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The Life Beyond the Veil: The Lowlands of Heaven: Volume 1   The Life Beyond the Veil: The Lowlands of Heaven: Volume 1
Rev. George Vale Owen

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Also available as a book

The now famous Vale-Owen messages began after the mother of the Vicar of Orford, the Rev. George Vale Owen, passed away in 1909. Shortly afterwards, Vale Owen’s wife developed an aptitude for automatic writing and through her he received messages instructing him to sit quietly, with a pencil in hand, and write down any thoughts which came into his mind. After a time, he came to understand that the thoughts were coming from an external force rather than his own consciousness. At first the messages were vague and drifted from one subject to another but gradually they began to take form and he began to receive information unbeknown to him.

Most of the early messages came from an entity claiming to be Vale-Owen’s mother and a communicator named Kathleen, who assisted by acting as an intermediary between his deceased mother and himself. Aside from Vale-Owen’s mother, many of the messages came from a group of entities that wanted to relay information about the afterlife and what we can expect when we get there.

Vale-Owen came to the attention of Lord Northcliffe, the Press Baron of the day. Northcliffe was so impressed with the messages he published them in his newspaper, the Weekly Dispatch. Given that this was the era of World War I, the messages gave hope to many that their loved ones killed in battle, far from disappearing into oblivion, had transitioned to another plane of existence.
Subsequently, the messages were combined into this series of four books entitled, The Life Beyond the Veil.

About the author

A clergyman of the Church of England and later a convert to Spiritualism, George Vale Owen (1869-1931) is most remembered today for his four volume work titled The Life Beyond the Veil (The Lowlands of Heaven, The Highlands of Heaven, The Ministry of Heaven, and The Battalions of Heaven), the first volume of which was published in 1921. He authored a number of other books, including Facts and the Future Life (1922), The Kingdom of God (1925), Problems which Perplex (1928), and Body, Soul, and Spirit (1928).

Born in Birmingham, England, Owen was educated at Midland Institute and Queen’s College, and ordained in 1893, serving in Seaforth, Fairfield, and Liverpool, before being appointed curate-in-charge of Orford, Warrington in 1900, where he served for 20 years. After some of his early automatic writing scripts came to the attention of renowned publisher Lord Northcliffe, they were printed as a series in the Weekly Dispatch, the result being that Owen was forced to resign from the Church of England. He was persuaded to put the scripts into book form, The Life Beyond the Veil going through many reprintings in the English-speaking world and translated into French, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Portuguese. After a lecture tour in the United States, Owen became the pastor of a Spiritualist church in London. Continued

Sample chapter



Tuesday, September 23, 1911

WHO is here?

Mother and other friends who have come to help. We are progressing very well but are not able to give you all the words we would like to yet, as your mind is not so quiet and passive as we would wish.

Tell me something about your home and occupation?

Our occupation varies according to the needs of those to whom we minister. It is very various but directed to the uplifting of those who are still in earth life. For instance, it is we who suggested to Rose the creation of a band of people to come to her aid in case of her feeling any danger when she was in the room writing as we moved her hand, and that band is at present in charge of her case. Does she not feel their presence at times near her? She should do so, for they are ever near at call.

About our home. It is very bright and beautiful, and our companions from the higher spheres are continually coming to us to cheer us on our upward way.

A thought here came into my mind. Could they see these beings from the higher realms or was it with them as with us? I may say that here and there throughout these records the reader will come upon passages which are quite obviously answers to my unspoken thoughts, usually beginning “Yes” or “No.” This being understood, there will be no need for me to indicate them unless any particular instance seems to require it.

Yes, we can see them when they wish that we should do so, but that depends on the state of our advancement and their own power of service to us.

Now will you please describe your home scenery, etc.?

Earth made perfect. But of course what you call a fourth dimension does exist here, in a way, and that hinders us in describing it adequately. We have hills and rivers and beautiful forests, and houses too, and all the work of those who have come before us to make ready. We are at present at work, in our turn, building and ordering for those who must still for a little while continue their battle on earth, and when they come they will find all things ready and the feast prepared.

We will tell you of a scene which we witnessed not long ago. Yes, a scene in this land of ours. We were told that a ceremony was about to take place in a certain wide plain not far from our home, at which we might be present.

It was the ceremony of initiation of one who had passed the gate of what we will call prejudice, that is, of prejudice against those who were not of his own particular way of learning, and who was about to go forth into a wider and fuller sphere of usefulness.

