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One Step Higher: Part II: Chapter 1

PART II: ON THE MOUNT

Chapter One

THE ANGEL OF THE GOLDEN BALL

‘On this encouraging note let us say goodbye,’ said our guide, when we had travelled away from the House of Conclave.

‘We have not learned enough yet,’ I urged, seeking to detain her, and Janet added: ‘Our search for wisdom is not finished.’

‘It will never be finished.’

We smiled at each other, for of course, we had known this, but we so wanted to keep our dear angel with us.
‘You will not be alone,’ she explained, answering our thoughts. ‘That one is already on his way to you.’

‘Which one?’ I asked, making a very good guess in my heart.

‘The angel who was with you in the Haven of Prayer.’

Again we shared a smile, for she knew how much this news would mean to us.

‘Where shall we meet him?’ Janet asked.

‘On the other side of your doubled power!’ said our guide. ‘Yes, you will need it again now.’

‘I thought we had it already,’ I exclaimed. ‘We had that little ceremony when we were with the angel before, and the strange expansion of consciousness.’

‘Children,’ said our angel, ‘if you could stay in this doubled power! But it has long gone from you before you arrived in the Plane Between. It comes and goes so gently that you scarcely notice it. Come now,’ she invited briskly. ‘Just relax beside me and have no fear.’

Her voice faded in our ears and we quickly sank into that drowsiness we had experienced before. We forgot that we were speeding above the planes of Heaven’s realm. Again we knew that mighty growing… that infinite knowing…

At last we heard our guide’s voice like a whisper on the wind. ‘Farewell, Bernard-Janet!’

Immediately we opened our eyes but we were unable to see her. She had wheeled off so rapidly that all sight of her was lost in the distant mists.

‘I wonder when we shall see the first angel,’ said Janet, and before she had ceased speaking he was beside us.
How joyfully we smiled upon him! I resolved that we would discover, before he left us again, how to contact him when we willed.

‘Well, did you play hard in the Plane Between?’ he demanded.

‘How did you know we were going to?’ I retorted. ‘You had gone before we decided that.’

‘Ah, how indeed?’ he echoed, teasing us. ‘Soon, my children, you will have learned to answer your own questions.’

‘All of them?’ Janet asked in surprise.

‘Well, not quite all,’ he said with mock gravity.

We had been travelling rapidly upward during this conversation and suddenly my glance was focussed on a huge, glowing ball which seemed to be suspended in the air.

‘What is that?’ I asked in surprise.

‘It is the Sphere of Knowledge.’

‘Oh!’
We both looked at it in wonder. Poised against the blue of the sky it looked like an enormous, golden balloon.

‘Does anyone dwell there?’ Janet asked.

‘Yes, the Angel of the Golden Ball.’

Now this was so mysterious and so intriguing that we remained silent for a great while as we sped rapidly toward the sphere. We watched it grow larger and larger as we approached until it seemed to fill the whole sky. We saw that its surface was soft and yielding. I smiled to myself when I realised that Janet was thinking it looked like a highly magnified mimosa-ball! Well, perhaps it did…

There were no doors, I discovered, as we reached its sides. Without any difficulty we passed right into it.
It was dark – that was my first impression. Then, as my eyes grew accustomed to it, I realised that the sphere was lit with an amber twilight, restful … soothing… sleep-inducing…

Were we lying down in this golden silence? I was not sure. It was certainly a time of rest. At the same time I became aware of concentrating on the space between my eyes.

‘How strange,’ I thought drowsily, but I continued to concentrate. I took deep breaths and thought keenly of the breath reaching upward toward that space.

Gradually, as I thought of this, something began to revolve within it. At first I took it to be a wheel. Then I discovered it to be a ball, spinning rapidly.

‘It is the ball of knowledge.’

Did I think these words or was my angel speaking? Of this I was uncertain. I only knew that this was the ball that held all knowledge.

‘All knowledge, all knowledge,’ I thought dreamily, ‘but it is hidden – it is hidden within the ball. How shall I reach it?’
Again come the words:
‘It will unwind and then you will see, and know.’

Then I shall see, and know! How often I had longed for knowledge, for the answer to my questioning! As I mused, watching the rapidly-whirling ball between my eyes, there appeared in the midst of it the tiny figure of an angel.

‘Why, it is the Angel of the Golden Ball,’ I thought in surprise.

He bowed to me, and smiled. In a moment, a sense of comfort and security encompassed me such as I had never known before. He was my angel. He alone could unwind the golden ball of knowledge. I knew, then, that I could leave it all to him, that the instant a certain knowing was necessary to my growth, he would unwind it and I would see.

The ball whirled on. We smiled into one another’s eyes in deep content. Then, as I rested, the vision grew dim, the great walls of the Sphere seemed to recede until they faded quite away. There, beside us, was our angel-guide.

‘Why, we are in a garden!’ Janet cried amazedly. ‘Where is the Golden Sphere?’

We looked up in wonder at the empty blue sky.

‘Would it surprise you,’ smiled our guide, ‘to know there is no golden sphere?’

We could only gaze at him, and he continued: ‘No, do not mistake my meaning. It was not an illusion. The sphere of knowledge is not up in the sky. It is within you.’