The Book of the Words of Abigail, (07-Jan-94).
'Abigail' is the English version of the Book of the Words of Abigail, a quasi-religious document recalling the words of a traveling sage, Abigail, and her five followers, together with certain instructive incidents.
Abigail kept her words from no-one, but spoke freely to all who would hear her. To this end, this version of the Book of the Words of Abigail has been released into the public domain, so that all may read her words, and decide for themselves what truth is within them.
Being in the public domain, you may freely copy the 'Abigail' document, and indeed, you are encouraged to give copies to your friends, upload copies onto your bulletin board, translate copies across computers, and send copies to your public domain libraries, as well as freely retaining as many copies as is necessary for yourself. All that is asked of you is this, that you do not alter the document, and that this text is supplied, unaltered, with all copies.
Should you wish to contact someone regarding the Book of the Words of Abigail, you may write to the following address: [see NOTE below].
AMF the Doomwatcher,
The Monastery of Doomwatcher Monks,
50 Burlington Way,
Derby, DE3 5BD (United Kingdom of Great Britain)
1. Abigail said, "Whoever hears my words shall die. But whoever hears my words and understands them is one who shall overcome death. Though he shall die, he shall have knowledge of death before death, and he shall overcome."
2. Abigail said, "If you make a man equal to God, when you worship that God, you are worshiping your brother. And if you make God equal to man, it is as if your brother has created you."
3. Abigail said, "A fool who says 'I am a fool' is wise, though he be a fool. But a fool who says 'I am wise' is foolish indeed."
4. Abigail said, "Do not lie, and do not do what you hate. If you sin and you are ignorant of your sin, your soul is clean. But if you sin and you know of your sin, you shall be deeply vexed."
5. Abigail said, "If you sin in the evening, and you know of your sin, and you are deeply vexed, know that you will sin again the next morning. And if you know that, there shall be none as deeply vexed as you. But in the morning, shall your vexation remain?"
6. A man came up to them and said, "Last night I made a vow before God, and this morning I have broken my vow. What shall become of me?" Abigail said, "It would have been better for you not to have made your vow. But since you have made a vow, use the breaking of your vow to fulfil the spirit in which it was made."
7. Abigail said, "It is easier for a man to swallow himself than for him to overcome himself. But in the end, if you do not overcome yourself, you shall be overcome, and all shall revile you."
8. They came upon a crowd, and a man was brought to them who was screaming.
Abigail asked him, "Why are you screaming?." "I am possessed by the spirit of the evil one," he said, "who makes me do evil things that I would not do." Abigail said, "It is not the evil one that is tormenting you, but yourself. Should you realize this, you will be deeply vexed. But in your vexation you shall find a way to overcome." The man spat at her, and said "You are also from him. Leave me alone!" Abigail turned and walked away. Natasha said to her, "Why did you leave him in that state?" Abigail said, "Come tomorrow, he shall be wise. And in his wisdom, he shall return."
9. They were walking along a dusty road, and Natalie and Natasha were arguing. Abigail asked them, "What are you arguing about?" Natalie said, "Natasha denies that it is a sin to shout at those who oppose you." Natasha said, "Natalie believes that it is a sin to show people the truth, if to show them truth requires you to shout." Abigail said, "A deed is only sinful if you consider it a sin. If it is not a sin to you, use the voice that you have been given to proclaim the truth. But if you consider it a sin to shout, woe be upon you if you shout."
10. A priest came up to them, and asked, "Why do you not teach your followers which deeds are sinful, and which are not?" Abigail said to him, "You hypocrite! You castigate men for their sins, and they are ashamed. Yet when you return home, you commit the same sins as they did, and you feel no shame." The priest said, "This morning I caught a woman in adultery, yet I have never committed adultery. You are wrong, Abigail, and you mislead the people." Abigail turned and walked away. But Angela stopped her, and asked, "Why do you leave him in his foolishness?" Abigail said, "He is deaf to what we have to say. For the moment, we must leave him. But this night he shall consider what he has said, and tomorrow he shall return."
11. Abigail said, "Do not lie, and do not use the truth to deceive. Listen to what you say, and hear how you contort your words, speaking so that, whilst not lying, you deceive. If you speak the truth, yet lie in spirit, you shall be cast with those who openly lie."
12. Abigail said, "If you were not ashamed of what you have done, you would not lie. If your deeds were pure, how freely would you proclaim them. Since your deeds are shameful, you hide them in your silence, wishing that they would go away, whilst not asking why you do such things."
