“The man who lives in division is living in death. He cannot find himself because he is lost; he has ceased to be a reality. The person he believes himself to be is a bad dream….”

–Thomas Merton

Who will release me from all the pits and prisons, in which are gathered lusts that are not pleasing?

Who will take me over the flood of the tossing sea – the zone of conflict where there is not rest?

Who will save me from the jaws of all the beasts who destroy and terrify one another without pity?

Who will lead me beyond the walls and take me over the moats, which are full of fear and trembling from ravaging demons?

Who will lead me beyond rebirths, and free me from them all – and from all the waves, in which there is not rest?

I will weep for my soul, saying: May I be saved from this, and from the terror of the beasts who devour one another!

The bodies of men, and of birds of the air, of fish of the sea, and four footed creatures and of all insects who will take me beyond these and save me from them all, so that I shall not turn and fall into the perdition of those hells?

So that I shall not pass through defilement in them, nor return in rebirth, wherein all kinds of plants are taken out in…

Who will save me from the swallowing heights and the devouring deeps, which are all hell and distress?

— Fortunate for Us (Manichaean initiatory poem extract, Canto Iva, 1-10)

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