I HAVE spoken to you, on a number of occasions, of the spheres. There are two ways, and two ways only, of penetrating into those lofty states. The first is through our own spiritual development and progression; the second is by special invitation from some dweller in those regions. Any other way is barred to us by the invisible barriers of spiritual impenetrability.
I would like to speak to you now about a special invitation that we received to visit those high realms.
We were seated in one of the lower rooms of my house, from which all the beauties without could be viewed to perfection. Across a glittering expanse of countryside could be seen the city in the distance, as clearly as though it were close by instead of some distance away. Edwin and I were chatting, while Ruth was seated at the piano playing some pleasant work that seemed to blend so harmoniously, not only with our present mood, but with all our colorful environment.
Ruth had never really recovered from her initial surprise when she first beheld the piano in her own home. She was an accomplished performer during her earth life, and she has since told us of the thrilling moment when she seated herself before her 'spirit instrument', as she called it, and struck the first chord upon it. She said that she never precisely knew what was going to happen, or what description of sound would come forth with her striking the keys! She was consequently amazed at the result of her simple action, for the tone of her 'spirit piano' was something that she could never have imagined possible, it was so perfectly balanced and of such ringing quality. Her surprises were not ended, however. She found that her dexterity had increased a hundredfold by her casting off her physical body, and that she had taken her technique with her to the spirit world. She further discovered that her hands, when applied to the instrument, just rippled along the keys without conscious effort, and that her memory was as sound as though she had the very music before her.
On the present occasion she was filling the air with dulcet sounds, and so helping all three of us in our rest and recreation, for we had just completed a particularly onerous task during the course of our usual work. We three worked together--we are still doing so at this moment of your time--and we usually take our rest and amusement together. In fact, Edwin and Ruth spend far more time in my home than they do in their own! Speaking for myself, I would not have it otherwise.
Suddenly Ruth ceased playing, and ran to the door. Wondering what had caused her to stop so abruptly, Edwin and I joined her. We were much surprised to see, walking across the lawn, two striking figures, of whom I have before made mention. One was the Egyptian who had given me such helpful advice when I was but recently arrived in spirit lands, and who had since taken such a kindly interest in my welfare. The other was his 'master', who had accompanied the great celestial visitor upon that occasion the temple in the city.
The Egyptian's 'master' was a man with jet-black hair, matched in its color by a pair of eyes that bespoke the greatest sense of humor and merriment. I subsequently learned that our guide was a Chaldean.
We went forward eagerly to welcome our two visitors, and they expressed their pleasure in thus coming to see us.
We conversed happily upon various matters, and Ruth persuaded to finish the work she had been playing when they arrived. At the finish they voiced their appreciation of her talent and then the Chaldean broached the subject upon which they I called.
He came, he said, with an invitation from the great a whom we had assembled to honor upon that memorable day the temple, for us to visit him at his own home in the high realm in which he lived.
The three of us were silent for a moment. Ruth and I did know exactly what to say beyond expressing our sense of privilege that was contained in such an invitation. Edwin, however came to our rescue, and acted as our spokesman. The Chaldean was much amused at our embarrassment, and he hastened to assist us that there was nothing to fear in such a meeting. That would be impossible, as we should see. I think what troubled us most or, at least, puzzled us most, Was the reason why we should invited upon such a visit, and just how we were to get there Indeed, we had no notion where 'there' might be! As to first question, the Chaldean said that we should ascertain that when we arrived at our destination. As to our getting to our destination, why, that was what he and his much-loved friend, the Egyptian, had come for purposely.
We tried to speak our feelings, but we failed; at least, that how I felt about my attempt. I think Edwin and Ruth were really much more successful than I was, although the Chaldean helped us with his delightful lightheartedness and his keen sense of fun.