We went, as we were bidden, and found a great many people arriving from many quarters. Some came in… why do you hesitate? We are describing quite literally what we saw, chariots, or call them otherwise, if you will. They were drawn by horses, and their drivers seemed to know just what to say to them, for they were not driven with reins like they are on earth, but seemed to go where the drivers willed. Some came on foot and some through space by aerial flight. No, not wings, which are not necessary.

When they had all gathered, a circle was made, and one stepped out, the one who was to be initiated, and he wore a robe of orange colour, but bright, not like the colour as you know it, none of our colours are, but we have to speak to you in our old tongue. The one who had had him in his care then took him by the hand and placed him on a green knoll near the middle of the clear space, and prayed. And then a very beautiful thing occurred.

The sky seemed to intensify in colour, blue and gold mostly, and out of it descended a veil-like cloud, but which seemed to be made up of fine lace-work, and the figures dominating were birds and flowers, not white, but all golden and radiant. This slowly expanded and settled on the two, and then they seemed to become part of it, and it of them, and, as it slowly faded away, it left both more beautiful than before, permanently beautiful, for both had been advanced into a higher sphere of light.

Then we began to sing, and, although I could see no instrument, instrumental music blended with our singing and became one with it. It was very beautiful, and served both as a reward to those who had earned it and a spur to those who had still to tread the path they two had trodden. The music, as I found out later by inquiry, proceeded from a temple grove outside the circle, but indeed it did not seem to come from any one point. That is a faculty of music here. It seems very often to be part of the atmosphere.

Nor was the jewel lacking. When the cloud cleared, or dissolved, we saw it on the brow of the initiate, gold and red, and his guide, who had one already, wore his on his shoulder, left shoulder, and we noticed it had increased in size and brightness. I do not know how this happens, but have an idea, not definite enough to tell you, however, and it is difficult to explain what we ourselves understand. When the ceremony was over we all separated to our own work again. It was longer than I have described and had a very heartening effect on the rest of us.

Over the hill on the farther side of the plain to that where we stood I noticed a light grow up and it seemed to us a beautiful form in human shape. I do not think it was an appearance of our Lord, but some great Angel Master who came to give power, and to do His will. No doubt some there could see more clearly than I, because we are able to see, and also to understand, in proportion to our stage of advancement.

Now, my boy, just think for a moment. Is this from your mind or through it, as you say? When you sat down to write as you know, nothing was farther from your thoughts, for we had carefully refrained from impressing you, and yet you went off at once on the account as we influenced you. Is that not so?

Yes, I admit that frankly.

Quite right. And now we will leave, not you, for we are always with you in a way you do not understand, but we will leave this writing, with our prayer and blessing on you and yours. Goodnight and goodbye till tomorrow.

(Note, when the whole series of messages was finished I reckoned up and found that the speed had been maintained at an average rate of twenty-four words a minute. On two occasions I only an idea what subject was to be treated. That was when the message had obviously been left uncompleted. At other times I had fully expected a certain subject to be taken, but on taking up my pencil the stream of thought went off in an altogether different direction.)

Wednesday, September 24, 1913.

Suppose we were to ask you to look forward a little space and try to imagine the effect of our communications as viewed in relation to the ultimate outcome of your present state of mind. What then, think you, should have been the issue of events as we see them from our own sphere in the spirit world? It would be something like the effect of sunlight when it is projected into a sea-mist, the mist gradually vanishes away, and the scene it enveloped becomes clearer to the vision, and more beautiful than when dimly discerned through the enveloping mist.

So do we view your minds and, if the sun for a while dazzles and perplexes rather than clarifies the sight, you know that the end is light, and the end of all that light in whom there is no darkness at all. Yet light is not conducive to peace always, but, in its passage often creates a series of vibrations which bring destruction to those species of living creatures which are not fashioned to survive in the light of the sun. Let them go, and, for yourself, go onward, and as you go your eyes will become used to the greater light, the greater beauty of the Love of God, the very intensity of which, blended as it is with infinite wisdom, is perplexing to those who are not altogether of the light.

And now, dear son, listen while we tell you of one more scene which has gladdened us here in these regions of God’s own light.

