The Squaw Hollow Sensation: Part 8 – Sethos Continues to “Speak”

“Mountain Democrat,” July 26, 1879 (continued)


“I took a wild and devilish joy in seeing them mangled, and I took hold of men’s minds and put murder in their hearts. Blood Flowed, It was an intoxicating pleasure to see that fluid, which I would have given the hoarded wealth of ages for, flowing freely in the sand. But then I saw the goodness of men, and I repented. And I sorrowed for the evil I had done in senseless rage. And my soul warmed to those who were what I vainly strove to be. ‘And then I found a mind that listened to me!’ He was a little boy, and as he read or talked, fancies strange, and wild, and incomprehensible to his simple parents shaped themselves in his mind. And as he grew, I held his mind in dreams at night, whispering into his heart lessons of the other world.

“Days, weeks, months and years again, and the boy was a man. To Egypt he came, I leading and guiding until the tomb of the patriarch, Sethos Koma, my grand ancestor, the Prophet of Isis, was reached. The man was Von Herbst, and his youthful and keen mind took up the hints I made.

“Thank Heaven and overruling Destiny, the “Book of the Dead” was still legible, and I, confiding, little by little unfolded in his mind the true philosophy of the compact with Isis.

“Oh, thou being to whom I owe my life, think of the anxiety and care with which I tried to rule your mind towards me! Think of the dreams you had by night! Think how the praise of the scholars came to stimulate further exertion! Think of the chance that gave you the great parchment rolls of Nichtken!

(Note: as previously mentioned, the German Archaeological Institute’s offices in Berlin and Cairo have no record of a Professor Nichtken. They pointed out that Nichtken could be translated to “no-know” )

“Forever and forever will the memory live, oh King of Minds, for by thee my soul has been freed from the dreary expanse of space, and brought to a home to my beloved body. And the thought by day and the dreams by night brought about your search for my body, for from a thousand experiments which you had dreamed of making I guided your uncertain steps across the trackless ocean and up and down across the continent, till finally one night when your nerves were highly strung, and wine had freed your soul from care, I spoke to you through your friend at a social gathering, in the great City of the Sea.(Note: a friend of Von Herbst, a Mr. Brooks, met with him in San Francisco’s Union Club and directed him to the cave and mummies in Squaw Hollow).  From thence your footsteps never faltered. I kept above you, leading you step by step, making difficulties easy and invigorating your mind daily with hopes. Oh, how despair seized me, when your plans were imperilled by an accident, but finally what joy and turbulence of ecstasy I experienced when you found the cave and looked upon my body! During those dark nights of toil and trouble I was with you, intimate in every thought expression of your mind. My pulses seemed to throb before I had a heart to beat them, and finally, when the question arose in your experiments, as to how you should proceed, how I beset and besieged your brain with ideas and suggestions! I lay at times as one oppressed by a hideous nightmare, knowing my infirmities, yet without power to move. As I floated in the air above you, anxiously suggesting, and waiting to watch the result, I could look down upon my body, lying there so stiff and stark, and yet the eyes that were so fixed in death could see the airy shadow floating overhead. I seemed to be two persons, and yet ‘one’ of them seemed stranger far, and more awful than yourself. I knew that if my body and my soul should join, and the fearful situation should be discovered, the shock would kill me, and yet it was myself that reasoned thus about myself. Strange processes of the human mind! It was like someone insane, with regular intervals of reasoning between bursts of madness, preparing the body in peace to stand the lashings of an uncontrollable frenzy, knowing, as I seemed to know, that soon I would be myself no longer, and that now, while in possession of my senses, I must prepare for the conflict of soul and body. And all this time, while my body lay there, seeming to be thinking of this, my sprit was adjusting instruments convenient to your hand and putting into your head suggestions of the next experiments. When you paused in the dead of night so often, and looked about you, you know that there was some presence about you that you did not comprehend. It was I. And I became happy and could not tire. As my dried up features swelled out into their former hue, and my limbs became supple, I longed to take possession and walk. And then your battery came to work, and I knew that you had discovered the secret, and then —- a blank again!

“Oh, to be thus always! Every limb at perfect rest, no wants but to indulge the joy of ‘thinking.’ Can this be life or death? I may know by attempting to open my eyes, but shall I prove it? It would be better to never know. I can feel, true, therefore I must be alive, but all that made life so painful has passed away. No unhappiness? My love for Talaka! Ah!, but I know that Talaka is not. She has long since crumbled to dust. Her race had not the secret of the Sethi. The Sethi! I am a Sethos, but never more shall I find my people.

