Sunday, September 25, 2005

# 86: Miguel & Dialo

This story concerns an ongoing conversation between Miguel, a young boy, and Dialo, someone who has been around for many years...

Dialo: “You are sure a fine young boy. Let's be pals. You and I will go far; we’ll be great together.

Miguel: How come you are so beautiful and smart?

Dialo: When I was born, I knew I was great and it felt good. I just want to share all of these great things with you.

Miguel: My father told me I am very special just to be his son.

Dialo: You are very special. If you want, I can help you become even more special.

That evening Miguel was talking with his father...

Miguel: Dad, I met someone today. He is nice and very pleasant.

Father: Where did you meet him, and what is his name?

Miguel: I met him at the gate where all of the boys play. His name is Dialo.

Father: Though he looks and acts very pleasant, he will try to trick you to do what feels good, and even may look good. You will not do what he suggests.

Miguel: Sure, Dad. You are so great. I will listen to you always.

The next day...

Dialo: Hi, Miguel. Let’s go play with the other boys. They are having a lot of fun.

Miguel: I talked with my dad about you last night and he said you like to trick boys and girls into doing things that are not good.

Dialo: Oh, your dad is just being overprotective. Sometimes he doesn’t tell you all the truth. He just doesn't want you to have any fun and be like the rest of the boys. He is merely a killjoy. I will never lie to you, and you will never get into trouble with me. Do you think a person as beautiful and loving as myself would ever do anything wrong? Anyway, your father is just a lot of words. You can't even tell me what your father looks like. Be careful; he is up to no good.

Miguel: OK, I will just come along, but I am just going to watch because I don't know if I should believe you, even though you seem very nice.

Sometime later...

Dialo: What are you doing?

Miguel: I am learning to read. I have been learning for a whole year and my dad says I am a fast learner.

Dialo: That’s no fun. It’s hard to learn how to read. None of the other kids can read. Put that book away and let’s have some real fun.

Miguel: No. I like to learn, and if I go with you I might get into trouble. That will make my dad very sad. I like to do what pleases him.

Dialo: Oh, brother...

A few years later...

Father: Son, I am very happy that you listened to me. You are the very best boy in the whole world. In fact, you are never going to get into trouble. I know that for certain. You always believe what I say.

Miguel: Dad, what about when Dialo comes around again? He is very nice also, and it is easy to be like him.

Father: Though he looks nice, feels nice and acts nice, he is not nice at all. You will never listen to him.


Dialo: Now, what are you doing all by yourself? Looks like you are trying to read that old Bible. Don't believe everything that you read in there. It’s just a lot of plain stories of history, and a lot of them are fairy tales.

Miguel: My father said I will learn everything I need to know by reading this book, so I will continue to read it. I will not listen to you even though the things you say sound great.

Years later, when Miguel was turning into a fine young man...

Father: Miguel, you are my only son. I love you very much. You have never disappointed or disobeyed me. Now listen to what I am going to tell you: You will never disappoint me because you and I are one. What I like, you like. I am the good father. I raised you for one reason: so that somehow I can ransom you for many of my other lost children. I don’t think you understand now, but as you grow into my likeness, I will tell you more. You believe me and will act accordingly.


Dialo: I overheard what your father was telling you. I think he has flipped his cork. He has been reading too many comic books. He knows and you know that you are just another Joe. Your father is lying through his teeth to you. I don't think he is even your father. If you listen to him, all you’re going to do is miss out on life. In fact, all that he promises you is a life of self-sacrifice, without any fun. What type of life is that? Now, if you do things my way, you will have the best of both worlds. I can teach you many things, how you can be the best that the world has ever seen.

Under his breath, Dialo was saying, “I am jealous of you because I am so beautiful in the bodies of my followers and there is nothing appealing about you. I am rightly worthy to be in your place and to keep my kingdom forever. I will, I will, I know I will. I don't care what your father says . He doesn't know everything. I have many more tricks that your dad knows nothing about. With these I will surely triumph. Just wait, I am more beautiful and powerful than your father...”

Meanwhile, Miguel continued to study the Bible of his day and saw how it coincided with what his father said to him. Soon he knew for sure that his father was telling him the truth—though it often was difficult to believe—and that Dialo was lying—though it would have been easier to believe him. Therefore, Miguel continued to believe his dad and completely discounted Dialo’s persuasively pleasant words.