13. Abigail said, "Look at yourself. In the morning you pray to God that you may be kept from sin, and in the evening you pray to God that you may be forgiven the sins that you have committed. Yet between your prayers, you sin without regard. Do not ask God for things that you are not prepared to do yourself."
14. Abigail said, "You are not complete until you are one. Whilst there is division within you, you are weak. But with unity comes strength."
15. A man came up to Abigail as she was sitting under the shade of a tree. He asked, "How should I pray? And should I offer sacrifices? To whom should I give praise?" Abigail pointed to the tree, and said, "Consider the tree. When you are one with yourself, then you shall know the true meaning of prayer, and sacrifices, and praise. But until you are whole, you shall worry yourself with these things, yet they are not the root to wholeness." The man was deeply vexed at this, and asked again, "What shall I do?" Abigail said, "As the tree is one with itself, so should you be. And just as the tree has time to exist in, doing nothing, but existing, so you should make time to do nothing, but exist."
16. Rebecca said, "A woman asked me what she must do to overcome herself.
But I did not know how to answer her." Abigail said, "It is better that you do not speak than to speak without authority. But the way to overcome yourself is not something I can tell you, for if I did, you would resent it."
17. A crowd gathered round them, and a man asked, "What good things must I do to go to heaven? And what evil things must I refrain from lest I go to hell?" Abigail said, "Have you not realized where heaven and hell are? Where there is unity, there also is heaven. But where there is disunity, that is hell. If you are one with yourself, you shall have no despair. But if you are divided against yourself, your hell shall have no bounds. Heaven and hell are not places, but states of mind."
18. Angela saw two children fighting in the street. She asked Abigail, "What is to become of these?" Abigail said, "You must not expect perfection from them, for they are but children. And whilst you can guide them in the right direction, if you impose your will upon them, they will resent it. Rather, they must find out for themselves."
19. A man asked, "How many gods are there?" Abigail said, "If you desire an answer of 'One God', 'Three Gods', 'Many Gods', or 'No Gods', you should go to the priests and the preachers, for I cannot answer you. It is better that you find your own answer. When you are one with yourself, you shall know what God is. But until then, you will create gods to suit yourself, and they shall be as idols to you."
20. Abigail was sitting at the top of a hill, looking at the surrounding countryside. A large crowd gathered round her, but Abigail remained silent. Natasha asked her, "Why do you not speak to the crowd?" Abigail said, "The crowd are not interested in what I have to say." Natasha asked, "Then why have they gathered?" Abigail said, "They believe I am something that I am not." And she stood up, and began to speak to the crowd."I am not a miracle worker.", she said, "I have no power save my own." At this, around half the crowd got up and walked away. Watching them go, Abigail said, "And I am not a prophet. I have no voice save my own." At this, the remainder of the crowd got up and walked away, leaving no one save an old woman. Natasha, curious of the woman's motives, went to her and asked, "Why are you still here? Do you not seek a prophet, or a miracle worker?" The old woman replied, "The glory of God may be seen in the view from this hill, and that is all I require."
21. A man came up to Abigail and said, "I have made a vow before God, but I fear that I will soon break my vow." Abigail said, "It would have been better if you had not made your vow. But do not expect me to say 'You may break your vow, God will forgive you', for I have no authority to say such things."
22. Abigail said, "If it is possible for you to do good to those around you, it will be good if you so do. A warm glow shall arise within you, and you shall feel good because of the good that you have done. But if it is not possible for you to do good, beware that you do not do evil. For if you do evil, you shall feel cold inside, and you shall despise yourself for what you have done."
23. Abigail said, "No-one likes a troublemaker."
24. A woman asked Abigail, "When I have overcome myself, then what shall I do?" Abigail said, "Have you already overcome yourself, that you ask what is beyond? When you have overcome yourself, you shall have knowledge of what you must do next. But you should not be concerned with that now."
25. Abigail said, "If you seek to overcome yourself, be sure that your desires are pure. Do not seek to overcome yourself because of a desire for wealth, popularity, or miraculous powers, for if you do so, you shall not succeed. When you have become one with yourself, you will understand the value of wealth, popularity and miraculous powers. You should seek to overcome yourself for the sake of yourself alone."
26. Abigail said, "Who is righteous? He who has achieved unity within himself, who has quelled division, who has overcome doubt, and who has put his strength to a good end, it is he who is righteous."