(Note: Talaka is an undetermined person or goddess that has been referenced several times in this story. In Swahili “Talaka” means “divorce”)

“In such lazy half-thoughts did I waken into being, but I did not open my eyes. I had not the will. Open my eyes? Yes, smile if you will, for you are reminded that my eyes were open all the while, but through them no light did come; the eyes have not ‘seen.’ When you held me by the intensity of your thoughts I was under a spell. I gave up my will entirely to you, and so I slept. I knew that I should not be forgotten. The anxiety that had made me so restless for so many days while my fate was uncertain, had been succeeded by a holy quiet, and I was waiting. Waiting for what? I did not know or care. I felt but little. I was only waiting. And while I lay thus so quiet, you, Doctor, were wrestling with the fever, and when your love of life came out victorious, I felt a new impulse and I waited  on.

“When you came to my bedside I knew you had been sick, and I knew that you were pale, and I knew that you looked at me wondering at the change in my features.

(Note: Dr. Von Herbst had been ill and had left the revived mummy, Sethos, in the care of others. Sethos had physically deteriorated during that time).

“Then my spirit took possession of you again, and you removed the pressure on my will. This is the simple story of my death and resurrection. At times my heart would have led me off into rambling byways and loitering nooks of fancy, but straight ahead I have steadily kept till I could tell the experience I have had while my body slept. This shall be a subject of never-ending interest to you. You may know all you ever fancied, and the true life of all the world, from the time of my birth, nearly eleven centuries since, shall all be clearly read to you. The old “Worship of the Sun” I now see was never understood. We did not call on Isis and Osiris because we thought ‘they’ heard us – for how could they? – but what he meant was that all life, all death, and all change lies in Nature. All knowledge is from Nature. When I called as though I thought they heard me, it was a call rather to that consciousness within me which answered again. I am weak now, and faint, but before I release you I must tell you how to rouse me when you wish to talk. This is a secret of the old Aztec priest, but mankind, throughout the world, at various times have partly stumbled on it, and I shall, as a Sethos and inheritor of the mysteries, make known the truth. Not only will I teach you to read all inscriptions without knowing languages, but you shall do better and go further. When you read by this peculiar power (which only needs to be educated and cultivated), you will read not half-understood words, whose meanings may change, but you shall read ‘thoughts,’ ‘intentions,’ and ‘ideas’ themselves. ‘Spoken words’ are but a make-shift for want of better means of communication. Language in its very essence is imperfect. It is not “divine,” as you think, yet your language is far ahead of what it had been, for now you express not only relations between tangibilities but between fancies. Your thoughts are growing more refined, but I shall show you how to send ‘thoughts themselves’ from brain to brain, and let ‘words’ get out of fashion. How often, in moments of deep feeling, when Death has snatched away some loved one, or when joy has filled the heart to overflowing, words tried are flung aside as worthless, and oppressed by a common woe, or joyfully sympathizing in gladness, your ‘eyes’ speak to one another. And then hands by one impulse seek other hands, and tender pressure, and gentle tinglings of delicate sense-words convey your thoughts better than you could shape them in worlds. There is a soul-language that I am talking by, and this, so subtle, so refined and ethereal, pervades all nature, and is Nature’s Language. This you understand, for your hand on my head already has conveyed to your receptive sensorium my argument.

“Poetry is not all fiction. The ‘language of flowers’ is their sweet perfume, and you with light nerves appropriate it and are pleased. Why will you not understand it? Ages ago man could no more than the beasts and trees speak in clear formed language. The cry of pain became repeated for all things horrible. The language of pleasure became the universal sign of joy. And so there is a natural language which, reduced to system and used without the feeling which first called it forth, becomes speech.

“You understand me. Explain to all mankind the truth I so freely give to you. There is a great prompting in man and other animals to communicate. The dog looks meaningly into our face. If you understand him, as you often do, you have done so by this ‘soul sense.’ The horse, the ox, the cat, and fowls, come to you and you can interpret their expressions. You know when they love you, but you know only by psychic telegraphy. So I can talk now to you without a language, and you know what I would tell you. But you have been subjected to my influence since your childhood. You in reading sometimes have felt bound to turn back and particularly attend to some special paragraph. That was through me, and thus you were led to study up my system. Cultivate this power! Do not let it slip you, I implore! Watch faces! Watch thoughts!”

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