I truly believe that the Chaldean is the merriest soul in the whole of the spirit realms. I mention this specifically because there would seem to be an idea in some minds that the higher one's spiritual status becomes, the more serious one has to be. Such a notion is entirely false. The reverse is the truth. Light hearted merriment that comes truly from the heart, that hurts no one and is directed against no one to their detriment, but that is indulged in for the sake of making others merry, such merriment is welcomed and encouraged in the spirit world. There is no inscription: 'Abandon all laughter, ye who enter her.' written over the portals of these realms! To suggest that the greater the spirituality the grimmer one must look is altogether a horrible notion, and recalls too much the sanctimoniousness of some breeds of earthly religious piety. We know when to laugh and how to laugh, and we do so. We do not like mournful countenances with no mirthfulness behind them. So that when I tell you that our distinguished guest, the Chaldean, so elevated our minds with his gaiety--and be was very ably assisted, one might say aided and abetted, by the kindly Egyptian--you must know that he lost none of the grand dignity and stateliness of his high station. And it must not be thought that it was a case of laughing at everything he said before he had hardly spoken it! We are not living in a land of make-believe; we laughed because there was genuine cause to do so. It was not the spurious laughter of dependants upon another of greater position.
Edwin inquired when we were to make the journey. The Chaldean replied that he and his good friend the Egyptian had come to take us back with them now. I was still--we all were--in the dark as to the actual procedure in making such a journey, but the Chaldean soon took matters in hand by bidding us to 'come along'. And he led us towards the boundary of our realm.
As we walked through the woods and meadows, I asked the Egyptian if he could tell me anything about the great being whom we were about to visit. What he told me was very little, although I was certain that he knew very much more than he revealed! Most likely I should not have understood had he told me all he knew, so that he, in his wisdom, withheld further information. This, then, is what he told me.
The illustrious personage, towards whose home in the high realms we were making our way, was known by sight to every soul in the realms of light. His wish was always treated as a command, and his word was law. The blue, white and gold in his robe, evident in such enormous proportions, revealed the stupendous degree of his knowledge, spirituality, and wisdom. There were thousands who named him as their 'beloved master', the principal among whom being the Chaldean, who was his 'right hand'. As to his special function, he was the ruler of all the realms of the spirit world, and he exercised collectively that function which the particular ruler of a realm exercises individually. All other rulers, therefore, were responsible to him, and he, as it were, united the realms and welded them into one, making them one vast universe, created and upheld by the Great Father of all.
To attempt to define the immense magnitude of his power in the spirit world would be to essay the impossible. Even were it possible, understanding would fail. Such powers have no counterpart, no comparison even, with any administrative powers of the earth-plane. Earthly minds can only conjure up those individuals who ruled great kingdoms upon earth, who held sway of vast territories, it may be, but who did so through fear alone and where all who lived under him lived as serfs and slaves. No earthly king throughout the whole narrative of the history of the earth world ever presided over a state so vast as that presided by this illustrious personage of whom I am speaking. And his kingdom is ruled by the great universal law of true affection. Fear does not, could not, exist in the minutest, tiniest fraction because there is not, and cannot be, the slightest cause for it. Nor will there ever be. He is the great living visible link between the Father, the Creator of the Universe, and His children.
But notwithstanding the supreme elevation of his spirit position, he descends from his celestial home to visit us here these realms, as I have tried to describe to you on a former occasion. And it is permissible for others of incomparably less degree to visit him in his own home.
There is nothing unsubstantial, vague, or unreal about this regal being. We have beheld him on those great festival days that we have in the spirit world. He is not some 'spirit experience', some grand enlistment of the soul produced within by some invisible means from some invisible source. He is a living person, as firm a reality as we are ourselves--and we are more real than are you upon the earth-plane, though you are conscious of it yet! I am putting it to you in this almost blunt way so that there will be no misunderstanding of what am attempting to recount. There are mistaken notions that the beings of the highest realms are so ethereal as to be practically invisible except to others of their kind, and that they are utterly and completely unapproachable; that no mortal of lesser degree could possibly view them and survive. It is commonly held that beings are so immeasurably higher than the rest of us that it be countless eons of time before we shall ever be permitted to cast our eyes upon them even from a remote distance. That is sheer nonsense. Many a soul in these realms has been spoken to by one of these great beings, and he has been totally unaware of the fact. We all of us have certain powers which are magnified as we pass from sphere to sphere in the progressive steps of spiritual development. And one of the principal of these powers is that of matching ourselves, of adjusting ourselves, to our surroundings. There is nothing magical about this; it is highly technical--far more so than most of the scientific mysteries of the earth world. In the spirit world we call it an equalizing of our personal vibrational rate, but I am afraid you are now none the wiser--and it is not within my province to attempt to explain it!