27. A woman asked Abigail, "Who am I, and what is myself? Is there a difference, or are they the same?" Abigail said, "There is a difference, but if I tell you, you will not understand. Rather, you must find out for yourself."
28. A man asked Abigail, "I am tempted to do an evil thing. What must I do to stop myself? Should I vow before God?" Abigail said, "If you vow before God, you will break your vow. If you do not vow before God, there shall be no barrier to your evil." The man said, "You offer me a choice between one evil or two. Is there nothing I can do?" Abigail said, "You must put all that you value between yourself and your evil. Only then shall you overcome."
29. Abigail said, "Before you do an evil thing, consider how you will feel after you have done that evil thing. And if you then go on to do that thing, remember how you feel afterwards, so that it may not happen again."
30. Abigail said, "If you are tempted, you will fall. But if you fall, be sure to learn from it. For if you do not learn from your fall, you will fall again and again."
31. Abigail said, "Temptation is like a maggot in an apple. It eats away until there is nothing left but itself, and then it looks for another apple."
32. Abigail said, "What I tell you, you must find out for yourself. If you are not ready for what I say, you will not understand it, and you will reject it. Only when you are ready for my words shall they have meaning for you." Natalie said, "Then why do you speak at all?" Abigail said, "If I kept these things to myself, you would not know that they were there."
33. Abigail was sitting under the shade of a tree. A man came upto her, and spat at her. Abigail said nothing. The man broke down and wept, saying, "I wish that I had not done that. I feel ashamed." Abigail said, "It is too late now. It would have been better if you had felt ashamed before you spat." The man was deeply vexed. Seeing his vexation, Abigail said, "Knowing of your shame is a start. Now, go, and build on it." And the man went.
34. Abigail said, "Know yourself, and use your knowledge."
35. A man asked, "What one thing must I do to become perfect?" Abigail said, "If I told you that you must do one large deed, you would do it. But if I told you that you must do many small deeds, you would not. You must be prepared to do these small things, even when you do not feel like it. Do not let yourself slip."
36. Natasha said, "A woman asked me whether she should believe in God, and if so, which God. I did not know how to answer her." Abigail said, "You may become one with yourself whilst believing in God. And you may become one with yourself whilst not believing in God. When you become one, you will see what God is. But until then, do not use your image of God as a support, for if you do, it will collapse beneath you."
37. Natalie said, "Natasha has told me that you do not believe in God. Is this true?" Abigail said, "It is not my beliefs that you should be concerned with, but your own. If I say 'You should believe in God', then those that do not believe in God will reject me. And if I say 'You should not believe in God', I shall be rejected by those that do believe in God. It is better that I remain silent. When you are one with yourself, you will see what God is."
38. Abigail said, "Unless you have heard these words from me, you cannot be sure that they are my words. If a friend tells you that I have said these things, it is not my words that you will have heard, but those of your friend. And if you read in a book, 'Abigail said this' or 'Abigail said that', it is not my words that you will have read, but those of the writer of that book." Nicola asked, "What are we to do? If we teach your words, people will say, 'These are not the words of Abigail, but of Nicola'. But if we do not teach your words, they shall be lost." Abigail said, "If the words are true, it does not matter whose mouth they have come from. For it is the truth in them that counts."
39. Abigail said, "Be aware of what you are doing. If you are not aware of what you are doing, you will do many things that you regret, and will be deeply aware of your regrets."
40. Abigail said, "Respect one another. There is no-one so low that you should not show them your respect. And if someone does not respect you, do not double the problem by not showing respect to them, for that is how the problem grows."
41. Natalie and Natasha were sitting on a stone wall. A woman came upto them, and said, "The priest has forbidden us to listen to you. He says that you corrupt the people." Natasha said, "Who is this priest? And what authority has he?" The woman replied, "The priest says that he is a descendant of the prophets, and that all who disobey him shall be eternally damned." Natalie said, "Why are you speaking to us? Do you not fear for your soul?" The woman said, "I am in conflict with myself. I value the words of Abigail, but the priest denies them. What am I to do?" Natasha said, "You must cease your conflict, and become one with yourself. When you have done that, you will realize who the priest is. But until then, let no one hold the truth from you."
42. A woman asked, "What is evil?" Abigail said, "I cannot tell you what is evil, for you must find out for yourself. If I said to you, 'This is not evil', and you believed it was, or if I said, 'This is evil', and you believed it was not, you would not hear me. Rather, you must find out for yourself what is evil, and what is not, for you will hear yourself."
