happiness; but he always found him in affliction and full of suffering, and he asked him, “Such a wise person and such a wealthy person as you — why do you always have anguish? Why am I constantly happy?” For the clever man this was a mockery, and he seemed crazy to him. The simple man said to him, “Even plain people, when they make fun of me, are fools as well, for if they’re already smarter than me, they are first fools themselves [as mentioned above]! All the more so such a clever person as you are. So what if you are smarter than me?” The simple man proclaimed and said to the clever man, “The Supreme One grant that you should come up to my level (in other words, that you should also become a simple person).” The clever man replied, “It could happen that I should reach your level — if God would take away my intellect, God spare us; or if I, God forbid, should became sick it could happen that I should also become insane. For, what are you anyway but a madman? If only you could come up to my level; this is by no means possible, that you should be such a clever person as I.” The simple man answered, “With Hashem Yithbarakh everything is possible. It can happen like the wink of an eye (like an eyeblink) that I should arrive at your smartness.” The clever man ridiculed him a great deal.
    [The King Sends for the Clever Man and Simple Man]

    Now these two sons, the public would call them “Clever” and “Simple:” this one they called “Clever” and that one they called “Simple.” Even though there are many clever ones and simple ones on the earth, still, here it was very apparent, because they were both from one town and had studied in one schoolroom, and this one became quite an extraordinarily clever person, while that one became quite an extremely simple person; consequently they gave them the nicknames “The Clever Man” and “The Simple Man.” Now in the registry (the book listing the residents) everyone is written down with all their family names, so they wrote down after this one the nickname “Clever Man” and after that one, “Simple Man.”

    One time the king came by the registry and he found the two as they were recorded, this one with the nickname “Clever Man” and that one with the nickname “Simple Man.” This was a wonder to the king, that the two should have such nicknames, “Clever Man” and “Simple Man.” The king very much wanted to see them. The king decided, “If I suddenly send for them to come before me they will be very frightened, and the clever man won’t know at all what to reply, and the simple man might go crazy from fear.” The king decided to send a clever man to the clever man and a simple man to the simple man. But where does one get a simple man in a royal city? For in a royal city (that is, the town where the king lives) the majority are smart people. However, the one who is a warden over the treasuries — he is specifically a simple person, because one doesn’t want to make a clever person any sort of warden over the treasuries, for perhaps through his cleverness and his intellect he will embezzle the treasuries; therefore one specifically puts a simple person in charge of the treasuries.

    So the king summoned a clever man and the simple man (who is a warden over the treasuries) and sent them to the two (that is, to the clever man and to the simple man) and he gave each one a different letter. And he gave them an additional letter to the governor of the province whom the two, that is, the clever man and the simple man, were under. And the king commanded in the letter that the governor should send letters on his behalf to the clever man and the simple man so that they shouldn’t be frightened, and he should write to them that the matter is not obligatory and the king is not specifically decreeing that they should come but rather the choice is theirs: if they want, they should come. But the king does want to see them.

    The emissaries traveled off, the clever one and the simple one, and came to the governor’s and delivered him the letter. The governor inquired after the two children and they told him that the clever man is an extraordinarily clever person and quite a wealthy man and the simple man is quite a very simple person and has every kind of garment from the pelts [sheepskin coat] as mentioned before. The governor decided that it is certainly not nice that they should bring him before the king dressed in a pelts so he made for him clothes as appropriate and placed them in the simple man’s carriage. And he gave them the letters, as mentioned.

    The messengers traveled off and came to them and delivered the letters to them; the clever one delivered to the clever man and the simple one to the simple man. And the simple man, as soon as he was delivered the letter, spoke up to emissary (who was also a simple man, as mentioned) who brought him the letter, “I don’t know what is written in the letter. Read it to me.” He answered him, “I’ll tell you externally [Yid. oysveynik < Ger. auswendig; Heb. be`al peh by rote] what is written in it. The king wants you to come to him." Immediately he asked, "Just without mockery?" He answered him, "It's a definite truth; without mockery." He was immediately filled with joy and he ran and said to his wife, "My wife, the king has sent for me!" She asked him, "What is it? Why has he sent for you?!" He had absolutely no time to answer her at all. He immediately rushed himself joyfully and went ahead and sat himself in the carriage so that he could travel off with the messenger. Meanwhile he noticed the clothes there (which the governor had made on his behalf and placed in his carriage, as mentioned). He became even happier: now he has clothes as well! So he was extremely happy.
    [The King Appoints the Simple Man as Governor, Minister]

