Becoming Aware of Genuine Being-Duty

“They labored and suffered only in order that we might now have all this and use it for our welfare.

“And all this they did, either consciously or unconsciously, just for us, that is to say, for beings quite unknown and entirely indifferent to them.

“And now not only do we not thank them, but we do not even know a thing about them, but take it all as in the natural order, and neither ponder nor trouble ourselves about this question at all.

“I, for instance, have already existed so many years in the Universe, yet the thought has never even entered my head that perhaps there was a time when everything I see and have did not exist, and that everything was not born with me like my nose.

“And so, my dear and kind Grandfather, now that owing to your conversation with the captain, I have gradually, with all my presence, become aware of all this, there has arisen in me, side by side with this, the need to make clear to my Reason why I personally have all the comforts which I now use, and what obligations I am under for them.

“It is just because of this that at the present moment there proceeds in me a ‘process-of-remorse.’ ”

Having said this, Hassein drooped his head and became silent; and Beelzebub, looking at him affectionately, began to speak as follows:

“I advise you, my dear Hassein, not to put such questions to yourself yet. Do not be impatient. Only when that period of your existence arrives which is proper for your becoming aware of such essence-questions, and you actively mentate about them, will you understand what you must do in return.

“Your present age does not yet oblige you to pay for your existence.