The Egyptian supplied me with these few details, and I have supplemented them from my own knowledge, which is very small indeed.
In the meantime I have digressed a little.
By now we were close to Edwins house, and we were rapidly passing from our own realm into a more rarified atmosphere. In a short while it would have caused us some discomfort to proceed further. We instinctively halted in our walk, and we felt that the crucial moment of our journey had come. It was, of course, exactly as the Chaldean had said: we had nothing whatever to fear. And the procedure was perfectly normal and unsensational.
First of all he came behind us and allowed his hands to rest upon our heads for a brief moment. This, he told us, was to give us extra power to move through space. We felt a tingling sensation immediately beneath his hands that was most pleasant and exhilarating, and we felt as though we were becoming lighter, although one would scarcely have thought that would be possible. We could also feel a gentle heat running through the system. This was merely the effect of the power, and was nothing in itself. The Chaldean placed Ruth between Edwin and me, and then he stood just behind her himself. He placed his left hand upon Edwins shoulder and his right upon mine, and as he was wearing a mantle--which we saw was richly embroidered--it formed a perfect cloak about the three of us.
It must not be assumed that a dignified silence had fallen or had been imposed upon us during these preliminaries. On the contrary, the Chaldean and the Egyptian, in fact, all the five of us were chatting away merrily, the former contributing by far the largest share to our jocundity. This was no dreary pilgrimage upon which we were embarking. Far from it. It is true that we were about to be taken into realms, far, far removed from our own normal habitation, but that was no reason for a heavy solemnity nor for the assumption of an intense gravity which we did not feel. The Chaldean had done his utmost to dispel any such emotions upon our part. This visit, he said in effect, was to be a gloriously happy one. Let us have smiling faces, then, and lightness of heart. Mournfulness has no place in the high realms any more than it has in our own sphere. We shall be expected, he said, to present smiling happy faces that are a true reflection of our feelings within. But it would be impossible not to be cheerfully when in the presence of the Chaldean and his companion. And I am sure we did credit to them both for all their assiduity on our behalf, for I think we did most surely present to others the very embodiment of spiritual gaiety.
The Chaldean told us that by placing his hands upon our heads it would also have the effect, in addition to giving us power travel, of adjusting our vision to the extra intensity of light that we should encounter in the high realm. Without such counter balancing we should find ourselves in very considerable distress In this adjustment our sight was not dimmed from within, but kind of film was superimposed without, just in the same way upon earth you wear protective glass to shield the eyes from the light and heat of the sun. We did not actually wear any super apparatus, of course; the Chaldean merely applied his own power of thought. What he did precisely, I cannot say, but the process whatever it was, he had applied many times before, and it was needless to say, fully effective.
The Egyptian next took our hands within his, and we perceived a fresh accession of power flowing into us.
The Chaldean asked us to make ourselves completely passive and to remember that we were upon a journey for our enjoyment and not as a test of our spiritual endurance. 'And now, my friends' said he, 'our arrival is awaited. So let us be off.'
We immediately felt ourselves to be floating, but this sensation ceased abruptly after what seemed but a second of time, and thereafter we had no sense of movement whatever. A light flashed before our eyes. It was extremely bright, but it was by no means startling. It vanished as quickly as it came, and coincidental with its disappearance I could feel the solid ground under my feet. And then the first vision of this high realm opened before our eyes.
We were in a dominion of unparalleled beauty. There is imagination upon the earth-plane that can visualize such impressible beauty, and I can only give you some meager detail of what we saw in the limited terms of the earth-plane.