43. A woman approached Abigail, and said, "When will you come home, Abigail?" Abigail said, "I shall not return home before I have said all that I have to say. And if my death arrives before then, your daughter shall not return home alive." The woman left, and all were astounded. Abigail said, "Why are you surprised? Like you, I am born of human flesh. Like you, I shall grow old and die. What I have done, you can also do. But are there any of you that shall follow in my footsteps?"
44. Abigail said, "If you feel good about yourself, you shall have strength in yourself. But if you despair of yourself, you shall be weak, and you shall despair of your weakness."
45. Abigail said, "If you are weak, know that if you succumb to your weakness, you shall be yet weaker. But if you are strong, you will not succumb, and you will feel good because of not succumbing."
46. Abigail said, "You must have strength within yourself. If you are divided against yourself, you shall be weak, and you shall do nothing that is good. You must unite with yourself, and be one. Then you shall be strong, and nothing shall defeat you."
47. Abigail said, "Unless you open the door, nothing shall enter."
48. Abigail said, "Only those who have known the darkness of the night truly appreciate the light of the day."
49. A man said, "What am I to do? I am in despair, for I am weak, and divided against myself." Abigail said, "If you say to yourself, 'I can do nothing, for I am weak', you shall do nothing. It would be better if you said to yourself, 'Though I am weak, I shall yet be strong. Though I am divided, I shall yet be one'. For you are capable of doing many good things, but unless you realize this, you shall do nothing."
50. Abigail said, "Realize what you can do, for you are capable of many things, should you but realise that they are within you."
51. They were walking near a mountain when they came upon a corpse, lying naked in the snow. Angela said, "Why is this? Who could do such a thing?" Abigail said, "Beware that you do not see others as you see yourself. Although you could not do this, there are those who do such things every day, and to them, it is easy." Angela wept. Nicola asked her, "Why do you weep for the corpse? It cannot appreciate your tears." Angela said, "It is not the corpse that I weep for, but myself. For if I had killed all those who I desired were dead, these mountains would be littered with corpses."
52. They reached the top of the mountain that they were climbing, and they admired the view. Nicola said, "The view from here is magnificent, for I can see for miles." Abigail said, "When you were in the valley, you could not see the view. Only by climbing the mountain could the view be seen." Nicola said, "You have said more than the words you have spoken." Abigail said, "Everyone who is listening will hear my words, but some will understand more than others."
53. Rebecca asked, "What must I do to speak the truth?" Abigail said, "It is better that you say nothing, realizing that the truth is not with you, than to say, 'This is the truth', when it is not." Rebecca asked, "Do you speak the truth?" Abigail said, "To some, I speak the truth. To others, my words are utterly false."
54. Abigail said, "When what you know to be evil appears to be good, then is the time to overcome yourself, and to be strong." 55. A man came up to them, and prostrated himself before them. Abigail was silent for a moment, and then prostrated herself before the man. Her followers were surprised. Natalie asked, "Why are you prostrate before each other?" The man said, "I am not worthy to stand before you." Abigail said, "I am not worthy to have this man prostrate before me." And they both arose.
56. Abigail said, "There are times when you will feel your strength fading from you. It is at these times when you must be strong."
57. Abigail said, "In all things, you should ask, 'What is the purpose of this?'. And if there is no purpose, or the purpose is bad, beware."
58. Abigail said, "You should be aware of what you are doing. As you are walking down a road, be aware that you are walking down a road. And as you are sitting down to eat, be aware that you are sitting down to eat. But there is more to it than this. As you are thinking of murdering your neighbor, be aware that you are thinking of murdering your neighbor. And as you are considering evil things, be aware that you are considering evil things. If you are not aware of yourself, you shall be led into places that you would not go."
59. Abigail said, "It is easy to say when you arise, 'I shall be perfect this day', and in the evening to say, 'Tomorrow, I shall be perfect'. It is much harder to strive for perfection throughout the day."
60. Abigail said, "When you feel that you are being led to a place where you do not wish to go, stop, and in a loud voice say, 'I do not wish to go there'. And if you do not wish to go there, do not go there."
61. Abigail said, "In the end, if you do not overcome yourself, you will perish. And do not say to yourself, 'There is always tomorrow', for tomorrow shall have its tomorrow too."