    In the meantime the king was delivered leaks regarding the governor, in that he is committing fraud, and the king removed (in other words, deposed) him. The king made up his mind: it's good if a simple person would be governor, that is, a tam, for a simple man would conduct the country with truth and justice, since he doesn't know any cleverness or contriving. So the king felt that he should make the simple man (that is, the simple man who is the friend of the clever man, whom the king had sent for) a governor. The king sent an order that the simple man, whom he had sent for, should become governor. Now, the simple man must travel through the provincial capitol, thus they should station themselves at the city gates so that as soon as the simple man arrives they should detain him and give him the appointment that he should be governor. They did so, and they stood at the gates and as soon as he drove through they stopped him and told him that he has become governor.

    He asked, "Just without mockery?" They answered him, "Definitely! Without joking! We are not mocking you!" The simple man immediately became governor, with authority and power. And now that his mazal[3] had improved — and mazal machkim[4] (that is, the mazal makes [a person] smart) he now acquired a bit of discernment (that is, understanding). Nonetheless, he did not make use of his wisdom at all but just conducted himself with his temimuth as before, and he led the state with temimuth, with truth and with integrity. And he dealt absolutely no falseness or injustice to anyone. And for the management of a state one needs no great intellect nor special knowledge, just uprightness and temimuth. When two people came before him for judgment, he would say, "You are clear and you are liable," purely according to his temimuth and his truthfulness, without any deceit or falseness. And thus he led everything with truth.

    The country loved him very much and he had loyal advisers who truly loved him. And on account of love, one of them gave him an advice: "Inasmuch as you will certainly have to appear before the king, since he has already sent for you, and moreover the procedure is that a governor has to come before the king, therefore, even though you are very sincere and the king will not find any falseness in you in your leadership of the country, still however it is the routine of the king when he converses that he enters the discussion through the side and starts discussing special knowledges [chokhmoth] and languages. So it is fitting and it is the etiquette that you should be able to respond to him; therefore it is right that I should teach you knowledge and languages." The simple man accepted this and received wisdoms and languages. It immediately came to his mind that his friend the clever man had said to him that it is impossible in any manner that he should reach his wisdom. "Here I have already arrived at his wisdom!" (And still even though he now knew wisdoms, he did not use the wisdoms at all but conducted himself with simplicity as before.)

    Afterwards the king dispatched that the simple man, the governor, should come to him. He traveled to him. First the king discussed the leadership of the country with the simple man, and the king was very well pleased, for the king saw that he leads justly and with great honesty, without any wrongdoing and completely without falseness. Then the king began to talk about fields of knowledge and languages; the simple man replied to him as one should, and the king was even more pleased. The king said, "I see that he is such a smart person and yet conducts himself with such an innocence." He pleased the king very, very well, and the king made him a minister over all the ministers; and the king ordered to give him a special city where he should live, and commanded to wall him about with very beautiful walls as is befitting, and gave him a writ regarding the fact that he shall be minister. And so it was; they walled him about with very fine beautiful walls in the place where the king ordered, and he took on his greatness in full effect [betokef].
    [The Clever Man Denies There is a King]

    The clever man, when the letter from the king came to him, replied to the clever person who brought the letter, "Wait, and spend the night here. We'll talk it over and we'll come to a decision." At night he prepared for him a great feast. During the meal the clever man (the simple man's friend) started being clever and analyzing with his cleverness and his philosophy. He spoke up and said, "What can this mean, that such a king should send for such a lowly person as I? Who am I that the king should send for me? What's the sense? Such a king who has such authority and such prestige, and I, as little as I am versus such a great king — well, how is it conceivable that such a king should send for me? If I should say on account of my wisdom he has sent for me, what do I amount to next to the king? After all, doesn't the king have any wise men? And the king is certainly a great sage himself, so what is this, that the king should send for me?" So he was very, very astonished about this, and as he was wondering thus, he called out (to the other clever person, the messenger who had brought the letter), "Do you know what I'm going to tell you? Well, my opinion is that it clearly must be that there is no king whatsoever here in the world. And the entire world is mistaken in this; they think that there is a king here. Just the opposite. Understand — how can it be that the entire world should entrust itself into the hands of one man, that he should be the king? There is certainly no king on the earth at all." The clever person, the messenger, replies, "Haven't I brought you a letter from the king?" The clever man (the simple man's friend) asks him, "Did you personally receive the letter at the king's, from out of his hand?" He answers him, "No, but another person gave me the king's letter." He calls out, "Well, on the contrary, now see with your eyes that I am correct, that there is absolutely no king." Again he asks him, "Just tell me. You are from the royal city and you grew up there. Tell me, have you once seen the king?" He answers, "No." (For in fact it is so, that not everyone is privileged to see the king, for the king is not seen but on rare occasion.) He declares, "Now see that I am correct, that there is definitely no king whatsoever, for even you here have never seen the king." Once again the messenger answered the clever man, "If it is really so, who then rules the country?" He (that is, the clever man, the simple man's friend) answered him, "That — I'll make clear to you, for I am expert in this, so it is me you should ask, for I have been abroad in countries; I've been in Italy and the practice is thus: there are seventy senators and they rise up and lead the country for a while. With this system of authority the entire country participates one after the other (that is, first these are the senators, then these go down and others rise up and lead the country, and similarly other people each time)." His words started to get into the other clever person's ears (that is, the messenger), until they were both left with the conviction that there definitely isn't any king on earth. Again the clever man (the simple man's friend) spoke up, "Wait until morning and moreover I'll prove to you clearly that there is definitely no king."

