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Judge Meets Friedrich Nietzche in the Afterlife

On February 21st, 1912, David Patterson-Hatch, (below) a prominent United States Judge, passed away.


In 1914 an entity claiming to he Hatch communicated with American writer, Elsa Barker. He wished to communicate his experiences from his vantage point in the afterlife, and with World War I commencing; he had a lot to say. Over the next three years he ‘dictated’ more than 140 letters through Barkers’ hand, and the letters were published as a trilogy under the title, Letters From a Living Dead Man.

In Letter 45 of War Letters From the living Dead Man, the second book in the trilogy, Patterson-Hatch describes meeting Friedrich Nietzsche. (Below)




In one of the upper regions of the astral world—not in the region of pure mind but near it—I met a man last night who passed to and fro with his head bowed in thought.
 “What troubles you, friend?” I asked, as I stood before him.
 He paused in his restless walk and gazed at me.
 “Who are you?” he enquired, listlessly.
 “I am a Judge,” (below) I answered.
 His eyes brightened with interest.
 “You must have come at the call of my thought,” he said, “for I have need of a Judge.”
 “On whom do you wish me to pass judgment?” I asked, half smiling at his strange words.
 “I would like you to pass judgment on me.”
 “And your offence?”

“My offence—if it is an offence, and on that you shall give your opinion—is having led a nation to its undoing.”
 “With malice aforethought?” I queried.
 “With malice, perhaps,” he answered, “but not in the sense of your question. I never believed they had spirit enough to believe me.”
 “You pique my curiosity,” I said. “Who are ‘they?’ and in what did they believe you?”
 “They are the Germans,” he answered, “the Germans whom I despised, and they believed my theory that man becomes supreme by doing what he wills to do.”
 “And the devil take the hindmost?”
 “Yes, and the devil take the hindmost.”
 He bent on me his somber eyes, and I waited for his words.
 “What a folk those Germans are!” he said. “Whatever they do, they do too thoroughly. One cannot trust them with a great truth.”
 “They do seem to have systematized you into the ground,” I answered.
 “I wanted to make them gods,” he complained, “and I have made them devils.”
 “God only can make gods,” I said. “Perhaps you were too ambitious.”

“Humph! Perhaps I was too confiding.”
 “Hermeticism is safer,” I suggested. “You told them far too much.”
 “Or far too little, maybe.”
 “In how many volumes?”
 “Go ask the librarians. Not the foreign ones—they bind my works in packages of salable size.”
 “And how can I help you?” I asked.
 “Judge me.”
 “While you prosecute and defend yourself?”
 “Who else is fit, either to prosecute or defend me?”
 “Go on with the prosecution.
 “I have corrupted a whole people, and led them to their ruin.”
 “Elaborate the charge.”
 “I thought to remedy their spinelessness, and following me with characteristic thoroughness, they have become all spine; they have neither heart nor bowels.”
 “Continue,” I said.
 “I preached Beyond Man. They have practiced below man.”
 “So far,” I interrupted, “you have prosecuted them, not yourself.”

“How can I charge myself without charging them?” he demanded.
 “Then I will step down from the bench,” I said, “and talk with you man to man.”
 “I am glad you didn’t say soul to soul.”
 “Oh, man is good enough for me! As I said before, you were too ambitious.”
 “Yes, too ambitious for man, too sick of man, too much in love with what man might become!”
 “We have come already to the defense,” I said.
 “The smell of the court is still about you,” he growled.
 “You asked me to be your judge.”
 “Yes, that is true.”
 “I am sorry for you,” I said.
 He smiled a sad and searching smile.
 “You seem to have both heart and bowels,” he observed.
 “And you have been too long alone,” I replied. “You have lost your gift of words. Shall I prosecute, defend and judge you? You can interrupt me whenever you like.”
 “Go on,” he assented.