We were standing within the realm of a king--that was evidence to us at once. We stood upon an elevation some height above the city; our good friends had expressly taken us to this particular location to present us with this superb view. It would not be possible, they said, to spend more than a limited period here, a so it was the wish of the Chaldeans master that we should see much as possible within that period.
Stretching before us was the wide stream of a river, looking calm, peaceful, and overwhelmingly lovely as the heavenly sun touched every tiny wave with a myriad tints and tones. Occupying a central position in the view, and upon the right bank of the river, was a spacious terrace built to the waters edge. It seemed to be composed of the most delicate alabaster. A broad flight of steps led up to the most magnificent building that the mind could ever contemplate.
It was several stories high, each of them being arranged in a series of orders, so that each occupied a gradually diminishing area until the topmost was reached. Its exterior appearance was, if anything, almost plain and unadorned, and it was obvious why this should be so. The whole edifice was exclusively composed of sapphire, diamond, and topaz, or at least, their celestial equivalent. These three precious stones constituted the crystalline embodiment of the three colors blue, white and gold, and they corresponded with the colors which we had seen before in the robe of our celestial visitor as we had seen him in the temple, and which he carried in such an immense degree. The blue, white and gold of the jeweled palace, touched by the pure rays of the great central sun, were intensified and magnified a thousand fold, and flashed forth in every direction their beams of the purest light. Indeed, the whole edifice presented to our bewildered gaze one vast volume of sparkling irradiation. We at once thought of earthly topaz and sapphire and diamond, and we pondered how small stones of purity were only tiny objects that could be held between the forefinger and thumb. And here was an immense glittering mansion entirely built of these precious stones, and of such stones that the incarnate have never beheld--nor are they ever likely to behold while they are incarnate.
Our first question concerned the reason or significance of the especial fabric of the building that was before us. There was no special significance in the actual materials of which the palace was constructed, so the Chaldean informed us. The precious stones were proper to the realm which we were now visiting. In our own realm the buildings are opaque, albeit they have a certain translucence of surface. But they are ponderous and heavy by comparison with the upper realms. We had journeyed through many other spheres to reach this present one, but had we paused to observe the lands through which we had passed, we should have seen a gradual transformation taking place until the relatively heavy-looking materials of our own realm became transmuted into the crystalline substance upon which our gaze was flow fastened.
But the colors most certainly had a special significance to which I have already alluded.
We could see, surrounding the palace, many acres of the most enchanting gardens laid out in such fashion that, from the distal and elevated viewpoint which we occupied, they presented a huge and intricate pattern as in some superbly-wrought eastern carpet We were told that upon close view, or in walking through the gardens, the pattern would be lost, but that we should find our selves in the midst of delicately arranged flower beds and some velvety lawns.
Though we could scarcely remove our eyes from the superlative glory of the palace and its grounds, yet the Chaldean gently drew our attention to the remainder of the prospect.
It extended for miles upon countless miles--or so it seemed us. The range of our vision was increased in these rarified region beyond all human conception, and so it seemed that literally an unending vista spread before us of more earthly miles than it possible to contemplate. And all through this wide expanse we could see other magnificent buildings built of still more precious stones--of emerald and amethyst, to name but two, and, far away what looked like pearl. Each of the different buildings was set amid the most entrancing gardens, where trees were growing unimaginable richness of color and grandeur of form. Wherever we cast our eyes, there we could see the flashing of jeweled buildings, reflecting back the rays of the central sun, the myriad colors from the flowers, and the scintillating from the waters of the river that flowed before us far away into the distance.
As we were gazing spellbound upon the scene a sudden flash of light seemed to come from the palace directly to the Chaldean and it was acknowledged by an answering flash which he sent back to the palace. Our presence in the realm was known, and soon as we had feasted our eyes upon the view, we were asked to walk within the palace, where our host would be waiting receive us. Such was the message contained in the flash of light as interpreted by the Chaldean. We, therefore, proceeded at ones towards the palace.