We were wandering a short time ago in a beautiful woodland place, and as we went we talked a little, but not more than a little because of the sense of music which seemed to absorb all else into its own holy silence. Then, standing in the pathway in front of us, whom should we see but an angel from a higher sphere. He stood and looked on us with a smile, but did not speak, and we became aware that he had a message for one of us. It was so, for as we halted and stood in expectation, he came forward and lifting the cloak he wore, amber it was in colour, he placed his arm and it round my shoulder and, laying his cheek on my hair, for he was much taller than I am, he said softly, “My child, I am sent to you from the Master whom you have learned to trust, and the way before you is seen by Him but not by you. You will be given strength for whatever you have to do, and you have been chosen for a mission which is new to you in your service here. You will be able, of course, to visit these, your friends at will, but now you must leave them for a time and I will show you your new home and duties.”

Then the others gathered round me and kissed me and held my hands in theirs. They were as glad as I, only that is not quite the word to use in my case, it is not peaceful enough. After a while, when he had let us talk and wonder what his message meant, he came forward once more and this time took me by the hand and led me away.

We walked for a little time and then I felt my feet leave the ground and we went through the air. I was not afraid, for his strength was given to me. We passed over a high mountain range where many palaces were, and at last, after a fairly long journey, we descended in a city where I had not been before.

The light was not unkind, but my eyes were not used to such a degree of brightness. However, I soon made out that we were in a garden surrounding a large building, with steps up to it all along the front, at the top of which was a kind of terrace. The building seemed all of one piece of material of different hues, pink and blue and red and yellow, which shone like gold, but softly. Up these we went, and at the great doorway, without any door to it, we met a very beautiful lady, stately but not proud. She was the Angel of the House of Sorrow. You wonder at the word used in this connection. What it means is this: The sorrow is not of those who dwell there, but is the lot of those to whom they minister. The sorrowful ones are those on earth, and it is the business of the residents in this House to send to them vibrations which have the effect of neutralizing the vibrations of sorrowful hearts on earth. You must understand that here we have to get to the bottom of things, and learn the cause of things, and that is a very deep study, only learned in gradual stages bit by bit. I therefore speak of the causes of things when
I use the word “vibrations,” as one you will understand best.

She received me very kindly and took me within, where she showed me over part of the place. It was quite unlike anything on earth, so it is hard to describe. But I may say that the whole house seemed to vibrate with life, and to respond to our own will and vitality.

This, then, is my present and latest phase of service, and a very happy one it promises to be. But I have only just begun to understand the prayers which are brought to us there and registered, and the sighs of those in trouble we hear, or rather, they are also registered, and we see or feel them, as it were, and send out our own vibrations in answer. This in time becomes involuntary, but is a great effort at first, I find it so. But even the effort has a reflex blessing on those who work so.

There are many such places here, as I learn, all in touch with earth, which at present would seem impossible to me except that, as the effects are also registered back again to us, I know the amount of comfort and help we send. I only am on duty for a short space at one time, and then go out and see the sights of this city and its neighbourhood. And very glorious it all is, even more beautiful than my old sphere, which I also revisit to see my friends. So you can imagine the talks we have when we do meet. That is almost as great a joy as the work itself. Peace in Jesus our Lord is the atmosphere all around us. And this is the land where there is no darkness and, when those mists are of the past, dear, you will come here, and I will show you all, until you are perhaps able to take me by the hand, as he did, and lead me to see the work in your own sphere. You think I am ambitious for you, dear lad. Well, so I am, and that is a mother’s, shall I say weakness, or rather blessing?
Goodbye, dear. Your own heart at this moment is a witness that this is all real, for I can see it glowing happy and bright, and that is gladness also to me your mother, dear son. Goodnight, then, and God will keep you and yours in His peace.

Thursday, September 25, 1913.

What we want most to say to you tonight is to be understood as a very imperfect attempt to tell you what is the meaning of that passage of which you have often thought where our Lord tells St. Peter that he is an adversary to Him. He, as you will remember, was on the way to the Holy City, and had been telling His Apostles that He would be killed there. Now, what He evidently wished to impress on them was the fact that, although to men His mission might seem to have ended in failure, yet to eyes which were enabled to see as He would theirs might see, His end was only the beginning of a much more powerful and glorious development of the life-giving mission which He had undertaken on behalf of the Father and for the uplifting of the world.