As Miguel entered full manhood, his belief in his father paid off. He got to know his father intimately and also learned the Holy Scriptures as no man ever knew them. Of course, Dialo continued to badger Miguel, accusing him of being a fake, a heretic, and a lunatic. By this time, Miguel knew all the tricks that Dialo had up his sleeve, and in order not to fall for them, he listened to every word that his father said. As Miguel grew in power and holiness, Dialo knew that his chances to get Miguel to do things his way were growing slim. But his followers weren’t quite as sharp as he was. In time, he would surely win everyone over to his side without their knowledge. Or so he thought.

A short time later …

The story continues at one of the weakest moments of Miguel’s life...

Dialo: I have never seen anyone as stubborn as you. Quit this fake life and be a real man. It is still not too late for me to make you a great ruler of my nation.

Miguel: Dialo, you are the lowest of all creatures; you have never said a truthful word in your life, and only a fool would believe you.

Dialo: You will prove to me that you are the son of your father, if you do just one miracle for me: Give me authority to do great miracles in your name.

Miguel: I will not give you that authority, though at this time I cannot stop you from doing so on your own.

Dialo: Thanks, I needed to know that. With this power I will make you regret your decision not to follow me. You are just hurting yourself. You wait and see.

As Miguel continued his life of making his father known, Dialo for the most part left him alone, though he continued to badger Miguel through his (Dialo’s) religious leaders, hoping to trip Miguel up through the words he spoke.

The story continues when Miguel is in his early thirties. The time had come for Miguel to lay all of his cards on the table.

Dialo: Now, this is ridiculous. You say your father loves you. What kind of love does he have for you? He is going to allow men to kill you. He is insane, and you are too if you go through with his plan. When you leave this world, your followers will fall apart and you will lose all that you have gained these past few years. Do it my way and you won't lose a thing. If you do, I will use a scapegoat like Abraham did and spare your life because I love you much more than your father does.

Miguel: Father, I have always believed you. I still believe you. Is this the only way to destroy the power of death, or can you somehow arrange for a scapegoat?

Father: My son, I love you more than words can express. If there was any other way, I would do it.

Miguel: Father, I will gladly do whatever you say. Amen.

As Miguel was being put to death, tears of love fell from his father’s eyes. Those precious tears had the power to bring Miguel back to life. At that moment, Dialo knew with certainty that all his efforts to get Miguel to worship him had failed. By this time, one might think that Dialo would give up the ship and admit defeat...

Dialo: OK, Miguel, you win this time, but you can bet that I will arrange it so that you take no one with you.

To this day, Dialo couldn’t figure out how Miguel’s father was actually going to make Miguel’s followers perfect like himself.

Miguel: Yes, I know: “Misery loves company." But be sure of this: Love will always conquer.

Dialo: Now that you are in my realm and your followers cannot see you, I am going to put almighty fear in their hearts so that they won't show one toe outside the door.

Miguel: Well, you know, one advantage I have over you now is that I can see the future. What little you know about it is totally distorted.

Dialo: I don't believe that. You can't see the future any better than I. You are a born-again liar and powerless without a body.

Miguel: You forget one thing: I know that my father gave you birth with my help, and in His good time we will give you what you are due, and then some.

Dialo: Now I know that you are full of bull, and so is your so-called father. I am the greatest, and I will prove it. Just wait and see.

A few days later...

Miguel: Surprise! I am going to give my precious followers my life and spirit, and instead of one of me there will be many of me. Just watch and see what happens now!

Dialo: Well, if that is the case, I am going to have my disciples (Jews) who bear your name kill many of your so-called followers.

Miguel: I may not be able to stop you from your evil works, but remember: My father gave me power over you, even if only in the few who are faithful.

Dialo: You forget one thing: People are weak in themselves and have no power to overcome my great persuasive beauty.

Miguel: For every evil thing you have your stupid people do, my father automatically turns it into good. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

After much persecution, Miguel's people were dispersed throughout the world...

Dialo: You see? Wherever they go, I am right there. They can't lose me. I will bring them suffering, persecution, hunger, pain, torture—everything that is unpleasant. Soon they’ll leave you flat.

Miguel: That won't work. The worse the conditions, the stronger my people will become.

Dialo: Well, if that doesn’t work, I bet I know something that will. I will transform your religion into a popular one. I will deceive your followers. I will give them perfunctory rituals, formalities, liturgy and morals. I will use this as an outward show of devotion but leave them empty of any belief and love for you and those around them. I will make this universal church for myself, but in your name, with such power that anyone who disobeys my rules will surely die.

Miguel: Like I said, I may not be able to stop you from forming your false religion in my name. But be assured that there will still be a few who won’t bow to you in self-love. These will endure to the end with faith in my father.

