One Step Higher: Chapter 6


Think not so much of the shadow,’ said our angel as we wheeled our way rapidly above the rocky plain. ‘Think of the light of Love that sends these angels to labour among the souls of men!’

At this, all our sorrows melted away, for we were comforted.
‘”Whither shall I go from Thy spirit?” I quoted joyfully. ‘”Or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence? If I ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me.”‘

‘Yes, let us take the wings of the morning,’ our angel suggested, smiling into our eyes.

What a gladsome journey that was. After our shadowed experience we went winging upwards with exultant hearts. Truly it seemed that we had been groping in the darkness of night, that now the dawn was come. The wings of the morning! Yes, that was what it was. The whole atmosphere lightened, the sun of the Father’s Love seemed to rise upon us as we sped on our way. This time the angel told us at once where we were to go.

‘This is a great privilege,’ she explained, ‘and one which is only possible through the courtesy of an angel, but after your sad ordeal. . . You are going to the House of Conclave.’

‘Sounds interesting,’ I commented.

‘They always do,’ Janet added. ‘Why is it called a “house” and not a “hall?”‘

‘A house has greater privacy. Those of the higher or inner knowledge always meet in houses.’

‘Will we be able to learn anything of this inner knowledge?’ I asked.

‘As much as you are able,’ promised our angel.

‘Tell us about it,’ Janet begged.

So, as we went on our way, the angel, who no longer held us to her sides, began to teach us.
‘In this house angels meet who frequently visit earth to observe the progress of the people toward the goal of spiritual thought. This goal is set for them by the Holy Ones who are able to gauge their capabilities.’

‘Do they bring back reports?’ I asked.

‘Not exactly’ You remember the Prayer-Screen in the Circle of Prayer?’

‘Yes,’ we said together, for that had interested us so much.

‘There is a similar one in the House of Conclave, but it is used in a different way. One Observer-Angel visits earth to make these investigations and the scene, with all its inner significance, appears on the Observation-Screen. The angels in the House of Conclave watch the Screen, gathering various aspects of the case. Then they report to the Holy Ones what they have seen.’

‘What do you mean by inner significance?’ I asked.
‘I mean that the thoughts and motives of the people are seen,’ said our guide, ‘as well as their words and actions. Then, the exact progress of each is revealed with his spiritual strength or weakness.’
‘All at the same time!’ Janet gasped.
‘Yes. Now you see why all the Observer Angels do not go directly to earth! Instead, they send one angel and report each their own impression of the record on the Screen.’

‘What wisdom,’ I commented, with a quick lift of the heart to the Father’s Love.

‘All is wisdom,’ said the angel solemnly. ‘Now see how privileged you are! You are to be allowed to be present when some of the records are unfolded on the Screen… Now this is the House of Conclave.’

In a moment we found ourselves walking along a path. On either side were flower-gardens of great beauty. Some of the flowers were familiar but as I stooped to examine some ‘strangers’ our guide explained that here grew every flower that bloomed in every season on earth!

‘No wonder there is such a profusion,’ Janet said delightedly. ‘This is the loveliest garden I have ever seen.’
‘Some of the lower angels visit the Hall of Gardens and learn from the people there. Then they come here to tend the flowers… Oh, do not look so surprised-angels learn much from men!’

Before we could reply she laid a finger on her lips to warn us to be silent, and looking round, I saw that we had entered the ‘house’. At first glance I thought it was a long, green carpeted room with pillars down either side. Then I saw that the ‘carpet’ was made of grass and flowers and the ‘pillars’ were tall trees. Their branches met overhead to form a roof and the whole effect was one of restful beauty. At the far end stood the white tower which I knew to be the Observation Screen, and before it sat a small company of angels wearing robes of a peculiar tint of blue.

We quickly sat down behind them. One or two turned to smile at us as though they were accustomed to visits from men. Then all attention was directed toward the Screen. The first record began to unfold.

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