62. They were sitting by a well, watching the people draw water. Abigail asked, "Why do you draw water from the well?" A woman replied, "Do you not know about water, that you ask us?" Abigail said nothing, and the woman left. Angela asked, "Why did you not challenge her?" Abigail said, "She was not ready for what I have to say. If I had spoken, she would only have resented it." Rebecca asked, "Why do they draw water from the well?" Abigail said, "The water is of great importance to them. For that, they are prepared to go to great lengths to obtain it."
63. They were walking along a road when they were approached by a hooded monk. The monk asked Abigail, "Who are you?" Abigail said, "My name is Abigail." The monk asked, "Abigail, what have you become?" Abigail said, "If I were to speak of myself, it would be meaningless. It is better that I show myself through my words." The monk said, "May your words resound forever.", and continued along the road. When he was out of sight, Nicola asked, "Who was he?" Abigail said, "If I told you who he was, you would not believe me." Nicola persisted, "But who was that monk?" Abigail said, "My father."
64. Abigail said, "I speak of what was known, but is now forgotten, of what was found, but is now lost. If you can hear my words, listen, and consider what is being said, for there are many who have never heard my voice, many who have never considered what I have to say."
65. Abigail said, "Do not say to yourself, 'I am perfect', when you are not. When you achieve perfection, you will realize that you have never achieved it before." Rebecca asked, "Can everyone become perfect?" Abigail said, "Perfection is within everyone, but few will achieve it. There are some who have never even conceived of perfection, some who do not know it is there."
66. Abigail said, "If you realize that things do not have to be this way, you shall accomplish all that you desire. If you say to yourself, 'That is how things are, I cannot change them. ', you shall achieve nothing."
67. They were walking along a path, and they were joyful, for they had become one with each other. But they came upon a shepherd, who cursed them, saying, "May your lives be short, and may you be eternally damned." And anger was sown among them, because of the shepherd, and their unity was broken. But Abigail said, "Are you so weak, that you allow a shepherd to break your unity? You must beware that such things do not overcome you."
68. A man asked, "If I am to follow you, must I renounce the things of this world?" Abigail said, "In the beginning, if you can follow but one of my teachings, that is a start. If you build upon it, the rest will follow. For if you are not ready to renounce the things of this world, it is better that you do not even try. If you do, you will only disappoint yourself. When the time is right, all shall be achieved."
69. Abigail said, "If they should say to you, 'Abigail said this', or 'Abigail said that', listen to them, and judge for yourself. But if they should say to you, 'Abigail meant this', or 'Abigail meant that', then beware, for these are things that you must find out for yourself. And if they should say to you, 'You must believe this', or 'You must not believe that', do not listen to them, for they have no power over you unless you give them it."
70. A man asked, "What must I do to gain eternal life?" Abigail said, "Beware that you do not spend your life saying, 'When I die, I shall have eternal life. I need not worry about this life, for it is transitory'. If you cannot appreciate this life, looking to its end, how will you appreciate an eternal life that has no end? It is better that you spend your time on perfecting the life which you have, rather than waiting for an eternal life that may not be."
71. Abigail said, "Beware of falsehood. If you say one thing to one person, and another thing to another person, you are no more than an illusion. It is better that you speak the truth."
72. Abigail said, "If you are worried, you should ask yourself why you are worried. If you despair, you should ask yourself why you despair. And if you are happy, you should ask yourself why you are happy. In all things, you should ask yourself, 'Why are things this way?'. And if you do not like the way things are, remember that the possibility for change is within you."
73. Abigail said, "Unity may be achieved with diversity."
74. Abigail said, "Beware that you do not spend your time going round and round in circles. If you do, you will achieve nothing. But if you realize that you are repeating yourself, remember that you can break out of your loop, and go beyond the circles."
75. Abigail said, "Beware that you do not create idols in your heart. Before you can become one with yourself, every idol that has been created and adored must be renounced and destroyed." A man said, "O most glorious teacher, that is a most wondrous and a most sublime teaching." Abigail said, "If you understood the teaching, you would realize what you have said. I am not worthy of your praise, nor do I desire your worship. What I have done, you can also do. But is there anyone who shall follow in my footsteps?"
76. Abigail said, "If you seek the end before the beginning, you shall be disappointed. Only if you begin at the beginning shall the end be yours. And do not say to yourself, 'I have the beginning; therefore the end is mine', for you shall not achieve your goal unless you work gradually towards it."
77. Abigail said, "I have said many things, and many things have you heard. But you will only remember what is important to you, and that shall not be remembered as it was spoken, but as it was heard."