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                                    THE AUTARCHIC CREED 
     We of the Old Religion have our own particular compact with our
     deities that charges simply, "An it harm none, do as ye will."
     And our gods do not despise us for being human but delight in our
     celebrations of life and love. We are ageless souls, only for a
     while within bodies - merely visitors upon this plane. We are
     brothers to the gods and only temporarily cousins to the ape,
     and our lives belong to us, not to this world nor to its earthly
     governors. We are not doomed to shame and decay; not lost; not
     indentured to perish with earthly manifestations; not disposed
     to eternal misery for any past or present lapses of courage or
     wisdom. We are as children in the school of life who must learn
     our lessons, on life at a time, before we graduate. Our lives
     span the march of time, striving upward, subordinate only to our
     individual probity and growth.
     But in this mortal life, greedy, trivial hierophants and mundane
     rulers have perpetrated a fraud upon humanity. They have purloined
     for profit and temporal power, our legitimate heritage, and that of
     all society, and have substituted for it shame, despair, and fear,
     inventing evil deities to terrify and to constrain mankind from the
     exercise of his own native conscience.
     Still we take our uncertain portion time and again, joining with the 
     species on this plane, only to meet with earthly disunity and distress;
     only to be told by bogus, uncelestial shepherds that we are deficient
     and fundamentally iniquitous; constantly rebuked that our natural
     birthright is insubstantial or even sinful, and that we must cleave
     to the pious injunctions of reigning mortals, no matter how oppressive,
     or suffer beyond measurable time, yearning for some mythical golden
     glory just out of reach, but somehow never quite worthy of it.
     That is the apocryphal hell and the fabled satan; they are of mortal
     creation; they are now, not in some remote bye-and-bye; and those who
     choose to believe in them perpetuate them in this earth. But nevertheless,
     by sublime design, despite narrowness, folly or fear, we all, each
     and every one, possess this wondrous legacy:
      that each of us sustains a singular covenant with the cosmic, in that
     the soul is and ever was, one with the universe, conducting itself in
     concordance with the absolute. And whatever paths it may walk, or 
     whichever faith it may follow, on sojourn at a time, each shall as a
     consequence of that oneness, and attuning with its destiny, eventually
     return on its own to its source to again be part of that totality,
     atoned, aware and unshackled.


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