One Step Higher: Part II: Chapter 13


‘Where do we go now?’ I asked happily. We had had so many adventures that each destination was a new delight and I pressed against our angel gratefully. How patient he had been with us, teaching us deep mysteries, step by step, so that we could understand!

‘It is the joy of my eternity,’ he answered my thought, and Janet said: ‘Tell us-  what is our next joy?’

‘We are on our way to the Place of Vision.’

‘We have already experienced that,’ I murmured, with a reverent thought for the majestic Figure in the Paradise of Saints.

‘I do not mean that kind of vision. I refer to the act of seeing. We are going to look at plants and trees-.’

‘Is that all?’ Janet interrupted. ‘But we have seen them everywhere.’

‘Seen them?’ The angel laughed deeply at this, ‘You have received but a hazy impression of them. What do you know about a plant or a tree?’

Suddenly I remembered how my angel-guide had taught me long ago, concerning the restricted vision of men. She had asked me to describe a tree and had then asked how it remained upright when I did not include its root!

‘I know what you mean! An angel told me that in Heaven’s realm one sees the whole of a tree or plant at once.’
‘It seems very difficult to understand,’ Janet commented.

‘It will not be so when once you have visited the Place of Vision,’ our angel promised. ‘After that you will be able to roam over the power planes with truly seeing eyes.’

‘I thought it was only in the Place of Vision we would see.’

‘No. Have you not realised, my children, that when you visit these spheres you come away with something of the power you found there? That is why you were not allowed to enter some of them. You were not ready to receive the power.’

We were very interested and began to think back over our former visits. No wonder our teacher had been so careful to explain the nature of each, to us. Presently he said:

‘Remember that there is no “standing still” in Heaven’s realm. All the time men are learning and growing. Even your stay in the Plane Between was part of your training. As each man acquires information he makes it a part of himself so that it becomes a power.’

‘Then we shall be able to enjoy this wonderful clarity of vision,’ I marvelled. ‘What a lot we shall learn.’

‘It is another step upward, children! You will never lose your joy in this power for by it many mysteries of nature will be revealed. You will be able to investigate the smallest and the greatest of nature’s glory, both appreciating the beauty around you and knowing its cause.’

As he spoke we increased our speed, cleaving upward through a vast darkness to a shining far beyond. Very soon we alighted on the sphere and began to look around with interest.

My first thought was that there was nothing new to see! It looked like an ordinary landscape on earth. A field lay before us with waving grass upon it and an occasional bush. The ground rose gently at one side and sloped steeply at the other. Beyond we could see a valley and – yes, the roofs of houses and a church spire!

‘What an extraordinary thing,’ Janet said. Our teacher laughed.

‘It is much more extraordinary than you think! Your surprise comes because you thought it ordinary.’

‘Yes, I suppose so.’

‘Let us walk down into the valley and we will talk as we go.’

We began to stroll over the grass and as we descended a homely sight met our eyes. There were actually streets, with here and there a house set in a garden standing back from the path. People were moving quietly about. Once I saw a woman come to the door and shake a cloth as though she had been dusting! In one of the gardens a man was prowling among some rose trees, while children played round his feet. Our angel watched our surprise and smiled.

‘Well, ask your questions,’ he invited.

‘Who are these people?’ Janet demanded.

‘The ones you see in the houses are those who could not enjoy Heaven at present in any other way. They have dreamed of little homes and gardens all their earth-lives. Some have been poor and lived in crowded districts. Others have been taken up with business affairs.’

‘Are they ready for the Place of Vision?’ I asked in surprise. ‘Oh no.’

‘Then why-.’

‘Children,’ our teacher interrupted, ‘do you remember what I told you about the “railway journeys” and the “stations”. Here is another “station”. People are often in very high spheres, far beyond their understanding, but because they are not Purple-gowned, none of the powers are possible for them. Thus they walk among the deep mysteries with unseeing eyes. They may be likened to an earth-baby being taken to a museum. How much would he see? Yet all is open to his vision.’

‘Then these people cannot see the secrets of nature revealed?’

‘They see little more than they saw on earth. Yet if you asked them about a Heaven outside this sphere they would look at you in astonishment, saying: “This is Heaven. There is no other.”

‘What of the children?’ Janet asked.

‘It is different in their case. They are not able to receive deep wisdom yet. Therefore, they have the freedom of most of the planes. On earth, people often speak of deep matters before young children because they know they are unable to understand. It is so, here.’

‘Do these women dust and sweep?’ Janet asked, remembering the woman with the cloth.

‘Yes-and cook,’ smiled our angel. ‘Here they live a life very closely resembling earth. It is the fulfilment of their desires, you see. Gradually, they come to wish for more knowledge. Then people are there to teach them. They have classes, both for the adults and the children.’

‘How do they come here?’ I suddenly remembered the angel who had guided me on my Term of Reparation. ‘My guide said I could not climb to higher planes but that she would have to visit them for me.’

‘Ah, that was because your eyes were beginning to open! Once you began your Term of Reparation you were no longer a “child” – you had begun to “grow up” and could not be likened to an earth-baby visiting a museum!’

‘Then none of these people are on their Term of Reparation yet?’ Janet asked.

‘They do not think there is one. They are perfectly content in what they think is all of Heaven.’

‘Do they never wish to see the King?’ I asked wonderingly. ‘Oh yes, in a way they do; but they only see Him as they expected to-as a great Teacher. Sometimes they gather in the church and then He comes to them. They see Him only as a wise and tender Man. Usually, angels conduct the services and lead the singing, and they are quite content with this.’

‘How strange,’ Janey mused.

‘They are but babes-they will learn.’ Our angel looked so confident that we were quite reassured.

We had walked down a long street during this conversation, and now we came upon a small park where women were sitting talking while their children played. On three sides of this park the gardens of houses could be seen, each having a small door in its back fence so that the occupants could step at once on to the lawns.’

‘See how it is planned,’ our guide pointed out. ‘Some architect has been here who was never able to realise his dreams on earth.’

‘Was he one of the babes, too?’ I asked.

‘No, he came to receive the power of vision. There are both classes of people here. Those who are the babes and those who are ready for the Power.’

‘Why are they classed together then?’

‘Well, each unconsciously serves the other. The babes need the houses of earth-life to fulfil their desires and the others need the buildings as subjects for their study. Here both men and angels come to receive or renew their clarity of sight. When they have it they are able to look at, say, that house’ – he pointed across the park – ‘and see not only the building but its foundations, not only its exterior but its interior. Then, looking at the stone of which it is composed, they can see the moving cells of its texture. They can examine the texture of everything within the house, look at the plants in the garden, watching them in all their phases of growth at once, search into the soil seeing, highly magnified, the wonderful colours of the minerals hidden there. This is but a small portion of their sight.’

‘What a wonderful power!’ Janet and I spoke together.

‘Yes. So you see how the two classes of people serve each other! It is a plan often followed in Heaven’s realm.’

‘Yet we have never noticed the babes among those of the higher planes,’ I marvelled.

‘You had not reached that “station” on your “railway journey”, our guide smiled.