Peter, by his attitude, showed that he did not understand this. Which is all plain and easy enough, so far, to understand. But what is usually lost sight of is the fact that the Christ was pursuing one straight line of progress, and that His death was but an incident in the way of His onward path, and that sorrow, as the world understands it, is not the antithesis of joy, but may be a part of it, because, if rightly used, it becomes the fulcrum on which the lever may rest which may lift a weight off the heart of the one who understands that all is part of God’s plan for our good. It is only by knowing the real “value” of sorrow that we understand how limited it is in effect, so far as making us unhappy goes. Now, He was about to inflict the heaviest sorrow He possibly could on the Apostles and, unless they understood this, they would be unable to use that sorrow to lift themselves above the turmoil of the world, and so, unable to do the work he had in hand for them to do. “Your sorrow shall be converted into joy,” He told them, and so it came to pass, but not until they had learned the scientific value of sorrow, in a limited measure indeed, but in a measure nevertheless.

All this sounds very simple when it is written down thus, and no doubt it is simple, in a way, because all the fundamentals of God’s economy are simple. But to us, and to me at the present time, it has an importance which may not be apparent to you. For the problem which is the chief study of the new house in which I spend so much of my time is this same subject, namely, the turning, or converting, of the vibrations of sorrow into the vibrations which produce joy in the human heart. It is a very beautiful study, but many perplexities enter into it because of the restrictions imposed on us by the sacredness of freewill. We may not overrule the will of any, but have so to work through their wills as to produce the desired effect and yet leave them free all the time, and so, deserving, in a way and in a measure at least, of the blessing received.

I get tired sometimes, but that will pass away as I become stronger in the work.

What is your question? I think you wish to ask one.

No, thank you, I have no particular question in mind.

Wasn’t there something you wished to ask about something to do with the method by which we impress you?

I did think of asking you that this morning. But I had forgotten it. I suppose there is nothing much to explain, is there? Should I call it mental impression.

Yes, that is correct, as far as it goes, but it does not go far. Mental impression is a phrase which covers up a great deal which is not understood. We impress you by means of these same vibrations, some of a different nature from others all directed on your will. But I see you are not much interested in that matter at the present moment. We will return to it, if you wish, at another time. I want to speak of those things which are of present interest to you.

Then tell me something more about that home of yours and your new work.

Very well, then, I will try to do so as well as I can.

It is beautifully appointed within and without. Within are baths and a music room and apparatus to aid us in registering our work. It is a very large place. I called it a house, but it is really a series of houses, each house allotted to a certain class of work, and progressive as a series. We pass from one to another as we learn all we can from any particular house. But it is all so wonderful that people would neither understand nor believe, so I would rather tell you of the simpler things.

The grounds are very extensive, and all have a kind of relation to the buildings, a kind of responsiveness. For instance, the trees are true trees and grow much as trees do on earth, but they have a kind of responsiveness to the buildings, and different kinds of trees respond more to one house than to the others and help the effect and the work for which that particular house was raised. So it is with the grouping of trees in the groves, and the bordering flowerbeds of the paths, and the arrangement of the streams and falls which are found in different parts of the grounds. All these things have been thought out with marvellous wisdom, and the effect produced is very beautiful.

The same thing obtains on earth, but the vibrations there are so heavy, comparatively, both those sent out and those which respond, that the effect is almost unseen. Nevertheless, it is so. For instance, you know that some people can plant flowers and trees more successfully than others, and that flowers will last longer in some houses, that is families, than others, cut flowers, we mean. All that is the same thing in grosser state. Here these influences are more potent in action, and also the recipients more sensitive in perception. And that, by the way, is one of the things which help us to accurate diagnosis of cases which are registered here for us to deal with.

The atmosphere also is naturally affected by vegetation and by buildings, for, let me repeat, those houses have not been raised merely mechanically, but are the outcome, growth, if you will, of the action of the will of those high in rank in these realms, and so of very powerful creative wills.

The atmosphere also has an effect on our clothing, and enters into the influence of our own personalities in its effect on texture and colour. So, if we were all of the same quality spiritually, our clothing would be of the same tint and texture by reason of the atmospheric influence, and this is in fact modified by the degree in which our own characters differ one from another.

Also the tint of our robes changes according to the part of the grounds in which we happen to be. It is very interesting and instructive, and also very beautiful, to see them change as one turns down a side walk where different vegetation flourishes, or where the arrangement of the various species of plants is different.

The water also is very beautiful. You hear of water-nymphs and suchlike beings in the earth life. Well, I may tell you that here, at any rate, these things are true. For the whole place is pervaded and interpenetrated with life, and that means with living creatures. I had some idea of this in the sphere from which I have lately come, but here, as I grow accustomed to the strangeness and newness of it, I see it all much more plainly and begin to wonder what it will be a few spheres onward. For the wonder of this place seems to be about as much as any place could hold.

But there, let it rest. He who enables us in one part of His beautiful Kingdom will enable us in another.

