One Step Higher: Part II: Chapter 7


‘Just as you needed to concentrate upon the narrow pathway,’ our angel began, ‘so those who cross the Causeway need to concentrate upon their way. The Causeway of Consciousness is the link by which we pass from one plane to another as I have previously explained. Thus you could go from here (without moving the body in which you are functioning at present) to many of the planes that are lower than this, or you could from this field climb higher to other planes beyond this one.’

‘Has this field any name?’ I asked, glancing behind me at the featureless plain.

‘Yes, it is called “The Broad Field”. Here it is possible to leave behind the present body when climbing to higher states or to draw from the existing cells sufficient matter for a new body in which to descend to lower states. These “bodies” are like the “luggage” of a long earth-journey and suggest a broad platform in contrast to the narrow track.’

Janet and I looked around involuntarily at the empty field.

‘Where are all the bodies that have been left behind?’ (I spoke for both.)

Our angel laughed.

‘It is difficult indeed to give wisdom to babes! In stating one fact alone there is so much adhering to it, so many shades of understanding…’ He paused and continued: ‘Here again it is something like an earth-journey. As the train speeds over the narrow track the passenger sees one station after another flash past. Here in Heaven we see truth in its entirety so that all the “stations” or facts are visible to us at once. Then, when we begin to explain we have to mention one fact at a time, with the result that at times a ludicrous impression is given!’

‘Is it so very foolish to expect to see the discarded bodies in the field?’ Janet asked, smiling with our dear teacher. (For all he said was so tender and kind that we could not be offended at his mirth.)

‘It is indeed. Can you picture The Broad Field under these circumstances?’

‘It would be somewhat strange,’ I agreed. ‘What happens to the bodies then?’

‘They are but cloaks which are discarded on the way,’ said the angel, ‘as though a man of earth threw off his heavy clothing as summer advanced or took upon himself more garments with the approach of the winter. Think of the higher planes as the summer and the lower planes as the winter and you will more readily understand. Now just as your book “vanished with a breath” as the angel-student said, so do the bodies (or cloaks) that are discarded. They return to the original cells from which they came. Then just as your volume will be ready for you the instant you want it by simply drawing the invisible cells into the “mould” of your thought-picture, so will your “cloak” be ready when you return.’

‘Do you mean,’ I gasped, ‘that we continually make our own bodies here?’

‘Yes. Just as a man builds himself a car or an aeroplane before he makes his journeys of earth – or causes an expert to build them for him. Bodies are vehicles, too, remember.’

We were so amazed at this that we were silent, turning it over in our minds. At last Janet said: ‘Is that why the angel-student taught us?’

‘Yes,’ smiled our teacher. ‘You see, you were nearly ready to be made free of some of the planes.’

‘Yet we have travelled before,’ I pointed out.

‘Did I not speak of experts of earth who build vehicles for the travels of men? This is the work of many angels in Heaven. They build the “vehicle-bodies” for the younger ones of the realm to travel in.’

‘Yet we did not know,’ I marvelled. ‘We thought we were travelling alone for much of the way.’

Our angel’s eyes twinkled as he said gravely: ‘There are still some things you do not know!’

‘It seems to me,’ I commented, ‘that it is almost everything that we do not know.’

‘Remember my simile of the journey,’ said our teacher. ‘We angels see all the stations at once, but you see first one station, then two at a time, and so on, as you advance.’

‘Do men ever attain to the complete vision of the angels?’ Janet asked.

‘Now there again it is difficult to reply clearly. Angels, too, are in graded orders so that some see much more than others, but I have heard.. .’and here his voice took on a great solemnity, ‘that some of the Great Ones among men see quite as clearly as some of the Holy Ones among the angels. Indeed, they see more clearly in some respects since men have had the experience of earth-life.’

We fell into a silence again, musing on the stupendous nature of the growth of Heaven. Absorbing the angel’s thought I reflected that it was like a spiral so that we circled the whole of the lowest plane and then, without breaking the continuity of eternal life, rose up to the next plane and so to the next and the next. What a vast prospect it was! And yet, far from discouraging us with a sense of our littleness (for Janet, too, was thinking on these lines) it seemed to fill us with the peace of security like a house on a firm foundation inspiring the certainty of endurance.

We felt, too, that with our growth came ever a closer drawing to our Lord for, although for a long time we had not seen Him (as it were) bodily, yet we never ceased, now, to see Him in our secret inwardness. It was as though He held us constantly to His Heart, communing with and encouraging us always. This did not take away from our delight in seeing Him walking in Heaven’s realm but simply gave us the promise of greater joys for ever in store.

As we sat in meditation the grey clouds above the distant hills had grown darker and the light was fading. With it we seemed to sink into a drowsiness which neither wished to disturb. We had no more any idea of the passing of time, nor of any sense of monotony. We might have rested there for the space of an earth-hour or for centuries of time. It was all one to us; we were content.

Presently our angel’s voice came faintly to our ears as though he were speaking on a mere breath.

‘Children, I have now given you all the knowledge you need to make you free of some of the lower planes. Henceforth you may travel in those planes as you will.’

Then, with a sense of surprise I realised that he had been teaching us all the time and that we knew how to create or discard our ‘cloaks’ and how to travel to the ‘winter’ and the ‘summer’ zones. It all seemed so simple and natural that I marvelled we had not known before. Janet, too, held her knowledge placidly as though it were an insignificant fact that had been casually mentioned in her presence. Once more I realised the extremely gradual growth of the realm and loved the peace of it.

‘See that you speak of this to no man,’ cautioned our guide, ‘for each is made free of the planes when he is ready.’

Leaning towards us he touched us each on the lips, murmuring:

‘Receive the seal,’ and then we knew that we should never speak thoughtlessly of the precious secret. At first I thought the ‘seal’ was only a symbol but happening to glance down I perceived that our brown robes were now crossed on the breast with silver bands and that they were held in place with a round, bronze seal.