By the same means of locomotion that had brought us in the sphere, we quickly found ourselves walking upon the terrace beside the river, and up a broad flight of steps that led to main entrance of the palace. The stonework of the terrace and steps was pure white, but we were much surprised by its apparent softness under foot, for it was like walking upon the velvet softness of a well-tended lawn. Our footsteps made no sound, but garments rustled as we walked along, otherwise our progress would have been a silent one except for our conversation. There were, of course, many other sounds to be heard.
We had not stepped into a realm of silence! The whole air was filled with harmony sent forth from the volumes of color that abounded upon every hand.
The temperature seemed to us much higher than that of our own realm. The Chaldean told us that it was really much higher than we could feel, but that our minds had been attuned to the difference of temperature just as they had been attuned to the intensity of light. A gentle breeze was pleasantly perceptible as it touched our faces with its heavenly scented breath.
As we proceeded through the palace entrance, I should dearly have loved to have lingered to examine more closely the remarkable materials of which the building was composed, but time pressed. Our stay could not be prolonged beyond our capacity to resist the rarity, of the atmosphere and the intensity of light, notwithstanding the charge of spiritual force that the Chaldean and the Egyptian had given us. As we passed through, therefore, we had but a fleeting glimpse of the grandeur that encompassed us.
So beautifully proportioned were the various apartments and galleries that there was no overbearing loftiness to any one of them, such as one might have expected in an edifice of such dimensions. Everywhere that we cast our eyes we could see jeweled walls and jeweled floors. Upon the walls were pictures of pastoral scenes where the artist had utilized every gem known to mortal man--and many others unknown to him--as the medium for his work. These pictures were, in their execution, of a mosaic order, but the effect produced upon the beholder was one of liquid light, if I may use the term. The constituents of the pictures sent forth their rays of light in all the colors that the subject demanded, and the effect upon the eye was one of pure life. The colors themselves were exquisite, and contained many more tones and shades of tones than earthly pigments could provide. It seemed inconceivable that precious stones could exist that had such a wide variety of colors--but, then we are in the spirit world and in a high realm of the spirit world, too.
As we walked down the corridors we met and were greeted by the most friendly and gracious beings, who thus added to our welcome. Welcome, indeed, was the overmastering feeling that enveloped us as we first put foot within the palace. There was no coldness, but everywhere the warmth of friendliness and affection.
At last we paused before a small chamber, and the Chaldean told us that we had reached the highest point of our journey. I did not feel exactly nervous, but I wondered what formalities were to be observed, and as I was totally unaware of what description these might be--as we all were, except, of course, two ciceroni--I was naturally a little hesitant. The Chaldean however, immediately reassured us by telling us to follow him and merely to observe those rules dictated by good taste.
We entered. Our host was seated by a window. As soon as saw us he rose and came forward to greet us. First he thanked the Chaldean and the Egyptian for bringing us to him. Then took us each by the hand and bade us be welcome to his home There were several vacant chairs close to that in which he had been seated, and he suggested that we might like to sit with him there and enjoy the view. It was, be explained, his favorite view.
We drew close to the window, and we could see beneath us a bed of the most magnificent white roses, as pure white as a field of snow, and which exhaled an aroma as exalting as the blooms from which it came. White roses, our host told us, were flowers he preferred above all others.
We seated ourselves, and I had an opportunity, as our host spoke to us, of observing him at close quarters where before I had but seen him from a distance. Seeing him thus, in his own home and surroundings, his facial appearance was, in general, similar to that which he had presented when he visited us in the temple in our own realm. There were differences, however, we saw him here; differences that were largely a matter of light intensity. His hair, for example, seemed to be golden when he came to us. Here it seemed to be as of bright golden light, rather than of the color of gold. He looked to be young, to be of eternal; youthfulness, but we could feel the countless eons of time, it is known on earth, that lay behind him.