Which is a word for you, my dear son, and which I will leave with you now, and my blessing.∗

Friday, September 26, 1913

Our last instalment was given in answer to a request by one of our band that we should try to impress you in a rather deeper kind of way than heretofore, but we were only able to begin, as it were, and not to complete our explanation, If you wish it therefore, we will continue the subject now.

Thank you, yes.

Then you must, for a moment, try to think with us as from our side the Veil. Things, you must understand, take on a very different aspect here from what they did as viewed from the earth plane, and an aspect, I fear, which to those still on earth will, in many cases at least, wear a semblance of unreality and romance. And the least things here are fraught with so much wonder to those who are newly come over that until they have divested themselves of the habit of thinking in three dimensional terms, they are unable to progress very far. And that, believe me, is a matter of no little difficulty.

Now, the term “vibrations” is one which will have to serve, but it is far from adequate as understood of things material. For such vibrations as those of which we speak are not merely mechanical in movement and quality, but have an essence of vitality in themselves, and it is by that vitality that we are able to appropriate and use them. That is the connecting link between our wills and the outward manifestation in vibrations, for that is really all that these are. They are just phenomena of the deeper life which envelops us and all things. By them, as raw material, we are able to accomplish things, and build up things which have a durability which the term itself would seem to belie.

For instance, it is by this method that the bridge over the chasm in between the spheres of light and darkness is constructed, and that bridge is not all of one colour. On the farther side it is shrouded in darkness and, as it gradually emerges into, or towards, the region of light, it assumes an ever brighter hue and, where it lands on the heights where begin the brighter lands, it is of pink hue and glistens in the light enveloping it like some rare kind of silver, or alabaster rather.

Yes, of course there is a bridge over the chasm Otherwise how would those who have fought their way upward through the gloom get over? True, and I had forgotten it. There are some who do proceed through the awful realm of darkness, and climb up the regions on this side of the chasm. But these are few, and they are those obstinate ones who reject the help and guidance of those guardians of the way who are stationed on the farther side to show those who are qualified the way across.

Also, you must know, those guardians are only visible to those poor people, in proportion to the light that has been generated in their hearts, and so a certain amount of trust is needed if they would commit themselves to their keeping. This trust also is the outcome of a better mind by which they have become, in a measure, able to discern between light and darkness. Well, the complications of the human spirit are manifold and perplexing, and so let us get on to something easier of putting into words. I have called this a bridge, but, I ought to have referred you to the passage, “The light of the body is thine eye.” Read that in this connection, and you will see that it bears on the case, not only of those on earth but those here also. I have called this a bridge, but, as a matter of fact, it has little likeness to a bridge, on earth. For these regions are vast, and the bridge is more like a tract of country than anything else I can think of to call it to you. And remember I have only seen but a small part of these spheres, and so just tell you of that part which I know. Doubtless there are other chasms and bridges, probably numbers of them. Across the ridge, or bridge, then, those who seek the light make their journey, and that journey is but slow, and there are many rest-houses at which they stay from time to time, on their progress across, and are handed on from one to another party of angel ministers, until the last stage lands them here on this side. Our work in the house, or colony, to which I now belong, is also directed to these progressive spirits, as well as to those on earth. But that is a different department from mine at present. I have not yet got that far in my study. For it is more difficult, because the influences around those in the darkness here are much more evil than the influences on earth, where good influences are ever mingling with the bad. It is only when careless and wicked people get over here that they realise the awful task before them, and that is why so many of them remain for ages in a condition of hopelessness and despair.

When they are safely over the bridge they are welcomed by those on the slopes where grass and trees grow, and they are just stupefied with delight, in spite of the gradualness of their preparation. For they have not yet become used to love and its sweetness after their experience of the opposite down there.

I said this bridge landed on the heights; I speak comparatively. The landing place is highland as compared with those regions of darkness below. But, as a matter of fact, it is lowland, and the lowest land indeed, of the heavenly country.

You are thinking of the “great gulf,” or chasm, “fixed,” of the Parable. That is all quite in accord with what I have written, and you have already had this explained to you elsewhere. Also the reason why these who come over do so instead of attaining this side by aerial travel, or “flight,” as you would perhaps call it, is because they are not able to make the journey on account of their weakness spiritually. If they were to attempt it they would only fall into the dark valley, and then lose their way.