For a period of several hundred years, there was a dry spell with respect to the number of true believers Miguel had. But one day, someone invented a machine that could make many inexpensive copies of the holy texts in a short time (previously only the big religious cheeses could own copies). It would be translated into every language, and for the first time, those who were interested could read for themselves what Miguel’s father had said and what he expected of his children. They protested the universal church and many started to worship in keeping with the Word.

Dialo: Now, this calls for a different sort of strategy on my part. Now, some of my servants can read the truth for themselves, but I will not let them go. I have another plan. I will let them worship you, but I am going to deceive them by keeping some of the main elements of your plan for salvation away from them. That way, their devotion will be invalid with your finicky old man. I will make them believe they are saved while they do my work without their knowledge. I know what church leaders want more than anything: lots of worshipers. With that, they feel successful. I will teach my leaders to preach a message that indulges my followers, all the while assuring them your father’s OK. They will do this so they can have the fools back the following week to pay their share of keeping my servants in silks and satins.

Meanwhile, the world population was growing. The eastern religion also grew.

Dialo: I must start paying more attention to my eastern religions. I will encourage them to keep striving in their own strength for self-improvement and perfection. I know this type of religious life style is totally in vain regarding any attempt toward selflessness, but they put on a good show and probably live a better moral life than those of my people who have taken on the name of Miguel. The better their life, the happier I am.

As the modern age came into existence, the world population grew into the billions.

Dialo: I must get on the ball. There are so many people now that I really have my work cut out for me! I think my best strategy is to get educated and intelligent people to believe that Miguel’s father is just a myth. I must make them strong in their belief using these new scientific facts and figures; I will show them how impossible it is for his father to even exist, much less do all that he has claimed. I probably ought to introduce these teachings in every school. Yes! I’ll make every student truly believe that they came about by chance, without Miguel’s father; and that there is no special reason for their existence!

But toward the middle of the Modern Age, a big regrouping of Miguel's disciples came into being.

Dialo: If I let this go on I, will be in big trouble. Time to regroup. I will give people wealth, prosperity, comfort, and convenience. That will surely throw a damp cloth on their religious fire. Hey, it’s working. I love it . They are praising Miguel while living in my world of self-glory. Cool.

Miguel: It’s no surprise to me that many people worship you in my name. For when you give them the good things of this world, like you gave my nation Israel in the past, they will not seek me and the good thing I offer: my father’s life, with the joy and peace that comes from belonging to me. But even in these prosperous times, I still have a few people who have my life. Though they are few in number, I receive more glory from them than all the millions who take my name but make no room for me in their lives.

Dialo: I don't want even a few going to your side. I want them all to be with me! I am going to exert more energy on these few who you say are yours. I will not admit defeat! I will wait for a more opportune time and I know for certain I will get them.

A few years later...

Dialo: I’ve got it! I will make the masses who think they are with Miguel believe they have his life. They will show it by outward religious works. I will assure them of their salvation and their new spiritual birth. I will make sure they are living a good, clean life, but at the same time I will still allow them to live for self-interest.

Miguel: Dialo, you know the truth though you won't admit it. You know that no matter how good and religious a person is, if they don't allow me to destroy their ego (the most precious thing they possess) and make room for me, they still belong to you. Nevertheless, I will inspire a few of my people to teach this truth with their lives. I will give them the strength, courage, and wisdom so that you cannot deceive them. This is what I will teach them: Belief in my father and myself is of no value whatsoever unless my life is starting to form within them. Without this life, they will not be able to love me or their neighbor; they will not be able to obey me, and they cannot trust or serve me in any manner. I will make this great truth known from one end of the earth to the other through them, my holy saints. I will give many the power to die to self and then you, Dialo, will be put to shame and your end will come.

Dialo: That is a lot of bunny bull. In this age of material prosperity, no one is going to give up their pleasant, comfortable life for one of poverty, hatred, suffering and despair. I will make sure of that. I never lie. I love everyone with unconditional love. I want the very best for everyone. I will show them this truth through their greed; being better than the Joneses is what it’s all about. My kingdom is the only one of lasting value! Don't believe Miguel! He lies! He is the father of lies! If you must, swear to Miguel, but make sure you know who your real master is. ME! I love you! Let’s live it up.

Miguel: My dear children, do not believe your old heart, which is deceitfully wicked, because through it, Dialo speaks. Receive your new heart and mind which I give you. It will be just like my father’s heart and you will never again be deceived. The end.

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