    The clever man got himself up in the morning and woke up the other clever man, the messenger, and said to him, "Come with me on the road. I will show you how the whole world is mistaken and there is no king whatsoever. They went in the marketplace and noticed a soldier. They took hold of him and asked him, "Whom do you serve?" He answered, "The king." "Have you in your life seen the king?" He answers, "No." He announced (that is, the first clever man, the simple man's friend; we always call him the "first" clever man) and said, "See! Is there such a foolishness?" (In other words, the soldier serves the king but doesn't know him — for the clever man still wanted to demonstrate with his foolish wisdom that there is no king at all, as mentioned.) After that they went on to an army officer and they entered in conversation with him until they asked him, "Whom do you serve?" He answered, "The king." "Have you seen the king?" "No." He proclaimed, "On the contrary — look and see with your eyes that they are all mistaken and there isn't any king here." (For the officer had also not seen the king.) It was settled among them that there is no king here. The first clever man declared, "Come, let's travel the world; I'll show you moreover that the entire world is very mistaken with great foolishness."

    They went and traveled about in the world and wherever they arrived they always found the world in error. (In other words, the clever men through their "wisdom" fell into such foolishness, to the extent that they thought that the whole world is always mistaken.) And the matter of the king (that is, the fact that for them it was proven that there is no king) had already become a byword for them, and wherever they found the world in error they took the king as an analogy: "Just as it is 'true' that there is a king, so too is this ['true']." Thus they were out in the world and they traveled until they ran out of what they had. They began by selling one horse and then the other until they had sold everything, until they had to go on foot. And constantly they kept examining the world and kept finding that the world is in error. And they became foot-going beggars and they were already not at all distinguished, for by now people paid no attention at all to such beggars.
    [The Clever Man Meets with the Simple Man]

    So they were out in the world until it turned out that they came to the city where the minister lives (that is, the simple man, the clever man's friend). And there in that city was a genuine baal shem [lit. "Master of the (Divine) Name;" a holy man and miracle worker]. And the baal shem was held in high esteem because he had done truly wild things, and even among the nobility he was a renowned person and was highly regarded by them. And the clever men came into the city, walked about and came before the house of the baal shem. They saw many wagons stationed there with sick people, forty or fifty. The clever man thought that a doctor lives there. He wanted to go inside to him; since he too was a great doctor, he wanted to go in to make his acquaintance. He asked, "Who lives here?" They answered him, "A baal shem." He made a heavy laughter and said to the other (that is, to the messenger wise person), "This is another lie and a foolishness! This is even more nonsense than the mistake about the king! Brother, let me tell you about this falsehood, how much the world is mistaken and so deceived."