I have not been far into those dark regions, but I have been a little way, and the misery I saw was quite enough to suffice for some time to come. When I have progressed in my present work, and have for some time helped those poor souls from the vantage point of this house, I may be permitted, and probably shall be, to go farther among them. But that is not yet.

One thing more I may say, for it is time that you should cease. When they break away, and come to the other end of the bridge, I am told that the noises which are heard from behind them are horrible, and dull red flashes of fire are seen. How that is caused I am not able clearly to state, but we are told that both the yells and screeches and howls, and also the flashes, are made by those left behind who are enraged because of their powerlessness to recapture the fugitive, or to hold him as he is slipping away; for evil is ever powerless against good, be the good ever so small in amount. But I must not pursue this farther now, and what I am now saying is not what I have myself seen, but hearsay, that is, it is given to you at second-hand; but it is true, nevertheless.

Goodnight, then, dear son, and may the All Father shed His light and peace on you and yours. In His light shall you see light, and the shining of that light is of the peaceful over breaking dawn.

Saturday, September 27, 1913.

I asked my friends to try to impress me more vividly.

It is scarcely necessary that we should be careful to impress you more vividly than we have already done, for we have managed to get through the messages as we intended them, to help you to realise somewhat of our life, and conditions prevailing here. Only we would add that what should be clear to you is that when we come here we are not in our own proper element, but that what to you is a natural environment is to us as a mist, and through it we have to work as best we can.

Are you able to see me as I sit here writing?

We do see you, but with other eyes than yours. Our eyes are not accustomed to the effect of light as you have it on earth. Our light is of a different kind, a sort of interpenetrating element by which we are able to discern your inmost mind, and that is it to which we speak, to you yourself and not, of course, to your outward ears. So it is yourself we see, and not your material body, which is but an enveloping robe. When we touch you, therefore, you do not feel the touch physically but spiritually, and if you wish to apprehend our touch, you will have to keep this in mind and look deeper than the body and its mechanical brain.

You would wish to know something more of the way we work here and the conditions in which our life is spent, Not every one who comes over here is able to understand that one of the elementary truths which it is necessary to assimilate in order to progress is that God is no more visibly present here than He is in the earth life. They expect to see Him bodily, and are much disappointed when they are told that that is a quite mistaken idea of the way of His dealing with us. His life and beauty are quite apparent on earth to those who can look deeper than the externals of nature. And so it is here (with this modification), life here is more tangible, and easier to lay hold of and use by those who study its nature, and it pulsates all around us, and we, being in a more sensitive state, are more able to feel it than when we were in the earth life. Still, having said this on the general conditions, it is true to add that from time to time, manifestations of the Divine Presence are given us, when some particular purpose necessitates, and of one of these I will tell you now.

We were called to a tract of country where many people were to forgather, of different creeds and faiths and countries. When we arrived we found that a band of missionary spirits had returned from their period of duty in one of the regions bordering on the earth sphere, where they had been working among souls just come over who did not realise that they had crossed the border-line between earth and the spirit land. Many had been enlightened, and these had been brought to the place in order that they might join with us in a service of thanksgiving before going to their own proper homes. They were of various ages, for the old had not progressed yet in becoming youthful and vigorous again, and the young had not progressed to complete stature. They were all agape with happy expectation, and, as one company after another of their new companions in this life arrived, they scanned their faces, and the different coloured robes worn by the different orders and estates in wonder.

By and by we were all assembled, and then we heard a burst of music which seemed to invade us all and unify the whole great multitude into one great family. Then we saw a great cross of light appear. It seemed to lie on the slope of the great mountain which bordered the plain and, as we watched it, it began to break up into specks of bright light, and we gradually became aware that it was a large company of angels of a higher sphere who stood on the mountain in the form of a cross, and all about them was a golden glow, which we could feel at that distance as a warm breath, of love.

Gradually they became more distinct to our vision as they emerged more perfectly into this, to them, lower environment, and then we saw, standing over the square where the arms of the cross joined the stem, a larger Being.

We all seemed to know Him at once instinctively. It was a Manifestation of the Christ in what you have come to know as presence form.

He stood there silent and still for a long time and then lifted His right hand on high, and we saw a column of light descend and rest upon it as He held it aloft. This column was a pathway, and on it we saw another company descending and, when they came to the uplifted hand, they paused and stood still with their hands folded on their breasts and heads bowed. Then slowly the hand moved out until it had swung round and down and the fingers pointed over the plain, and we saw the column stretch out towards us in mid-heaven until it bridged the space between the mountain and the plain, and the end of it rested over the multitude gathered there.