When he spoke his voice was sheer music, his laugh as a ripple of the waters, but never did I think it possible for one individual to breathe forth such affection, such kindliness, such thoughtfulness and consideration; and never did I think it possible for one individual to possess such an immensity of knowledge as possessed by this celestial king. One felt that, under the Father Heaven, he held the key to all knowledge and wisdom. But, strange as it may sound, though we had been transported unfathomable distances to the presence of this transcendently wonderful being yet here in his very presence we felt perfectly at home, perfectly at ease with him. He laughed with us, he joked with us, he asked us what we thought of his roses, and had the Chaldean managed to keep us merry upon our way thither. He spoke to each of us individually, displaying an exact acquaintance with all our concerns collectively and personally. Then finally he came to the reason for his invitation to us to visit him.
In company with my friends, he said, I had visited the dark realms, and I had recounted what I had seen there. He thought that it would be in the nature of a pleasant contrast if we were to visit the highest realm, and see for ourselves some of its beauties; to show that the inhabitants of such high realms are not shadowy unreal people, but, on the contrary, they are like ourselves, capable of feeling and exhibiting the emotions of their fine natures, capable of human understanding, of human thought, and as easily susceptible to laughter and free-hearted merriment as were we ourselves. And he had asked us to visit him in order to tell us himself that these realms, wherein we were now visiting, were within the reach of every soul that is born upon the earth-plane, that no one can deprive us of that right: and that although it may take countless years of time to reach those realms, yet there is all eternity in which to achieve that end, and that there are unlimited means to help us upon our way. That, he said, is the simple, great fact of spirit life. There are no mysteries attached to it; all is perfectly straightforward, plain, and unrestricted by complicated beliefs, religious or otherwise. It requires no adherence to any particular form of orthodox religion, which, of itself, has no authority to assure any single soul of its powers to secure the souls salvation. No religious body that ever existed can do that.
And so this realm of incomparable beauty was free and open to all to work their way thither from the very lowest and foulest realm. It may take eons of time to accomplish, but that is the great and superb finale of the lives of the earth worlds millions of souls.
Our good friend, the Chaldean, then mentioned to his 'master' that our stay had almost reached its limit. The latter said be was sorry to observe that it was so, but that such powers as had been invoked for us had their limitations, and so, for our comfort, we must work within them. However, he added, there are other occasions, and thus he extended further invitations to us.
We now rose, and I could not resist the lure of the view of the roses from the window. I gazed out once more, then we made ready to depart.
Our gracious host said he would accompany us to the hill from which we had had our first glimpse of his kingdom. We followed a different route from that by which we had reached the palace, and what was our delight when it led us directly to the rose bed. Stooping, our host culled three of the most choice blooms that mortal eyes ever beheld, and presented one to each of us. Our joy was still further heightened by the knowledge that with the affection that we should shower upon them, the blooms would never fade and die. My one anxiety was that in taking them to our own realm we should see them crushed, perhaps, by the unaccustomed density of our heavier atmosphere. But our host assured us that they would not, for they would be borne up by our thoughts of them and of the giver, and between the one and the other they would be amply supported, and would so remain.
At length we reached our point of departure. Words would not express our feelings, but our thoughts passed unfailingly to him who had brought us this supreme happiness, this foretaste of our destiny--and of the destiny of the whole earth world and the whole spirit world. And with a blessing upon us all, and with a smile of such affection, of such ineffable benignity, he bade us God-speed, and we found ourselves once more in our own realm.
I have tried to tell you something of what we saw, but words cannot be found to describe it, because I cannot translate the purely spiritual into earthly terms. My account must therefore fall far, far short.
And so also in those other matters of which I have treated. To give you a comprehensive account of all that we have seen in the world of spirit would fill many volumes, and therefore I have chosen what I felt would be of most interest and benefit. My earnest wish is that I have captured your interest, taken you away, for a moment, from the pressing affairs of earthly life, and given you a glimpse of the world beyond the world in which you are now living.
If I have brought a measure of comfort, or of good hope, then great is my reward, and I would say to you:
Benedicat te omnipotens Deus.