“You were born under a restless star,” I began. “You followed heroes; they disappointed you by being men. Then you made self your hero, and that disappointed you most of all.”
 “You seem to know all about me.”
 “That is the glory and the shame of your greatness, that one knows all about you.”
 “I deny it! You do not know all about me.”
 “What is it that we do not know?”
 “You do not know how I loved man!”
 “You spoke of him with contempt.”
 “That he might rise to Beyond Man.”
 “Oh! And drown the children on the Lusitania, and hack his way through Belgium, and turn every friend against him, and be the curse of the planet!”
 He raised an arresting finger.
 “You are speaking of the Germans,” he said.
 “They are the only ones who have followed your philosophy to its logical conclusion.”
 “And you taunt me with that?”
 “I taunt you with nothing. I am stating facts. It was you who taunted them—to their undoing.”
 “I only preached Beyond Man.”

“So far beyond man that man misunderstood you.”
 “Is that my fault?”
 “Whose else?”
 “Not theirs?”
 “Not altogether theirs. You hated too much. You taught them to hate man.”
 “I taught them to hate all that was not Beyond Man.”
 “But man is not Beyond Man, and so you taught them to hate man.”
 “But they themselves are not Beyond Man!”
 “They aspire to be. You taught them to aspire to be. They believed themselves Beyond Man, beyond good and evil. You taught chemistry to babes and sucklings, and they have blown up the nursery of the world.”
 “I wanted only to teach them.”
 “You should have begun with the a-b-c.”
 “And what do you think is the a-b-c of Beyond Man,” he asked.
 “The a is love, the b is humility, the c is truth,” I answered.
 “And why did I not teach them love, humility and truth?”
 “You knew not love, humility and truth.”

“I knew not love?”
 “You knew not love.”
 “And I knew not humility?”
 “Your arrogance is a by-word.”
 “And I knew not truth?”
 “You knew but half the truth, and half the truth is not truth, as half an apple is not an apple.”
 “Do you think I taught them falsehood?”
 “The supreme falsehood, that they could be Beyond Man. They are not ready for Beyond Man.”
 “But man must be surpassed!”
 “Man must surpass himself,” I answered. “You see, there is a difference.”

“What should I have taught them?”
 “That Beyond Man is the servant of man, not the bully and the tyrant.”
 “But they would not have understood.”
 “Be not too sure of that. Some few have understood the Son of Man.”
 “Oh, him!”
 “Whom you repudiated.”
 “But he taught men to be slaves!”
 “A good servant maketh a good master, and he that is greatest among you let him be the servant of all.”
 “Oh, if you are going to quote Scripture—”

“I quote the Beyond Man.”
 “And you believe—”
 “I believe that you repudiated the only well-known example of your own ideal.”
 “And you also believe—”
 “Yes, I also believe that you went mad because you saw too late that all your teaching was a lie. I believe that you had not the courage to repudiate yourself, and so surpass yourself; so surpass yourself and become yourself Beyond Man.”
 “Then you think I knew?”
 “I know that you knew. I know that you had a vision of Him, that you saw where you yourself had failed to understand, and that you would not acknowledge your own understanding—which came too late.”
 “You know too much,” he said.
 “You asked me to be your judge,” I retorted.
 “But not my executioner.”
 “You have been your own executioner, and the executioner of your people.”
 “My people!” His tone was scornful.
 “Did I not say that you had no love?” I demanded.
 “And what do you now bid me do?”

“Go back to the earth, and teach mankind how man can surpass himself. Go back to the earth, and teach men to follow the carpenter’s Son whom you taught them to despise. Go back to Germany, and repudiate yourself.”
 “And how shall I go back?”
 “In another body, of course, a clean and wholesome body, which you are to keep clean.”
 “What do you mean?”
 “You know very well what I mean! I have told you that you had no love. You had only fastidiousness, and arrogance, and the desire for sensation.”
 “You have set me a hard task,” he said.
 “Eternity is long,” I replied, “and the new Germany will have need of your new teaching.”
 “Shall I thank you?” he asked.
 “There is no need. It is I who thank you for not appealing from my decision.”
 “Goodnight,” he said.
 “Good night,” I repeated.
 And the soul of Friedrich Nietzsche passed on. Was it toward the gate of rebirth?

Extract from War Letters From a Living Dead Man by Elsa Barker published by White Crow Books and available from Amazon and all good online bookstores.

War Letters From the Living Dead Man

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