    Meanwhile they became hungry and found that they still had three or four groschen. They went into the food kitchen [Yid. gorkekh, everyman's kitchen] and there one can get food for even three, four groschen and they ordered themselves served with food and they were served. While they were eating they talked and made fun of the "lie" and the "error" of the baal shem (how the world is in error). And the food kitchener [gorkekher] heard their talk and it upset him very much, because the baal shem was highly esteemed there. He said to them, "Eat up what you have and get out of here." Then a son of the baal shem arrived there, and they kept on ridiculing the baal shem before his son's eyes. The food kitchener screamed at them for making fun of the baal shem before his son's eyes, until the kitchener beat them altogether harshly and pushed them out of his home. It made them very furious and they wanted to obtain a judgment over his beating them. They decided that they will go to their proprietor where they had deposited their bundles so as to take counsel with him as to how to attain a judgment against the food kitchener who had beaten them. They went and told it to their proprietor that the food kitchener had severely beaten them. He answered them: Why? They told him: Because they had spoken against the baal shem. The proprietor answered them, "It definitely isn't upright that people should be beaten. But you however behaved entirely not right by talking against the baal shem, for the baal shem is highly regarded here." They saw that he too was in "error." They left him and went to the commissioner, and the commissioner was a gentile. They told him the story that they had been beaten. He asked: Why? They said: Because they had spoken against the baal shem. The commissioner also beat them deathfully and pushed them out.

    They went away from him and went to a superior who had authority and still could not bring about any judgment. And thus they kept going from one to another, each time to a higher one (and still accomplished nothing but were well beaten every time) until they came before the minister (who was the simple man, as mentioned). And there before the minister were stationed sentries. They announced to the minister that a person needs him and he ordered that he should come in. The clever man came before the minister. As he was coming in the minister immediately realized that this is the clever man, his friend. But the clever man did not recognize him, since he's in such greatness now. Immediately the minister started talking to him and said to him, "See what my temimuth has brought me to — to such a greatness — and what your cleverness has brought you to." The clever man spoke up and said, "That you are my friend the simple man — we can speak about this later. Right now, give me a court hearing for them having hit me." He asks him, "Why did they hit you?" He answers him, "Why, because I spoke against the baal shem, that he is a liar and it's all a swindle." The simple man, prime minister spoke up to him, "You still adhere to your contrivances? Look, you said you can easily reach mine [i.e. my level], but I cannot reach yours. Now see that I have already long reached yours (for the simple man has already become a big wise man as well, as mentioned) but you still have not reached mine. And I see that it is more difficult that you should arrive at my temimuth." But notwithstanding, since the simple man, the minister, had known him from long ago when he was great, he ordered him to be given garments to be clothed with and he bid him to eat with him at meal time. While they were eating they began to converse, and the clever man tried to demonstrate his (foolish) opinion that there is no king whatsoever. The simple man, the minister, screamed at him, "What are you saying?! I myself have seen the king!" The clever man answers him with laughter, "You yourself know that it was the king? You know him? You have known his father, his grandfather to have been kings? From where do you know that it was the king? People have told you that this is the king. They have deceived you." It annoyed the simple man a very much regarding the fact that he denies the king.

    Meanwhile someone came and said, "The Devil [Yid. Toivl, Heb. `Azazel] has sent for you [plural]." The simple man trembled severely and ran and told his wife with great fear that the Devil had sent for him. She gave him an advice, that he should send for the baal shem. He sent for him; the baal shem came and gave him kame`as [amulets containing holy names] and [other] protections and told him that now he need no longer fear at all. He had great faith in this.

    Later the clever man and the simple man sat together some more. The clever man asked him, "What were you so terrified about?" He answered him, "Because of the Devil, who had sent for us." The clever man ridiculed him and said to him, "You believe that there is a Devil?!" The simple man, the minister, asked him, "Who then sent for us?" The clever man answered him, "This here is definitely from my brother; he wanted to meet with me; he set this up and sent for me with that disguise." The simple man asked him, "If it is so, how did he get through past all the sentries?" He answered him, "He definitely bribed them, and they are telling a lie in colluding that they did not see him at all." Meanwhile again someone comes and says again thus: "The Devil has sent for you." And the simple man now already did not tremble at all and did not have any fear whatsoever, on account of the protections he had taken from the baal shem. He calls out (that is, the simple man) and says to the clever man, "Well now, what do you say?" He answers him, "I will tell you. I have a brother who is angry at me. He is the one who made this disguise in order to frighten me." And the clever man got up and asked the one who had come for them, "What kind of appearance has the one who sent for us? What color is his hair?" etc. and other such things. He answered him: Such and such. The clever man replies and says, "See! That there is my brother's looks!" The simple man says to him, "Will you go with them?" He answers him, "Yes, I will go with them; you should only give me a few soldiers for azalaga (escorting guards) so that they shouldn't cause me any travail." He gave him azalaga and the two clever men went with the one who had come for them (that is, with the Devil, because they did not want to believe that this is the Devil, as mentioned).

