Eternal Mother- Who goes there?
Enkidu- My name is Enkidu, I was formed out of clay and water by the gods themselves, born wild and free until I was civilized by Gilgamesh, the greatest man who ever lived. I was his companion until I fell ill, and then darkness took me. Where am I?
Eternal Mother- You stand in the house where no living creature may enter or leave. Our physical form resides in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, but we cannot communicate with the living world. Beside me are Compassion and Succor. You will not remain here for long, but for now, let us talk. What troubles you Enkidu?
Enkidu- I had a dream once that the afterlife would be a place of darkness, where the dead eat dust and clay and are clothed in feathers, and where all men and women would be equal in their dull fate. Is this true?
Eternal Mother – I don’t know — I have never journeyed to the underworld, but perhaps my two companions will help to share their wisdom on what it means to be dead. Compassion, what do you think?
Compassion – Look at the man at my feet. See the pain in his eyes. Only the kindness of others can heal him and relieve his suffering. Joy in life comes with treating others with compassion and mercy, knowing that you are rescuing them from pain in all its forms. Enkidu, what have you done to show compassion to your fellow human beings?
Enkidu – I was always kind to my dearest and only friend Gilgamesh, and him to me. Our bond was as strong as any brother’s, and the pain of our separation still afflicts me today. You say that compassion heals suffering, but for me it has been the cause of all my pain!
Succor – Death heals all, Enkidu. Look at the figure I hold in my embrace. All of his suffering, physical or not, is alleviated by my touch. Surely you have learned by now that to live is to suffer. In the wild you were innocent and free, but once you indulged in earthly pleasures you became aware of your existence and the pain that comes with it. Tell me, have you given others the gift of death?
Enkidu – Yes… I convinced Gilgamesh to slay the beast of the cedar forest, Humbaba. He was terrifying and we wanted the glory of heroes, so I told him to land the killing blow. It didn’t seem like a gift though. In his eyes I also saw fear, and the countless cedars that he guarded were destroyed in order to build and expand Uruk. Still, you still haven’t answered my question: what awaits me in the underworld?
Eternal Mother – It is your choice Enkidu. Succor can take you in her hands and make you forget everything, including all of your suffering. This I believe is what you dreamed of: a colorless world of dust and clay, where all beings wander blissfully unaware of their existence.
On the other hand, you can go to Compassion, and she will judge you based on your actions made throughout your life. If she deems you worthy, you will spend eternity in the heavens, knowing that the choices you made were both kind and righteous. However, if she decides you have led a life of sin, she will cast you into eternal damnation, where you will be subject to the evil created through your life. What will you choose?
Enkidu – Thank you, Eternal Mother, Compassion, and Succor, for all of your wisdom. I know now what choice I will make…