One Step Higher: Part II: Chapter 4
THE TEACHING OF THE ANGEL-STUDENT
‘Now ALL around us in this spacious Heaven-world are myriads of cells, invisible to our eyes. When we desire anything (as, for instance, this volume) we first raise our hearts to the Great Father, asking that His Light may infuse the cells. Now this prayer is not an ordinary one, as of a man speaking spontaneously to the Lord, but has a certain form, certain actions of the hands and certain words. Only angels and those on the higher planes can pronounce this prayer. When they do so the Father’s Light pours down into the cells and they become visible.’
He paused and looked at us questioningly to see if we could follow him, so I. asked: ‘Do you mean it is like air striking a cold surface and becoming visible in the form of vapour?’
‘Something like that,’ he agreed. ‘These visible cells are filled with light so that they take on the appearance of dazzling colour and because they are in constant motion, the colours change…’
‘Is that the “Stuff” of which Stephen spoke?’ Janet asked in amazement, and I must confess I also was astonished, for I had not seen in the least where this was leading.
‘It is indeed the “Stuff” of the lower planes,’ agreed our teacher. ‘We angels often call down the Father’s Light into the cells that are invisibly teeming around the planes. When the “Stuff” becomes visible we sometimes leave it for those with creative gifts to work upon.’
‘Then that is how Stephen formed his peach,’ Janet murmured.
‘Not the forming of it, but the matter of it,’ corrected the angel. ‘The next process is the “desire-picture” in the mind. Without this, nothing can be made for it is, as it were, the mould which shapes the creative “Stuff”. In every creation, both great and small, there must first be an image in the mind, remember. The great musician creates his masterpiece within himself before he writes a note. The small boy creates a toy within himself before he begins to whittle with his knife upon a shapeless piece of wood.’
‘”God created man in His own image,”‘ I quoted slowly. ‘Can it be-‘
‘Yes,’ said our teacher, and we were silent in reverent awe. Presently he continued: ‘When we have created our “desire-picture” in the mind, we are ready for the rest of the work. Now this garden’ – He paused to look around appreciatively – ‘is the product of the desire-thought of a man who was a great gardener on earth. On the lower plane, he worked in the Hall of Gardens. Then one day he found himself free of this higher plane and so he brought forth all this beauty from his mind.’
‘Then he made this place?’ Janet demanded.
‘Oh no,’ said our angel-teacher. ‘He had the thought-desire in his mind. (That is why we call this the “Garden of Desire” and of course, in one sense, all Heaven is a garden of desire.) But he could only have the image of it. It came into being, of and by the power of the Father.’
‘I remember now,’ I interrupted, ‘how Stephen insisted that he had not created his peach. He said, though, that the Father had given him the picture first.’
‘Even our beautiful mind-pictures spring from Him,’ said the angel solemnly. ‘We owe all to Him, you see… Now, when we have our picture clearly and the creative “Stuff” is shimmering all around us in its beauty, we begin to breathe deeply and slowly with a wordless heart-call to the Father that we may absorb a great current of His life-breath, which is the air of Heaven’s realm. We then breathe forth this in-breathed power upon the light-cells and they take the form of our mind-picture. They exist.’
‘How wonderful,’ I murmured.
‘Yet it is all His,’ said our teacher. ‘His inspiration, His power, His life-breath. We receive His inspiration (we breathe in His power.) Then comes the expiration (we breathe out His power.) But in an expiration of His power the light-cells receive the inspiration or in-breathing and expire (or return to their original form) only when we withdraw the breath from them. Thus life is a continuous breathing, an in-breathing of the Father’s life-power, and out-breathing of that power in the form of our mind-pictures. Even life on earth is like this in a lower degree. Men breathe in the Father’s life-breath. Then they form pictures in their minds of what they desire to do, speak, make or work. Then they breathe out the life-breath in action. Without it they would have no power to act, for they would have no life. . . “Thou takest away their breath; they die and return to dust. Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit; they are created.” It is the rhythm of all life.’
‘It is all so amazing,’ Janet exclaimed. ‘Yet so obvious when you are shown.’
‘Yes,’ agreed our teacher. ‘Men have the knowledge there all the time. Why, even an ordinary dictionary of earth could have told you that “inspiration” means “to breathe in, to arouse, to create a feeling or thought”, and that “expiration” means “to breathe out, to come to an end, to die”. When I said this volume would “vanish with a breath” I spoke truly, you see.’
‘How was that?’ I asked. (I was beginning to understand, but I wanted it put more clearly.)
‘When I withdrew the life-breath from my thought-form it comes to an end-dissolves into its separate cells again.’
‘What of Stephen’s peach? He said that when he had it perfected the Father would give it everlasting life.’
‘Ah, because it pleased the Father! Because the Father saw that it was good! He alone has power to hold His life-breath in anything for eternity. The very universe is held in being by His life-breath, the very stars would fall from the sky but for His power. Truly, “in Him we live and move and have our being”, for each one, from the smallest insect to the highest angel, is dependent upon Him for every breath.’
‘Yet men of earth so often forget Him,’ said our angel-guide.
We turned to look at him in surprise for we had been so intent on our lesson that we had forgotten his presence.
‘Men will awake,’ the angel-student replied confidently. He was about to return to his book so I hastened to put a further question.