One Step Higher: Part II: Chapter 2
A VEIL FROM OUR EYES
Janet and I looked at each other. Then our eyes returned to the angel. We must have shown the dismay we felt, for he made a little caressing gesture as though to reassure us, then began to teach us in steady, firm tones.
‘This truth-that all knowledge is within-like the truth that “Heaven is within”, frequently leads people either to disbelieve or to take a very gloomy view of things. Now there is not the slightest need for this.’
He smiled at us and we hastily composed our faces, trying to look more happy, and indeed we were beginning to feel so.
‘That is better,’ commented our kind teacher. ‘I do not like to see my students rebellious, you know.’
‘Were we rebellious?’ I asked, and Janet added: ‘We do not want ever to be that.’
‘Well, just for a moment, perhaps… People so readily understand the simple, low things, but when they are shown high things they do not at once understand, and are inclined to think these are not nearly so attractive! But be assured of this, children. . .’ he paused impressively, ‘the higher teaching is always more attractive than the low, whatever your first impression. It but leads you step by step to the unfolding of the Truth of the Father, and the Truth is wonderful beyond all our dreams.’
‘Do angels dream?’ Janet asked in surprise.
‘Yes. Our dreams are all of a time when we shall have drawn closer to the Father’s Love… Now,’ he continued, ‘when we speak of “The Within” people think we mean that life is an illusion, a series of pictures taking place in the mind. This is not so.’
We drew closer to him, enchanted. ‘Then it is not like that!’ Janet exclaimed. ‘I am so glad.’
‘Tell us of “The Within”‘ I pleaded.
‘Man has within himself,’ said our angel, ‘many bodies, each attuned to a particular plane of consciousness. The planes interpenetrate each other to a certain extent, the outer fringe of one overlapping the inner fringe of another, as it were. Thus it is possible to raise or lower consciousness, to leave off using one body, and use another which will function on the higher plane.’
‘All without moving from the first plane?’ I asked.
‘Yes. It is quite possible to remain, say, in the Plane Between according to all outward appearances while your raised consciousness brings into operation a higher-state body where you can live for a time in the Haven of Prayer.’
We thought of the expansion of consciousness of our doubled power, and began to understand a little.
‘It will not be very clear to you yet,’ cautioned our angel, ‘but be very sure the knowledge is there. At the right time, when you are quite ready, the Angel of the Golden Ball will begin to unwind the thread, and then you will see.’
We were silent for a while, and then I asked:’Does one never travel then?’
‘Oh yes,’ said our guide. ‘On earth there are two kinds of travel. You can walk to a place or you can go there in thought. It is so, here. The “walking” is equivalent to journeyings about the planes and the “thought” is like the expansion of consciousness when one merely steps from one body into another.’
‘It is all very deep and strange,’ said Janet, ‘but even so I do begin to grasp it.’
‘Then let me help you further,’ said the angel. ‘I want you to visualise in your minds the figure of a man sitting in a ploughed field, upon the good, loose earth.’
‘Yes.’ Janet and I had instinctively closed our eyes.
‘Across the field flows a mighty river. It looks as if it will drown the man, but although it engulfs him, he is safe. For he rises out of his “earth” body and begins to function in a “water” body. By this I mean that he finds he can live beneath the water like a fish, having his own consciousness and looking exactly the same, without any inconvenience at all.’
‘Useful,’ Janet commented, and I heard the smile in our teachers’s voice as he continued:
‘Now visualise a great net drawn through the water by an unseen hand. It seems that the man will be entangled with it, but he merely leaves his “water” body and begins to live in a “mist” body – or “air” body. He still looks the same, but more ethereal, and he can easily pass through the net. Now he rises up out of the water, mingling with the air around him, and since his body is of air, also, everything he touches is solid and real to him. He still has his own consciousness and his own appearance so that those who are functioning in airbodies also, can see him, speak with him, shake hands with him if they will. Then a great beam of light pours through the air, catching and holding the mist-body so that for a moment it can be seen by earth-eyes as mist-bodies sometimes are. The man, however, emerges in a “light” or “fire” body, and so finds himself able to live quite normally in the beam. His consciousness and appearances remain as before, yet he is clothed in light and lives in light.
‘Presently, retracing his steps, he returns at last to the earth-body in the field. Can you see him?’
‘Yes,’ we whispered.
‘The man stretches and yawns, rubs his eyes and slowly awakes. “Well,” he says, “that is queer. I thought I had travelled far away from this field to many wonderful lands and here I am all the time! It must have been a dream.”‘
‘How wonderful,’ Janet breathed.
‘Then all these wonderful Heaven-worlds are around us,’ I mused. ‘Is that why we could not pass through the misty screen which hung before the entrance to the Hall of Reporters?’
‘Yes,’ our guide agreed, smiling into our now opened eyes (and this in a double sense.)
‘Is that why the angels’ wings just looked like mingled colours the first time we saw them in the Hall of Audience?’ Janet asked.
Our angel smiled in sympathy with our joy. ‘Yes! Now is not the higher truth more attractive than the
‘Much, much more,’ we agreed fervently.