Along this column walked the company last become visible, and hovered above us. They spread out their hands then, and all slowly turned towards the mountain, and softly we heard their voices half speaking and half singing a hymn of devotion to Him Who stood there all so beautiful and so holy that at first we were awed into silence. But presently we also took up their words and sang, or chanted, with them, for that evidently was their purpose in coming to us. And as we sang there arose between us and the mountain a mist of bluish tint which had a very curious effect. It seemed to act like a telescopic lens, and brought the vision of Him nearer until we could see the expression on His face. It also acted similarly on the forms of those who stood just below Him. But we had no eyes for them only for His gracious face and form. I cannot describe the expression. It was a blend of things which words can only tell in small part. There were blended love and pity and joy and majesty, and I felt that life was a very sacred thing when it held Him and us in one bond. I think others felt something like this too, but we did not speak to one another, all our attention being taken up with the sight of Him.

Then slowly the mist melted into the atmosphere, and we saw the cross on the mountain and Him standing as before, only seen more dimly, and the angels who had come over to us had gone, and now hovered above Him. And then all gradually faded away. But the effect was a very definite sense of His Presence remaining and perpetual. Perhaps that was the object of the vision being given to the new-comers who, although they could not see so clearly as we could who had been here longer, yet would be able to see enough to encourage them and give them peace.

We lingered some time longer, and then quietly went our ways, not speaking much, because we were so impressed with what we had witnessed. And also, in all these manifestations there is always so much to think out after. It is so glorious that one is not able, while it is taking place, to take in all the meaning. That has to be thought out gradually, and we talk it over, together, and each gives his impressions, and then we add them up, and find that a revelation has been given of something we did not understand before so well. In this instance what seemed to impress us most was the power He had of speaking to us in silence. He did not utter a word and yet we seemed to be hearing His voice speaking to us whenever He made a movement, and we understood quite well what the voice said, although it did not actually speak.

That is all I can tell you now, so, goodbye, dear son, and may you, as you will, see for yourself one day what our Lord has in store for them who love Him.

Monday, September 29, 1913.

The idea of viewing things from the standpoint of a higher sphere than yours is one which should be given due weight when you read what we have already written. Otherwise you will often be mystified at the seeming incongruity in the association of ideas as we have given them. To us it is perfectly natural to link together the coming of our Lord in Presence Form and the other incident of the formation of that bridge which spans the great continent of the chasm. For what is there seen in the concrete, that is, of course, concrete to us here, is but a phenomenon of the same invisible power as that by which the Lord and His company of angel attendants bridged the gulf between the spheres in which we at present move and those from which these higher beings come.

You will understand that the manifestation was to us very much what materialization is to you. It was the linking up of two estates in the Kingdom of the Father by bridging the space by higher vibrations than those which we are able to use in these lower spheres. How it is done we can only surmise, but, having passed through from your earth sphere into this, the connection between this and the next does not seem strange.

We would wish you could be further enlightened in regard to some of the wonders of our land, for then it would seem more natural to you, both during your sojourn on earth, and also when you come over here, it would be less unfamiliar to your mind. The former in that you would see that earth is heaven in embryo, and heaven is but earth cleansed and made perfect, and the latter for reasons quite obvious.

In order to help you in this matter, therefore, we will try to tell you of a system which we have here of separating and discerning between things that matter and those of lesser importance. Whenever we are perplexed about anything, and I speak just of our own immediate circle, we go up to the top of some building, or hill, or some high place where the surrounding country may be viewed from a distance. Then we state our difficulties, and when we have made the tale complete, we preserve silence for a time and endeavour to retreat into ourselves, as it were. After a time we begin to see and hear on a higher plane than ours, and those things which matter, we find, are those which are shown to us, by sight and hearing, as persisting on that higher plane in those higher spheres. But the things which do not matter so greatly we do not see nor hear, and thus we are able to separate the one class from the other.

It seems all right, dear, but could you give me a specific instance by way of example?

I think we can. We had a case of doubt to deal with, and scarcely knew how to act for the best. It was that of a woman who had been over here for rather a long time, and who did not seem able to progress much. She was not a bad sort of person, but seemed to be uncertain of herself and everybody round her. Her chief difficulty was about angels, whether they were all of light and goodness, or whether there were some of angelic estate and yet who were of the darkness. For some time we could not quite see why this should trouble her, as everything here seemed to be of love and brightness. But we found at last she had some relatives who had come over before her, and whom she had not seen, and could not find where they were. When we got at her real trouble, we talked it over among ourselves, and then we went to the top of a hill and stated our wish to help her and asked to be shown the best way. A rather remarkable thing happened, as unexpected as helpful.