    The soldiers of the azalaga returned and the simple man, the minister asked them, "Where are the clever men?" They replied: They know nothing of where they've gone [Heb. how they've disappeared]. And he (that is, the Devil's emissary) had snatched the clever men and carried them off into a mire with clay. There the Devil sat on a throne amidst the mire. And the mire was thick and sticky just like a glue, and the clever men were completely unable to move in the mud. And the clever men screamed, "Wicked ones! Why are you dealing out tortures on us? Is there indeed a Devil on the earth? You are wicked people for torturing us for no reason!" (For these clever men still did not want to believe that there is a Devil; instead they said that wicked people are causing them agony for nothing.) The two clever men lay in the thick mire and probed, "What is this? These are nothing else but the hooligans with whom we had once quarreled, and now they are dealing out such afflictions on us." The clever men remained there in the mire several years, and they dealt them out wild sufferings along with wild tortures.
    [The Clever Man Admits There is a King on the Earth]

    One time the simple man, the minister passed by in front of the baal shem's home and he recalled his friend the clever man and went in to the baal shem and bowed to him in the proper way [Heb. in the way of ministers] and asked whether it is possible for him to show him the clever man and whether he can extricate him. And the simple man, the minister, said to the baal shem, "Do you remember the clever man whom the Devil sent for and carried away? And from that time I have not seen him." The baal shem answered him, "Yes, I remember." The simple man, the minister, bid him that he should show him the place where the clever man is and that he should extricate him from there. The baal shem said to him, "I can certainly show you his place and take him out, however, no one else can go; only I and you." Both went off and the baal shem did what he knew and they arrived there. He saw how they lay there in the thick mire, in clay. When the clever man noticed the simple man, the minister, he screamed to him, "Brother, look! They are beating me! And these hooligans are smiting me so hard for nothing!" The minister gave him a yelling, "Still you hold to your contrivances and don't want to believe in anything at all?! And you say that this is people. Well, look now. This here is the baal shem whom you had denied. You will be shown that specifically only he can take you out (and he will show you the truth)." The simple man, the minister, bid the baal shem that he should take them out and show them that this is a Devil and not humans.

    The baal shem did what he did, and they were left standing on the dry land and there was no mire there at all. And the harmful angels became plain dust (that is, they became earth altogether). Then for the first time the clever man beheld the truth and had to admit everything, that there is indeed a king and there is indeed a genuine baal shem, etc.
    [Notes Following the Story]

    Regarding this story was said the torah [LM II #12] that discusses temimuth, that the essence of Judaism is not any mental scheming but only temimuth and simplicity etc.

    (After he concluded the story he announced:) And when the prayer is not as it needs to be, it's a "three-cornered shoe" [a shikhele mit drei ecken]. Understand well what is said, as one can live out the world with bread, water and a coat and would have a better life and a happier life than the most clever person and the wealthiest person, as we see that they are full of travails constantly. And ultimately it is certainly altogether good for the tam who sufficed with what he had and was constantly happy. And whoever will be a wise guy and over-thinks a great deal will have difficulty from beginning to end and is full of afflictions constantly and never has any life, and ultimately becomes lost, until the tam has to have pity on him and help him. Aside from this, here in the story are more very great secrets, for all the tales are great secrets of the Torah throughout.

    [In Hebrew:] Regarding this story was said the torah [LM II #12] which discusses temimuth; that the essence of wholeness is only temimuth and simplicity; and the concept of 'Amalek who was a wise guy and became apostate at the root etc.; see there regarding the verse, "ShevA` yipoL tzaddiK wekaM/ Seven [times] the tzaddik falls, but rises" — end-letters `AMaLeK, for the root of the downfalls are through wisdoms etc.; see there. Also Agag, from the seed of `Amalek, even though he was seeing his fall when Shmuel came to Shaul to kill him, still did not believe, as written, "Vayelekh Agag ma`adanoth/ Agag went to him in chains" [I Sam. 15:32] and [Targum] Yonathan translated: "[Agag went to him] mepanka/ with a noble or indulgent manner," for he still did not believe in his fall, until he saw with his eyes the end of his fall; then, "Wayomer akhen sar mar-hamaveth/ Surely the bitterness of death has turned [hither]," for until now he did not believe. (Put your eyes on this story and you will discern wonders of wonders). And if the prayer is not as it ought to be, it is a min`al be'g` ketzavoth/ shoe with three corners; and understand. And see also at the end of the book the Rav's explanation, and you will see wonderful analogous commentaries.


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