Before the Law (Parable from Kafka’s novel “The Process”)

    The gatekeeper is in front of the law. A man from the village approaches this gatekeeper and asks permission to enter the law. But the gatekeeper says that now he cannot allow him to enter. The man thinks and then asks if he can then come in later. “Well, it’s possible,” the gatekeeper replies, “but not now.” Since the gate leading to the law is opened, as always, and the gatekeeper steps aside, the person bends down to look inside through the gate. When the gatekeeper notices this, he laughs and says: “If it beckons you so, then try to go in there, contrary to my prohibition. But remember: I am omnipotent. And I am only the lowest gatekeeper. From hall to hall there are further the gatekeepers one more powerful than the other. Even in the face of the third, even I am lost. ”
    A man from the village did not expect such difficulties; the law should be accessible to everyone and always, he thinks, but when he now carefully examines the doorkeeper in a fur coat, his large sharp nose, his long, thin, black Tatar beard, he decides to wait
    until he receives permission to enter. The gatekeeper puts him a stool and tells him to sit away from the doors.
    There he sits days and years. He makes many attempts to get permission to enter and tires the gatekeeper with his requests. The gatekeeper often arranges small questions for him, asks him about his homeland and much more, but these are all indifferent questions from those asked by the authoritative people, and in the end he tells him again and again that he still cannot let him in. The man who took a lot of things with him on the road uses everything, even the most valuable, to bribe the gatekeeper. He, although he accepts everything, but says at the same time: "I take it only because you did not think that you didn’t have time somewhere."
    Over these long years, a person has been watching the gatekeeper almost continuously, he forgets the other gatekeepers and only this first one seems to him the only obstacle to the law. He curses such an unfortunate combination of circumstances, in the first years unceremoniously and loudly, later, when he gets old, he just grumbles under his breath. He falls into childishness and, since during the many years of studying the gatekeeper he also considered fleas in his fur collar, he asks the fleas to help him and convince the gatekeeper.
    In the end, his gaze weakens, and he does not know whether it really became dark around him, or whether his eyes only deceive him. However, even now he cannot but recognize in this darkness the radiance that is inextinguishably pouring from the door of the law. He just did not have long to live. Before his death, the experience of his whole life is gathered in his head into one single question that he has not yet asked the gatekeeper. He waves his hand weakly, because he can no longer straighten his numb body. The gatekeeper is forced to bow deeply to him, because the difference in growth has changed by no means in favor of man. “What else do you want to know now?” The gatekeeper asks, "you really are insatiable." “Everyone is so eager for the law,” the person says, “why then, for many years, no one but me demanded to enter it?”
    The gatekeeper sees that the person is already at death and, in order to achieve his dying hearing, shouts loudly to him: “Here no one else could get permission to enter, because this entrance was intended only for you alone! Now I will leave and close it. ”

    PS For well-known reasons, I could not post it in the corresponding section.
    Moved to the appropriate section

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