As we knelt there, the whole summit of the hill seemed to become transparent and, as we were kneeling with bowed heads, we saw right through it, and a part of the regions below was brought out with distinctness. The scene we saw, and we all saw it, so there could be no delusion, was a dry and barren plain in semi-darkness and, standing leaning against a rock, was a man of large stature. Before him, kneeling on the ground, with face in hands, was another smaller form. It was that of a man, and he seemed to be pleading with the other, who stood with a look of doubt upon his face. Then at last, with a sudden impulse, he stooped down and caught the prostrate form to his breast, and strode with him over the plain towards that horizon where a faint light glimmered.

He went on a long journey with that burden and when they came to a place where the light was stronger, he set him down and pointed out the way to him, and we saw the smaller form thank him again and again, and then turn and run towards the light. We followed him with our eyes, and then saw that the other had directed him to the bridge, of which I have told you already, only that end of it which is on the other side of the chasm. Still we could not understand why this vision had been shown to us, and we continued to follow the man until he had reached the large building which stands at the entrance of the bridge, not to guard it, but to watch for those who come and who require refreshment and help.

We saw that the man had been sighted from the watchtower, for a flash of light signalled the fact to those below and to those on the next watchtower along the bridge.

And then the hill resumed its normal aspect again, and we saw no more.

We were more perplexed than ever now, and were descending the hill when our Chief Lady met us, and, in her company, one who seemed to be a high officer in some part of our spheres, but whom we had not met before.

She said he had come to explain to us the instruction we had just received. The smaller man was the husband of the woman whom we were trying to help, and we must tell her to go to the bridge and she would be given a lodging there, where she could wait till her loved one arrived. The larger man whom we had seen was what the woman would call an angel of darkness, for he was one of the more powerful spirits in that dark land. But, as we had observed, he was capable of a good deed. Why then, we asked, was he still in the regions of darkness?

The officer smiled and said, “My dear friends, the Kingdom of God our Father is a very much more wonderful place than you seem to imagine. You never yet have met with a realm or sphere which was complete in itself, and independent and separate from all other spheres. Nor are there any such. That dark angel blends within his nature many spheres of knowledge and goodness and badness. He remains where he is first because of the badness remaining in him, and which unfits him for the regions of light. He remains also because, while he could progress if he would, he does not wish to do so at present, partly because of his obstinacy, and partly because he still hates the light, and thinks those who set out upon the awful uphill way fools because the pains and agonies are sharper then by reason of the contrast which they see between the light and the darkness. So he remains, and there are multitudes such as he whom a kind of dull and numb despair prevents coming over. Also in his time of hatred and frenzy he is cruel. He had tortured and ill-treated this same man whom you saw with him from time to time, and that with the cruelty of a cowardly bully. But, as you saw, that wore itself out, and, when the man pleaded this last time, some soft chord in the heart of the other vibrated just a little, and, on the impulse, fearing a reversal of his intention, he liberated the victim who wished to make the journey, and pointed out to him the way, no doubt thinking in his heart that he was a fool and yet, perhaps, a wiser fool than he, after all.”

This was new to us. We had not realised that there was any goodness in those dark regions before; but now we saw that it was but natural that there should be, or, if everyone were totally bad, no one would ever desire to come to us here.

But what bearing has all this on the discerning between the things which matter and those of lesser importance?

All that is of good is of God, and light and darkness, as applied to His children, are not, and cannot be, absolute. They are to be understood relatively. There are, as we now know, many “angels of darkness” who are in the darkness because of some twist in their natures, some obstinate trait which prevents the good in them having its effect. And these one day may pass us on the road of the ages, and become greater in the Kingdom of the Heavens than we who now are more blessed than they.

Goodnight, dear son. Think over what we have written. It has been a very wholesome lesson to us, and one which it were well if many in your present life could learn.

Publisher: White Crow Books
Published September 2015
148 pages
Size: 229 X 152 MM
ISBN 978-1-910121-55-9
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Personal Recollections of Abdu’l Baha Abbas and the Baha’i Outlook by Wellesley Tudor Pole – What is the special appeal voiced by Baha'u'llah and his son, which has resulted in so many of their followers the world over asserting that they are no longer Jews, Christians, Moslems or Buddhists, as such but have become Baha'is? Read here
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