One Step Higher: Chapter 1
AN UNKNOWN DESTINATION
Continues The Search for Wisdom
Immediately we put our hands in her outstretched ones, looking up into her eyes. We had been walking in the midst of our friends but in an instant had withdrawn from them in consciousness. Whether angels came with invitations or whether they went off to other planes, I do not know. One moment we were exchanging impressions with them; the next we were gazing into the angel’s eyes and all else was forgotten.
She seemed to move backward, opening her arms to embrace us, then suddenly wheeled, holding us closely to her sides, speeding off from the Plane Between at the most breathtaking pace we had ever known.
Through the Void we went, quickly becoming immersed in the strange, blue light. I could not see Janet, nor she me, but I kept glancing up at our exalted angel-guide, wondering where she was taking us yet feeling content wherever it should be.
After a long time in which we must have covered an immensity of space, she suddenly met my eyes. ‘Well, where do you want to go?’
I was all confused. The wonders of the Circle of Prayer, the extreme closeness of the angel and our swift journey through the Void may excuse it, perhaps. I just looked up and whispered: ‘To the eternal Throne.’
The moment I had uttered the words I knew their foolishness and temerity. I tried to snatch them back but it was too late. Janet’s gasp of astonishment did not make me feel any easier and I glanced up almost fearfully at our angel-guide.
She was smiling! Suddenly all that impression of majestic power had melted away. She seemed like a tender mother… and certainly I felt very small indeed.
‘My son,’ she murmured, drawing me even closer to her side, ‘I have not reached the eternal Throne. Only the Highest…’ and her voice died away, as did the angel’s when he spoke his name.
‘Oh, tell us about it!’ Janet implored. ‘Just a little. We have seen the spiral steps rising up from the Hall of Audience. We have even seen the King descend from the region of the Father’s Light. Tell us just a little more.’
‘Well,’ said the angel, ‘I will do my best.’
She spoke in such a homely way that I wondered how it was that we could ever have been in awe of her. So, as we sped on through the blue light of the Void she began:
‘The eternal Throne is not composed of substance, as you knew it on earth. It is made up of angels or chariots.’
‘Angels or chariots!’ Janet cried, and I looked up, startled.
‘Angels or chariots,’ our guide repeated composedly. ‘Have you never read the verse in the Holy Book? “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels.” Many angels flying in a group appear to be chariots, you see, and are likened to them. Why,’ and she smiled at us quizzically, ‘did you imagine that the chariots were earth-carriages with wheels?’
‘No,’ I said in confusion, and Janet added:
‘I suppose we did not think of it at all.’
‘Ah, children,’ said our angel, ‘what deep knowledge and wisdom is hidden in the Holy Book and yet how few see and understand!’
We were silent for a while, and then she continued:
‘The eternal Throne is composed of a company of angels on whom He delights to rest in wisdom, peace and love… No, of course you do not understand,’ she said in reply to our puzzled glances, ‘but absorb what wisdom you can. All truth will come to you eventually, you know.’
‘What of the spiral steps?’ I asked.
‘The steps that go up to the foot of the Throne are really degrees,’ she explained. ‘Each step is a little company of angels who have reached a certain degree, and of course, the most exalted ones are very near to the Father.’
‘Can one ever climb?’ Janet asked.
‘As a man grows, and longs more and more ardently to draw near to the Father,’ our guide replied, ‘his desire attracts the lowest degree among the company of the Throne angels. These take him under their wing, as it were. They teach him, and gradually initiate him into their degree so that thereafter he may visit them whenever he wills. Later on, the next degree of angels take him up, and so it continues while he advances closer and closer to the Light. Those who have climbed to the Heights tell us at the base of the Throne there appear to be three great pillars and that these pillars sometimes glow with a mighty radiance, so great that even the highest angels veil their faces. When I asked them the meaning of these pillars and their light, they said they did not know except that upon the pillars there appears to be emblazoned, first the Name of our King, then the Name of the Creative Spirit, and on the third the Name of the Great Mother… But these are deep mysteries and they are unable to tell any more, even if they could.’
After this there was a very long silence. The swift motion was most restful and I had become drowsy with my musings when the angel suddenly asked (as though she had not spoken the question before):
‘Well, where do you want to go?’
This time Janet answered, voicing the thought for both. ‘Wherever you desire to take us, dear angel.’